June 18, 2021

Social inequality, the main cause of the crisis in Latin America

Social inequality (67%) is seen as the main cause of the crisis in different Latin American countries, according to the latest 2019 Ipsos study conducted with different opinion leaders in the region.

According to the survey of 360 opinion leaders and journalists from 14 countries between November 19 and December 9, the second destabilization factor is corruption (63%), followed by disrespect for the democratic system ( 22%)


Latin America experienced a convulsed 2019, with massive protests that degenerated into looting and violence in Chile and Colombia, the difficult situation that Bolivia is going through after questioned elections that caused Evo Morales to leave power, and the persistent crisis in Venezuela that It has resulted in a constant migration process that affects neighboring countries, among others.

Against this background, the leaders consulted think that just 3 of those countries are the ones that are worse than a year ago regarding their political situation: Chile (87%), Venezuela (84%) and Bolivia (74%).

However, the report indicates that Chile (39%) and Bolivia (35%) are on the podium of expectations for improvement in 2020, a list led by Uruguay (41%), a country that in November decided to end 15 years of Leftist Government Frente Amplio when electing rightist Luis Lacalle Pou as its next president.

Just Uruguay (32%) tops the list of countries seen with a better political situation than in 2019, followed by Peru (28%), which will have early elections on January 26, and Mexico (23%), which completed the first year Government of the leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Regarding other countries that had a difficult year, especially due to gigantic social mobilizations against government policies, respondents felt that Colombia had a worse political situation in 2019 (57%) and will remain the same in 2020 (31%), followed by Ecuador (54% worse in 2019, 43% the same in 2020).

Brazil, one of the great countries of the region and that was in the sights of all during the first year of the government of the extreme rightist Jair Bolsonaro, had a political panorama during the year that ends on Tuesday (56%) and will worsen in 2020 (46 %).


Latin America will end between 2019 and 2020 with the lowest economic growth in the last 7 decades, with a growth of just 0.1% this year and 1.3% for the year that begins this Wednesday, according to the Preliminary Balance for the region of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) released in its latest report.

At this juncture, the IPSOS survey highlights that Uruguay (76%) is the best economically qualified country, displacing Chile, which in 2018 occupied the first place with 93% and which is now in fifth place with 46%. In second and third place are Peru (63%) and Colombia (59%), respectively.

On the contrary, the economic situation of Venezuela (96%), Argentina (93%) and Cuba (84%), is described as bad or very bad.

Venezuela (83%) is also the country with the worst expectation of improvement in the next 12 months, followed by Argentina (48%) and Bolivia (46%), while Uruguay (39%) and Peru (31%), are the nations that are expected to improve more in the year that begins this Wednesday.

Finally, other factors of regional concern are institutional weakness (21%), insecurity (19%), unemployment and lack of economic growth (18%), frustration over expectations (16%) and education inadequate, lack of government leadership and poverty, each with 13%.

The list is completed by extremist groups (11%), threats to the environment (6%), inadequate pension systems (4%), inadequate public health (3%), gender violence (2%), inflation (1%) and other indeterminate factors (5%).

Edwin Álvarez Toro


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