A few days ago I noted that SIPRI reported increases in military spending in Latin America (7.6 percent from 2008 to 2009) and that in the past decade such spending had increased significantly (72 percent growth since 2000).
Yet in advance of Hillary Clinton's trip to Latin America, Arturo Valenzuela argued the following in a press briefing:
What I said was – the question was – had to do with how we see Latin American in terms – is there an armaments race? And my answer to that was that, in fact, we don’t see this as a problem in Latin America – that, in fact, if you look at the statistics, the data, that there has actually been a significant decline in expenditures on armaments in most of the countries in the region.
This seems patently wrong unless maybe we parse the word "armaments." Military spending includes many things that aren't weapons, but it is hard to see how a 72 percent increase in that spending can lead to "a significant decline in expenditures on armaments in most of the countries."