The analysis of military expenditures in Latin America is made difficult by lack of homogeneous, coetaneous information for the different countries. This paper seeks to identify the publicly available information about the process of resource allocation to the Chilean Armed Forces, and based on this, to suggest a methodology for assembling of a set of indicators designed to elevate the quality of public information regarding this expenditure, while at the same time allowing the comparison of Chilean military expenditures with those of other countries of the continent, were the methodology adopted by them. This article is part of a larger effort sponsored by the Ford Foundation, to arrive at a common methodology of measurement of military expenditures in the Southern Cone, which has included Argentina, Chile and Peru in its first phase. This paper discusses, first, the institutional elements that condition the allocation of resources to the armed forces, the characteristics of that allocation process and, finally, the main methodological themes that affect the construction of a set of defense expenditures comparable internationally and over time. On the basis of the restrictions that this imposes, a group of indicators of the evolution and characteristics of a country?s defense expenditures is defined.
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