When democracy is not enough: Can technology ‘revolutionize’ Latin America


Less than half of all Latin Americans today favor democracy, and less than a quarter are satisfied with what it has achieved in their countries, according to the multinational polling service Latinobarómetro, But given the region’s history, it’s perhaps not so surprising that so many of its people have soured on the idea, argues Marie Arana, author of the book Silver, Sword, and Stone: Three Crucibles in the Latin American Story .After all, democracy there has faced obstacles from the start, she writes for TIME:

If body counts are any measure, Latin America is the most murderous place on earth. The ten most dangerous cities in the world are all in Latin American countries. This is perhaps what threatens Latin America’s democracy most. Too often, the violence is premeditated, cold-blooded, carried out by government officials and criminal cartels alike. Little wonder that the United States has seen a flood of desperate immigrants streaming across its border. Fear is the engine that drives Latin Americans north.

Little wonder, too, that the majority of Latin Americans see their democracies as foundering, Arana contends. RTWT

Some politicians and observers will suggest that the absence of democracy is responsible for Latin America’s current economic and political malaise, including pronounced inequality (below). However, democracy is not known for its expediency and in truth, probably isn’t going to ‘fix’ Latin America. The implementation of democratically held elections and process will not function as a universal salve that will mend broken economies, stem hyperinflation, halt capital flight, and restore political stability, argues Ray Xiao, Co-Founder of IOST:

Latin America requires practical solutions to address tangible problems and blockchain technology has already proven itself as a realistic solution to the problems many developing nations face. Since 2018, a number of blockchain and crypto-companies have been hard at work, providing real-world use cases for the technology and improving the lives of many in the region. …Blockchain-based FinTech startups like Dash, Emogi NetworkLocalBitcoins, and Bermi realized that millions of people were unable to access basic banking services and each startup offers an array of services to the people of Latin America. RTWT

Income Inequality in Latin America. Source: Panorama Social de America Latina. Screenshot.

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