by Robert Muggah, Canadian International Council, August 2, 2013
After years of neglect, the Canadian government seems to be ratcheting up international cooperation with its Latin American counterparts. The increase in diplomatic overtures is motivated by the promise of forging new trade relationships and enhancing existing ties, but also by the apparent continent-wide consequences of organized crime and drug trafficking. While an “Americas Strategy” was launched in 2007, the government only recently started matching its rhetorical commitments with action. The Foreign Minister has already made two trips to Latin America in 2013, before and after the Prime Minister’s visit in May. As the many press releases on the most recent visit make clear, strengthening regional and thereby hemispheric security – especially support for more law and order – is at the center of Canada’s renewed engagement with the region.