Established by the United States and 22 Latin American countries, the Alliance for Progress began in 1961 during the presidency of John F. Kennedy. Described as the U.S. assistance program for Latin America, the Alliance was to counter the appeal of revolutionary politics. The program included assistance to relieve the continent’s poverty and social inequities and provide military and police assistance to counter a communist revolution.
The charter of the Alliance, which was formulated at an inter-American conference at Punta del Este, Uruguay, called for an annual increase of 2.5 percent in per capita income, the establishment of democratic governments, more equitable income distribution, land reform, and economic and social planning. However, the United States reduced its commitments to Latin America as it became preoccupied with the Vietnam War and Latin American nations were unwilling to implement many of the necessary reforms. The Organization of American States disbanded the permanent committee created to implement the alliance in 1973.