Democracia iliberal en América Latina

SANTIAGO – En un influyente ensayo de 1997, Fareed Zakaria acuñó el término «democracia iliberal» para describir a los países que celebran elecciones (de imparcialidad variable) para elegir a sus líderes, pero restringen las libertades civiles y políticas. En esa época éstas eran prácticas especialmente comunes en Asia y África, con una concentración importante de democracias iliberales en los países de la ex Unión Soviética.

Zakaria describió la democracia iliberal como una «industria en crecimiento» y estaba en lo cierto: en los últimos 15 años ha desembarcado con pleno vigor en América Latina.

Esto puede resultar sorprendente, porque la mayoría de los países al sur del Río Bravo –Río Grande para los estadounidenses– pasaron de dictaduras de derecha a democracias en las décadas de 1980 y 1990. Algunas de esas democracias eran inicialmente imperfectas, por cierto, pero los optimistas esperaban que se era cuestión de tiempo hasta que todas las elecciones llegaran a ser justas y desaparecieran completamente las restricciones a las libertades civiles.

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