Unfulfilled Promises Latin America Today
Catalina Botero (Colombia)
Robert Muggah (Canada)
Augusto de la Torre (Ecuador)
Alain Ize (Mexico)
George Gray Molina (Bolivia)
Ana Covarrubias (Mexico).
Fecha de publicación:
THEDIALOGUE Leadership for the Americas
In 1992, in commemoration of the 500-year anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s first voyage to the Americas, Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes penned one of the most notable essays ever written on Ibero-American history entitled The Buried Mirror. In this essay, he compared the region’s troubled past to the construction of a tall building in Mexico City, a building that is never fully finished in spite of gradual, permanent progress. The construction of Latin America, he claimed, was just as incomplete. It was a work that was “advancing yet unfinished, energetic yet fraught with seemingly insoluble problems” (Fuentes 1992).
Over 20 years have passed since Fuentes’s seminal essay. Most countries
in the region find themselves amid the opposite commemoration: the bicentennial of their independence. Yet it is fair to say that the image of that unfinished building continues to be the most accurate depiction of Latin American reality. Our inability to carry out plans and objectives, our difficulty in finishing tasks, our propensity to improvise and to look for the easy way out instead of finding long-term solutions continue to be the signs of our predicament.