Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance

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Rio Pact
Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance.
Traité interaméricain d'assistance réciproque.
Tratado Interamericano de Assistência Recíproca.
Tratado Interamericano de Asistencia Recíproca.
Member states in dark blue, states that withdrew in cyan
Signed 2 September 1947[1]
Location Rio de Janeiro[1]
Effective 12 March 1948[1]
Condition ratifications of two-thirds of the Signatory States
Signatories 23[1]
Parties 17[1]
Depositary Pan American Union
Languages English, French, Portuguese and Spanish

The Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (commonly known as the Rio Treaty, the Rio Pact, or by the Spanish-language acronym TIAR from Tratado Interamericano de Asistencia Recíproca) was an agreement signed in 1947 in Rio de Janeiro among many countries of the Americas.[2] The central principle contained in its articles is that an attack against one is to be considered an attack against them all; this was known as the "hemispheric defense" doctrine. The treaty was initially created in 1947 and came into force in 1948, in accordance with Article 22 of the treaty. The Bahamas was the most recent country to sign and ratify it in 1982.[1]

Background and history[edit]

The United States maintained a hemispheric defense policy relative to European influence under the Monroe Doctrine since 1823, which became increasingly interventionist with the Roosevelt Corollary in 1904. During the 1930s the US had been alarmed by Axis overtures toward military cooperation with Latin American governments; apparent strategic threats against the Panama Canal were of particular concern. These were discussed in a series of meetings of the International Conference of American States and the 1936 Inter-American Conference for the Maintenance of Peace.[3] During the war Washington had been able to secure Allied support from all individual governments except Uruguay, which remained neutral, and Argentina, whose government was not recognized by the Allied powers.[3] Some countries had signed the Declaration by United Nations in early 1942 and more had signed by the end of 1945. At the Inter-American Conference on the Problems of War and Peace, in Mexico City during February and March 1945, discussions of the post-war world order were held and produced the Act of Chapultepec.[3][4]

In light of the developing Cold War and following the statement of the Truman Doctrine, the US wished to make those new anti-communist commitments permanent. The Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance was the first of many so-called 'mutual security agreements',[5] and the formalization of the Act of Chapultepec. The treaty was adopted by the original signatories on 2 September 1947 in Rio de Janeiro (hence the colloquial name "Rio Treaty"). It came into force on 3 December 1948 and was registered with the United Nations on 20 December 1948.[1]

The treaty was invoked numerous times during the 1950s and 1960s, in particular supporting the United States' naval blockade unanimously during the Cuban Missile Crisis. With the exceptions of Trinidad and Tobago (1967) and the Bahamas (1982), no countries that became independent after 1947 have joined the treaty; Canada is yet to become a member, though it already has separate defense commitments with the US. During the Falklands War (Malvinas in Spanish), the United States, despite having signed the Rio Treaty before the NATO alliance, arguing that Argentina was the aggressor, favored the United Kingdom, as did Chile and Colombia. This was seen by most Latin American countries as the final failure of the treaty.[6][7] In 2001, the United States invoked the Rio Treaty after the September 11 attacks; however only four Latin American countries (Honduras, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and El Salvador) contributed troops to the Iraq War while two others (Colombia and Panama) were members of the "Coalition of the Willing."[8] In September 2002, citing the Falklands example [9][10] and anticipating the Iraq War, Mexico formally withdrew from the treaty; after the requisite two years, Mexico ceased to be a signatory in September 2004.

On 2008, the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) created a new regional security council to take care of their own defence issues.[11][12]

On 5 June 2012, ALBA countries Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela, under the leadership of leftist governments, initiated the retirement from the TIAR,[13][14] a decision which the Obama Administration deplored as "unfortunate" but respected.[15] The treaty has been denounced by Nicaragua on 20 September 2012, Bolivia on 17 October 2012, Venezuela on 14 May 2013, and Ecuador on 19 February 2014.


Current members:

Former members:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "B-29: INTER-AMERICAN TREATY OF RECIPROCAL ASSISTANCE (RIO TREATY)". Organization of American States. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  2. ^ n.d. (2013). "Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance.". The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia®. Columbia University Press. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Act of Chapultepec The Oxford Companion to World War II, 2001, I. C. B. Dear and M. R. D. Foot
  4. ^ Act of Chapultepec: Declarations on Reciprocal Assistance and American Solidarity, March 3, 1945, Pillars of Peace, Documents Pertaining To American Interest In Establishing A Lasting World Peace: January 1941-February 1946, Book Department, Army Information School, Carlisle Barracks, Pa., May 1946
  5. ^ "Alliances, Coalitions, and Ententes - The american alliance system: an unamerican tradition". Encyclopedia of the New American Nation. Advameg, Inc. 2018. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  6. ^ Sennes, Ricardo; Onuki, Janina; de Oliveira, Amacio Jorge (2006). "The Brazilian foreign policy and the hemispheric security". Revista Fuerzas Armadas y Sociedad. Santiago. 1 (SE). ISSN 0717-1498. Retrieved 1 September 2018. Additionally, the deep weakening of hemispheric relations occurred due to the American support, without mediation, to the United Kingdom in the Malvinas war in 1982, which definitively turned TIAR in dead letter.
  7. ^ Malamud, Carlos (30 September 2002). "México abandona el TIAR. Implicaciones continentales de la iniciativa" (PDF). Boletín Elcano (in Spanish). Real Instituto Elcano. 5: 1–5. ISSN 1696-3326. Retrieved 1 September 2018. El episodio dejó un mal sabor de boca en muchas de las cancillerías latinoamericanas, que pensaban que el TIAR era un mero papel mojado o una herramienta sólo al servicio de EEUU.
  8. ^ White House staff (March 27, 2003). "Who are the current coalition members?". George W. Bush's White House Archive. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  9. ^ "OEA: México abandona el TIAR". BBC Mundo (in Spanish). Servicio Mundial de la BBC. BBC. 6 September 2002. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  10. ^ OAS official document: He cited the 1982 conflict over the Malvinas Islands as a classic demonstration of the Treaty's failure
  11. ^ Nace UNASUR y alianza militar sin EE.UU.
  12. ^ FILATINA (April 14, 2009). "La defensa regional en manos propias: UNASUR". BLOG DE FILATINA (Fundación Integradora Latinoamericana). Fundación Integradora Latinoamericana Ambiental. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  13. ^ Periódico La Jornada (6 June 2012). "Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua y Venezuela dejan el mecanismo de defensa TIAR". La Jornada (in Spanish) (Mundo). DEMOS S.A. de C.V. Afp, Dpa, Xinhua y Reuters. p. 31. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  14. ^ ALBA countries renounced the TIAR in OAS Assembly
  15. ^ EEUU lamenta que Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua y Venezuela se retiren de TIAR