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Research Reports
July 9, 2020
The Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI) 2020 cautiously points to Vladimir Putin’s forging of an authoritarian-bureaucratic nomenklatura. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have denounced the deteriorating human rights situation in Russia, with freedom of speech and assembly systematically undermined and violated. The recent plebiscite to reform the constitution is the epitome of Mr Putin masquerading the authoritarian regime as a democracy.
By Lara María Kovandova

June 3, 2020
Compared with other reports on Cuba, the Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI) has several noticeable advantages. The first is that it is a comprehensive report,embedded in three pillars: economics, politics and governance. The second is that it captures trends, whereas more reports are static. The third is that it considers themes through indicators, which most reports ignore. And as it is issued every two years it makes it possible to know the consistency (or lack, thereof) of the transformation and its rhythm. The following up. Has Cuba been transformed in 14 years (2006-2020)? Reading the report, it can be concluded that it has, whilst a new concept is introduced: that of static transformation –a sample of changes that leave the structures of a society intact–.
By Manuel Cuesta Morúa

May 11, 2020
With more than 280,000 official deaths and a large recession looming, the world is tragically suffering the health and economic consequences of Covid-19. In this context, voices from abroad pointing to China’s alleged responsibility for trying to cover up the disease and therefore, for having contributed significantly to the global spread of the pandemic, are multiplying. To neutralise criticism and deflect its responsibility, Beijing has launched a propaganda offensive to position China not as the authoritarian country where the pandemic was incubated, but as an effective, responsible and generous international leader. Amid Beijing’s politicisation of aid provided to affected countries, the crisis has also shone light on China’s over-reliance on certain strategic sectors. Questioning China’s role in globalisation should be one of the lessons of Covid-1
By Juan Pablo Cardenal

Of the 21 Latin American countries, eleven placed below the global average and only three received an ideal score in terms of civil liberties and political rights: Chile (14), Uruguay (21) and Costa Rica (41). They are also the only countries in the region to place among the top 50. However, these three countries make up part of a total of twelve in Latin America that dropped in ranking with respect to 2012. The biggest descents were the Dominican Republic (79), twelve positions; Panama (61), nine positions; and Argentina (85), six.
By Gabriel C. Salvia and Hernán Alberro

In order to appear in the ranking, the counties must qualify in the three indices from which the scores are drawn from. For the first time, North Korea is being included in this ranking. The totalitarian dictatorship is the most closed in the world and comfortably occupies the last position.
By Gabriel C. Salvia and Hernán Alberro

Chile heads the regional ranking, rising one position to 15th overall since 2010, overtaking Austria. Uruguay is the second country in the regional ranking and finds itself in 23rd place worldwide. Costa Rica continues its descent, losing five places since 2010 but maintaining its third place in the regional ranking, followed by Panama.
By Gabriel C. Salvia and Hernán Alberro

Year IV Number 4 - January 2010
Leaders of development - The analysis of the cases of New Zealand and Denmark, heading the ranking for third consecutive year, indicates that there are powerful theoretical reasons to think that open economies, liberal democratic regimes and transparent public sectors go together.
By Gabriel C. Salvia and Hernán Alberro

Year VI Number 11 - First Semester 2009
The most serious crisis has taken place in Central America, specifically in Honduras – The global economic crisis, which was unleashed in the United States around September 2008 and soon spread out to the rest of the world, didn’t affect the region in a direct way – The regional economy will already start to recover towards the beginning of next year, and those countries which adopt a more sensible economic policy, like Peru, Brazil or Chile, and probably Mexico, will do that even before and more vigorously – The rise to power of a new American president, the Democrat Barack Obama, also contributed to the creation of a relatively relaxed atmosphere in the political field – The left-turn of the region is reaching an end: with Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Mexico in a clearly distinct position, the expansion of populist policies al
By Carlos Sabino

