Democracias decepcionadas

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO – En 2011 y 2012, decenas de miles de estudiantes organizaron protestas en Santiago, Chile, para exigir un mayor acceso a la educación superior. Hace unos meses, cientos de miles de brasileños marcharon en San Pablo, Río de Janeiro y Belo Horizonte, para reclamar por mejores servicios de salud pública, mejores escuelas y un transporte público más económico y más eficiente. Y colombianos y peruanos de todos los sectores (especialmente campesinos, dueños de granjas y mineros), así como maestros de escuela mexicanos, hoy copan los centros de Bogotá, Lima y Ciudad de México, alterando la vida diaria de los habitantes y creando graves problemas para las autoridades.

Estos países, alguna vez modelos de esperanza económica y promesa democrática en América Latina, se han convertido en ejemplos de democracias sin legitimidad o credibilidad. Si bien han hecho un progreso social significativo en los últimos años, se han transformado en centros de malestar popular. Y sus presidentes, a pesar de su innegable competencia, están viendo cómo sus índices de aprobación se desmoronan.  

Estas paradojas son perplejas y a la vez reveladoras. Por empezar, reflejan un problema de crecimiento económico. La economía de Chile ha tenido un buen desempeño en los últimos dos años, a pesar  de los bajos precios mundiales del cobre; pero su tasa anual de crecimiento no está ni cerca de la de los 25 años anteriores. El bálsamo económico aplicado a viejas heridas sociales y culturales está perdiendo su efectividad.

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