International Network of Jurists for the Integration of the Americas





Organizations and governing bodies for the integration of the Americas





Objective, structure and other characteristics



Member Countries



Association of Caribbean States

(AEC – per its Spanish Acronym).







Regional body aimed to promote strengthening and integration to all the Caribbean Countries with the purpose to create a common economic ground as well as to preserve the sea and promote a sustainable growth amongst the Association members through trading practices, transportation and tourism. Created in 1994, this body relies on a permanent structure integrated by the Ministry Council, the Secretariat, the Board of Directors and Work Committees.


Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Republic of Colombia, Republic of Costa Rica, Republic of Cuba, the Commonwealth of Dominica, El Salvador, Granada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Dominica, Saint- Kitts and Nevis, Santa Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela.




Latin American Integration Association

(ALADI – per its Spanish Acronym).






Refers to the inter- governmental regional body as well as to those sector– based agreements aimed to promote the integration and superseding a previous entity – the Free Trade Latin American Association (ALALC per its Spanish Acronym) which was replaced in 1980 by reason of the Treaty of Montevideo. This body relies on a permanent structure made up by the Ministry of Affairs Council, the Assessment Conference, the Committee of Representatives and the General Secretariat. At present, the body is in charge of compiling technical information regarding foreign trade in the region as well as to bear witness and follow-up in trading negotiations and commitments. Many trade agreements have been signed in this see by fellow- countries.


Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.








Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas

(ALBA – per its Spanish Acronym).








Inter-governmental body proposed and promoted at first by the U.S.A. as collaboration alternative for the integration regarding the Free Trade Area of the Americas (ALCA – per its Spanish Acronym) and from the left ideology point of view promoted by Venezuela and Cuba to which Bolivia joined afterwards. This alternative made special emphasis in fighting poverty and social discrimination. The identity of this initiative focuses in finding cooperative advantages as well as in reducing or otherwise lessening the differences amongst the member countries through compensation funds by identifying both external and internal debts, international trade inequality, and taxation policies imposed by the IMF and the World Bank as obstacles to achieve integration. In order to achieve the so proposed cooperative advantages the Association is to integrate the State Oil Companies, Electricity and Gas companies as well as to promote a broad cultural project.


Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Venezuela.









Pacific Alliance.






Agreement to promote regional integration of the member countries aimed to achieve free trade for goods, services capital stock and individuals. This project was initiated after the Lima Declaration in 2011 and was structured through a Frame Agreement in 2012.


Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru- other countries such as Panama and Uruguay are under integration process. At present Canada and other countries are admitted as observers.





Inter-American Development Bank

(BID – per its Spanish Acronym).





Cross- party development bank providing financing services and technical support. This bank belongs to the OAS Inter-American System. Two of its main objectives are to reduce poverty and to achieve economic growth by promoting competitiveness, modernization, social projects investment and regional markets integration. The institutional structure integrates a Governor Assembly, Executive Board, Chairman, Vice- Presidents and other Officers. The head office is located in Washington, D.C.


Founders: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Venezuela and the United States of America. Other countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica, Canada, Guyana, Bahamas and Suriname were added later on. Other non- regional members such as Germany, Spain, France and the United Kingdom were admitted as IMF members but non- borrowers.


Andean Group or Andean Community

(CAN – per its Spanish Acronym).










Customs Union as of 1992 although the original Cartagena Agreement dates from 1969. The institutional structure was created in 1979 and the head office was established in Peru and currently relies on the Chairman Council, the Affairs Ministry Council, the Commission, the General Secretariat, the Court of Justice and the Andean Parliament as main governing bodies. Other acting bodies are the Reserves Fund and the Simon Bolivar Andean University. Despite this is a free trade region as well as a Customs Union – soon to become a Common market. It has consolidated both a robust structure and a supra national right for there is free tourism in the whole region and several political cooperation, social development and cultural aspects have been included. It has entered into a Free Trade Agreement with MERCOSUR and in 2005 undertook- as main target, a project to promote Latin American Integration.


Member Countries: Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador.

Associated Countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Note: Venezuela acted as a member from 1973 to 2006.






The Caribbean Community and Common Market

(CARICOM – per its Spanish Acronym).





The Community was created in 1958 and by 1968 the first Free Trade Agreement was enforced. In 1973 the Customs Union saw the light through the Chaguaramas Treaty and finally in 1982 became a Common Market. Its institutional structure is integrated by the Conference of Governments, the Common Market Council and several Policy Committees, one General Secretariat and other associated bodies such as its own Development Bank.


Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominican, Grenada Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint-Kitts and Nevis, Santa Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

Associates: Anguilla, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, British Virgin Isles, Turks and Caicos Islands.




Caribbean and Latin American States Community

(CELAC – per its Spanish Acronym).








Inter- governmental body successor of the Grupo de Rio created with the purpose to promote sub continental integration through the Cancun, Mexico Declaration in 2010.  Grupo de Río was, on the other hand, a Permanent Mechanism of Politics Consultation and Consensus consisting of annual meetings to which Latin American and Caribbean Chiefs of State and Governors attended to. These meetings were instated as of 1986 and the only antecedent history was that of Grupo Contadora created in 1983 to promote peace in Central America for this was considered by some as an alternative body to the OAS without the direct intervention of the United States of America or Canada.


Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Santa Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela.




The United Nations Economic Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean Region

(CEPAL – per its Spanish Acronym).





















This Committee was created in 1984 as one of the five regional committees of the United Nations encompassing all Latin American and Caribbean countries with headquarters in Santiago de Chile. It was established to promote the economic growth in Latin America as well as to coordinate actions to achieve this goal and strengthen economic affairs. For such purpose, the Committee is in charge of promoting studies and research programs, regional and sub-regional cooperation and integration, information broadcast about economic growth and development, and– upon request, governmental advisory and counseling. It is also in charge of the organization of inter- governmental conferences and expert meetings and coordinates efforts with other UN offices to transfer regional perspectives into global problems. The CEPAL study on Latin American reality was – mostly in previous decades; highly influential in shaping the regional public policies regarding the structural – history method, the center – peripherals system, domination structures and dependency as well as the American integration with regard to employment, distribution of income, substitution of imports, development, re-negotiation of external debts, new industrialization, poverty and inequality.

Besides the 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries other members of this Committee are some European, North American and Asian countries that maintain economic, political or cultural links in the region.


Germany, Anguilla, Antigua y Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, the United States of America, France, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Cayman Islands, Turk and Caicos Islands, British Virgin Islands, American Virgin Islands, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, the Netherlands, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Saint Kitts y Nevis, Santa Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela.







Ibero-American Summit.






Theme meetings taking place once a year where Chiefs of State and Governors of the 22 countries where Spanish and Portuguese are the official languages gather. Theme meetings started in 1991 in the Guadalajara Summit as a consultation forum of political coordination and cooperation. The General Latin- American Secretariat with headquarters in Madrid stands as main office although there are other associated bodies and offices such as the Association of Latin American National Libraries, the Organization of Latin American States for Education, Science and Culture and the Union of Latin American Capital Cities amongst others.


Andorra, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela.




Southern Common Market

(MERCOSUR – per its Spanish Acronym).








The Project was created in 1985 through the Iguazu Declaration, however; the Asuncion Treaty issued in 1991 (in- force since 1994) set forth the imperfect Customs Union with the purpose to promote regional integration, free capital stock exchange, goods, services and individuals as well as the coordination of macro- economic and sector- based policies. The commitment to create a free trade region was established through successive treaties and protocols and in consequence mechanisms to settle disputes were born. The Ouro Preto protocol issued in 1994 set forth the creation of a common market. After the intra- regional crisis of 1999 a recovery was seen in 2002. The development of social policies (employment, education, health, housing, regional development, etc.) has been insufficient. The institutional structure is shaped by the Common Market Council in the form of Chief of State and Governors Meeting that provides political counseling to the organization, the Common Market Group– A ministerial integration body, the Administration Secretariat– Based in Montevideo, the Commerce Committee and a Consulting Economic Forum. The Parliament was created in 2005 and was formally settled until 2007. Most of the decisions of the MERCOSUR were made by consensus, except for those unilateral resolutions taken by Brazil at the end of the 90’s when their coin was depreciated. There is no supra- national judicial body but complex and oftentimes ignored dispute settlement mechanisms.


Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Associates: Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru.












