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What a Year of Referendums Says About Latin American Politics

December 19, 2018

It was a big year for elections in Latin America: There were seven new presidents in total, with voters in Mexico and Brazil bucking the status quo by backing anti-establishment presidential candidates.

That it was also a big year for referendums is no coincidence – while voters vented their frustration with political leadership, politicians themselves looked for ways to distance themselves from the establishment and appeal to voters directly on issues of policy.

In Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru politicians resorted to a form of direct democracy that, if...

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