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Corruption Will Define Elections in the Region, Analysts Say

03/15/2018 - 11h17

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FLAVIA LIMA
FROM SÃO PAULO

The wave of corruption that has spread throughout Latin America has shaken regional institutions, disillusioned populations and should define the electoral cycle that many Latin American nations are going through.

This was the conclusion of specialists who participated in a discussion panel at the World Economic Forum entitled "Latin American Panorama" about the electoral cycle and its effect on regional dynamics.

"There is a wave of movements protesting against democracy because [people] believe that it has worked poorly, it's been distorted by corruption", said Denise Dresser, a political analyst from the Autonomous Technological Institute in Mexico. "The fact is that Odebrecht has managed to unite the region".

The only Brazilian participating in the debate, Ricardo Villela Marinho, Executive Vice-President of Itaú Unibanco Bank, declared that democratic institutions are being questioned and that voters are being repelled by traditional politicians.

"This is a moment of major turbulence. The saving grace is that we are in a context of global growth of more than 4%."

Optimistic, Panamanian Vice-President Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado, said that the indignation of the population is forcing a response from institutions. "I would say that the fact that corruption cases are coming before the public is good news. I hope that this will influence the election cycle", she declared.

Daniel Zovatto, Director in the International Institute for Democracy, argued that it is premature to say that the region is moving towards the right-of-center, as has been the case in recent elections in Chile and in Argentina. "I think that the discussion between left and right is reductionist."

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

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