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Demilitarization in the Contemporary World$
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Peter Stearns

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037894

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037894.001.0001

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Demilitarization after Central American Civil Wars

Demilitarization after Central American Civil Wars

(p.216) 9 Demilitarization after Central American Civil Wars
Demilitarization in the Contemporary World

Philip J. Williams

J. Mark Ruhl

University of Illinois Press

This chapter considers how the armed forces declined in power throughout Latin America in the early 1990s, but the processes of demilitarization in El Salvador and Guatemala were unique. While demilitarization followed civil wars in El Salvador and Guatemala, these are the only two cases in Latin America in which the United Nations played a major role in brokering negotiated settlements to end the armed conflicts and in monitoring peace agreements that set in motion processes of demilitarization. In both countries political opposition to continued military domination, including armed insurgencies, was a constant feature from the 1960s onward. Moreover, economic elites who traditionally looked to the military to protect their business interests increasingly expressed concern about the liability of supporting a large, well-equipped military without a mission.

Keywords:   demilitarization, El Salvador, Guatemala, armed forces, Latin America, United Nations, peace agreements, armed insurgencies, economic elites

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