LATIN AMERICA: POLITICS, ECONOMY AND SOCIETY IN 2013 - Llorente ...

 
LATIN AMERICA: POLITICS, ECONOMY AND SOCIETY IN 2013 - Llorente ...
LATIN AMERICA: POLITICS,
                                                                 ECONOMY AND SOCIETY IN 2013

BARCELONA   BEIJING   BOGOTA   BUENOS AIRES   LIMA   LISBON   MADRID   MEXICO   PANAMA   QUITO   RIO DE JANEIRO   SÃO PAULO   SANTO DOMINGO
CONTENTS

Prologue                                                                       3
Political and electoral panorama in Latin America (2013-2016)
The Latin America of the three “Cs”: Continuism, Centrism and middle Classes   5
Audiovisual Overview of Latin America
Concentration and technological renewal                                        16
The protests are here to stay:
Social change and mobilisation of citizens in Latin America                    35
Overview of Latin American press
The pre-Internet boom                                                          51
The Latin American radio panorama
The future of radio in Latin America: a new revival                            67
LLORENTE & CUENCA                                                              79
Prologue
Latin America is currently going through a good period accompanied
by the development and consolidation of the new emerging middle
classes. These are demanding that their governments provide the
guarantees and means to effectively exercise their rights and they
want their share of the gains from economic progress.

Although it is common to talk about Latin America as if it were a
homogeneous region in terms of its political, economic and social
situation, the reality is that this region is anything but homoge-
neous. The different economic and social situations, the distinct
political junctures and the diverse operating environments for com-
panies and financial institutions are, among others, factors that
lead to the diversity that characterises Latin American countries.

That is why we need to look more closely at Latin America, exami-
ning each of the features that make these countries unique.

In all of this, we need to take into account the creation of new
blocks that, like the Pacific Alliance, have an impact on the current
situation and influence future expectations in terms of the political
and economic development of the region, as well as shaping the
strategic international situation.

The next few years will be decisive for the future of the region,
firstly given the “electoral rally” that will take place between now
and 2016, which will determine the new political panorama of the
region. Given current trends, it seems that the political situation
in Latin America over the next three years will be marked by con-
tinuity, centrism and the growing importance of the middle class.

In addition, we are also seeing in Latin America a revolution in the
emergence and use of the Information and Communication Techno-
logies (ICTs) and this is proving to be a catalyst for communication
becoming a key factor in the cultural development and economic
growth of the nations.

So, and in contrast to the crisis in the press in Europe and the Uni-
ted Sates, Latin America is currently experiencing a boom in the
readership of the written press.
Similarly, the audiovisual sector in Latin America has not remai-
ned on the margin of these transformations and it has followed the
trends being seen globally. Phenomena such as technological deve-
lopment, the increase in the emerging classes and their purchasing
power and the fragmentation of the markets are what characterise
the audiovisual media sector in the region today.

The same is true for radio. Thanks to the growth of the new technolo-
gies, the radio sector in Latin America is experiencing a rejuvenation
which is also leading to the appearance of new radio stations, such
as those broadcasting over the Internet. Once again, the fragmen-
ted nature of the audience is leading to new strategies for broad-
casting content.

All of these processes are taking place in an environment dominated by
the development of the emerging classes, who have become the dri-
ving force behind social change on the continent and who, in some ca-
ses, are making their voices heard in protest against the lack of public
services and infrastructures which, in their view, should be provided by
the state. To date the governments have proved themselves incapable
of channelling these collective demands and responding to them.

In short, Latin America is currently experiencing a period of change
and the only way to understand this reality is to look at the region
from a multidisciplinary perspective.

This summary includes some of the decisive political, economic and
social issues affecting Latin America in 2013. We must be aware of
these, and the differences between the countries, if we hope to
gain a thorough understanding of this region.

                                               José Antonio Llorente
                                       Founding Partner and Chairman
Political and electoral panorama
     in Latin America (2013-2016)
   The Latin America of the three “Cs”:
Continuism, Centrism and middle Classes

          Madrid, june 2013
POLITICAL AND ELECTORAL PANORAMA IN LATIN AMERICA (2013-2016)
                       THE LATIN AMERICA OF THE THREE “CS”: CONTINUISM, CENTRISM AND MIDDLE CLASSES

1.   INTRODUCTION                    1. INTRODUCTION
2.   DEVELOPMENT
3.   RE-ELECTIONIST TRENDS IN THE    Between 2013 and 2016 most of the countries in Latin America will
     REGION (2013-16)                renew their executive and legislature. This electoral “rally” will be a
4.   CONCLUSIONS                     good time to assess the political dynamics of the region, analysing in
                                     particular two phenomena:

                                     •   Discover the predominant political tendency in the region, after
                                         the “sway to the left” between 2002 and 2008 and the revival of
                                         the centre right candidates between 2009 and 2012.

                                     •   And study re-electionism as a regional phenomenon that reveals
                                         a growing hyper-presidentialism in most Latin America countries.

                                     The elections in Ecuador in February 2013 and in Paraguay and
                                     Venezuela in April marked the beginning of a new Latin American
                                     election cycle that will end in 2016, by which time 17 of the 18
                                     countries will have held their presidential elections (Mexico is the
                                     only country with elections after that year, in 2018).

                                     It is a decisive four-year period, therefore, during which we will find
                                     out how strong the “XXI century socialism” is without Hugo Chávez,
                                     observe the progress of the reformist left in South America and check
                                     the strength of the centre right options in Mexico, Central America,
                                     Colombia and Chile.

                                     Ww uphold in this report that politics in Latin America is currently
                                     marked by three “Cs”: the predominance of centrist political outlooks
                                     (centre left and centre right) combined with the stagnation of more
                                     radical positions; the continuism of governments in power thanks to
                                     the excellent economic situation and constant growth since 2003 –
                                     except only in 2009-; and the emergence of new, heterogeneous
                                     middle classes in the region with greater purchasing power (and
                                     borrowing capacity), which also explains the continuist tendency and
                                     centrist positions.

                                    ELECTION CALENDAR 2013-16
     2013     Presidential elections in Ecuador, Paraguay and Venezuela (already held in these three
              countries) and in Honduras and Chile
     2014     Presidential elections in Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, Uruguay, El Salvador, Panama and
              Costa Rica
     2015     Presidential elections in Argentina, Guatemala and Nicaragua
     2016     Presidential elections in Peru and the Dominican Republic

