Democracy in Mexico: Alarms (Still) On

Armando Chaguaceda and Jorge A. Silva Rodríguez


Latin America is a veritable melting pot of identities, processes, and socio-economic and political structures, where you can apply any simplification. Four decades after the deployment of democratic transitions, our region has accumulated progress, stagnation and, more recently, setbacks. The chiaroscuro, confusing and problematic predominate.

On the continent, the regional recovery of democracies did not come hand in hand with the construction of robust and inclusive welfare states: rather it coincided with the expansion of neoliberal adjustment policies, developed in a more devastating way than in other regions of Europe and Asia. The middle class grew in several countries, without thereby disappearing intolerable bands of poverty and inequality. Notable inequalities were maintained in the social and economic fields, which in some cases – classes, regions, nations – widened. But the status and mechanisms for exercising citizenship were also rescued. The fight for human rights became a powerful regional movement, which brought together diverse activists with common agendas in diverse contexts. In countries such as Argentina, Costa Rica, Chile and Uruguay we find cases of high democratic regime, combined with adequate levels of state capacity.


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