Experts warn of democratic decline in Latin America
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New York, September 23. The Global Forum of Latin America and the Caribbean, held at Fordham University in New York, closed this Friday with a warning about the importance of Latin American leaders reaching out to the new generations and working to to halt the decay of democracy in Latin America. .
“In the last 15 years we have lost 9 democracies in the region,” commented International IDEA’s Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Daniel Zovatto, on the final day of the event organized by the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development. chaired by former Dominican President Leonel Fernandez.
Fernández recommended “strengthening the role of political parties in the region” and believed that political formations should better manage social networks in order to promote a Latin American democracy “that guarantees freedom, social justice, peace, progress and prosperity”.
According to Latinobarómetro data, 51% of the region’s citizens would not mind living in a non-democratic country if it offered them the outcomes they wanted.
“We run the risk of people’s unease on the streets becoming uneasiness about democracy,” Zovatto said.
Speaking about the situation in El Salvador, Human Rights Watch Americas director Tamara Taraciuk said: “President Bukele has dismantled democratic institutions in a very short time, he governs via Twitter and he is doing it very effectively.”
The Salvadoran President recently announced that he would stand for re-election against the constitutional articles prohibiting the chaining of mandates. “The governments of the region should not support regimes that do not defend the independence of the judiciary, the press and civil society,” Taraciuk said.
Regarding Haiti, the former President of the Dominican Republic said that “it is currently a collapsed state because it has suffered from chronic political instability”. Economic issues and challenges were discussed several times during the global forum.
“The lack of economic growth has created a problem, the deterioration of human development indicators, we have 207 million people living in poverty in the region (32%),” said Zovatto.
In addition, the forum discussed the impact of disinformation and gender inequality. “We are the most unequal region in the world, and this inequality is most noticeable among women,” said UN Women’s Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, María Noel Vaeza.
“70% of parliamentarians in the region are men and we will not have better democracies if there is no active participation by women,” Vaeza said.