2023: a negative balance for the civic space of the region

In the new edition of Civic Space Guardian we take stock of 2023, which ended with a negative balance for the civic space in the region that was affected by the growth of the punitive power of the State and the rise of restrictive policies in the control of public order. In addition, we stop in Argentina, where the national Congress is debating the bill titled Law of Bases and Points of Departure for the Freedom of the Argentineans, promoted by President Javier Milei, focusing on its effects on the right to protest.

There is no strengthened civic space without strong democracies. Not since the beginning of the third wave of democratization in Latin America in the early 1980s has the region shown such worrying indicators of recession. For the first time in more than 20 years, the world has more autocratic regimes than democratic ones, according to V-Dem.

Political systems and democratic institutions in Latin America have been suffering the impact of at least three contextual factors, poverty, corruption and insecurity, that undermine confidence in institutions and traditional channels of representation, while increasing social tolerance for more authoritarian policies to deal with organized crime.

The year 2023 ended with a negative balance, which for the most part carries old debts that our governments and representatives have not managed or attempted to remedy. The growth of restrictive policies in the control of public order, the weakening of control bodies and restrictions on the functioning of civil society organizations are some of the worrying trends in the region.

About Civic Space Guardian
Civic Space Guardian (CSG) is a tool designed by DL to monitor regulations and bills that impact freedom of expression, assembly, association, access to public information, the right to privacy and citizen participation in public affairs. The monitoring is carried out in 18 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

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