Saturday 25 September 2021

Latin America, a continent of discontent

Nearly a third of Latin Americans want to emigrate. Crime, weak economies and corruption are pushing them to move abroad.

Paying the bills

Latest

Canadian airlines will start flying back to Costa Rica on October 2

QCOSTARICA - Four Canadian airlines will resume their flights...

8-year-old boy dies abruptly of covid-19

QCOSTARICA - An eight-year-old boy who had no risk...

Vaccinations face unfounded fears over AstraZeneca dosages

QCOSTARICA - The goal of immunizing 500,000 people over...

There are potholes and then there are potholes!

QCOSTARICA - Imagine your vehicle being devoured by a...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction September 25: “EVEN” ending plates CANNOT circulate

QCOSTARICA - For today, Saturday, September 25, vehicles with...

Legislators to begin discussion on reducing the 2022 Marchamo this Monday

QCOSTARICA - The political fractions, except that of the...

No National Census in 2022!

QCOSTARICA - The Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos...
Paying the bills

Share

Crime, weak economies and corruption are pushing Latin Americans to move abroad. Among them are citizens of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala who are emigrating en masse. They are fed up with poverty and violence, and people-smugglers have become adept at transporting them.

Migrants make the arduous journey towards the United States from countries across Latin America. ( REUTERS )

This exodus is the main reason why in the past year officers at the United States’ southern border have detained more people trying to cross than in any 12-month period since 2009, The Economist reports.

- Advertisement -

Venezuela and Central America are uniquely troubled. However, their citizens’ desire to get out is increasingly common. Gallup, a pollster, asks people in 120 countries each year if they want to emigrate. From 2010 to 2018 the share that said “yes” rose in 15 of the 19 Latin American nations it tracks. In 2010, 19% of people in the region hoped to move abroad permanently, the same as in Europe. Now 31% do, as many as in the Middle East and Africa.

Many are afraid of being killed. In Brazil murders hit a record high of 63,880 in 2017, following a resurgence of fighting between criminal gangs; the share of citizens who wish to emigrate has tripled to 33%. The country’s homicide rate is now roughly level with Colombia’s—where it fell as the government’s war with the FARC guerrillas wound down, but could pick up again if some fighters’ recent decision to abandon the peace accord of 2016 causes a return to war (see Americas section).

In countries where crime has not risen, economic doldrums have been the main driver of discontent.

In 2010 Latin America’s GDP grew by 6%, well above the global average. By 2016 it was shrinking, due to recessions in Brazil and Argentina—the latter of which imposed capital controls this week.

In Mexico, the region’s second-biggest country, the economy has plodded along with low productivity growth and little social mobility.

- Advertisement -

Another thing making Latin America less liveable is corruption. The region is grubbier than you would expect, given its relative affluence.

In Brazil, the Lava Jato investigation has exposed bribes paid by industrial firms to scores of politicians. Alan García, a former president of Peru, killed himself in April to avoid arrest in conjunction with the Brazilian scandal. According to Latinobarómetro, an annual survey, the share of Latin Americans dissatisfied with how democracy works in their country has risen from 52% in 2010 to 71% last year.

Latin Americans are not just voting with their feet; they are venting at the ballot box, too.

In 2018 messianic populists who railed against corruption and crime won presidential elections in Brazil (the conservative Jair Bolsonaro) and Mexico (the leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador).

- Advertisement -

If voters remain this disenchanted, more leaders with autocratic streaks are likely to follow.

Sources: Gallup; Latinobarómetro; IMF; World Bank; US Customs and Border Patrol; UNODC; IoM; UNHCR

- Advertisement -
Paying the bills
Ricohttp://www.theqmedia.com
"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

Costa Rica has the lowest inflation in the region

QCOSTARICA - Costa Rica registered the lowest inflation in the Central...

Costa Rica second last in economic recovery in the region

QCOSTARICA - The Central American region experiences very different realities as...

Subscribe to our stories

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.