21st century and transitions in Latin America

Beatrice E. Rangel

By: Beatrice E. Rangel - 15/05/2024

Share:     Share in whatsapp

For the majority of observers of the region, the powerful process of change that the region is experiencing is going unnoticed and which will have as its inexorable destiny the constitution of free and sovereign republics for the first time in history.

Indeed, in Latin America, since the 16th century, various geographical expressions have coexisted that nest feudal institutions whose virtue has been to prolong political corporatism and economic mercantilism for centuries. Thanks to this we have a region populated by paraplegic economies and political systems that prevent participation or regulate it to the point of strangulation.

The forces of technological and climate change and globalization have cooperated quietly and persistently like the drops that form stalactites to create a citizen base sufficiently informed and strong to launch the forces of institutional change.

It was clearly seen in the Panama elections. The Panamanian people, imbued with the transformative wisdom of a majority electoral base of 24 to 40 years old, broke the barriers of the democratic model supported by the predominance of three political parties – two traditional and one formed by a military leader – to elect a candidate repudiated by the political elites. And to ensure that the anti-corruption and pro-freedom crusade that inspired this transformative wave had no pitfalls in the Assembly, the electorate has created the bases for parliamentarism and the protection of its interests. The largest parliamentary bloc ceased to be the PRD. Now it is that of independent deputies elected by various civil society organizations. It is followed by Realizing Goals (Mulino's party) with 13 deputies. Between them, they reach 34 deputies out of a total of 72 members of the Assembly. Any measure will have to go through the sieve of civil society representatives to reach consensus. And even though there will be episodes of loss of governance, Panama today joins the nations that are building an institutional framework different from that prevailing in the last four centuries.

Mexico is perhaps the nation where the greatest institutional changes are coming. First of all, because just the fact that in the most sexist country in the region there are two women who are fighting for the presidency in itself represents an important change. But in addition, the general elections will elect 20,000 national, state and municipal officials. These elections are held under the sign of terror since organized crime does its thing in many municipalities by kidnapping and “disappearing” candidates who do not bow to their designs. However, also in Mexico, the electorate that is between 18 and 30 years old may possibly become a force for change. In a recent electoral simulation carried out by the 400 main universities in the country to combat apathy towards voting, the response was massive and curiously so were the results of the electoral simulation. Claudia Sheinbaum was the winner and in second place was Jorge Álvarez Maynes, 38 years old and representing the Citizen Movement. If this wave of youth votes were to be consolidated, there would be a new Mexican bipartisan system represented by Morena and Movimiento Ciudadano. Morena without López Obrador at the helm and Movimiento Ciudadano with its fresh and libertarian breath will surely take the Mexico ship to a 21st century port.

But perhaps it is Venezuela that will tread the most libertarian fields in the region. For almost three decades it has suffered one of the most disastrous tyrannies in history. So disastrous that it changed the course of its development to destroy the best road and commercial infrastructure in the region and turn the country into a sort of South American Somalia. Venezuelan civil society, however, did not accept this fate. From very early in Chavismo's administration he took to the streets to express his displeasure; He marched and collected signatures to resort to constitutional methods to escape the dictatorial siege. When the yoke became unbearable, their children came out to offer their lives on the altar of freedom. Today, after much flavorlessness, led by opposition leaders who did not live up to the call of history, follows a leader born from her womb. Mrs. Machado has been suffering with her the attacks of her regime and with her she has gone out to once again promote the electoral solution. With cunning and skill she has chosen an ideal running mate who will be in charge of the transition. And all this fair has been carried out within the democratic order and following the electoral route. Something unprecedented in Latin America. How unprecedented will be the institutions that civil society builds in Venezuela.

«The opinions published herein are the sole responsibility of its author».