The 2015 Global Peace Index shows that peace in South America was affected by an increase in popular protests and a rise in perceptions of criminality. Peacefulness declined in all countries in the region, except three: Chile, Peru and Ecuador.
Chile retained its position as the region’s most peaceful country, and the second most peaceful in the Western Hemisphere, after Canada. The country’s score further improved in 2015 due a lower level of weapons exports.
Peru saw the strongest improvement in the region, thanks to a decrease in the number of deaths from internal conflict.
The most notable deteriorations were in Uruguay, Venezuela and Brazil. Despite Uruguay’s fall, it was still the second most peaceful country in South America. Uruguay’s deterioration followed a significant increase in the number of security and police officers.
Brazil’s score worsened due to deteriorating political stability, and in the increased likelihood of violent demonstrations. Brazil has been affected by economic stagnation and rising inflation, which has triggered social discontent. There have been several protests reflecting discontent with a series of corruption scandals in the government.
Ongoing internal tensions eroded Venezuela’s score, and it and Colombia remained the two lowest-scoring countries in the region. Venezuela continues its military build-up (mostly with Russian-supplied weapons), which has rapidly seen it possess one of the most modern arsenals in the continent.
Colombia’s score continued to suffer as a result of its performance in refugees and IDPs, who fleeing the ongoing conflict between the government and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) guerrillas. Ongoing peace negotiations with the government offer some hope of an improvement in the medium term.
The 2015 Global Peace Index shows that the world is becoming increasingly divided with some countries enjoying unprecedented levels of peace and prosperity while others spiral further into violence and conflict.
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