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Latinamericans trust the media and the military, shows regional poll

Tuesday, August 17th 2010 - 23:56 UTC
Full article 5 comments
Trust in the military is allegedly linked to the “insecurity” challenge rampant in the continent Trust in the military is allegedly linked to the “insecurity” challenge rampant in the continent

The media and the Armed Forces are among the institutions most trusted in Latin America, well ahead of the church, parliament and political parties, according to a regional opinion poll from FLACSO, Latinamerican Social Sciences Faculty.

The report titled “Governance and Democracy in Latin America” was based on a poll taken in 18 countries of the region last November and December totalling 9.057 interviews. FLACSO based in Costa Rica was founded in 1957 and is recognized as one of the most knowledgeable social sciences institutions in the region.

The poll showed that 58.6% of Latinamericans trust the media, followed by government executives, 48% and the Armed Forces, 43%. Parliaments on the other hand only are trusted by 31.5% of interviews, political parties 14.3%.

“The most worrisome data it that basic institutions for the development and consolidation of democracies such as political parties and Congress have a very low trust rating”, said Francisco Rojas, president of Flacso.

“Although the electoral democracy is quite solid in the region, institutional problems persist which anticipate difficulties for the implementation of policies in the future”, added Rojas.

Cooperation regional director Josette Altmann argues that trust in the media is closely linked to the “political debt” of governments with society, related to the non opening of spaces for a greater popular participation.

“The claims through the media has an important significance for the agenda of the different governments, even above the so-called ‘country agenda’”, added Altmann.

Regarding the Armed Forces 85% is against their abolishment (15% approve abolishment) and 43% are fully confident on them.

“The average Latinamerican is saying that 43% deposit their confidence in the Armed Forces”, said Altmann who also finds a link with a great deficit in government agendas and that is “insecurity”. For 91% of interviews insecurity (crime and lawlessness) is the main problem of the region according to the Flacso report.

The issue is also linked to the fact that 77% consider the military as professionals and not “deliberants” and because a military coup has ‘very low probabilities’, says Rojas.

The countries where the “perception of the probability of a coup is high” are Paraguay, 41%; Ecuador, 39% and Honduras, 31%, in spite of the fact that this last country had the military involved in the removal of elected president Manuel Zelaya in June 2009.

Other countries’ with high perceptions include Mexico, 33.9%; Venezuela, 32%, while at the other end figure Chile, 6.2%; Costa Rica, 8.2% and Uruguay, 10.4%.
 

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

Top Comments

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  • Pete35

    In Argentina the populace in general do not currently believe in the armed forces. On the contrary President Nestor Kirchner has humiliated them every chance he got as has his successor wife Cristina. He strangled the forces by slashing their budget thus making them useless for defending the country against attack, let alone provoke a coup.

    Aug 18th, 2010 - 03:12 am 0
  • Forgetit87

    I certainly don't trust either the Brazilian media or the military.

    The media is antipatriotic and truth-distorting. It frequently defends international, especially U.S., interests and undermines government initiatives that promote autonomy. Some weeks ago a national polling also showed Brazilians distrust media and think their reporting is biased.

    People do tend to be more positive about the military, but entirely so. There's a Latinobarómetro poll that asked its respondents - thousands of people from many LatAm nations - how likely they thought a military coup d'état was in their country. The top two in this ranking were Ecuador and Brazil (with 36% and 34% of the people thinking a coup in their country was likely in the next few years). Now, I don't think a coup in Brazil is likely, but there are some oddities around. The Brazilian military continues to be unapologetic about the dictatorship they installed in the 60s. Even today the Armed Forces website refers to the 64 coup as having protected democracy from Communism.

    Aug 18th, 2010 - 03:37 am 0
  • Think

    Yeahhhhh... suuuuure.......
    Tendencious as hell.....
    Would be nice for this media to publish a link to their sources.....
    I personally trust the military as much I trust a hungry mosquito.......

    Aug 18th, 2010 - 05:09 am 0
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