Last Updated: Monday, 22 January 2018, 12:53 GMT

Country Reports on Terrorism 2008 - Uruguay

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism
Publication Date 30 April 2009
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2008 - Uruguay, 30 April 2009, available at: [accessed 22 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The Government of Uruguay's cooperation and intelligence sharing on counterterrorism-related issues greatly improved in 2008, especially at the working level, where officers in law enforcement and security services recognized the importance of actively conducting investigations, sharing intelligence with the United States, and working cooperatively with regional partners. Uruguayan authorities generally cooperated with the United States and international institutions on counterterrorism efforts and have to implement a 2004 money laundering law more robustly. Uruguayan banking and law enforcement agencies have mechanisms in place to identify financial assets, individuals, and groups with links to terrorism, but to date they have discovered neither terrorist assets in Uruguayan financial institutions nor terrorist operatives in Uruguay. In October, the parliament passed legislation to create a specialized organized crime unit to prosecute crimes including terrorism and terrorist financing. The judges and prosecutors were named in December.

Uruguay is a member of the Permanent Working Group on Terrorism of the Common Market of the South (Mercosur), together with Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Bolivia. The group facilitates cooperation and information sharing among countries combating terrorism. The Working Group expanded its focus from the Tri-Border Area of Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil to the porous and insufficiently monitored Uruguayan-Brazilian border. Uruguay was also active in a range of international counterterrorism efforts, particularly in the Rio Group and the Organization of American States.

Uruguay provided the greatest number of UN peacekeepers per capita of any UN member state. Uruguayan officials believe that using its diplomatic and military resources to fight global instability served to address the conditions that terrorists exploit.

Uruguay significantly increased participation in joint military training. It hosted the Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) South in September, took second place in the Force's Commando Counter Terrorism Competition in the United States in June, and participated for the second time in the multinational training exercise, PANAMAX in August. This is a significant improvement over past reluctance to engage in security cooperation, and indicates that Uruguay is moving beyond the aftermath of its thirteen-year military dictatorship, which ended in 1985.

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