Bibliographic data

Estudios sociales y cívica. Vol. 9. Ministerio de Educación El Salvador Colección cipotas y cipotes. Ministerio de Educación El Salvador, 2009, 216–218.

"Violence as a Challenge for Democracy"

[p. 216]


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Violence as a challenge for democracy

Violence is an intentional action that can provoke physical or psychological harm to other beings. It constitutes a challenge for democracy, because in a society in which violence exists, the fundamental rights of a person are not respected. This is contrary to the democratic system.

A democracy functions as a government of the majority, with respect for the rights of the minorities, provided that no group needs violence to make its voice heard. As a pluralist system, it offers channels to represent the interests of the people. Therefore, it establishes a constitutional state.

In Latin America, the violence connected to the organized crime of drug trafficking and to money laundering is a threat to democracy. In turn, the problem of crime is connected to poverty, which remains to be a challenge for the region.

Another challenge for democracy is the violence against women. It consists in any act based on the gender that could provoke physical, sexual or psychological harm to a woman. It constitutes a severe worldwide problem that violates human rights.


[p. 217]

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Corruption as a challenge for democracy

Corruption is the act of being corrupt. It is an illegal act which occurs when one person abuses his power to obtain a benefit for himself.

The responsibility to prevent and control it corresponds to the power of the state and the society together. The cooperation against corruption, in compliance with the treaties and relevant laws, are fundamental elements in order to promote democratic governability.

In a democratic country, the fundamental human rights are respected. Therefore, corruption challenges democracy, because it consists of behaviour which is against the legal system or illegal activities.

On 8th of June 2004, the OAS a approved the Declaration of Quito on Social and Democratic Development against the Impact of Corruption . In it, they declare that the worldwide phenomenon of corruption represents a severe obstacle for the social development of the people. In fact, the problem received the attention of the heads of States and Governments at the Summit of the Americas. In this sense, they reaffirmed their compromise in the combat against corruption, a problem which disregards the democracy, the governability, the institutions, the economic and social development, the fight against poverty, civic trust and the political stability.


[p. 218]


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Poverty as a challenge for democracy

Poverty is the lack of what is necessary for the material basis of living. A poor person is one who suffers from many deprivations due to the limitations of her economic resources. One can also say that he or she belongs to the most modest class of society.

The fight against poverty is still the biggest challenge for the democratic governments in Latin America. Unicef emphasized: In Latin Amerika, the majority of the poor are children and the majority of the children are poor . Democracy establishes the common good as the aim of the state. It should be based in distributive justice. The aim of democracy is the sustainable development of the economy and that the assets are reflected in the life quality of the inhabitants.

To enforce democratic governability, poverty must be overcome and economic growth must be promoted by equity. This growth should be reflected in the prosperity of the community. This requires public policy and practices of good governance that encourage equal opportunities, education, health and full employment.

In 2008, 33,2% of the population (182,000,000 persons) lived according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) in poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean.


[a] Editor´s note: OAS is the abbreviation of the Organisation of American States, see OAS, (13.03.2017).


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