Peruvian daily El Comercio celebrated its 170th anniversary with a symposium where they invited Peruvian president Alan Garcia, Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa, Chilean writer and diplomat Jorge Edwards, and Mexican historian Enrique Krauze, who participated via teleconference. Krauze was not allowed to fly into Peru due to restrictions on flights from Mexico because of the swine flu alert.
Vargas Llosa stressed that democracy can be perfected, and is a system that along with economic freedoms will allow Latin American countries to develop. Krauze stated that a society’s maturity is measured in the ways through which public debate improves. Edwards saw nationalism as a problem, to which Krauze agreed in the sense where nationalism is defined as greed for power as opposed to patriotism, the love of one’s roots. Krauze deplored the tendency towards divisiveness and confrontation among Latin American countries, adding that if only Chile, Peru and Bolivia would achieve brotherly relations, South America would achieve greater prosperity.
All three speakers agreed that drug trafficking, nationalism and populism are the three threats against Latin American democracy.
For prior posts on Krauze, Vargas Llosa and Edwards, please click the links on their names below.