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                            2. DEVELOPMENT                         Kirchner in Argentina (2003),
                                                                   Tabaré Vázquez in Uruguay
                            To explain that shift towards the      (2005), Evo Morales in Bolivia
                            centre in the region, we must first    (2005), Michelle Bachelet in
                            analyse (I) the different tendencies   Chile (2006), Rafael Correa in
                            and (II) the political dynamics        Ecuador (2006), Daniel Ortega in
                            present in Latin America.              Nicaragua (2006), Álvaro Colom
                                                                   in Guatemala (2007), Cristina
                            Then, in the third part of this        Kirchner in Argentina in 2007,
     “There are three       analysis, we will study the “re-       Fernando Lugo in Paraguay
political and electoral     election fever” in Latin America.      (2008) and Mauricio Funes in El
                                                                   Salvador (2009).
   tendencies in Latin      I The three major political
 America. At different      tendencies in Latin America            However, Latin America did not
times some hold more                                               experience a shift to the left
                            Through the elections due to be        before, nor is it experiencing
   weight than others,      held in the coming four years          a shift to the right now. The
      but all three are     we will be able to see which of        situation is much more complex
      always present”       the three major tendencies in          and varied, just as the region is.
                            the region currently holds the
                            greatest weight. The prevailing        There are three political and
                            idea up to now has been that           election tendencies in Latin
                            Latin America shifted either to        America. At different times some
                            the left (2002-2008) or to the         hold more weight than others, but
                            right (2009-2012). At present,         all three are always present:
                            however, the political bias is
                            actually more complex and much         •   The consolidation of populist
                            more heterogeneous.                        nationalism

                            The victory of Sebastián Piñera            “XXI-century       socialism”,
                            in the second round of the 2010            also known as “Chavism” or
                            presidential elections in Chile            “Bolivarianism”, is actually
                            appeared to confirm Álvaro Vargas          authoritarian,         statist,
                            Llosa’s theory of a shift to the           populist nationalism. Chávez
                            right in Latin America (with the           started that tendency off in
                            victories of Ricardo Martinelli in         1998 and after upholding it
                            Panama, Porfirio Lobo in Honduras          alone until 2005 (supported
                            and Piñera in Chile).                      exclusively by Fidel Castro
                                                                       en Cuba) he was then backed
                            This was a turnaround from the             by new allies such as Evo
                            previous tendency, prevailing              Morales, Rafael Correa and
                            since the middle of the last               Daniel Ortega.
                            decade, when people talked
                            of the “sway to the left”                  2009     consolidated    the
                            in the region following the                populist-nationalism leaders
                            victories of Hugo Chávez in                in power: Hugo Chávez won
                            Venezuela (1998), Lula da Silva            the February referendum
                            in Brazil (2002/2006), Néstor              allowing him to opt for re-

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                               election indefinitely; Rafael       of a “sway to the left”,
                               Correa was re-elected in the        as was the case a decade
                               April 2009 elections; and Evo       ago, over-simplified the
                               Morales won the Presidential        situation, lumping together
                               elections   in    Bolivia  in       very different politics such
                               December of that year.              as those of Bachelet or
                                                                   Lula/Rousseff (who respect
                               The re-election of Correa in        political   and    economic
                               2013 and Chavez’s party in          freedom) with those of
                               2012/2013 merely confirmed          Chávez/Maduro, Evo Morales
                               that consolidation, although        and Correa.
                               no new players have joined
“2012 was marked by            this front.                         Along with the centre right
      continuism and                                               and populist nationalism
   the predominating       •   The advancing       of   the        tendency there was, and
                               centre right                        still is, a strong reformist
      victories of the                                             left tradition in the region,
 centrist candidates”          Had there been a shift to the       represented by Lula da Silva,
                               left between 2002 and 2009,         Michelle Bachelet or José
                               it would have been difficult        Mujica and Tabaré Vázquez.
                               to explain the government
                               of Mexico by the centre-right   II Regional political dynamics
                               party PAN since 2000 or the
                               Uribe government since 2002     Along with the three major
                               in Colombia (led by Uribe       tendencies described above, we
                               himself from 2002 to 2010 and   should stress that in recent years
                               then by his successor-cum-      (2010-2013) certain dynamics
                               rival, Juan Manuel Santos).     have been perceived to be very
                                                               strong in the region, in addition to
                               These two figures were          the heterogeneity of political bias:
                               joined by Sebastián Piñera      the continuism of certain parties
                               in Chile, Porfirio Lobo in      or leaderships in power and the
                               Honduras, Ricardo Martinelli    predominance of centrist forces
                               in Panama and Otto Pérez        (both centre right and centre left).
                               Molina in Guatemala. And in
                               2012 the PRI, led by Enrique    •   Continuism
                               Peña Nieto, even got back
                               into power.                         2012     was     marked      by
                                                                   continuism        and       the
                           •   The   strength    of     the        predominance of victories
                               moderate, reformist left            by the centrist candidates
                                                                   (centre right and centre left).
                               Apart from the significant
                               exceptions      to     that         This continuism, ratifying and
                               hypothetical “sway to the           supporting the political and
                               left” (such as Mexico and           economic management of the
                               Colombia), talking generally        current governments, has been

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                                  favoured by the economic              election of Rafael Correa in
                                  panorama in the region, also          February 2013).
                                  marked by continuism in
                                  economic prosperity, although         In a way, the victory of the
                                  with a few black clouds in the        PRI in Medico and the Partido
                                  background: the possibility           Colorado in Paraguay can also
                                  that the crisis in the European       be considered continuism.
                                  Union might eventually spread         The PRI, a centre right party,
                                  to the rest of the world,             took over from the PAN in the
                                  causing a slowdown in China           centre right power; and the
 “The governments linked          and aborting the feeble upturn        Paraguayan Partido Colorado
to “XXI century socialism”        in the United States.                 got back into power after
                                                                        holding it continuously from
   have consolidated their        This prosperity has in turn           1954 to 2008.
      power but have not          enabled the governments
        managed to spread         to    start    up    welfare      •   Centrism
                                  programmes      (conditioned
          their influence”        direct transfers), through            Centrist forces have been
                                  which large sectors of the            predominant in Latin America
                                  population    have    pulled          in the past five years.
                                  out of poverty forming
                                  an incipient middle class.            This can be deduced from the
                                  All this has increased the            fact that the governments
                                  population’s support for the          linked to “XXI century
                                  current ruling parties.               socialism” have consolidated
                                                                        their power but have not
                                  There has been continuism,            managed to spread their
                                  for    example,     in   the          influence. Nobody has joined
                                  Dominican Republic with the           the Bolivarian block since
                                  triumph of the ruling party,          2008. This political bias has
                                  of    “Leonelism”    without          even lost some followers,
                                  Leonel Fernández, through             such as Manuel Zelaya in
                                  Danilo Medina: his PLD party          Honduras (2009), who had
                                  has been in power since 2004          formerly been an ally of
                                  and will remain in power at           “Chavism”, or a close figure
                                  least until 2016 with Leonel          such as Fernando Lugo in
                                  Fernández’s wife, Margarita           Paraguay (2012).
                                  Cedeño, now as vice-
                                  president, making the lines           If 2010 was the year of
                                  of continuism even firmer.            the so-called “turn to the
                                                                        centre” (with the victories
                                  That continuism also existed          of Sebastián Piñera in Chile
                                  in Venezuela (triumph of              and Juan Manuel Santos in
                                  Hugo Chávez in October 2012,          Colombia), 2011 was the
                                  subsequently ratified in 2013         year that best expressed the
                                  with the victory of Nicolás           ideological    heterogeneity
                                  Maduro) and in Ecuador (re-           of Latin America, with the

