Understanding Social Conflict in Latin America

16 Apr 2013
image

The Latin American countries with greatest numbers of conflicts are those with broad social inequalities and governments with limited capacity to manage unrest.

 

The report titled Understanding Social Conflict in Latin America reveals that social, institutional and cultural tensions in Latin America are numerous, compared to other regions, and are characterized by a high degree of citizen participation.

 

According to the report, Bolivia, Peru, and Argentina were the countries with the highest number of social conflicts (over 200 each), while those with the lowest levels of unrest were Costa Rica, Chile, and El Salvador, with an average of 58 conflicts each.  The report examined more than 2,300 social conflicts in the region by monitoring 54 newspapers in 17 countries between October 2009 and September 2010, and did not cover other conflicts associated with organized crime, drug trafficking, guerrilla movements or wars.

Key Data

  • The Latin American countries with greatest numbers of conflicts are those with broad social inequalities and governments with limited capacity to manage unrest;
  • Bolivia, Peru, and Argentina were the countries with the highest number of social conflicts (over 200 each);
  • The lowest levels of unrest were found in Costa Rica, Chile, and El Salvador, with an average of 58 conflicts each;
  • The bulk of social crises involve declarations, demonstrations and strikes, which rarely reach the point of violent clashes and chaos;
  • The Internet and mobile phones are positively affecting social conflicts in Latin America by providing new public spaces that encourage civic engagement;
  • Almost 60 percent of the organizations and individuals who took part in social conflicts had a presence on the Web;
  • Numbers ranged from 100 percent of Internet presence in Costa Rica to 15 percent in Bolivia
  • The report examined social conflicts in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay, and Venezuela
Download the Report