Following the Chavez armaments-purchasing tour of last week, media outlets are starting to notice the arms buildup taking place in the region.
At the BBC,
Could war erupt in arms-spree LatAm?
Is Latin America gearing up for conflict? Some regional commentators certainly fear that a handful of countries are teetering on the edge of a full-blown arms race they can ill afford – either financially or diplomatically.
That fear has been stoked in the past week by the coincidental announcement of two major procurement programmes.
Firstly, Brazil confirmed on 7 September that it will buy four Scorpene attack submarines from France, and will build 50 EC-725 transport helicopters under licence.
It has also opened negotiations with French company Dassault for a large order of Rafale fighter aircraft.
Then Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez returned last week from a successful shopping trip to Moscow, with T-72 main battle tanks and an unknown quantity of air defence systems in the bag.
Both countries are ramping up military expenditure to levels not seen in decades.
Noticias 24 has a chart comparing the purchases by Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia and Chile, (click on photo for large version)
Thanks to Alex for the link.