Why is Latin America ‘heading in the wrong direction’? Hybrid regimes


Latin America is the most democratic region of the developing world. But it has long been heading in the wrong direction. Its score on the EIU Democracy Index has declined for seven consecutive years and it has recorded the biggest democratic recession of any region over the past 20 years, The Economist reports.

Last year’s least-democratic Latin American countries were Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela—whose governments were all classed as authoritarian regimes. But the biggest reason for the region’s democratic decline is the growing number of “hybrid regimes”, it adds:

In 2008 it had three such regimes; by 2022 it had eight. These may maintain some important democratic practices, such as holding fair elections and respecting civil liberties. But they are often plagued by political polarisation and a loss of faith in the ability of democracies to maintain order, and have a penchant for choosing leaders who flout democratic norms. Two examples are Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico’s president, and Pedro Castillo, Peru’s recently ousted leader. RTWT

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