MADRID – Demagoguery, which is “almost the guideline” in the U.S. elections this year, has harmed Latin America and been a feature in the region over the 20th century, former Mexican President Vicente Fox said Thursday.
“Through hard-fought elections and much sacrifice,” Latin America has learned that the right path to follow is “true democracy, true exercise of liberties,” said Fox, who governed Mexico from 2000 to 2006.
Fox attended the presentation of “Consultoria politica,” a book for which he wrote the prologue along with Ernesto Samper, secretary-general of the Union of South American Nations, or UNASUR.
The book, released in Madrid on Thursday, includes contributions from more than 150 experts from 16 countries.
The project’s preparation was overseen by Madrid’s Camilo Jose Cela University with the goal of helping politicians with governance tasks.
“Citizens don’t see the fruits of democracy” because there is a widespread feeling of “dissatisfaction, unrest and rejection” regarding most governments, Fox said.
Former Argentine President Eduardo Duhalde, who was in office from 2002 to 2003, praised the fact that after more than half a century of violence in Colombia, the government and the country’s largest leftist guerrilla group reached a peace agreement.
Violence and drug trafficking, Duhalde said, are not just Colombia’s problem, affecting all of Ibero-America.
Former Uruguayan President Luis Alberto Lacalle, who served from 1990 to 1995, urged current and future government leaders to humanize their election campaigns, making an effort “to give answers, more than to talk,” and to find common ground among citizens.