NGOs in Latin America

Panama: civil society vs political parties

An important question concerns the role that NGOs may be able to play in a situation where citizens are losing confidence in democracy and democratic institutions. Arguably, this is exactly what has been happening in the region over the last ten years. Traditional or mainstream democratic systems seem to have been unable to provide workable solutions to a range of problems including crime, corruption, unemployment, poverty, and inequalities of income. Even countries widely regarded as stable democracies such as Chile have suffered angry waves of street protests. The two largest countries in the region, Brazil and Mexico, have populist leaders who have displayed openly anti-democratic tendencies.

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