(First of all, for those wondering why this post is part of the “Human Rights Facts” series on this blog, there’s a post here describing the reasons why democracy is a human right).
You can find world-wide data on support for democracy as a form of government here, but this post focuses specifically on Latin America. Support for democracy of course fluctuates for many reasons: the state of the economy, the quality of the elected politicians, corruption scandals, the strength or weakness of other ideologies etc. Many data on popular support for democracy also don’t distinguish between people’s abstract support for democracy as a form of government, and their support for the actual government that is in power, or between their support for democracy as an ideal and democracy as it actually functions in their countries at a particular time.
The following data do seem to make these important distinctions:
The data show that support for democracy as an idea is higher than support for the actually existing democracies. But even the latter kind of support has, in most countries of South-America, increased over the last years.