#1 New year, new challenges

The fight for the democracy, its promotion and strengthening, as an individual and collective Human Right. The only space in which all Human Rights can be exercised, was our constant this past year 2017, a year of progress, it is true, although not without difficulties, before the attitude of some governments to stop their momentum.


The elections in Chile, its results and the position of all political forces in face of the democratic fight is the crucial reflection of the advance of the democracy on this region. The triumph of Sebastian Piñera and the immediate disposition of the opposition and Michelle Bachelet’s government to confront the common challenges, shows the political consolidation of a country that just some decades ago was submitted to one of the fiercest military dictatorships of the region.


The elections in Honduras also showed the people’s maturity and the strength of a democratic system that consolidates, despite the attempts of some radical sectors, supported from the outside, of disapproving the reelection of President Juan Orlando Hernandez. The electoral results were the product of a transparent and fair process, but it is not obvious that, to strengthen the democratic system and not only in Honduras, the alternation in power is recognized and promoted as essential to democracy itself and that all actions so that all countries adopt effective measures and prevent indefinite re-election, leaving space open for new leadership.


Democracy in Peru, despite the difficulties and mistakes, was strengthened after the Peruvian Parliament’s decision of not declaring the presidential vacancy, a hard process full of immense political costs for President Kuczynski, but ones that will allow the rectification and political coincidences necessary, in favor of Peru’s political, economic and social stability.


In Brasil, the political situation evolved favorably, despite the corruption scandals that affected its inner political structure and the one of all other countries of this region, particularly in Peru, Ecuador, Mexico and Venezuela in which the corrupt actions of the company Odebrecht invaded the political and business sector at all levels.


The solidity of the government of President Mauricio Macri, in Argentina, has also manifested this year, more in its fight against corruption and the recovery of an economy mortgaged by a populism that marked the past decade in the region, practices and policies that undermined and weakened the system, opening the space to poverty and therefore to destabilization and discontent.


Advances, without a doubt, also unquestionable setbacks. We must lament the pretensions of Evo Morales, in Bolivia, to perpetuate himself in power, breaking the principle of the necessary alternation to guarantee democracy; and, Nicolas Maduro’s clumsy insistence, in Venezuela, in ignoring the democratic rules, the Constitution and the institutions of the State, imposing powers created by them, such as the ANC and policies that contradict the desire and aspirations of Venezuelans. A regime that, unfortunately, insists on practicing a systematic policy of repression, persecution and widespread violation of Human Rights.


2018 will be a year full of challenges, of actions everywhere, to strengthen the democracy and there will always be present Arcadia as a non-profit foundation that fight for it and the eradication of corruption and impunity as a weakness of the political system of the region.


By Robert Carmona-Borjas

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