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A New Development Vision for Latin America: Project Syndicate

A New Development Vision for Latin America: Project Syndicate
QUITO, ECUADOR - OCTOBER 12: A demonstrator holds a sign that reads 'Dialogue without arms and blood' as women from different parts of Ecuador march through the streets of Quito to ask for peace and to repeal the economic measures taken by President of Ecuador Lenin Moreno on October 12, 2019 in Quito, Ecuador. Ecuador faces the 10th day of protests to repeal the government's measure to end a four-decade fuel subsidy. Clashes between demonstrators and security forces have escalated leaving five people dead. President Moreno has refused to overturn the measure and protest organizers, now led by indigenous communities, have agreed to dialogue with the president. (Photo by Jorge Ivan Castaneira Jaramillo/Getty Images)

The wave of popular protests that shook Latin America in late 2019 marked a turning point not only in the politics of the countries involved, but also in terms of understanding the region’s long-term development, Mario Pezzini, Sebastian Nieto Parra and Juan Vasquez Zamora write at Project Syndicate, June 16.
The COVID-19 crisis is already affecting living standards and transforming public perceptions and expectations in ways that are still difficult fully to comprehend, much less address. Only by rethinking national social contracts and initiating broad processes of dialogue can policymakers hope to tackle rising discontent and act collectively.

Several key questions must be addressed. What obstacles are stalling the region’s development? Are public institutions equipped to respond appropriately to citizens’ new aspirations and national concerns? And how can citizens be empowered to advance their evolving demands effectively and keep governments accountable?

The protests across the region took many observers by surprise, because Latin America’s socioeconomic situation has improved in the last decade. But the region is now facing three major “development traps” – a set of vicious cycles that are preventing countries from advancing to greater prosperity.

Read the full story.

Mario Pezzini is Director of the OECD Development Centre and Special Adviser to the OECD Secretary-General on Development.

Sebastián Nieto Parra is an economist at the OECD Development Centre.

Juan Vázquez Zamora is an economist at the OECD Development Centre.


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