03 April 2010

Press release: Anti-democratic temptations still present in Latin America and the Caribbean

On 30 March, the Organization of American States (OAS) issued a press release titled "Insulza: 'Anti-democratic Temptations are Still Present in Different Sectors of Our Region'":


Excerpt: "The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, said today that 'in our continent electoral processes have made remarkable progress, and so democracies have become legitimate in their origin. Nevertheless, institutionality is still fragile and the constitutional changes produced in some countries must prove they can generate stable governments.' The Secretary General's remarks came during a conference organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

"During the conference, entitled 'The Inter-American System: Governance and Democracy,' Insulza said that poverty continues to be the most important though not the sole factor limiting the possibility of reaching democratic stability in the region. He also explained that though democracy progresses in its origin, 'anti-democratic temptations continue to be present in different sectors of our region, especially in two forms: one based on the false premise that whoever has a majority has the right to change the system as he sees fit, and the other one is the tendency of the dominant sectors to distrust the whole process of reform and to make corrections in the most brutal way.'

"In his analysis, Insulza identified lack of freedom of expression, corruption and restrictions to the necessary separation of state powers as 'some of the most important limitations in the transition of regional countries towards democratic stability.' In this context, and in reference to the situation of Honduras, Insulza said that 'if the government of Honduras had requested action by the OAS in a timely way, we could have controlled that conflict before it became a coup d'état. [...']"

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