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Experts Conclude at Funglode/GFDD Forum that Latin American Democracies are Being Threatened

September 22, 2022

NEW YORK. – A present full of challenges that continue to threaten even more democracy in the region, and demand socio-political and economic strategies, were ideas shared by participants during the first day of the Global Forum on Latin America and the Caribbean 2022.

The panels and conversations held at Fordham University´s Lincoln Center campus, in New York City, highlighted the impact the pandemic has had on the region. The shortcomings currently experienced by the region are a result of the incapacity to overcome its many shortcomings.

Leonel Fernández, President of the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (Funglode), opened the Forum´s opening ceremony along with the Secretary General of IDEA International, Kevin Casas-Zamora.

The Director of the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD), Funglode’s sister institution in the United States, Natasha Despotovic, formally introduced the event and presented the three development panels that took place on Thursday, September 22.

The panels and discussions of the excellent academic Forum are available in The Global Foundation for Democracy and Development’s YouTube channel. The Forum ended on Friday, September 23.

The former President of the Dominican Republic, Leonel Fernández, this Friday highlighted the Forum’s success. “Together, with the accompaniment of various experts, we analyzed the region’s economic, social, educational and health concerns, all within a global context,” he stated on his Twitter account.

The Forum’s official page also provides a gallery of photographs taken during the event.

The Forum concluded on Friday afternoon, with presentations delivered by Daniel Zovatto, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean for IDEA International, and President Fernández.

EFE, the Spanish news agency, covered the presentations delivered by academics, former Presidents and analysts that participated in the event.

Says Former Costa Rica President Chinchilla: “The Crisis Must be Seen not as the Exception, but as the Norm”

New York, Sep 22 (EFE). – The former President of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, stated this past Thursday at a Forum held in New York City that the current situation faced by Latin America should not be attributed solely to the pandemic, and that new ideas and consensus solutions for the region must be discussed and introduced.

Chinchilla participated today during the first of a two-day Global Forum on Latin America and the Caribbean being held at Fordham University, in New York City, within the framework of the United Nations General Assembly.

The former President of Costa Rica considered that the current situation in the region should not be blamed on the pandemic. “In 2019, Latin America was growing at an aggregate rate of close to 0%, with a crisis already in sight,” she explained.

According to the former President “we must begin to see the crisis not as the exception, but as the norm of modern times” because “the world must begin to prepare to handle various overlapping crisis, all at the same time”, she commented.


Forum participants agreed that the crisis facing Latin America and the Caribbean is also, at times, a democratic crisis.

“We must understand that the democratic projects in Latin America are collapsing with authoritarian projects such as the ones in El Salvador and Venezuela, and this is just the initial symptom of a bigger problem,” said Kevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary General of IDEAL International.

“The greatest threat comes from within Latin America”, opined the former President of Costa Rica.


Another looming crisis is economic, aggravated by the impact of the war in Russia and Ukraine.

“Last year there was a 6.6% drop in the region’s domestic product, twice as much as the global numbers registered, and as each year passes our numbers continue to drop,” explained Jorge Hinge, Professor of International Relations at Boston University. He also highlighted that it is necessary to “find another path to continue going forward in the international system, focusing on self-interests and working together.”

The region is receiving 13% less in financial flows than what was received a year ago. The task at hand for Latin America is to introduce tax reforms that will allow spending to be sustained, and stimulate investment in order to advance in sustainable growth,” commented Daniel Titelman, Director of the Growth Division of the Economic Commission of the United Nations for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).


The immigration crisis, violence and crime prevention were also discussed during the first day of the Forum. “Citizen security must prevail and coexistence must be the basis of social welfare,” said Andrés Ucrós Maldonado, a security and peace expert from Colombia.

Said Maldonado: “In order to achieve comprehensive citizen security, there must be a reform of the security sector through the recruitment of the best personnel available and proper training, including the private sector. One must also take advantage of the technology and innovation systems available.”