Washington, Sep, 19.-The U.S. has deployed additional Special Operations Forces (SOF) in Latin America on training and intelligence gathering missions, says a study caried out by several academic centers in this capital city.
These units are part of an assistance program in the region and most have been formed under the pretext of anti-narcotic operations, despite Caribbean and Latin American leaders growing calls for a change to this policy.(Prensa Latina)The new assessment on security in the Western Hemisphere was developed by the Latin American Working Group Education Fund (Lawgef), the Center for International Policy (CIP) and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA).
These institutions point out that even though U.S. assistance has dropped to nearly the lowest level in more than a decade, there is a focus on other less transparent military activities, out of the public eye.
The report titled “Time to Listen: Trends in U.S. Security Assistance to Latin American and the Caribbean,” highlights that significant financial resources have not been devoted to these activities, yet everything is kept under a veil of mystery.
The text adds there is a trend towards change, with a stronger Pentagon presence on foreign policy, therefore increasing numbers of forces are being used in training missions, while armies are being organized in countries with similar to Washington’s.
According to the report, these include organizations like the Sensitive Investigative Unit (SIU), secret groups of elite agents under the DEA and CIA’s supervision which operate in several countries throughout the region.
It also adds that 40 years after the beginning of the war on drugs, the United States has spent more than $12.5 billion USD on anti-narcotic programs in Latin America with minimal results.
The U.S. SOFs are made up of elite units from the U.S. Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps and the Air Force. Most are components of the Pentagon’s Special Operations Joint Command whose headquarters are located in MacDill, Florida.