Democracy hating in Latin America

It's not often that the corporate press acknowledges the abject failure of free market reforms, but this is one exception.

Commenting on a UN survey last April of 19,000 Latin Americans that showed declining support for "democracy", reporter Juan Forero writes:
The United Nations report noted that the promise of prosperity offered by democracy has gone unfulfilled. Economic growth per capita, it said, "did not vary in a significant manner" in Latin America in the last 20 years, even though analysts had predicted that growth would pick up as governments flung open the doors to free-market changes prescribed by Washington and the International Monetary Fund. That institution has instead come to be considered a bête noire in this and many other developing parts of the world.

A slump in local economies that has lasted years has only deepened the discontent with governments already widely scorned as corrupt and overly bureaucratic. Predictions that economic growth is on the way — economists say Latin America will record a 4 percent growth rate this year after a long slump — have done little to quell the dissatisfaction.

The main reason: recent growth has not been widely shared, but concentrated in isolated pockets, usually attached to multinational investments that employ few people.
Of course this has been the left's critique all along, summarily dismissed as the ravings of economic illiterates by the American establishment.

Unfortunately, the rest of the article is spent casting Latin America's marginalized and disenfranchised in a very bad light, portraying them as members of violent mobs yearning for strongman rule.

Sadly, when you define as "democracy" a political order characterized by massive economic inequality, poverty, racism, corruption, and foreign influence, it's not surprise that support for "democracy" is waning.

Juan Forero, "Latin America Is Growing Impatient With Democracy"
The New York Times, 2004 June 24

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