The former president of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, assured in a forum held in New York that the current situation in Latin America should not be attributed solely to the pandemic and that new ideas and consensus solutions must be sought for the region.

Chinchilla participated in the first day of the Global Forum of Latin America and the Caribbean that is being held for two days at Fordham University, in New York, within the framework of the United Nations General Assembly.

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The former president considered that the current situation in the region should not be blamed for the pandemic. “In 2019, Latin America was growing at an aggregate rate of close to 0% and then a crisis was already in sight,” she explained.

For her, “we must begin to see crises not as the exception, but as the rule of modern times”, because “the world has to begin preparing to handle various overlapping crises, all at the same time”, she commented.

DEMOCRATIC CRISIS

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The speakers at this forum agreed that the crisis facing Latin America and the Caribbean is also, at times, democratic.

“You have to understand that the democratic project in Latin America is collapsing with authoritarian projects like in El Salvador or Venezuela, and this is just the symptom of a bigger problem,” said Kevin Casas-Zamora, secretary general of IDEAL International.

While “the greatest threat comes from within Latin America”, in the opinion of the former president of Costa Rica.

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WAR IN UKRAINE

Another crisis is the economic one, aggravated by the effects of the war in Russia and Ukraine.

“Last year there was a 6.6% drop in the region’s domestic product, twice as much as globally, and we count less and less globally,” said Jorge Hinge, professor of international relations at Boston University , who considered that it is necessary to “find another course to advance in the international system, focusing on self-interest and working together.”

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“13% less financial flows are entering the region than a year ago and the task of Latin America is to make tax reforms that allow spending to be sustained and stimulate investment in order to advance in sustainable growth,” explained the director of the growth division of the economic commission of the United Nations for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Daniel Titelman.

MIGRATION

Migration crises, violence and crime prevention were also discussed on the first day of the forum. “Citizen security must prevail and coexistence must be the basis of social welfare,” said Andrés Ucrós Maldonado, an expert on security and peace in Colombia.

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According to Maldonado, “in order to achieve comprehensive citizen security, there must be a reform of the security sector with the recruitment of the best personnel and their training, including the private sector, and taking advantage of technology and innovation.”