Macri signed a statement that considers that freedoms are threatened by the pandemic (Photo: AP -Manuel Cortina).
Mauricio Macri signed a new statement that warns that freedoms are threatened by governments that use the coronavirus “As an instrument of control and authoritarianism.” The document is titled “Let’s take care of Democracy so that it does not become a victim of the pandemic” and is also signed by the national senator of the Frente de Todos Jorge Taiana.
The text was endorsed by more than 160 political leaders from Latin America, including 21 former presidents and former presidents of the region, two Nobel Laureates, and officials from important organizations. It is a joint statement of International IDEA, the Fernando Henrique Cardoso Foundation and the Democracy and Development Foundation for the International Day of Democracy.
Ask to take care “The present and the future of democracy” and expresses concern about the “turning point in the future of the world” and Latin America that is going through the pandemic, which states that “it generates threats and opportunities.”
Alert that “exist latent risks “ If you do not act quickly, you can produce “a serious democratic deterioration.” He argues that the region “more than ever, requires a resilient and quality democracy, supported by a policy and leadership with a vision of the future.”
He states that Latin America “is one of the regions of the world most affected from the pandemic, with some of the highest death rates from COVID-19 and with generalized quarantines that have contributed to one of the worst economic recessions in decades ”.
He affirms that “at the root of the weaknesses of Latin American societies are the various dimensions of social inequalities and the still high levels of poverty.” He maintains that the pandemic “stripped and intensified them, increasing the risk that the region will suffer another lost decade in economic terms and a strong setback in social matters ”.
He points out that the crisis “represents a alert bell that demands the need to promote measures aimed at overcoming current levels of inequality, poverty and informality ”. He warns that these variables “constitute not only the main obstacle to development but also the breeding ground for ‘solutions’ populist and / or authoritarian ”.
The organizations that promote the message warn about the special powers that the pandemic gave to the presidents of Latin American countries. They recall that “a common denominator in the face of the crisis created by the coronavirus is that the Executive Branch has seen its responsibility increased, but also its attributions ”.
They stated that “in the exercise of these powers, in many countries of the region, emergency laws have been decreed to combat the pandemic” and that “it is essential that the balance of powers is not broken.” They asked that the Legislative and Judicial powers exercise their functions and guarantee “the institutional balances of a democratic state ”.
They argued that the emergency generated by the pandemic “should not be seen as a blank check to weaken controls and accountability, or undermine the fight against corruption ”. They also indicated that “if the pandemic forces the postponement of certain elections, these decisions must be made for strictly health reasons and based on a broad political-social consensus.”
They recalled that democracy “already faced a turbulent social situation and complex governance ”due to claims such as a better quality of life and public services, the request of women for equality and respect and the problem of climate change and the expansion of the Internet, universalizing the political and social debate,“ but also disseminating fake news and hate speech ”.
They considered that the political future of the region “will be marked by the new communication practice” and that “in the new environment it will be even more essential to raise the quality of citizen training, both in the reception and dissemination of messages.” They said that it will be necessary “to prevent the growing flow of data that is in the hands of the State to face the health emergency from being used by governments as an instrument of control and authoritarianism.”
They questioned the existence of “market economies but not market societies” and stated that “social protection is not the enemy of economic freedom.” They stated that “the legitimacy of a market economy requires a robust supply of quality public services, as was dramatically demonstrated by the pandemic.”
They suggested “rethinking the value of politics and democracy for the times to come and reviewing our conceptions and practices of government to update them and provide them with new tools that allow the complex societies of the XXI century to be governed democratically and effectively.” They stated that “representative democracy can and must be perfected, starting with the parties, but not replaced ”.
They said that “it is time to rebuild spaces and mechanisms for coordination and cooperation among Latin American countries, at least to strengthen the regional capacity to resolve their conflicts and not import growing global tensions.”
They argued that the economic crisis should be “an opportunity to redefine the horizon of what is possible” and made a call to “think, propose, create ideas and stimulate actions for an unavoidable agenda.” They stated that democracy should not be a “victim of the pandemic” and that the system should evolve.
The message was signed by Argentina, in addition to Macri, the former ambassador to the United States and Chile José Octavio Bordón, the vice president of the Electoral Chamber Alberto Dalla Vía, the constitutionalist Antonio María Hernández, the economics professor Nora Lustig, the former Minister of Economy Jose Luis Machinea and National Senator Taiana. The former presidents of Uruguay also signed Luis Alberto Lacalle, Jose Mujica and Julio Sanguinetti, and those of Chile, Eduardo Frei and Ricardo Lagos.
Macri had already signed two other documents that alerted about “The advance of populism” and that “Democracy is threatened” for the pandemic. Last Sunday he also wrote a column in The nation criticism of the Government in which he accused the Frente de Todos of wanting “Rule without limits and violate the Constitution ”, and warned: “It’s the Republic or the republic.”