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                                   victories of a centre right      1995 Constitution contemplated
                                   candidate    in    Guatemala     successive re-election for two
                                   (Otto Pérez Molina) and two      terms in succession, which had
                                   centre left candidates: in       not been contemplated in the
                                   Peru (Ollanta Humala) and in     previous constitutions (the 1979
                                   Argentina (Cristina Kirchner).   Constitution in Peru and the 1853
                                                                    Constitution in Argentina, which
                                   In 2012 that predominance of     allowed re-election but after
                                   the centre was confirmed with    alternate terms).
                                   the victory of the PLD in the
                                   Dominican Republic (a centre     These two countries began
“The incumbents aspire to
                                   left party that has shifted      a    tendency     which     spread
remain in power for one or         towards a more pragmatic         throughout the region: other
       several more terms          or orthodox position) and,       countries    jumped      on    the
  and more often than not          especially, the PRI led by       bandwagon: Brazil in 1997 and
                                   Enrique Peña Nieto in Mexico.    Venezuela (the 1999 Constitution
      they are re-elected”                                          authorised a single re-election,
                               III The re-electionist wave in       but its subsequent amendment
                               Latin America                        approved in 2009 allowed
                                                                    indefinite re-election) and in the
                               The re-elections of Cristina         following decade, the Dominican
                               Fernández de Kirchner in October     Republic     (2002),     Colombia
                               2011, Hugo Chávez in October         (2005), Ecuador (2008), Bolivia
                               2012 and Rafael Correa in February   (2009) and Nicaragua (2010).
                               2013 merely reinforced a general
                               tendency within the region: the      In other countries, such as
                               incumbents aspire to remain in       Panama or Costa Rica, re-election
                               power for one or several more        is more complicated. In the latter
                               terms and they mostly come out       country, the possibility of re-
                               victorious and are re-elected with   election for alternate terms was
                               overwhelming triumphs, often         approved in 2003; before that any
                               in the first round, in which they    kind of re-election was barred.
                               obtain more than 50% of the votes.   Oscar Arias began this trend,
                                                                    being president between 1986
                               In the eighties, when democracy      and 1990 and again between 2006
                               returned to most of the region,      and 2010. In Chile, Uruguay and El
                               excluding Cuba, the president        Salvador the incumbent president
                               could not be re-elected twice in     cannot stand for re-election
                               succession in any Latin American     immediately; they must let a
                               country except Nicaragua, the        presidential term go by before
                               Dominican Republic and Paraguay.     they run for president again.
                               This tendency changed in the
                               nineties, when the re-electionist    In Panama, the explanation of
                               tendency began to triumph in most    why immediate re-election is
                               Latin American countries. Carlos     complicated takes us back to
                               Menem’s Argentina following the      when Ernesto Pérez Balladares
                               constitutional reform of 1994        got into power on 1 September
                               and Alberto Fujimori’s Peru in its   1994, when the Torrijos-led

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                             nationalism returned to power             •   Four countries prohibit re-
                             democratically. Following in the              election in all cases (Mexico,
                             wake of his Peruvian, Argentinian             Guatemala, Honduras and
                             and     Brazilian    counterparts,            Paraguay).
                             Pérez tried to push a number of
                             constitutional reforms through            The possibility of successive re-
                             Parliament to allow presidential          election is a trend that almost
                             re-election for a further five            always favours the ruling parties
                             years. This ambition of Pérez’s           and presidents in power. Since the
                             ruling party was backed by three          transitions to democracy began
                             small liberal centre right parties:       in the Dominican Republic and
  “Only in one country,      Liberal Nacional, Solidaridad and         Ecuador (1978), all presidents who
Venezuela, is indefinite     Cambio Democrático. The rules             have sought successive re-election
 re-election permitted”      argued that he needed another             have won the elections, except
                             year to complete the economic             two: in Nicaragua in 1990 and the
                             reforms and direct the smooth             Dominican Republic in 2004.
                             handover of the Panama Canal,
                             due to be made as of 31 December
                             1999, a priority issue for the            3. RE-ELECTIONIST TRENDS
                             national economy. Unsuccessful            IN THE REGION (2013-16)
                             in his attempt to change the re-
                             election rules, Pérez led his party       A new election rally (2013-2016) is
                             to defeat in the presidential             now beginning in Latin America, in
                             elections of 2 May 1999, in which         which a wave of candidates for re-
                             its candidate, Martín Torrijos            election is expected.
                             Espino, was beaten by Mireya
                             Moscoso, who took office on 1             Between 2013 and 2016, all four
                             September.                                tendencies described above in
                                                                       respect of Latin American re-
                             At present, the situation regarding re-   electionism will be observed:
                             election is, therefore, very diverse:
                                                                       •   There will be incumbent
                             •   Only    in    one    country              presidents who aspire to
                                 (Venezuela) is indefinite re-             re-election (as was the case
                                 election permitted.                       of Rafael Correa and will be
                                                                           that of Evo Morales in Bolivia,
                             •   In six countries (Argentina,              elected in 2005 and re-elected
                                 Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia,                in 2009, constitutional reform
                                 Nicaragua    and      Ecuador)            included).
                                 consecutive re-election is
                                 permitted, but not indefinitely.          It also looks very much as if
                                                                           Dilma Rousseff will seek re-
                             •   In another seven countries it             election in 2014, since her
                                 is only possible after at least           popularity and management
                                 one or two presidential terms             make her a natural candidate
                                 (Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador,          for the PT. Juan Manuel
                                 Panamá, Peru, Dominican                   Santos will most likely be the
                                 Republic and Uruguay).                    candidate for the ruling party

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                                    in 2014, first elected in 2010 as       into power in 2005, or Alan
                                    successor of Uribe’s policies.          García (president in 1985-90
                                    Now, after distancing himself           and 2006-2011) and Alejandro
                                    from the former president               Toledo (2001-2005) in Peru.
                                    Álvaro Uribe, he would seek
                                    re-election, in which he is             Moreover, rumour has it that
                                    very likely to run against              Tony Saca, president of El
                                    Uribe followers.                        Salvador between 2004 and
                                                                            2009, will be the candidate for
                                    The case of Cristina Kirchner           Movimiento Unidad, running
                                    in Argentina is different. The          against the larger forces in
“Several former presidents          Constitution does not permit            the country, ARENA (his former
  hope to return to power           further re-election after               party) and the FMLN.
     in countries in which          being elected president
                                    in 2007 and repeating in            •   Presidents’ wives aspiring
 successive terms in office         2011. She has not said she              to succeed their husbands
       are not permitted”           wants to be re-elected, but             (a sort of marital re-
                                    her closest circles and the             electionism:    cases    of
                                    Kirchnerite organisations (La           Xiomara Castro in Honduras,
                                    Cámpora) working with her               Sandra Torres in Guatemala
                                    are clearly banking on this.            and people are speculating
                                    The key is in the legislative           with that of Nadine Heredia
                                    elections of October 2013:              in Peru).
                                    getting enough votes in
                                    Congress just with the                  Néstor Kirchner started this
                                    Peronists will be practically           trend back in 2007 when his
                                    impossible. But with an                 wife, the political leader
                                    overwhelming victory in the             Cristina    Fernández,     was
                                    elections, it would be easier           elected.     Two    presidents’
                                    to reform the Constitution,             wives are currently aspiring to
                                    taking advantage of the                 continue their husbands’ work.
                                    fact that the opposition is             In Peru, Ollanta Humala’s wife
                                    divided, fragmented and has             Nadine Heredia is a strong
                                    no clear leader.                        candidate, although to enable
                                                                            her to run for president the
                                •   Several former presidents               election rules would have
                                    hope to return to power                 to be changed, or a new
                                    in   countries   in which               interpretation made based on
                                    successive terms in office              the Constitution, which would
                                    are not permitted.                      permit it and would rank above
                                                                            election rules.
                                    This will be the case if
                                    Michelle Bachelet in Chile,             In Central America, following
                                    who was in office between               Sandra Torres’ defeat in
                                    2006 and 2010, Tabaré                   Guatemala when running
                                    Vázquez in Uruguay, who led             for president in 2011 (she
                                    the left-wing Frente Amplio             even divorced her husband,

