Latin American Politics: The Poor Indigenous Population

2227 words - 9 pages

Since the beginning of the importation of the Iberian ideals have sprouted a class system, which the reverberation still, are echoing today. This has created a class struggle from the poor indigenous peoples of Latin America to the elitists. Since the times of Independence the ruling upper class and power hungry elitists had tarnished the notion of a true democracy. With the Spanish arrival came their structure of government separating the peoples of Latin America into social and racial classes. The minority whites held positions of power while darker colored peoples were relegated to being low class and under the direction of the elites. This tradition of minority rule has been carried with the Latin American peoples for centuries tracing its roots to the European countries that conquered the Americas. Thus this idea has transcended centuries causing the peoples to become complacent and the notion of a Caudillo became a social norm. In modern day the main problems for countries facing democratization is the gross inequality between the upper class and lower class. In these societies there is not a middle class and it has been increasingly difficult for people to have mobility between the classes. You are either born with a silver spoon or you were born to make that spoon. With classes stagnant the elites in the upper echelon of society can dictate the fate of millions and the direction of the country. This causes the poorer to be poorer and the richer to become richer. Most Latin American countries have ‘democracies’ but the political elite that does not give credence to the inequality crisis at hand governs them. This detracts from democracy by creating a political system based on wealth and power rather than having the people dictate the institutions.
Independence from Spain had indeed broken the old customs of traditional classes but also had breed a new class of military leaders whose greed and hunger for power had been difficult for the stability of Latin America. Dictators began to sprout in fear that other elites would rise and supplant authority. In order to save Gran Columbia “Bolivar, the great liberator, frustrated with regionalism and the assertion of political autonomy by various leaders in Gran Columbia, often forsook formal democracy and reverted to dictatorial rule in order to hold the republic together.” With nearly 20 years of war during the time of revolution meant there were many generals with ambitions for political gain. This caused democracy in the 19th century almost impossible. Soon, with the outcry of Bolivar, Latin America became a series of fragmented states run by local strongmen. Thus the long-standing Caudillo tradition had been born. With the birth of Caudillos some of the Iberian traditions transferred over such as constitutions and social classes. The constitutions that were formed mirrored modern European and U.S. models but lacked basic human rights. The lower classes were affected adversely with an...

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