Democracy in Latin America faces serious challenges in 2022, says analyst Dinorah Azpuru, highlighting key points arising from leading indices, such as V-Dem, Freedom House, EIU, International IDEA and Vanderbilt University’s Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP):
- There is coincidence in all indices regarding the three most democratic countries in Latin America, although in different order (Chile, Uruguay and Costa Rica).
- There is also agreement in all the indices regarding the three least democratic countries in Latin America, although in different order (Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba).
- Latin American countries score much higher on the Electoral Democracy Index than on the Liberal Democracy Index. This means that electoral processes and elements of a procedural democracy have developed much more in third wave Latin American democracies, while elements of a liberal democracy remain weak.
- The three countries considered authoritarian in all indices (Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba) were excluded from the Summit for Democracy. But the other four countries that were excluded (Bolivia, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras) score low on most indices (with the exception of the Electoral Democracy Index for El Salvador and Guatemala)….
While formal election processes continue to be successful in many countries, the high levels of polarization, the continuing and seemingly unsolvable corruption, and the deterioration of the economic and social conditions (particularly because of the pandemic) do not bode well for the strengthening democracy in the region, Azpuru writes for El Pais. RTWT
On the other hand….
There is a lot of fighting back against the authoritarian trends across the region, according to Miriam Kornblith, senior director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
Even in the case of Cuba, for the first time in 60 years, people took to the streets, she told PBS Newshour. There’s a very vibrant civil society in Latin America that is looking for transparency, anti-corruption, rule of law, independent judiciary, and independent legislative branches.