According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest Democracy Index, Latin America’s overall scores have decreased over the past five years. The latest index reveals the fragility of democracy in times of crisis and how governments are often willing to sacrifice civil liberties and exercise unchecked authority in situations of emergencies. In Latin America, only three countries qualified as “full democracies” — Chile, Costa Rica, and Uruguay — which is as many as those classified as “authoritarian regimes” — Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Cuba.
This week, we try to discuss the state and future of democratic values in the world’s most unequal region.
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On this episode:
- Beatriz Rey is a research fellow at the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University and a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. She is also a columnist for The Brazilian Report.
- Generals remain the ultimate power brokers in Latin America. In episode #88, we talked to political scientist and Harvard professor Steven Levitsky about how politicians around the continent still use the Army as a legitimizing force — and how that makes democracies fragile.
- Despite having risen to power through democratic means, Jair Bolsonaro represents risks for democracy, writes columnist Andre Pagliarini.
- Inequality and unfulfilled potential left Latin America’s veins as open as they have ever been. Listen to episode #83 of the Explaining Brazil podcast.
- AI-5: 52 years ago, Brazil institutionalized torture and repression.
- By using charts, we see that Latin America’s major countries are comparable in many aspects, but each has its own particular economic profile.
- Haiti enters a new chapter of political turmoil and risk of violence.
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