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                                   President Álvaro Colom, to        Electors are pragmatic in
                                   get round the Constitutional      their    behaviour,     avoiding
                                   impediments),         Xiomara     radical options and supporting
                                   Castro, wife of Manuel            continuism that will guarantee
                                   Zelaya, president of Honduras     economic stability and progress.
                                   between 2006 and 2009, is the     This electoral behaviour giving
                                   left-wing candidate for the       preference to the centrist
                                   2013 elections.                   options has been favoured by
                                                                     prevailing economic prosperity
                                   And Sandra Torres, with no        in Latin America and growth of
                                   constitutional obstacles this     the middle class.
“If the regional economic          time (her former husband
   situation is maintained         left the presidency in            Even where the “XXI century
 and the world situation,          2011), has been proclaimed        socialism” tendencies are
                                   presidential        candidate     imposed, this is because
       so closely linked to        by her party, the Unidad          those regimes have strong
 the region, does not get          Nacional de la Esperanza,         charismatic leaders (Rafael
    any worse, the middle          whose     political   council     Correa or Evo Morales), who
                                   is headed by the former           promote orthodox economic
     class will presumably         president (and ex-husband)        policies which, thanks to
        continue growing”          Álvaro Colom.                     the increased income from
                                                                     exports, enable them to
                               •   Countries in which no re-         employ      policies  resorting
                                   election of any nature is         to clientelism [patronage].
                                   permitted (the recent cases       However, it should be noted
                                   of Mexico and Paraguay            that raw material exports are
                                   and forthcoming elections         maintained because these
                                   in Honduras in 2013 and           countries have not managed to
                                   Guatemala in 2015).               progress significantly towards
                                                                     industrialisation of the basic
                                                                     consumables they produce.
                               4. CONCLUSIONS
                                                                     If the regional economic
                               The following conclusions can be      situation is maintained
                               reached from this overview of the     and the world situation,
                               election panorama in Latin America    so closely linked to the
                               for the coming four years:            region, does not get any
                                                                     worse, the middle class
                               •   Since    2009      the     vast   will presumably continue
                                   majority    of    the    Latin    growing, which will boost
                                   American electorate has           the centre right and
                                   moved towards moderate,           centre left tendencies and
                                   centrist political positions.     strengthen the centrist,
                                   And if there are no drastic       continuist dynamics of
                                   changes in the economy, this      preferring the options that
                                   tendency is likely to continue    have governed so far, since
                                   over the forthcoming period.      with those governments the

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                countries have achieved            charismatic leader by popular
                economic     stability and         vote, weakens institutionalism,
                social development.                boosts personalist politics,
                                                   wipes out the division of
            •   Together     with    centrist,     powers and hampers control
                moderate         inclinations,     over the executive’s actions.
                continuism has become one of
                the principal characteristics      Sometimes (as in the cases
                in the region.                     of     Venezuela,        Ecuador
                                                   or    Bolivia)   that      hyper-
                The      re-electionist    fever   presidentialism leads to what
                merely confirms that the           is known as “competitive
                political systems in most Latin    authoritarianism”, explained as
                American countries have            follows by the political scientist
                similar problems which favour      Steven Levitsky:
                the re-election tendency as
                a solution against the little      “If Venezuela is neither a
                credibility of the parties         dictatorship nor a democracy,
                among the public opinion           what is it? It is competitive
                and electorates, a constant        authoritarianism,           like
                weakening of the institutions,     Fujimori’s Peru. Unlike the
                a natural leaning towards          military     or   single-party
                clientelism [patronage] and        dictatorships,    competitive
                excessive personalism. In fact,    authoritarianism       is      a
                one of the “victories” that        hybrid regime. There are
                must be recognised in these        democratic institutions that
                leaders who have emerged           are not mere fronts. There
                in Latin America is that they      are independent media and
                have managed to delegitimise       opposition parties, and the
                the traditional politicians and    opposition competes seriously
                parties, such that there is now    for     power      (sometimes
                little or no opposition in those   it wins, as occurred in
                countries to the ruling powers.    Nicaragua in 1990), although
                                                   the playing field is uneven.
                The collapse of the party          The opposition has fewer
                systems in many countries and      resources, less access to
                the weakness of the judicial and   the media, its leaders and
                legislative powers has led to a    activists suffer various types
                concentration of constitutional    of harassment and find that
                and         meta-constitutional    instead of being neutral
                powers in the figure of the        arbitrators,     the      State
                president, which is known          institutions (the judiciary,
                as     “hyper-presidentialism”.    electoral bodies, Sunat) are
                Hyper-presidentialism, which       used as weapons against
                goes hand in hand with             them.      Jorge    Castañeda
                successive       re-electionism    described the 1994 elections
                as a way of legitimising the       in Mexico -another case of

                                                                                        14
POLITICAL AND ELECTORAL PANORAMA IN LATIN AMERICA (2013-2016)
THE LATIN AMERICA OF THE THREE “CS”: CONTINUISM, CENTRISM AND MIDDLE CLASSES

                 competitive authoritarian-       not be protected unless there are
                 ism- as a “football match        strong, transparent democratic
                 in which the goalposts were      institutions   (a  constitutional
                 different sizes and one          framework and organisations
                 team has 11 players plus the     arising as a consequence of that
                 referee and the other team       framework) operating between
                 has six or seven players.”       election periods.
                 The second team could win,
                 but it is very difficult.”       Finally, democracies with weak
                                                  institutions are more vulnerable
             Phenomena such as “competitive       to corruption and more inclined
             authoritarianism”, re-electionism    to back a political party that
             and hyper-presidentialism wear       is in power for a long period.
             down the democratic institutions.    Moreover, democracies with
             Most countries in the region are     weak institutionalisation may
             full or incomplete democracies,      gradually lose ground and end
             having free elections with civil     up as authoritarian regimes. The
             freedoms,      both    conditions    presence of solid institutions,
             being necessary for democracy,       which     account     for  their
             but that is not enough to            actions, forestall or hamper
             consolidate a full democracy         authoritarian tendencies.
             unless they are accompanied
             by a transparent government,         Therefore,       the       short-term
             political   partici-pation    and    challenge facing Latin America
             strong, credible institutions.       countries is to strengthen their
                                                  political institutions in order to
             Elections are an essential part of   preserve democracy in the region
             democracy. But minority rights and   and avoid the risks of re-electionism
             freedoms and human rights will       and hyper-presidentialism.

