Human Rights and
International Democratic Solidarity

Research Reports

September 1st, 2006

Press Freedom and Economic Development in Latin America 2006

By Hernán Alberro
@halberro
 

Reviewing the 2006 Latin American ranking of press freedom and economic development and comparing it to last year's, it clearly shows that the region, far from improving, has deteriorated regardless of the fact that there has been hardly any changes in the positions the countries hold in the ranking. The countries that fell back more were Mexico and Venezuela. There is not much that can be said regarding the countries that improved in the ranking since this was a result of other countries falling back. The countries that have maintained good rule of law indexes: Chile, Costa Rica and Uruguay are also those that head the press freedom and economic development ranking and whose indicators raise the region's average. In the world ranking, Cuba holds the next to last position followed by North Korea.
Hernán Alberro

PRESENTATION

For the second consecutive year, the Centro de Investigacion de Medios y Sociedad (CIMAS) of the Universidad de los Andes Communication’s School participates jointly with CADAL in the prestigious Latin American Press Freedom and Economic Development Report produced by the analyst Hernan Alberro.

This new report unfortunately shows that the region’s indexes have worsened while the rest of the world improved. What is the explanation for this?

One of the answers is that evidently democracy, understood as the combination between economic and political freedom, continues to be fragile in Latin America. To the deterioration of the press freedom indexes has to be added deterioration in the rule of law along with rather weak economic growth.

The report is an example of how in our continent the virtuous circle that would allow is to achieve development still does not happen. To the contrary, in Latin America populist and neopopulist policies, lack of political freedom and certain economic stagnation appear more as shadows than as lights of hope.

The outlook is not easy. This year has been one of elections and “changes” in regional authorities who have clearly not attempted to implement radical changes, except in the case of Peru.

Given these scenarios and since Alberro has become an important source of reference for scholars and politicians interested in these subjects, his investigations have become indispensable.

We once again congratulate him on his excellent results, his interesting conclusions and encourage him to continue along the same path during the current year.

Angel Soto
Director of Studies Communications School
Universidad de los Andes (Chile)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hernán Alberro
is Programs Director of Centro para la Apertura y el Desarrollo de América Latina (CADAL). He has a BA in Journalism (Universidad del Salvador) and is candidate to a Master on Administration and Public Policies (Universidad de San Andrés)