Growing Transnational Criminal Organizations Driving Increased Need for Military Vehicles in Latin America

Contributor:  Christopher Dauer
Posted:  12/09/2011  12:00:00 AM EST
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The rise of international criminal organizations is increasing the demand in Latin America for projected, highly maneuverable military vehicles, to be used in law enforcement, border patrol and security operations.

The threats have become so pronounced that on July 25, 2011, the US National Security Staff released a formalized “Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime: Addressing Converging Threats to National Security.”  Details of a report on that strategy are available at  The strategy stresses the importance of political, military and law enforcement to collaborate on efforts to combat transnational criminal organizations.

“Criminal networks are not only expanding their operations, but they are also diversifying their activities, resulting in a convergence of transnational threats that has evolved to become more complex, volatile, and destabilizing,” said President Barack Obama in announcing the strategy. “These networks also threaten U.S. interests by forging alliances with corrupt elements of national governments and using the power and influence of those elements to further their criminal activities. In some cases, national governments exploit these relationships to further their interests to the detriment of the United States.”

Last year, the US launched the Central America Regional Security Initiative, which seeks to improve security conditions in that region of Latin America through collaboration with other governments to implement and refine security efforts.

Discussing the initiative, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that “the U.S. is committed to citizen safety in Central America—we are doing everything we can in the fight against corruption and impunity, in providing the equipment and the support that law enforcement and the military require, and helping to build civil society to stand against the scourge of drug trafficking.”

So while other geographic regions had been driving expenditures for military vehicles over the past decade, the future drivers could very well be Latin American countries acquiring escalating numbers of vehicles such as MRAPs (mine resistant ambush protected), as these countries battle criminal elements utilizing IEDs.

Numbers on the global counter-IED market confirm this. For example, while recent reports have projected that the global CIED market, currently worth more than $6.4 billion, will be declining over the next year, so is not the case within the Latin American market.  In fact, overall military spending in South America grew by 5.8% last year, a notably higher level than the global rise of 1.3% within that timeframe.

The numbers are similar within the arena of armoured and CIED vehicles, with the value of those markets amounting to more than $25 billion this year, with a slight decrease globally expected by 2021. The overall market value for armoured vehicles and CIED vehicles to that point is estimated at US$265 billion, with the Latin American portion of those costs expected to rise.

IDGA’s Military Vehicles for Latin America Summit will be held from Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 2012 in Panama City, Panama.  For more information on the event, to register, or to inquire about sponsor and exhibition opportunities, go to, or call 1-800-882-8684.

Christopher Dauer Contributor:   Christopher Dauer

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