Yo, el que firma y da la cara

Declaro que sólo me hago responsable de los libros y artículos publicados y firmados con mi nombre en medios con alguna seriedad. No me hago responsable de todo lo que se dijo que dicen que dije (aun cuando se haya originado de gente que respeto). No me hago responsable de los dijo que dijo que dijo que bastante ridículo me parecen algunas declaraciones como para haberlas hecho alguna vez. También aclaro y declaro que no pocos artículos y comentarios que aparecen con mi nombre nunca los he dicho ni escrito.

y que estoy bastante cansado de toda esa bazofia, que si no fuera por una creciente indiferencia, producto de la edad o de la experiencia, me parecería insufrible.

jorge majfud

Religión en América Latina / Religion in Latin America

PEW Research Center
Widespread Change in a Historically Catholic Region

Religión en Uruguay
En muchas preguntas de la encuesta, Uruguay es un caso atípico y es por mucho el país más secular de América Latina. Un total del 37% de los uruguayos dicen no tener una religión en particular o que son ateos o agnósticos. En ningún otro país latinoamericano encuestado la cantidad de personas sin afiliación religiosa asciende ni siquiera al 20% de la población.
La laicidad, o separación entre la religión y el estado, tiene una larga historia en Uruguay. En 1861, el gobierno nacionalizó los cementerios de todo el país y rompió su afiliación con las iglesias. Poco después, el gobierno prohibió que las iglesias tuvieran un rol en la educación pública y que emitieran certificados de matrimonio1. La secularización continuó en el siglo XX: Una nueva constitución consagró la separación entre la religión y la vida pública, se quitaron las referencias a Dios del juramento parlamentario y se quitaron las referencias religiosas de los nombres de las ciudades y los pueblos2.
En la actualidad, Uruguay tiene por mucho los niveles más bajos de compromiso religioso entre los países encuestados. Menos de un tercio de los uruguayos (28%) dicen que la religión es muy importante en sus vidas; en ningún otro país encuestado hay menos de cuatro de cada diez personas que digan esto.
Relativamente pocos uruguayos dicen que rezan diariamente (29%) o que asisten a servicios religiosos semanalmente (13%). En contraste, en su vecino Brasil, el 61% de los adultos dicen que rezan a diario y el 45% informan asistir a los servicios al menos una vez a la semana.
En cuanto a las opiniones y actitudes sociales frente a la moralidad, Uruguay se destaca constantemente por su liberalismo. Es el único país encuestado donde una mayoría del público está a favor de permitir que las parejas del mismo sexo se casen legalmente (62%) y donde la mitad de los adultos (54%) dicen que el aborto debería ser legal en todos los casos o en la mayoría. Además, es el único país de la región donde la mayoría (57%) dice que los líderes religiosos no deberían tener “ninguna influencia en absoluto” en asuntos políticos.

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1 Da Costa, Nestor. 2014. “The religious sphere in Uruguay: An atypical country in Latin America”. Presentación ofrecida en Pew
Research Center, Washington, D.C.
2 Alanis, Walter y Santiago Altieri. 2011. “Family law in Uruguay”. Kluwer Law International, página 96.

Religion in Latin America

Widespread Change in a Historically Catholic Region

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Cover image by Cristian Dulan (cross) and ©iStock.com/Samdebby (background); photo illustration by Pew Research Center.

Latin America is home to more than 425 million Catholics – nearly 40% of the world’s total Catholic population – and the Roman Catholic Church now has a Latin American pope for the first time in its history. Yet identification with Catholicism has declined throughout the region, according to a major new Pew Research Center survey that examines religious affiliations, beliefs and practices in 18 countries and one U.S. territory (Puerto Rico) across Latin America and the Caribbean.

PR_14.11.13_latinAmerica-overview_revised2-05Historical data suggest that for most of the 20th century, from 1900 through the 1960s, at least 90% of Latin America’s population was Catholic (See History of Religious Change). Today, the Pew Research survey shows, 69% of adults across the region identify as Catholic. In nearly every country surveyed, the Catholic Church has experienced net losses from religious switching, as many Latin Americans have joined evangelical Protestant churches or rejected organized religion altogether. For example, roughly one-in-four Nicaraguans, one-in-five Brazilians and one-in-seven Venezuelans are former Catholics.

Overall, 84% of Latin American adults report that they were raised Catholic, 15 percentage points more than currently identify as Catholic. The pattern is reversed among Protestants and people who do not identify with any religion: While the Catholic Church has lost adherents through religious switching, both Protestant churches and the religiously unaffiliated population in the region have gained members. Just one-in-ten Latin Americans (9%) were raised in Protestant churches, but nearly one-in-five (19%) now describe themselves as Protestants. And while only 4% of Latin Americans were raised without a religious affiliation, twice as many (8%) are unaffiliated today.