                                                                                          15
The protests are here to stay:
Social change and mobilisation of
         citizens in Latin America

       Madrid, october 2013
THE PROTESTS ARE HERE TO STAY
                                  SOCIAL CHANGE AND MOBILISATION OF CITIZENS IN LATIN AMERICA

1.   INTRODUCTION             1. INTRODUCTION
2.   COMMON FEATURES OF THE
     PROTEST MOVEMENTS        Chile hit the world headlines in 2006 and 2011 with student protests
3.   CONCLUSIONS              that put in a tight spot both centre-left governments such as that
                              headed by Michelle Bachelet (2006-2010) and centre-right executives
                              such as that headed by Sebastián Piñera (2010-2014).

                              The saucepan-bashing demonstrators took the streets of Buenos Aires
                              in 2012 and in 2013 it was Dilma Rousseff’s Brazil’s turn. Just when
                              the country was celebrating the FIFA Confederations Cup, a prelude
                              to the World Cup 2014, there was a wave of protests in the principal
                              cities of the country. And the protests in São Paulo, Río de Janeiro and
                              Brasilia had scarcely ended when the streets of Lima were also filled
                              with demonstrators protesting against Ollanta Humala’s government.

                              The question that comes to mind is whether Latin America is entering
                              an era marked by the turmoil of urban protests and social demands.
                              The seeds of such phenomena have already been experienced in other
                              countries such as Uruguay and Costa Rica and similar situations are
                              expected to arise sooner rather than later in Mexico and Colombia.

                              These social protests in Chile, Brazil and Peru have a number of very
                              special features, unprecedented in the region. They occur in a triple
                              context of:

                              •    Economic growth (not crisis, as in other times in the history of these
                                   countries or the current situation in Europe),

                              •    Social change (emergence of heterogeneous urban middle classes) and

                              •    Situation of clear dissatisfaction with the inefficient functioning of
                                   the State, the public administrations and delegitimisation of the
                                   parties and political class.

                              This report characterises these protest movements, studies their
                              local dynamics in each country and makes a prospective analysis:
                              where are they going and what effect could they have in the
                              short term.

                                                                                                            17
THE PROTESTS ARE HERE TO STAY
                                         SOCIAL CHANGE AND MOBILISATION OF CITIZENS IN LATIN AMERICA

                                       2. COMMON FEATURES OF                  So all these movements have
                                       THE PROTEST MOVEMENTS                  three basic features in common,
                                                                              which can be summed up saying
                                       The participants in these              that the economic situation
                                       movements, which have spread           prevailing in the region as from
                                       throughout Latin America, are          2003 produced a social change
                                       from the new emerging classes,         that has had serious, direct
                                       especially the urban middle            political repercussions:
                                       classes and younger strata of the
                                       population. At first sight at least,   They occur in situations of
“In the past, these waves              there is no clear leadership and       economic stability
     of protests occurred              they are pragmatic movements
                                       (seeking specific improvements,        The first characteristic of all these
     at times of crisis and            rather than political utopias)         movements is an unprecedented
accumulated political and              although there is a certain            phenomenon. They take place in
 socioeconomic tensions”               presence of radical or ultra-left      a situation of economic stability
                                       groups (such as the Communist          and even relative prosperity,
                                       Party in the student protests in       with economic growth of over 4%.
                                       Chile). Moreover, naturally, the
                                       new social networks (Facebook          That same continuous, constant
                                       and Twitter) play a decisive role      growth of the GDP in the region is
                                       in their origin and development        behind many of the social changes
                                       and almost certainly in their          that have happened (reduction
                                       prolongation over time.                of poverty and inequality and a
                                                                              significant growth of the middle
                                                                              classes) and which are related
                 GROWTH OF THE ECONOMY IN LATIN AMERICA                       with the current protests.
   Country                      2010       2011        2012       2013*
   Argentina                     9.2        8.9         1.9        3.5        In the past, these waves of
                                                                              protests occurred at times of
   Bolivia                       4.1        5.2         5.2        5.5
                                                                              crisis and accumulated political
   Brazil                        6.9        2.7         0.9        2.5
                                                                              and socioeconomic tensions. For
   Chile                         5.8        5.9         5.6        4.6        example, the closest in time
   Colombia                      4.0        6.6         4.0        4.0        were the protests in the late
   Costa Rica                    5.0        4.4         5.1        3.0        nineties and beginning of the
   Cuba                          2.4        2.8         3.0        3.0        following decade, which brought
                                                                              down the governments of Raúl
   Ecuador                       2.8        7.4         5.0        3.8
                                                                              Cubas (1999) on Paraguay,
   El Salvador                   1.4        2.0         1.6        2.0
                                                                              Fernando de la Rúa (2001) in
   Guatemala                     2.9        4.2         3.0        3.0        Argentina, Gonzalo Sánchez
   Haiti                        -5.4        5.6         2.8        3.5        de Lozada (2003) in Bolivia
   Honduras                      3.7        3.7         3.3        3.0        and Lucio Gutiérrez (2005) in
   Mexico                        5.3        3.9         3.9        2.8        Ecuador, among others. All these
   Nicaragua                     3.6        5.4         5.2        5.0
                                                                              governments collapsed following
                                                                              massive citizen protests (then
   Panama                        7.5        10.8       10.7        7.5
                                                                              called    “golpes     de   calle”
   Paraguay                     13.1        4.3         -1.2       12.5       [street    uprisings]    —massive
   Peru                          8.8        6.9         6.3        5.9        demonstrations that brought
   Dominican Republic            7.8        4.5         3.9        3.0
   Uruguay                       8.9        6.5         3.9        3.8
   Venezuela                    -1.5        4.2         5.6        1.0
   Sub-total Latin America       5.7        4.4         3.0        3.0
                                                                                                                      18
  Source: Cepal
THE PROTESTS ARE HERE TO STAY
                                      SOCIAL CHANGE AND MOBILISATION OF CITIZENS IN LATIN AMERICA

