Skip to main content

Central American Defense Council (Condeca)

Central American Defense Council (Condeca)

The Central American Defense Council (Condeca) is a special regional defense organization established in 1965. Its founding member states were Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Costa Rica and Panama were offered observer status. Panama accepted observer status but opposed U.S. pressure to upgrade its status to full membership; Costa Rica refused membership at any level. CONDECA was closely linked to the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in Panama and thus enjoyed substantial U.S. backing. Its establishment was considered the military phase of a growing movement toward Central American integration.

CONDECA emphasized development of coordinated military action against guerrilla activity to counter any perceived Soviet penetration of Central America and to foster cooperation between the national armies of the region. CONDECA proved ineffective, and its military coordination was hampered by the withdrawal of Panama in 1968, Honduras in 1973, and Nicaragua in 1979. In 1983, however, CONDECA was revived at the insistence of the Reagan administration that Nicaragua was destabilizing the region. El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, with U.S. backing, reestablished CONDECA. The revival was criticized for being under the influence of Washington and for undermining the Contadora peace initiative. Despite the original intention to coordinate regional strategy, CONDECA's revival only served to strengthen the relationship between the Pentagon and the military governments of the region. With the end of the cold war and increased political stability in Central America, CONDECA ceased to exist.

See alsoCentral America; Costa Rica; El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; Nicaragua; Panama; Soviet-Latin American Relations; United States-Latin American Relations.


Calvert, Peter, ed. The Central American Security System: North-South or East-West? (1988).

Gambone, Michael D. Capturing the Revolution: The United States, Central America, and Nicaragua, 1961–1972. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2001.

Leiken, Robert S., ed. Central America: Anatomy of Conflict (1984).

LeoGrande, William M. Our Own Backyard: The United States in Central America, 1977–1992. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998.

Rouquié, Alain. Guerras y paz en América Central. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1994.

Schooley, Helen. Conflict in Central America (1987).

                                      Heather K. Thiessen

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Central American Defense Council (Condeca)." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . 21 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Central American Defense Council (Condeca)." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . (January 21, 2019).

"Central American Defense Council (Condeca)." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . Retrieved January 21, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.