Latin America - Warwick Debating Society

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Transcript Latin America - Warwick Debating Society

Warwick Debating Society
TRAINING 23/04/2014
Link to fun
 Google ‘ustream wudc’, this debate is the first one
that comes up, it’s excellent and you’ll learn loads
More fun
 Today’s training is on Latin America and some
motions that might come up to do with it
The basics
 BIG – c. 604 million in the continent (US c. 300m),
covering Mexico to Chile and everywhere in between.
 HISTORY – European colonialism primarily by
Spain and Portugal and terrible treatment of
indigenous peoples
 Independence achieved 1804-1825 - Venezuela,
Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia all
Bolivarian (anti-establishment left wing) tradition in
political culture
 Vast majority Christian
More basics
 70% of population Catholic (this will be important
later) but growing Protestantism
 Ethnicity – majority of European ancestry or part
European ancestry, significant African, Asian and
smaller indigenous minorities.
 Lots of poverty and huge income inequality, high
crime rates in many places, especially favelas in
Brazil (slums) and cartel violence in Mexico,
Colombia, El Salvador etc.
 MERCOSUR exists along with some other regional
organisations – customs unions etc.
Key Issue 0.5: Bolivarianism and Chavismo
 As a set of ideas: nationalisation, social welfare programs
(Bolivarian Missions) and opposition to neoliberalism
(esp. IMF etc). Accepts private property but likes social
property too. Emphasis on ‘communal’ state.
South American economic and political sovereignty, also
some degree of self-sufficiency (anti-imperialist trends)
Grassroots political participation
Ethic of patriotic service
Equitable distribution of (South America's) vast natural
Eliminating corruption
Key Issue 0.5: Bolivarianism and Chavismo
 Implementation: Some significant gains but lots of
(Stats from the UN, before Mancey/Tito whine)
Poverty from 50.5% in 1998 to 33.4% in 2008
Literacy rates comparable with USA/UK achieved for
a time
BUT: significant problems with authoritarian rule
Chronic food shortages this year, general downturn
under Maduro
Key Issues 1: Liberation Theology
 Definition: a cultural and religious force rooted
within explicitly religious Catholic theology
interpreting the bible in relation to ‘liberation’ from
unjust conditions, specifically economic injustice,
poverty and income inequality.
 LTs believe that the gift Jesus gave by self-sacrifice
was freedom from sin
 They see oppressive economic (and other) structures
as structures of sin to be fought against
Key Issues 1: Liberation Theology
 Specifically different to traditional Catholic doctrine
 Advocates basing religious thought and doctrine on
real-world experiences, as opposed to traditional
method of studying doctrine and trying to apply it to
real world
 Does see status quo economic arrangements as bad
 Gets religion involved in politics, mass movement
 Criticised by other Catholics for being too thisworldly
Key Issues 1: Liberation Theology
 Not a cohesive movement in and of itself
 More of a cultural background to political culture
 Lots of influence on other movements and making
people more radical in the long term
 Different influences in different places
 Nicaragua – helped fuel violent Sandinista
movement leading to left wing govt
 Brazil – set up CEBs, (Ecclesiastical Base
Communities) pressured military regime peacefully
 TH Supports Liberation Theology
Key Issue 2: Drug Cartels
 Andes Region, especially Colombia, Peru, Ecuador
and Bolivia is the world’s source region for coca (the
primary ingredient in cocaine).
 ‘War on Drugs’ –campaign of prohibition of drugs,
military aid, and military intervention, with the
stated aim being to define and reduce the illegal drug
 Big – US spends c. $51 billion each year on it.
 Demand for drugs in the west means drug smuggling
very profitable.
Key Issue 2: Drug Cartels
 Demand for drugs in west met by smuggling it in.
 Smuggling done by cartels (criminal organisations
specifically set up to smuggle drugs)
 Currently focused in Mexico and Colombia
 Infighting between cartels – in Mexico mainly over
territory and money etc, but in Colombia a political
dimension – FARC left wing, AUC right wing, both
 Cartels and paramilitary groups do some pretty evil
stuff: beheadings, torture, indiscriminate slaughter,
child soldiers, sexual abuse
Key Issues 2: Drug Cartels – how to combat?
 One of the strongest arguments for legalising drugs
in the west – stifle demand, strangle the cartels, etc.
In debates assuming the WoD is ongoing:
PMCs? Govts and armies in esp. Mexico and
Colombia notoriously corrupt (less so in Mexico
Foreign intervention? Lots of potential problems
How to make govts and armies less corrupt – aid?
Charter cities in cartel areas?
Vigilantes/other local groups?
 TH supports the formation of vigilante groups in
high crime areas of Mexico
Potential motions for today
 THW welcome a political union of Latin American
states based on the ideals of the Bolivarian
 THBT the Mexican and Colombian governments
should lift all legal limits on the police and law
enforcement in fighting drug-trafficking