                                    about the downfall of those             Therefore, the underlying cause
                                    governments—) and occurred in           of the current social unrest is
                                    that economically adverse five-         not economic (as in the eighties
                                    year period called the Lost Half        or between 1997 and 2003),
                                    Decade between 1997 and 2002            but rather political and social,
 “The underlying cause of           (which witnessed the fall of the        although the effects of economic
 the current social unrest          Ecuador governments of Abdalá           growth have been a very
                                    Bucaram in 1997 and Jamil               important variable in triggering
is not economic (as in the          Mahuad in 2000).                        transformations of that nature.
eighties or between 1997
    and 2003), but rather           Now, however, the economic              Led by emerging middle classes
                                    growth figures of Latin American
       political and social”        countries are not only high, but        As mentioned earlier, these
                                    moreover consolidated since             demonstrations     were   led
                                    2003, with the sole exception           mainly by the emerging and
                                    of 2009. The region got over            consolidated urban middle
                                    the world crisis without any            classes in Latin America.
                                    great difficulty.
                                                                            These ten years of high,
                                                                            continuous growth in the region
                                                                            accompanied by social policies,
                                                                            especially conditioned transfers,
                                                                            have brought a significant
POVERTY IN LATIN AMERICA                                                    reduction of poverty (from 225
Poverty continues to fall in the region,                                    to 167 million people between
but still affects 167 million people                                        2002 and 2012) and extreme
                                                                            poverty (from 99 to 66 million).
                                                           Poverty
                                                           Extreme          According to figures published
                                                           poverty          by the World Bank, “the Gross
                                                                            Domestic Product (GDP) per capita
                             225                                            on the continent rose at an average
             204      215                                  Million people   rate of 2.2% p.a. between 2000 and
                                                                            2010. In six countries (including
                                    184                                     Argentina, the Dominican Republic,
                                            179                             Panama and Peru), the annual
                                                     168         167
                                                                            growth rates of over 3% per capita
 136                                                                        were produced during this period…
                                                                            The combination of sustained
                                                                            growth (albeit far from spectacular)
                                                                            and the reduction of inequality
                                                                            led to a considerable lowering of
             95              99
                      91                                                    the absolute poverty figures. The
                                    73       69       66          66        rate of moderate poverty in Latin
  62
                                                                            America was lowered from 44.4%
 1980       1990      1999   2002   2009    2010     2011       2012        in 2000 to 28% in 2010, in spite
                                                                            of the global financial crisis in
Source: Cepal y AFP

                                                                                                                   19
THE PROTESTS ARE HERE TO STAY
                                 SOCIAL CHANGE AND MOBILISATION OF CITIZENS IN LATIN AMERICA

                               the last two years of the decade        in public transport in Brazil in
                               (World Bank, 2011). This reduction      2013. That heterogeneous urban
                               of poverty meant that there were        middle class we are describing is
                               50 million fewer Latin Americans        strongly present in all of them. The
                               living in poverty in 2010 than 10       Brazilian example is significant
                               years earlier. If compared with         in this regard, since around
                               2003, the reduction in absolute         thirty-five million Brazilians have
                               figures is even greater: 75 million.”   moved out of poverty since 2003.
                                                                       Whereas in the 1990s up to 25% of
  “The World Bank defines      75 million people who have              the Brazilian population lived in
the Latin American middle      moved out of poverty to join            extreme poverty, that number was
                               the different strata of middle          reduced to 2.2% by 2009.
     classes as ‘urban, with   classes (heterogeneous and highly
   better education levels,    diversified), which have grown          But what do we understand by
  mostly employees in the      and over the same years.                middle class?
    private sector and with    As pointed out by the World             There is no consensus in the
        beliefs and opinions   Bank,    “After    decades    of        academic world of what is
          which, in general,   stagnation, the middle class            understood by middle classes,
                               population in Latin America and         since the definitions given from
     coincide with those of
                               the Caribbean has grown by              the points of view of sociology (a
       their poorer and less   50% from 103 million people in          lifestyle), psychology and economy
   educated compatriots’”      2003 to 152 million (or 30% of          (income brackets ranging from 10
                               the population of the continent)        to 50 dollars a day per capita) do
                               in 2009. During this period, as         not always coincide. The World
                               household income grew and               Bank defines the Latin American
                               inequality tended to diminish in        middle classes as ‘urban, with
                               most countries, the percentage          better education levels, mostly
                               of    poor    population     fell       employees in the private sector
                               considerably, from 44% to 30%.          having beliefs and opinions which
                               Consequently, the percentages           generally coincide with those of
                               of middle class population and          their poorer and less educated
                               poor people in Latin America            compatriots’.
                               are currently equal. This
                               situation contrasts with the            This segment of population is
                               situation prevailing (for a long        now the most important link in
                               time) up to almost 10 years ago,        the regional economy owing to
                               when the percentage of poor             its purchasing power and many
                               population was equivalent to            experts consider that its sudden
                               approximately 2.5 times that of         appearance is the greatest social
                               the middle class.”                      change in the history of the region
                                                                       since the migrations from country
                               There are at the same time marked       to city in the fifties and sixties. But
                               differences and close parallel in       it is a very heterogeneous middle
                               the mass student protests in Chile      class, as shown in the following
                               in 2011, the saucepan-bashing           graph. It includes sectors half
                               protests in Buenos Aires in 2012 and    way between poverty and the
                               the protests against the increase       middle class (those with incomes

                                                                                                                 20
THE PROTESTS ARE HERE TO STAY
                                                                SOCIAL CHANGE AND MOBILISATION OF CITIZENS IN LATIN AMERICA

                                                           of 4-10 dollars a day) and within      That complexity mentioned by
                                                           the middle class itself there is a     Iglesias arises because the middle
                                                           broad spread between the lowest        classes feel left out of a system
                                                           incomes (10 dollars a day) and the     that does not take them into
                                                           highest incomes, which do not fall     account or provide any solutions
                                                           far short of the lower end of the      to their most urgent claims.
                                                           élite (50 dollars a day).              Andas mentioned in the World
                                                                                                  Bank report, the governments
                                                           This appearance and growth of the      are running up a double deficit
                                “The World Bank has        middle classes contributes towards     in respect of the demands of the
                               warned of the growing       the shaping of more modern,            middle classes:
                                                           but also more complex societies.
                                 unrest of the middle      The Secretary General of SEGIB,        They do not incorporate “the
                            classes over the fact that     Enrique Iglesias, has been warning     objective of equal opportunities,
                              ‘the middle classes are      about this for some time: “We          especially in public policies.
                                                           are going to have a new society        This is fundamental to ensure
                             increasingly required to      of middle classes. We are already      that the middle classes feel that
                           pay for services which are      seeing evidence of this. Societies     they live in a society in which it
                           provided free for others’”      of middle classes that are difficult   is worth making an effort and
                                                           to govern. Certain of their features   where merits are rewarded,
                                                           require a change in the way we do      instead of a society that favours
                                                           politics; they are middle societies    the privileged groups.”
                                                           which demand new services, new
                                                           ways of participating and good         The World Bank has warned of
                                                           quality services; this is the case     the growing unrest of the middle
                                                           of education.”                         classes over the fact that ‘the
                                                                                                  middle classes are increasingly
                                                                                                  required to pay for services which
         TRENDS IN THE MIDDLE CLASSES, VULNERABILITY AND POVERTY                                  are provided free for others. A
         IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN, 1995-2009                                            system of dual social protection
                                                                                                  based on selective assistance
                                                                                                  for the poor and on insurance
                           50
                                                                                                  (subsidised) for the middle classes
                           45                                                                     might also be inadequately
                                                                                                  adapted for a large, vulnerable
                           40
                                                                                                  population that is neither poor
Percentage of population

