An end to Latin America's leftward shift?

I lived and worked in Latin & South America for quite a long time.
This is what is evolving there. A rather long but interesting read.

[quote]The Mafia’s Shadow Kingdom
By Jens Glüsing in Rio de Janeiro

The recent violence in Sao Paulo may just be the tip of the iceberg: In many parts of Brazil and indeed across Latin America, governments have capitulated to gangsters, and the rise of organized crime could end the recent leftward shift across Latin America.

Organized crime is on the rise across Latin America. The most important mafia organization in Rio calls itself “Comando Vermelho” (“Red Command”); its main source of revenue is drug dealing in the favelas. Sao Paulo is controlled by the PCC (the “First Command of the National Capital”). Its areas of expertise include bank robberies and cargo theft; it also controls the drug trade in the prisons.

Gangs of kidnappers spread fear and terror in Caracas and Mexico City. Cocaine cartels control the area around Mexico’s northern border. El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are the territory of the “Maras,” adolescent street gangs that live mainly off extortion. The paramilitaries and guerrillas of Columbia support themselves by raising money through kidnappings and drug trading.

Moving backwards in history

An entire continent is slipping backwards in time. The spread of violence and crime show that large parts of Latin America are far from joining the leading industrial nations of the Western hemisphere. In constantly expanding their power, the gangs demonstrate the weakness of the region’s governments; wherever there is a power vacuum, the gangs take over. “Organized crime can only survive as long as it escapes punishment,” says Alba Zaluar, a Brazilian researcher who specializes in the study of violence, “so it creates its own territories in order to assure that it won’t be punished there.”

Latin America’s often decrepit democracies are easy prey. The court system barely functions in most countries; the police are often corrupt and cooperate with drug dealers. Many politicians can be easily bribed, and parliamentary positions are perceived as opportunities for self-enrichment.

“Caracas is now considered the most violent city on the continent. Not only does Venezuela have the highest murder rate in the world, according to a recent United Nations study, but that rate tripled between 1998 and 2005.”(artice at link) … 50,00.html[/quote]

Well, well, well… just as I pointed out in my earlier sarcastic post regarding the mass deaths and killings in Sao Paulo… Now, we find out that there are organized crime gangs, just as there are in Iraq and just as there are/were in Eastern and Central Europe. So this is a problem worldwide right? Or isn’t it? and if the deaths from these thugs are of concern in Iraq, why not elsewhere? Hmmm? I just love watching the left try to balance its conflicting notions of reality and (cough cough) assuming it has any, morality. But do attempt, please oh please said Fred feeling like the dog waiting behind the laundry room door for the cat to take the bait and attempt to eat the catfood placed in the dryer.

Und fromen Der Spiegel mit der leften wingens

The problem of Brasil (specially Rio and São Paulo) is the there are 2 classes of people - the robbers and the robbed. Brasil is just too big and too wealthy, and it has allways been controlled by a few - and allways the same type. Even with the left-wing Lula government, it is hard to try to make the country work, because the problem lies in the base of the government system - if you don’t change the people that are the bases, how can you change the system (you can draw any parallels you want with Taiwan). Do you really think that after decades of installed corruption, a single government can change all the system? That’s a complete utopian dream. Do you really think that people that spent their lifes receiving hongbaos or using the guanxi will change it just because the government is a different? This will only change when the old guard is gone and/or replaced by eficient systems. The only way to make corruption go way is to eliminate bureacracy (and by this, you eliminate any possible “interference” or “misinterpretation” of the rules). The more paper you have to deliver, the more corrupt the system will be.

Any foreigner living in Taiwan knows very well that the state of bureaucracy and private interpretation of rules is a main issue in their lives. And Taiwan for sure is not a leftist country…

Der Spiegel? Left wing? Gott in Himmel! In the eighties and nineties, perhaps it was. I’ve been reading it since the late nineties and it has definitely moved quite significantly to the right since that time. I’d class it as a centre-right publication now.