Explaining Brazil #138: A region of flawed democracies

In Latin America, only three countries qualified as “full democracies.” Just as many as were classed as “authoritarian regimes”

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.

Background reading:

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