                           35                                                                     nor middle class and whose
                                                                                                  vulnerability will increase if the
                           30
                                                                                                  external environment becomes
                           25                                                                     less favourable than in the past.”
                           20                                                 Poor
                                                                              (US$0-4/day)        The World Bank also reveals that
                           15
                                                                              Vulnerable
                                                                                                  the public policies have so far
                                                                              (US$4-10/day)       not been capable of putting an
                           10
                                                                              Middle class
                                                                                                  end to “the vicious circle of low
                            5                                                 (US$10-50/day)      taxes and poor quality public
                                                                                                  services which leads the middle
                            0
                                                                                                  and high classes to opt out.”
                           1995          2000            2005              2010
    Source: World Bank

                                                                                                                                        21
THE PROTESTS ARE HERE TO STAY
                               SOCIAL CHANGE AND MOBILISATION OF CITIZENS IN LATIN AMERICA

                             Growing political dissatisfaction     have occurred in Chile, Brazil
                             among citizens                        and Peru, since, being unable
                                                                   to channel their unrest through
   “The great paradox of     The great paradox of these protest    the political system, all these
these protest movements      movements is, therefore, that they    emerging social sectors have taken
                             occur in economically successful      it to the streets. The writer Moisés
  is, therefore, that they   countries     with     modernised     Naím has highlighted the parallel
    occur in economically    societies (the middle classes         between all these movements
successful countries with    have grown and poverty and even       and their common political
                             inequality have been reduced).        roots: they begin with small
   modernised societies”                                           incidents which start to grow, the
                             “Prosperity cannot buy stability”,    governments react inadequately
                             —according to the analyst and         (with repression, reproach or
                             writer Moisés Naím—. “The             merely ignoring the protests) and
                             greatest surprise of these street     this further fuels the discontent of
                             protests is that they take place      these social sectors, which have
                             in     economically      successful   no clear leaders.
                             countries… Brazil has not only
                             moved millions of people out of       Therefore, the political system
                             poverty, but has even managed to      does not appear to be capable
                             reduce its inequality. In all those   of dealing with the demands
                             countries the middle class is now     of those middle classes, which
                             larger than ever.”                    themselves embody a social but
                                                                   also political change, as stressed
                             Those economic and social             by the secretary general of SEGIB,
                             changes are not being channelled      Enrique Iglesias: “A middle class
                             by the political system, which has    that is practically dominating
                             been incapable of adapting to the     the world. The figures vary,
                             new circumstances; it still acts in   but almost certainly 50% of the
                             the same way as in the eighties,      population in Latin American
                             when democracy returned to            countries are middle class. That is
                             the region. There is a growing        an important phenomenon which
                             rift between the State and those      must be administered politically,
                             middle classes. The World Bank        and this task entails a new way of
                             concludes that “The middle            doing politics.”
                             classes will not participate in or
                             contribute to an improved social      The political systems have proved
                             contract if the assets they value     themselves inefficient (they do not
                             so highly (such as protection of      provide solutions or answers to the
                             civil rights, education, police       social demands for better public
                             and the health services) are          services) and do not arouse citizen
                             inadequately provided by the          support, for several reasons:
                             State and if they don’t perceive
                             that the rich are contributing        •   Inefficient State faced with a
                             fairly to the social contract.”           revolution of expectations

                             This explains the widespread              What these governments
                             expressions of discontent that            actually face is a revolution

                                                                                                          22
THE PROTESTS ARE HERE TO STAY
                             SOCIAL CHANGE AND MOBILISATION OF CITIZENS IN LATIN AMERICA

                              of expectations which they              to the Adimark poll,
                              have so far been unable                 although there has been
                              to channel or organise:                 an upturn in recent times
                              the emerging sectors have               to around 37-39%.
                              moved on to a new stage
                              and they want and demand,          »»   In Argentina, Cristina
                              above all, more and better              Kirchner, re-elected in
                              public services.                        the first round in 2011
                                                                      with 54.1% of the votes,
                              According to Moisés Naím: “In           has just seen her political
                              societies going through rapid           party defeated in the
                              transformation, the demand              principal districts in the
             “What these      for public services grows faster        local elections, obtaining
    governments actually      than the governments are able           just 25% of the votes,
   face is a revolution of    to meet it. This causes a rift          30 points down on what
                              that brings people out onto             she obtained two years
expectations which they       the streets to protest against          ago, before the wave of
have so far been unable       the government and fuels                saucepan-bashing protests
 to channel or organise”      other highly justified protests:        were unleashed in 2012.
                              the prohibitive cost of higher
                              education in Chile, or the         »»   Dilma Rousseff, who had
                              impunity of corrupt politicians         58% approval in March,
                              in Brazil.”                             saw her popularity fall
                                                                      by 20 points in June —
                              As a result of this revolution          following the wave of
                              of unchannelled expectations            protests coinciding with
                              and     consequent     unrest,          the Confederations Cup—
                              certain governments have lost           sliding to 30% according to
                              considerable support, even to           a Data folha poll in July.
                              the point of electoral defeat,
                              owing to their inability to        »»   The Peruvian Ollanta
                              give a political response to            Humala has faced the
                              social demands.                         protests in Lima just when
                                                                      his popularity was falling,
                              This is illustrated with a few          as observed in an Ipsos
                              examples:                               poll, showing that her
                                                                      acceptance fell from 54%
                              »»   In Chile, Sebastián Piñera         in February to 33% in July.
                                   has had very low levels
                                   of popular acceptance         ¿What are those middle
                                   throughout his term in        classes asking of the political
                                   office: he was elected        class? Better public services
                                   in the second round with      and a less corrupt, less
                                   51.6% of the votes, but       patronage political system.
                                   over the years of strong      Enhanced public services
                                   student protests citizen      (education, health, transport
                                   approval dropped to           and citizen security) lead to
                                   below 30%, according          improved purchasing power,

                                                                                                    23
THE PROTESTS ARE HERE TO STAY
                             SOCIAL CHANGE AND MOBILISATION OF CITIZENS IN LATIN AMERICA