Organization of American States





Continental, Regional, and Multilateral International Organization created in 1948 in substitution of the Pan American Union to strengthen hemispheric cooperation, defend common interests and discuss significant issues affecting the region. The main objectives were to consolidate peace, promote representative democracy with regard to non- intervention policies, achieve a pacific resolution to disputes, promote economic, social and cultural development cooperation, eradicate poverty and contribute to the respect of human rights. During the Cold War the hegemony posed by the USA turned this into a forum within the ideological struggle against communism playing down credibility to its condition of passive witness before all Latin American dictatorships and military and borderline conflicts settled beyond its protection. As of 1990 the decisions made have been slightly autonomous by focusing all the efforts in consolidation of democracy, free trade, sustainable development, human rights, and fight against corruption, drug cartels, and terrorism. At the same time it encompasses the complex articulation of several specialized organizations and entities such as the Summit of the Americas. The basic structure of the organization is shaped by the Assembly General, the Ministries Consultation Meeting, the General Secretariat, the Boards, the Inter- American Judicial Committee, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Inter-American Court on Human Rights and other organizations, councils and conferences such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Inter-American Women Commission, the Inter-American Indigenous Institute, the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, the Inter-American Child Institute, the Pan American Institute of Geography and History, the Pan American Organization of Health, etc.



Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba (*), Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, the United States of America, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, San Kitts and Nevis, Santa Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela.



(*) Suspended since 1962.






Latin-American and Caribbean Economic System

(SELA – per its Spanish Acronym).



Region- based international organization created in 1975 through the Panama Agreement as consultation and coordination system to consolidate postures and strategies in the economy ground as well as cooperation and integration policies. The Latin- American Board stands as the highest authority holding annual meetings and relying on a Permanent Secretariat based in the City of Caracas. In addition, it takes the form of Action Committees acting as flexible agencies to promote cooperation from inter- governmental point of view.


Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela.




Central- American Integration System or Central American Common Market

(SICA – per its Spanish Acronym).





Originally, a Central American States Organization (ODECA – per its Spanish Acronym) was created in 1951. The main objective was to promote integration, however; it turned into the Central American Common Market (MCC – per its Spanish Acronym) over time acting as Customs Union since 1960. The SICA was subsequently created in 1991 through the Tegucigalpa Protocol using supra- national techniques. As main bodies the SICA relies on the Chairman Meeting, the Ministry Council, the Executive Board, Civil Society Executive Committee, the Central- American Parliament, the Central- American Court of Justice and the United General Assembly. In addition, an Economic Integration Sub- system was added in 1993 which encompasses the Economic Integration Council of Ministers, Sector and inter- sector- based Councils, the Consulting Committee, a Science and Technology Committee and a Central American Bank amongst others.


Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Afterwards, Belize adhered as member and the Dominican Republic as associate country.






North American Free Trade Agreement



Free Trade area in force since 1994 through a tax relief process that underwent several stages to promote goods and services exchange in the region bringing about investment, competitiveness and loyal competition as well as protection of intellectual property.



USA, Canada and Mexico.



Economic Adherence Trans- Pacific Strategic Agreement





Free trade multilateral treaty originally signed by three countries in 2002. Other countries have joined since. At present there are eight countries negotiating admission. This agreement has been highly criticized because of its restrictive proximity to intellectual property promoted by the United States of America. This measure could also affect access to patented drugs in underdeveloped countries. Another issue is the evident disregard to consumer protection, workers and environment. Negotiations are carried out in secrecy.


State Party: Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore. Under Negotiation Process: Australia, Canada, the United States of America, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam. Other countries such as Colombia, Costa Rica, Taiwan and the Philippines have express their interest in joining.





South American Nations Union

(UNASUR – per its Spanish Acronym).





Regional organization created to promote cooperation and integration in the economic, political, cultural and social grounds. This organization was constituted through the Brasilia Treaty of 2008 (preceded by several summits, declarations and protocols since 2000) and entered into international force since March 2011. Its main objective is to “Construct a South American entity and citizenship through the development of an integrated regional space", taking the CAN-MERCOSUR axis as starting point and broadening its concurrence space to other States. The target is to set forth a broader free trade area by seeking physical, energy and communications integration as well as harmonization of policies. Its main objective is to build an integration space as well as political, cultural, social and economic union by creating a South American citizenship. Its structure is shaped by the Chiefs of State Council, the Council of Ministers, the South American Parliament based in Bolivia, the South American Energy Council based in Venezuela and a Central Secretariat based in Quito.



Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela. Mexico has expressed interest to join as associate.






(From Juan Pablo Pampillo Baliño. La Integración Americana Expresión de un Nuevo Derecho Global Mexico. Porrua.