Only Costa Rica and Uruguay Are “Full Democracies” in Latin America

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    98% of Latin Americans do not live in a “full democracy” or complete, except for the inhabitants of Costa Rica and Uruguay.

    This is one of the conclusions of an annual study published by the British group ‘The Economist’ last Thursday. This publication is about the results of 2021. According to this prestigious publication, Uruguay obtained 9 points out of 10 and is ranked 13th in the world.

    In which category is Costa Rica?

    Costa Rica, meanwhile, achieved 8 points and ranks 20th in the world. In first place in the world is Sweden with a score of 9.88. This work puts the quality of democracies on the planet under the magnifying glass based on 5 criteria:

    1. Electoral pluralism and its democratic processes

    2. Functioning of the government

    3. Political participation of citizens

    4. Political culture

    5. Respect for civil liberties

    For example: Costa Rica obtained a 10 in the first, a 6 in the second and an 8 in the third.

    The rest of the region

    Chile, which was previously in the same category as Costa Rica and Uruguay, went from being a “full democracy” to a “defective democracy”. This is a product of the sociopolitical adjustments that the country has suffered, sometimes with violent demonstrations.

    Among the “authoritarian regimes” are Nicaragua, Cuba, Venezuela and Haiti. El Salvador and Mexico are one step up, in a category called “hybrid democracy”. In fact, ‘The Economist’ indicates that the governments of JairBolsonaro in Brazil, Miguel LópezObrador in Mexico and NayibBukele in El Salvador should not be lost sight of -and with great concern.

    What aboutthe rest of the world?

    Less than half of the world’s population lived in democracy in 2021; only 21 countries out of 165 enjoy “full democracy”. According to this study, the democracy index in 2021 went from 5.37 in 2020 to 5.28; that is, the largest annual drop since 2010.

    According to this document, Spain went from having the status of “full democracy” to “deficient democracy” in 2021, a group to which France, the United States, Israel and South Africa also belong. And Ecuador, Paraguay and Tunisia – the country that recorded the steepest drop – were relegated from “deficient democracies” to the status of “hybrid regimes”. Bangladesh, Senegal, Ukraine, and Hong Kong also belong to this category.

    “The results reflect the negative impact of the pandemic on democracy, but also in freedom in the world for the second consecutive year; this is due to the considerable extension of the power of the State and the erosion of individual liberties”, according to the study.

    At the bottom of the list, Afghanistan, retaken 6 months ago by the Taliban, became the country ranked as the least democratic in the world.

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