Latin American Politics: The Poor Indigenous Population

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Since the beginning of the importation of the Iberian ideals have sprouted a class system, which the reverberation still, are echoing today. This has created a class struggle from the poor indigenous peoples of Latin America to the elitists. Since the times of Independence the ruling upper class and power hungry elitists had tarnished the notion of a true democracy. With the Spanish arrival came their structure of government separating the peoples of Latin America into social and racial classes. The minority whites held positions of power while darker colored peoples were relegated to being low class and under the direction of the elites. This tradition of minority rule has been carried with the Latin American peoples for centuries tracing its roots to the European countries that conquered the Americas. Thus this idea has transcended centuries causing the peoples to become complacent and the notion of a Caudillo became a social norm. In modern day the main problems for countries facing democratization is the gross inequality between the upper class and lower class. In these societies there is not a middle class and it has been increasingly difficult for people to have mobility between the classes. You are either born with a silver spoon or you were born to make that spoon. With classes stagnant the elites in the upper echelon of society can dictate the fate of millions and the direction of the country. This causes the poorer to be poorer and the richer to become richer. Most Latin American countries have ‘democracies’ but the political elite that does not give credence to the inequality crisis at hand governs them. This detracts from democracy by creating a political system based on wealth and power rather than having the people ...

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...pable leaders. With capable leaders in office the strength of institutions become more powerful and stable. They can now give benefits to the people in terms of healthcare and welfare. Life expectancy will increase and infant mortality will decrease due to the government’s ability to provide better healthcare services.

The people are the key in creating a true democracy. If the continuation of inequality still persists than the prospects of a democracy in Latin America are futile. The bridging of both classes must be attained before a true democracy comes from it.

Works Cited

• Vanden, Harry E., and Gary Prevost. Politics of Latin America. 4 / The Power Game ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

• Galiani, Sebastian. "Reducing Poverty and Inequality in Latin America." Lecture, 2007 Solution Paper from Consulta de San Jose, St. Louis, July 5, 2007.
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