Democracy In Latin America Essay

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One of the major challenges to democratic consolidation in Latin American is the weak condition of the state and to understand why this is the case it is necessary to look back at nineteenth and twentieth century Latin America(1). During this period Latin American colonies began to shake off the yoke of European conquerors and by 1825 Spanish and Portuguese power was broken in the New World. New political entities began to emerge as Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Peru Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina and Chili gained their independence from Spain and Brazil was free of Portugal. The majority of these new nations went through a time of decline after gaining their independence. The liberators could not maintain control of the nations that they…show more content…
The transition to democracy in Latin America gained considerable momentum during the last part of the 20th century and in the last decade of that century virtually all states were democratic, but democratic consolidation is still a problem and this problem can be attributed at least partially to the existence of weak states in Latin America. A strong state does not mean an authoritarian state. This would not be a democracy and the paradox is that a strong state is a necessary condition for having democratic government. Transition to democracy must insure that public institutions are created to guarantee the fundamental rights of the individual and individuals must believe these institutions will protect their rights. The Latinobarometro report in 2008 indicated that the people in the region considered democracy governs for the interests of a few powerful group. This was the impression of 79% in Mexico, 87% in Argentina, 71% in Chili, and 60% in Brazil. The report also said that 53% of Latin Americans were willing to live under an authoritarian government if it resolved their economic problems. The power of the state has been diminished by situations in which extralegal powers prevail and this perpetuates situations of inequality which limits the exercising of fundamental rights by citizens. Examples of these extralegal powers are organized crime, large economic groups, regular

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