                              since fewer funds need to           new, with their aims and
                              be tied up in private medical       ambitions, they increase
                              insurance, private education        their demands on the State.
                              or private security.                The consolidated middle
                                                                  classes can continue using
                              As reflected by Michael             private education or health
                              Shifter, president of Inter-        systems, but the new middle
                              American     Dialogue,     “[all    classes need improvements
                              that unrest] is a product of        and more accessible public
                              economic and social progress        systems to be able to
                              and the expansion of the            consolidate their status.
                              middle class in countries such      Moreover, the middle classes
 “Those middle classes,       as Brazil, Mexico, Chile and        that miss out on globalisation
                              Colombia. Many young people         would also benefit from a
       mostly politically     in the middle classes in Latin      general improvement of the
    disorganised, have a      America (students in Chile and      public systems.”
     significant political    Brazil, teachers and lecturers
                              in Uruguay) are disenchanted        This reflection coincides with
influence because their       with traditional politics, both     the figures of the Americas
  demands put pressure        right-wing and left-wing.           Barometer, which indicates,
 on governments which         They want the governments,          for example, that “in the last
are not usually ready to      which now have more funds,          decade, the Brazilians are
                              to provide higher quality           among the Latin American
       respond quickly”       services and they are tired         citizens most dissatisfied with
                              of corruption and mistaken          the welfare services provided
                              spending priorities.”               by the government. Much
                                                                  of this situation is probably
                              That dissatisfaction with           due to the high taxes paid by
                              deficient public services,          Brazilians (around 36% of the
                              sometimes —as in Brazil—            GDP) and the perception that
                              exacerbated with heavy tax          they are paying taxes at rich
                              burdens, explain much of            country levels in exchange
                              what has been happening             for services more fitting of
                              in Latin America. Indeed,           poor countries.”
                              those middle classes, mostly
                              politically disorganised, have      The ten most dissatisfied
                              a significant political influence   countries include, apart from
                              because their demands put           Brazil (third), Chile (fourth)
                              pressure on governments             and Peru (sixth), two nations
                              which are not usually ready to      that have suffered this type of
                              respond quickly.                    social protests. The protests
                                                                  in Chile in 2006 and 2011-12
                              As indicated by Ludolfo             focused on education and,
                              Paramio, lecturer at the            above all, on how to rebuild the
                              CSIC (Spanish Scientific            university system and finance
                              Research Council), “Owing           higher education. According
                              to the very nature of the           to Micheal Read, editor of
                              middle classes, both old and        The Economist specialising in

                                                                                                     24
THE PROTESTS ARE HERE TO STAY
                                  SOCIAL CHANGE AND MOBILISATION OF CITIZENS IN LATIN AMERICA

                                   Latin America: “In all cases                  the protests that have taken
                                   they are expressions of the                   place in recent years in the
                                   discontent of citizens who                    region. Chile set the protest
                                   are less poor, less worried,                  ball rolling with the “penguin
                                   at least for the time being,                  revolution” in 2006-07, the
                                   about the economic situation                  unrest over the inadequate
    “The system losses its
                                   and much more demanding as                    operation of Transantiago
 legitimacy in the eyes of         regards what they want from                   (the public transport system
its citizens, who see that         the State and political system.               in Santiago) afterwards and
    the State is incapable         Although the specific demands                 in this decade the university
                                   are different, they have that                 protests in 2011, which
         of providing them         in common.”                                   caused Sebastián Piñera so
     with physical or legal                                                      many headaches.
     security, or adequate    •    Loss of legitimacy of the
                                   system                                        Behind them all was a
           public services”                                                      “revolution of expectations”
                                   A revolution of expectations                  of the middle classes not
                                   that     have      not   been                 met by the State. “Part of
                                   adequately met has a direct                   this problem is caused by the
                                   political repercussion: the                   success of the Concertación1:
                                   system losses its legitimacy                  in 20 years it managed to
                                   in the eyes of its citizens,                  open up access to education
                                   who see that the State                        considerably.       Secondary
                                   is incapable of providing                     education was made universal
                                   them with physical or legal                   and university education
                                   security, or adequate public                  grew. But with a loan system
                                   services and sometimes, as                    with interest rates at 10%
                                   in the case of Venezuela and                  p.a., the problem blew
                                   Argentina, even controlling                   up. And it has done so now
                                   inflation. As also mentioned                  because the students are
                                   in the Americas Barometer,                    now finishing their university
                                   “in 2012, around 65% of                       studies. In 1990, one out
                                   Brazilians perceived that the                 of every five Chileans in
                                   political system was corrupt…                 university age got into higher
                                   and (Brazil) was twenty-                      education; now it is one out
                                   second out of 26 countries                    of every two”, comments
                                   in the Americas in 2012 in                    Patricio Navia, lecturer at
                                   support for the national                      the Diego Portales University.
                                   political institutions.”
                                                                                 This fact, economic success
                                   Those two circumstances,                      that does not guarantee
                                   dissatisfaction   with   the                  peace of mind or social
                                   governments’ public policies                  satisfaction, merely confirms
                                   and little attachment to the                  the change experienced in
                                   institutions, are present in                  Chile. As reflected by the

                              1 Concert of Parties for Democracy, a coalition of centre-left parties

                                                                                                                  25
THE PROTESTS ARE HERE TO STAY
                            SOCIAL CHANGE AND MOBILISATION OF CITIZENS IN LATIN AMERICA

                               economist and intellectual                    who came from that vast,
                               Sebastián Edwards in the                      widely diversified sector of
                               daily newspaper La Tercera:                   the middle classes (who, we
                               “Chile is trapped. Trapped                    recall, start with salaries of
                               by relentless unrest, by a                    5000 or 6000 pesos), were
    “Chile is trapped.         deep mistrust of politicians                  not protesting only because
Trapped by relentless          and institutions, by a sort                   they could not buy dollars.
    unrest, by a deep          of persistent melancholy.”                    They also had other slogans
                               “Politics sucks”, says the man                and converting them all
mistrust of politicians        in the street. “There is an                   into a pretext concealing
  and institutions, by         institutional crisis”, repeat the             their desire to have foreign
  a sort of persistent         women in the supermarkets.                    currencies at the official
                               “The neoliberal model has                     price was to disregard them
         melancholy”           failed”, shout the students in                entirely. It is the symmetrical
    Sebastián Edwards          their demonstrations.                         version of those who say
                                                                             that the participants in the
                               And he adds: “Chilean families                anti-Kirchner demonstrations
                               are proud of what each of                     were ‘out for the plan and
                               them has achieved during                      the choripán2’.”
                               the last quarter of a century:
                               moving into the middle class,                 In Brazil, the demonstrators
                               the university degree of one                  in the June protests were not
                               of their daughters, their                     poor people uprooted from
                               dream holiday, the grant                      the shanty towns but from
                               awarded to their nephew.                      the middle class, which was
                               Personal satisfaction and                     demanding efficiency and
                               social discontent coexist                     anti-corruption     measures
                               in present-day Chile. Many                    from the State.
                               consider this illogical, but
                               that’s the way it is.”                        Long gone are the days of
                                                                             the renowned “he steals,
                               Meanwhile in Argentina, in                    but he acts”, which in the
                               2001 during the famous “get                   fifties raised to power figures
                               them all out”, there was                      such as Adhemar de Barros,
                               a prelude of that “middle                     mayor and governor of São
                               class rebellion.” It has now                  Paulo, where people said
                               reappeared in the saucepan-                   “Adhemar rouba mas faz”
                               bashing protests of 2012                      (“Adhemar steals but acts”).
                               and 2013 against Cristina                     Juan Arias, correspondent in
                               Kirchner’s government.                        Brazil for the daily Spanish
                                                                             newspaper El País, considers
                               The analyst and historian                     that “The new middle class is
                               Beatriz Sarlo agreed with                     now demanding “first world
                               this   diagnosis, stressing                   public services —education,
                               that “The demonstrators,                      transport, hospitals—”, as

                          2 a type of sandwich with chorizo [sausage] popular in several Latin American countries.

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