RUSI Latin American Security Conference 2023

Continental Geopolitics in a Changing World

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locationOnline / Institute of Directors, London


RUSI launches its Latin American Security Conference, designed as the UK’s leading forum to discuss the region’s most pressing security challenges.

The conference brings together policymakers, key experts and academics from the Americas and Europe to consider how national and continental challenges are shaping Latin America’s security and defence agenda.

The event will focus on UK–Latin America security relations, great power competition, strategic thinking across military and intelligence domains, and cross-border security and counter-criminal cooperation.


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    Registration and Refreshments

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    Opening Remarks and Keynote Address

    Shifts in international security and world regions

    Chair: Dr Jonathan Eyal, Associate Director, RUSI

    UK-Latin America security relations: What are the opportunities and challenges for the UK in Latin America?

    Speaker: David Rutley MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Americas and Caribbean), Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

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    Session One

    Latin America and great power competition: What is the Americas’ place in a changing global order?

    • How is Latin American being affecting by rising great power security competition?
    • What security interests are driving US-China-Russia regional competition in the Americas?
    • Is China’s growing military and technological engagement a concern or an opportunity?
    • How can Latin American nations contribute more effectively to global security governance?
    • What multilateral and national foreign and security policies are needed for Latin American countries to respond effectively to geopolitical events?


    Chair: Veerle Nouwens, Senior Research Fellow, RUSI


    • Dr Pia Riggirozzi, Professor of Global Development, University of Southampton
    • Dr Vinicius de Carvalho Vice Dean (International), Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy and Reader in Brazilian Studies at King's College London
    • Juan Battaleme, Academic Director, Argentinean Council of International Relations
    • Juan Pablo Toro, Executive Director, AthenaLab
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    Session Two

    Cross-border security - criminal markets, weapons, and drug trafficking: How can Latin American states more effectively combat transnational organised crime?

    • How can human insecurity in Latin America’s border areas be best tackled?
    • Which forms of organised crime are having the most damaging effect on the region’s states?
    • How can illegal markets for weapons be thwarted?
    • What are the consequences of the expansion of drug trafficking within the region?


    Chair: Dr Keith Ditcham, Senior Research Fellow, Organised Crime and Policing, RUSI


    • Dr Annette Idler, Director of the Global Security Programme, Oxford University
    • Mr Martin Verrier, Former Deputy Secretary for Drug Enforcement, Government of Argentina
    • Dr Diorella Islas, Former Deputy Director of Research, Ministry of Security and Citizen Protection, Government of Mexico
    • Antonio Sampaio, Senior Analyst, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime
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    Session Three

    Examining views on peace and democracy: How can security and the rule of law be advanced in Latin America?

    • What themes should like-minded partners embrace to promote democracy and development?
    • What is the role of diplomacy in encouraging human security and prosperity?
    • How can peace and justice endure across democracies in Latin America?


    Chair: Professor Malcolm Chalmers, Deputy Director-General, RUSI


    • Fiona Clouder, Director of ClouderVista, Regional Ambassador for Latin America and the Caribbean, COP26 (2020-2022), and HM Ambassador to Chile (2014-2018)
    • Jeremy Browne, CEO Canning House, former MP and Minister of State for Europe and the Americas
    • Dr Carlos Solar, Senior Research Fellow in Latin American Security, RUSI
    • David Gallagher, Ambassador of Chile to the UK (2018-2022)
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    Session Four

    Security across military and intelligence domains: How can technological and doctrine advancement bestow advantages to military capabilities?

    • Which mission and roles should the armed forces in Latin America be delivering and for what theatres of strategic insecurity?
    • What role does intelligence play in fostering security in the Americas?
    • What are the opportunities for growing regional defence and space industrial activity?
    • How is cybersecurity governance unfolding in the Latin America?


    Chair: Paul O’Neill, Director, Military Sciences, RUSI


    • Dr John Griffiths, Research Director, AthenaLab
    • Dr Fabiana Perera, Associate Professor, William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, National Defense University
    • Captain Stephen Anderson, United Kingdom Liaison Officer to US SOUTHCOM
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    Session Five

    Concluding session: Reflections and the future trends

    Reflecting on the day’s discussions, Laurence Whitehead of the University of Oxford will be in conversation with RUSI’s International Security Director Dr Neil Melvin to consider the conclusions of the panels and look ahead to developments over the next 12 months.

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    Closing Remarks

    Speaker: Dr Carlos Solar, Senior Research Fellow, Latin American Security, RUSI

Session recordings

Opening Remarks and Keynote Address of the RUSI Latin American Securit...

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Session One: Latin America and Great Power Competition

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Session Two: Transnational Organised Crime

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Session Three: Security and the Rule of Law in Latin America

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Session Four: Security Across Military & Intelligence Domains Unlisted

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Session Five & Closing Remarks: Reflections and Future Trends

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