During the last two decades, military rulers have been replaced by democratically elected civilian governments throughout Latin America. Nevertheless, scholars (Mainwaring et al., 1992:3,8) contend that nearly all contemporary Latin American polities remain unconsolidated democratic regimes principally because civilian control over the armed forces has not yet been established. Although the armed forces have returned to their barracks, they have retained considerable political and institutional autonomy. A number of scholars (Loveman, 1994; Agüero, 1992; and others) emphasize that most Latin American constitutions still recognize the military's right to intervene when the constitutional order is threatened. The armed forces are also generally granted broad jurisdiction over internal security, as well as the freedom to organize their institution without civilian interference. There is a considerable body of opinion which maintains that fears of military intervention continue to constrain the behavior of civilian politicians and social groups (Valenzuela, 1992; O'Donnell and Schmitter, 1986; Rouquié, 1986; and Rial, 1990).