CARTAGENA, Colombia – The main threats facing the Latin American democracies are populism, inequality and lack of public safety, Spain’s secretary of state for international cooperation and for Ibero-America, Jesus Gracia, warned on Tuesday in Cartagena, Colombia.
Gracia made his remarks at the opening of a forum on democratic governability in Latin America organized by Spain’s Aecid international development agency on the occasion of its 25th anniversary.
“There is a trend toward populism, toward easy solutions. We’re in a world that is more difficult to manage each day,” said Gracia, enumerating the challenges facing the Latin American democracies.
He said that now “the governments are not what they were because power is more divided and it’s more difficult to create majorities and agreements.”
Therefore, Gracia defended politics as the basis for the building and strengthening of democracies.
He also cited inequality as a challenge for international cooperation, saying that “It’s a matter that concerns us all, a great universal problem. ... That is contrary to the stability of countries, of the middle class.”
He also spoke of the lack of security as “something else that will have to be worked on in the future to provide quality to democracy.”
“Unfortunately, security continues to be an enormous problem throughout Latin America. We see it in Mexico in the Iguala massacres. Governments and security forces are needed, there is a sensation of impunity,” he said.
He said that this lack of security has spread from Mexico to countries in the Southern Cone like Argentina and Brazil, passing through Central America and Colombia and is the great challenge facing the Latin American democracies.
At the two-day seminar participants will discuss promoting democracy, fighting poverty and the defense of human rights in Latin America and will review Aecid’s activities in the region over the past 25 years.