Country Reports on Terrorism 2007 - Uruguay

The level of cooperation and intelligence sharing on counterterrorism related issues greatly improved in 2007, especially at the working level where officers in law enforcement and security services recognized the importance of conducting proactive investigations, sharing intelligence with the United States, and working cooperatively with its regional partners. The Government of Uruguay generally cooperated with the United States and international institutions on counterterrorism efforts, but has not devoted great resources to the effort. Uruguayan banking and law enforcement agencies professed to search for financial assets, individuals, and groups with links to terrorism, but discovered neither terrorist assets in Uruguayan financial institutions nor terrorist operatives in Uruguay.

While Uruguay supported the fight against international terrorism in principle, it has been hesitant for many years to permit joint military training on its soil. Part of the reluctance to engage in robust security cooperation can be explained by the painful experiences endured during a thirteen-year period of military dictatorship when security forces ruthlessly conducted a campaign against violent insurgents. Instead, the Government of Uruguay focused its participation on efforts to promote global security through collective action within multinational organizations such as the UN and OAS.

Uruguay provided the greatest number of UN peacekeepers, in per capita terms, of any UN member state. Although these efforts are not specifically focused on counterterrorism, Uruguay believed that using its diplomatic and military resources to fight global instability served to address the conditions that terrorists exploit, such as political, economic, and social instability.

Uruguay is a member of the MERCOSUR Permanent Working Group on Terrorism, together with Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Bolivia. The group facilitated cooperation and information sharing among countries combating terrorism. The focus was expanding from the Tri-border region of Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil, to include the Uruguayan-Brazilian border, although with limited tangible results. Uruguay was also active in a range of international counterterrorism efforts, particularly in the Rio Group and the OAS.


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