Year V Number 10 - Second Semester 2008
Living a very different economic situation, a recession and a constriction of the world markets, the populist governments are currently confronted with a tough reality: they are not able any more to go on dispensing money abundantly (money which they do not possess), and now they have to adhere the limits which are set by the reality of their countries.
By Carlos Sabino

Number 10 / Second Semester 2008
The arbitrary use of public advertising is an ever more denounced practice, thus new criteria on the subject is beginning to run over the region, with more transparent policies to change the historical attitude of those who rule the use of public funds.
By Fernando J. Ruiz

Year II Number 3 - December 2008
Just like in the previous edition, two former British colonies, New Zealand and Myanmar, occupy the first and last position in this ranking, respectively. All in all, referring to 2007, about 75 countries improved their score while 62 got worse and seven stayed the same.
By Gabriel C. Salvia and Hernán Alberro

October 2008
The economy Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen revolutionized the concept of development by referring to it as "human development". This is how liberty became a central element of the process of development. Following this path, today many authors vigorously defend freedom of the press as an elementary base for development.
By Hernán Alberro

Year III Number 8 - Second Semester 2007
Chávez has been forced to accept, in a clearly angry state, that Venezuelans did not want to turn their country into a totalitarian dictatorship. The election results in Venezuela may influence the other countries of what we could call the chavista axis, particularly Bolivia.
Beyond the threat of authoritarian populisms, Latin America’s problem is that it is not fully taking advantage of the favorable economic juncture it faces. Meanwhile, the emphasis its leaders place on redistributing wealth before creating it, impatience over the inequalities between its inhabitants and the instability -or more exactly unpredictability- of its political destinies stop investments from flourishing adequately and hamper growth.
By Carlos Sabino

Number 8 - Second Semester 2007
- During the succession currently underway, Cuba is maintaining control over public communications.
- In almost every country in the region, presidents criticize media outlets and journalists on a regular basis, as well as journalism in general.
- The revenue bonanza many Latin American countries are enjoying is strengthening government-owned media.
- In the context of a worsened institutional culture, Argentina maintains a government communications model that has proved successful at preserving governability and winning elections.
By Fernando J. Ruiz

Year I Number 2 - November 2007
This report argues that development stands on three pillars: democratic liberties, a market economy and transparency in government.
By Gabriel C. Salvia and Hernán Alberro

October 2007
Chile, Costa Rica and Uruguay lead the ranking.
 Bolivia fell five positions in the region.
Haiti did not change its position in the ranking but managed to increase its distance from Venezuela.
The only country still behind Venezuela is Cuba, that in the global aspect is only before North Korea.
By Hernán Alberro

Number 7 - First Semester 2007
- Journalists' life in Cuban prisons.
- Mexico surpasses Colombia in the number of journalists murdered.
- Bolivia and Ecuador Constitutional Assemblymen and the media.
- Congresses refuse to eliminate "dead words".
- Latin American Supreme Courts' took key decisions.
By Fernando J. Ruiz

Year III Number 7 - First Semester 2007
21st. century socialists. Cuba. Venezuela. Bolivia. Ecuador. Nicaragua.
There is a group of countries where important changes have been taking place, mainly in the political sphere, threatening certain basic liberties of citizens.
The rest of the region is following a relatively stable path, of an acceptable economic growth and of relative political calmness.
By Carlos Sabino

Year I Number 1 - January 2007
Iceland heads this 2006 ranking whilst Turkmenistan is assigned the last spot. Chile makes an impressive appearance at post number 17, best ranked amongst all Latin American Countries.
By Gabriel C. Salvia and Hernán Alberro

Number 6 - Second Semester 2006
By Fernando J. Ruiz

Year III Number 6 - Second Semester 2006
By Carlos Sabino

Number 5 - First Semester 2006
By Fernando J. Ruiz

Number 4 - Second Semester 2005
By Fernando J. Ruiz

Number 2 - November 2005
By Hernán Alberro

Number 3 / First Semester 2005
By Fernando J. Ruiz

Number 1 - August 2004
By Hernán Alberro