Many Protestants Were Raised as CatholicsMuch of the movement away from Catholicism and toward Protestantism in Latin America has occurred in the span of a single lifetime. Indeed, in most of the countries surveyed, at least a third of current Protestants were raised in the Catholic Church, and half or more say they were baptized as Catholics. For example, nearly three-quarters of current Protestants in Colombia were raised Catholic, and 84% say they were baptized as Catholics.

The survey asked former Catholics who have converted to Protestantism about the reasons they did so. Of the eight possible explanations offered on the survey, the most frequently cited was that they were seeking a more personal connection with God. Many former Catholics also said they became Protestants because they wanted a different style of worship or a church that helps its members more.

Smaller percentages of converts to Protestantism also cite other factors – such as health or family problems (a regional median of 20%) or marriage to a non-Catholic (median of 9%) – as important reasons why they are no longer Catholic.

What is a Median?

Latin Americans’ Reasons for Leaving the Catholic Church In addition, evangelization efforts by Protestant churches seem to be having an impact: Across Latin America, more than half of those who have switched from the Catholic Church to Protestantism say their new church reached out to them (median of 58%). And the survey finds that Protestants in the region are much more likely than Catholics to report sharing their faith with people outside their own religious group.

Protestants More Likely to Share FaithWhile the movement from Catholicism to Protestantism has occurred among people of all ages and socio-economic levels, the survey reveals some broad demographic patterns among converts. In most countries surveyed, pluralities of Catholic-to-Protestant converts say they left Catholicism before the age of 25. Geographic mobility may also be associated with conversion. In a few countries – Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua – Catholic-to-Protestant converts are significantly more likely than current Catholics to have changed their place of residence, rather than to have always lived in one place.1 And in a few other countries – Argentina, Bolivia and Costa Rica – converts to Protestantism are less likely than Catholics to have a secondary education, though in most places, there are no statistically significant differences between the education levels of current Catholics and those who have converted.

A “Francis Effect”?

The Catholic Church’s status in Latin America has drawn more attention since Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope in March 2013, taking the name Francis. While it is too soon to know whether Francis can stop or reverse the church’s losses in the region, the new survey finds that people who are currently Catholic overwhelmingly view Francis favorably and consider his papacy a major change for the church.

But former Catholics are more skeptical about Pope Francis. Only in Argentina and Uruguay do majorities of ex-Catholics express a favorable view of the pope. In every other country in the survey, no more than roughly half of ex-Catholics view Francis favorably, and relatively few see his papacy as a major change for the Catholic Church. Many say it is too soon to have an opinion about the pope. (For details, see Chapter 9.)

Protestant Identity in Latin America

Religious Observance

The new survey finds that Protestants in Latin America tend to be more religiously observant than Catholics. In nearly every country surveyed, Protestants say they go to church more frequently and pray more often than do Catholics; a regional median of 83% of Protestants report attending church at least once a month, compared with a median of 62% of Catholics. Protestants also are more likely than Catholics to read scripture outside of religious services, to approach the Bible literally and to believe that Jesus will return during their lifetime. (For more details, see Chapter 2.)

Appeal of Pentecostalism and Afro-Caribbean Religions

Pentecostal Identity“Evangélicos” – as Protestants in the region often are called – include many Christians who belong to Pentecostal churches. While practices vary, Pentecostal worship services often involve experiences that believers consider “gifts of the Holy Spirit,” such as divine healing, speaking in tongues and receiving direct revelations from God. Across all 18 countries and Puerto Rico, a median of nearly two-thirds of Protestants (65%) identify as Pentecostal Christians,either because they belong to a Pentecostal denomination (median of 47%) or because they personally identify as Pentecostal regardless of their denomination (median of 52%). Some Protestants identify as Pentecostal in both ways.

Although many Catholics in Latin America also say they have witnessed divine healing or other gifts of the Holy Spirit, these experiences are much less common in Catholic churches than in Protestant congregations. (For more details, see Chapter 4.)

Many Latin Americans – including substantial percentages of both Catholics and Protestants – say they subscribe to beliefs and practices often associated with Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Brazilian or indigenous religions. For example, at least a third of adults in every country surveyed believe in the “evil eye,” the idea that certain people can cast curses or spells that cause harm. Beliefs in witchcraft and reincarnation also are widespread, held by 20% or more of the population in most countries. Other beliefs and practices vary widely from country to country. For instance, a majority of Mexicans (60%) and more than a third of Bolivians (39%) say they make offerings of food, drinks, candles or flowers to spirits, but just one-in-ten Uruguayans (9%) do so. Overall, the survey finds the highest levels of indigenous or Afro-Caribbean religious practice in Panama, where most people (58%) – including 66% of Panamanian Catholics and 46% of Protestants – engage in at least three out of the eight indigenous beliefs and practices mentioned in the survey.

Differing Views on Social Issues and Helping the Poor

Even though the Catholic Church opposes abortion and same-sex marriage, Catholics in Latin America tend to be less conservative than Protestants on these kinds of social issues. On average, Catholics are less morally opposed to abortion, homosexuality, artificial means of birth control, sex outside of marriage, divorce and drinking alcohol than are Protestants.

