Dilemmas of Central American integration: SICA’s institutional reform proposals in perspective (Spanish)

  • Autor:
    Francisco Santos Carrillo
  • Publication:
    ICAP-Revista Centroamericana de Administración Pública (66-67): 9-42, diciembre 2014
  • Year: 2014


This paper offers a reflection on the institutional reforms undertaken in SICA since its creation, their causes and their problems. It attempts to provide some ideas for the debate from a political, not legal, approach, although it is necessary to take the latter into account in order to obtain the necessary materials for the analysis. The SICA reform process illustrates to a large extent the dilemma that Central American integration has been forced to face since the reactivation of SICA: the creation of a true community beyond free trade and ad hoc cooperation between partner and neighboring countries. The approval of SICA’s legal and institutional framework has not had a clear correlate on the part of the member states, which maintained a commitment to intergovernmentalism from the outset. This study provides reasons for this argument, using the SICA institutional reform process as a scenario.

Initially, the reasons for the reforms are presented, showing aspects that would be at the origin or that would justify the malfunctioning of Central American integration. Next, the paper briefly reviews the different stages of Central American integration, in search of the causes that would be conditioning the functioning of SICA’s institutions and their relationship with structural weaknesses. The objective of this section is to analyze whether the reforms implemented have acted on these causes and whether they have reduced the conditioning factors. The last section reviews the different reform processes implemented to date and evaluates them in order to complete the analysis. The study ends with the mandatory conclusions.

View document (Spanish version)