Corruption, politics weaken democracies, say Latin American bishops
Published: October 1, 2004
BOGOTA, Colombia (CNS) -- Many democracies in Latin America are weakened by corruption and partisan politics, said the Latin American bishops' council. These are main factors in the region's growing poverty and in the lack of government emphasis on national development programs, said the Bogota-based council. "We are experiencing forms of democracy and opportunities for freedom which in no way are the democracy we want nor the freedom we aspire to," said the document. "Corruption and partisan interests have led us to a loss of leadership and a progressive deterioration of the confidence people have in their political institutions," it said. The five-page document was issued after a Sept. 13-17 church-sponsored symposium on ethics, politics and economics in the countries of the Andean region of South America. It was posted on the bishops' council Web site Sept. 29. The symposium was held in Quito, Ecuador, and gathered bishops and lay experts from Latin America, Germany and Spain. It was organized by the bishops' council, known by its Spanish acronym as CELAM; Adveniat, a German church aid agency; and the Ecuadorean bishops' conference.
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