|Official languages||Spanish and Portuguese|
|Membership||Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay|
|Currencies||Argentinian Peso ($), Brazilian Cruzeiro (Cr$), Chilean Peso ($) and Uruguayan Peso ($).|
|Proposed common currency|
The South Alliance (Spanish: Alianza del Sur; Portuguese: Aliança do Sul) is a collective political, defense and economical pact between Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. The main purpose of the Alliance is to guarantee non-aggression and arbitration of disputes between its member states and co-operate to develop common interests and a coordinated approaches to issues in the region.
It began on the 15 may 1915, when Argentina, Brazil, and Chile signed the treaty (Consultation, Non-Aggression and Arbitration Pact) that created the ABC Pact. This treaty was designed to develop co-operation, non-aggression and the arbitration of disputes between its signatories. The unwritten purpose was to oppose the growing hegemony of the US on the affairs of Central and South America since the Mexican Revolution (Tampico Affair and Veracruz Invasion) and US invasions in the Caribbean and Central America.
In January of 1920 ABC Pact, now South Alliance, is formalized has a permanent agreement and alliance between Argentina, Brazil and Chile and Uruguay. Its scope is widen to include political, defense, trade, cultural and scientific co-operation. The Alliance was one of the supporters of the creation of the Pan-American Union.
The membership of Uruguay was due to its economical integration with Argentina and Brazil and being Montevideo the seat of the main institutions of the ABC Pact.
In 1935 Mexico was invited and given the status of observer.
Development of the Alliance
With the formal setup of the Pan-American Union, the Alliance gained a permanent seat in its Council. The Permanent Commission was given the powers to designate, recall and give out instructions to the person that occupies that office.
In 1930s the Economic and Social Development Commission was established to encourage industrial development and the integration of the land and air transport and communications. The Scientific and Cultural Exchange Commission was also established to enhance academic accreditation and certification of higher education institutions and common scientific research and cultural exchange. One of its first accomplishment was the Meteorological Coordinating Service.
In the 1940s it was established the Antarctic Common Territory (Territorio Común Antartico, between latitudes 90° West to 25° West, below 60° South longitude) made from the union of the territorial claims of Argentina (1942) and Chile (1940). The Antarctic Scientific Council was created. Its mission is to explore, establish permanent bases and coordinate all scientific research on the Antarctic Common Territory.
In the 1950s the Permanent Commission proposed an integration of the Central Banks of member states and the creation of a common currency, the Austral (₳), as the final stage of economic and monetary integration. The Austral would also optimize intra and international commerce and stand as an alternative to the US Dollar and perhaps become a strong regional currency in South America.
Organization of the South Alliance
- Presidential Summit (Cumbre Presidencial). Biannual meeting of Chief of State and Government, with Ministers of Exterior Affairs, Economy and Finances and Defense. Defines the general and common policies of the Alliance.
- Permanent Commission (Comisión Permanente). Its the main executive organism that carries out the decisions of the Presidential Summits and agreements of the South Alliance. Its integrated by one representative of each state member and since 1920 a common representative agreed by the member states that acts has President of the Commission for a period of four years. Each of the national representatives is in office has long has it has the political support of its country. A secretariat assists the Permanent Commission.
- Arbitration Commission (Comisión de Arbitraje). Two legal experts designate by each member country for a period of six years and partially replaced according to a set schedule .It serves to arbitrate and mediate in all matters that affect the members states and the Alliance.
- Joint Chiefs of Staff Commission (Comisión del Estado Mayor Conjunto, CEMC). Integrated by the Chief of Staffs of the member countries. Its mission is to coordinate the defense of the territorial space (land, air and sea) of the member states. It coordinates and commands the joint military actions of the South Alliance. Its in charge of the joint mobilization of the Army, Navy and Air Force. It created and commands the Servicio de Guardacostas del Sur (Coast Guard Service of the South) that assists and coordinates rescue missions in the territorial sea limits and the Antarctica.
- Economic and Social Development Commission (Comisión de Desarrollo Económico y Social). Same composition has the Permanent Commission.
- Scientific and Cultural Exchange Commission (Comisión de Intercambio Cientifico y Cultural). Five scientific experts or acknowledged cultural contributors (writers, artists, etc) named for a period of four years and replaced according to a set schedule by a joint electoral board. They elect the President of the Commission for a term of four years.
As part of the main purposes and task of the South Alliance, the collective regional defense was planned and organized in the Joint Chiefs of Staff Commission (CEMC). An initial priority was given to sea warfare and defense, becoming by itself an important lobby in the three mayor countries of the South Alliance regardless of the changes of government and military coups of the 1920s and 1930s.
In 1921 it was established the Servicio de Guardacostas del Sur (SGS, Coast Guard Service of the South). The SGS was directly coordinated by the CEMC. The year of 1925 marked the start of the annual joint sea exercises of the four navies alternated between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
At the end of World War I in 1920, several offers and orders to buy decommissioned naval ships from the Royal Navy and Fench Navy were made to Argentina, Brazil and Chile. This was a reminiscence of the South American dreadnought race of the early twentieth century. The offers included battleships, battle cruisers, destroyers and submarines. Of the purchases and building orders an evaluation was made on the necessity of a more coordinated effort and the need of regional know how and industrial capacities to build/repair or order more efficiently naval equipment and promote naval research. The Directorate of Naval Constructions (DCN), based on similar French and English bodies, was organized.
A DCN project of National Shipyards (Astilleros Nacionales) called for the upgrading and improvement in the ship production of the naval shipyards of Talcahuano (Chile), Puerto Belgrano (Argentina) and Rio de Janeiro (Brasil) for the 1930s.
|Service Branch / Country||Argentina||Brazil||Chile||Uruguay||South Alliance|
|Army||Ejército Argentino||Exército Brasileiro (EB)||Ejército de Chile||Ejército Nacional|
|Navy||Armada Argentina (ARA)||Marinha do Brasil (MB)||Armada de Chile||Armada Nacional|
|Air Force||Fuerza Aérea Argentina (FAA)||Força Aérea Brasileira (FAB)||Fuerza Aérea de Chile (FACh)||Fuerza Aérea Uruguaya (FAU)|
|Coastguard||Prefectura Naval Argentina (PNA)||Servicio de Guardacostas del Sur|
|Obligatory National Military Service||yes||yes||yes||yes||n/a|
|Common Territory||Capital||Area (sq km)||Population||Main languages||Currency|
|Antarctic Common Territory (Territorio Común Antartico)||n/a||Spanish||Argentinian Peso and Chilean Peso|