Global Insider: U.K.-South America Relations

The U.K. recently announced plans to cooperate with Bolivia against drug trafficking, following a diplomatic overture to Brazil in June. In an email interview, Juliana Bertazzo, an associate at the London School of Economics and an associate fellow at the Institute for the Study of the Americas at the University of London, discussed U.K.-South America relations.

WPR: What is the recent history of the U.K.'s relations with South America?

Juliana Bertazzo: The most significant recent event is a new rapprochement between the U.K. and individual South American countries after Argentina's latest attempt to gather multilateral support for its claim on the Falkland Islands, which Argentina calls the Malvinas. The Argentine government has expressed its outrage at the U.K.'s decision to start offshore oil and natural gas exploration and military exercises around the islands. Mercosur and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) then issued declarations supporting Argentina, and individual nations promised to deny entry to their ports for U.K. ships bound to or from the Falklands, and to report shipments of oil and natural gas from the islands. However, the British government has been successful at establishing cooperation, for instance, with Colombia, in the fight against drug trafficking, and with Brazil, on a number of issues, including business opportunities involved in hosting the Olympic games.

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