Peru takes arms reduction proposal to governments in the region

Peru’s minister of Transport, Enrique Cornejo, was in Brasilia Nov.10 to present President Alan García’s continental arms reduction proposal to the Brazilian Foreign Affairs minister, Celso Amorín, and to the presidents of the Congress and the Senate.

A day earlier, in Sao Paulo, Cornejo met President Lula da Silva. The proposal will be included in the agenda for Lula da Silva’s visit to Lima scheduled for Dec. 11.

In Asunción, meanwhile, Peru’s minister for Women and Social Development, Nidia Vilchez, presented the Peace, Security and Cooperation Protocol project to the President of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo. Vilchez was accompanied by Francisco Rivarola, director general for Latin America in Peru’s foreign ministry.

According to Rivarola, Peru proposes that governments in the region reduce their Armed Forces budget by 3%, and new arms purchases by 15% in five years. “We also advocate the formation of a South American peace force,” Rivarola said.

“The purpose is to come together over any conflict with a neighboring country,” Vilchez said. “We should have a Peace Army to solve a problem, not by weapons but by consensus.”

President Garcia’s proposal has been taken by other members of his cabinet to the governments of Argentina, Brazil, and Ecuador and will be given also to Chile, Colombia, Bolivia and Venezuela.

Peru has responded testily to Chile’s decision in the past year to purchase new military aircraft and materiel.   Meanwhile, this week Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez stepped up his rhetoric against Colombia when an agreement was signed by Washington and Bogota to allow the U.S. military to operate from seven Colombian air bases, some close to the Venezuelan border, in the fight against drug traffic.

Chavez said that Venezuela should prepare to go to war against Colombia because the  Washington agreement threatened the Venezuelan border. Colombia is presenting the situation to the Organization of American States, OAS, and to the U.N. Security Council.

Garcia -Oct-29-09Chavez - Nov 10-09BAchelet - nov 09Uribe , Alvaro - nov-10-09

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