US Congress, Urbanization, and Democracy
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Democracy in LatAm: good but not so much lately (story by Cesar Villescas)
Latinos make up more and more of the United States Congress
A historic look at Latin America’s urbanization (story by Gabriel Cohen)
Make sure you check out the comment of the week at the bottom!
Latin America remains the third most democratic region in the world… but will that last?
The Economist Intelligence's Democracy Index scores a country from 0-10 based on the ratings for 60 indicators grouped into five categories: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, functioning of government, political participation, and political culture. It then categorizes a country as a full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime, or authoritarian regime.
This year's report shows that Latin America remains the 3rd most democratic region, scoring well above the global average. LatAm (+ some Caribbean) is home to:
3 “full democracies”
9 “flawed democracies”
8 “hybrid regimes” and
4 “authoritarian regimes.”
Essentially, a 50/50 split across the report's best two and worst two categories.
How long can the LatAm cling to its status as the world's most democratic emerging region? Well, things don't look too good once we explore the question. Latin America's score has declined for seven consecutive years, showing the biggest slip among all regions since 2008.
So, what's driving this decline?
Lately, it's been three countries. Haiti, El Salvador, and Mexico showed the most significant score declines in the region in 2022. In Haiti, officials have seemingly lost control of the country to armed gangs following their president's assassination in 2021. In El Salvador last year, Nayib Bukele, supported by the Supreme Court, announced he would seek re-election despite constitutional limits. And in Mexico, a controversial electoral reform is close to passing, while president AMLO increased the power of the armed forces, a move with dangerous precedents.
On the other hand, the region's bright spot comes from Chile. Following a lift in Covid-19 restrictions and a failed attempt at a new constitution, leftist president Gabriel Boric has been forced to move to the center. The Economist considers the country's polarization declining after such events, increasing their score by 0.29 this year. This was the world's 9th largest increase in 2022 and moved Chile into the “full democracy” category.
We, as Latin Americans, must hold on to our gift of democracy for dear life!
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