The differences between Catholics and Protestants on most of these issues hold true even when accounting for levels of religious observance. For example, Protestants who participate in religious services at least once a week are somewhat more likely to oppose abortion and divorce – and considerably more likely to oppose homosexuality, sex outside of marriage and drinking alcohol – than are Catholics who attend Mass at least weekly.2 These differing views on social issues may help explain why many former Catholics who have become Protestants say they were looking for a church that “places greater importance on living a moral life” (a median of 60%).

Most Important Way Christians Can Help the PoorAcross the region, both Catholics and Protestants generally say it is incumbent on Christians to help the poor in their societies, but they give somewhat different answers on how best to achieve this goal. When asked what is the most important way Christians can help the poor and needy, Protestants are more likely than Catholics to point toward bringing the poor to Christ, while Catholics are more inclined to say that performing charity work for the poor is most important.

Yet across the countries surveyed, a considerably higher share of Protestants than Catholics say that they themselves or the church they attend engage in charity work – helping people find jobs, providing food and clothing for those in need or organizing other community initiatives to help the poor. (For more details, see Chapter 6.)


These are among the key findings of more than 30,000 face-to-face interviews conducted across 18 countries and Puerto Rico by the Pew Research Center between October 2013 and February 2014. The survey encompasses nearly all Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries and territories stretching from Mexico through Central America to the southern tip of South America. Due to fieldwork constraints and sensitivities related to polling about religion, Cuba could not be included; it is the only Spanish-speaking country in Latin America that was not polled.

PR_14.11.13_latinAmerica-overview-07

The survey of Latin America is part of a larger effort, the Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures project, which analyzes religious change and its impact on societies around the world. The Global Religious Futures project is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John Templeton Foundation.

The remainder of this Overview explains the major findings in greater detail and provides additional context, beginning with some comparisons with Hispanics living in the United States.

Comparisons with U.S. Hispanics

PR_14.11.13_latinAmerica-overview_revised2-06Many of the major patterns revealed by this survey mirror trends found among U.S. Hispanics, according to a 2013 Pew Research poll. The U.S. Hispanic population (now approximately 54.1 million people) is larger than the total population in all but two Latin American countries – Brazil (195 million) and Mexico (113 million).

Nearly a quarter of Hispanic adults in the United States were raised Catholic but have since left the faith (24%), while just 2% of U.S. Hispanics have converted to Catholicism after being raised in another religious tradition or with no affiliation – a net drop of 22 percentage points. The scale of this exodus is roughly on par with several Latin American countries that also have experienced steep declines in the share of adults who identify as Catholic, including Nicaragua (minus 25 percentage points), Uruguay (minus 22 points), Brazil (minus 20) and El Salvador (minus 19).

Like their counterparts in Latin America, many U.S. Hispanics have left Catholicism for Protestant churches. Protestants now account for about one-in-five Hispanics in the United States (22%), roughly the same as in Latin America (19%). In addition, a substantial number of Hispanics in the United States (18%) describe their religion as atheist, agnostic or nothing in particular. This is more than double the percentage of Latin American adults (8%) who are religiously unaffiliated.

Religious Affiliations of Latin Americans and U.S. Hispanics

Although Catholicism’s historically dominant position has weakened in recent decades (see History of Religious Change), it remains the majority religion across much of Latin America. Catholics make up an overwhelming majority (more than two-thirds) of the adult population in nine of the countries surveyed, ranging from 89% in Paraguay to 70% in Panama. Even in these heavily Catholic countries, however, Protestants now are a significant minority, constituting nearly 10% or more of the population in each country.

Catholics make up between one-half and roughly two-thirds of the population in five of the places surveyed: Chile, Costa Rica, Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Similarly, 55% of U.S. Hispanics are Catholic.

In three Central American countries – El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua – about half of the population is Catholic, while roughly four-in-ten adults describe themselves as Protestant.

Uruguay is the only country surveyed where the percentage of adults who say they are religiously unaffiliated (37%) rivals the share who identify as Catholic (42%). In addition, 15% of Uruguayans identify as Protestant. (See Religion in Uruguay.)

The Influence of Pentecostalism

Most Protestants in Latin America identify with Pentecostalism. Across 18 countries and Puerto Rico, a median of 65% of Protestants either say they belong to a church that is part of a Pentecostal denomination (median of 47%) or personally identify as a Pentecostal Christian regardless of their denomination (median of 52%), with some overlap between the categories. In the United States, fewer than half of Hispanic Protestants describe themselves as Pentecostal by church denomination (29%), self-identification (42%) or both (45%). In addition, 46% of Hispanic Catholics in the U.S. and a median of 40% of Catholics across Latin America say they are “charismatic” – a term used to describe Catholics who incorporate beliefs and practices associated with Pentecostalism into their worship.3

PR_14.11.13_latinAmerica-overview_revised2-01Significant percentages of Protestants across Latin America say that they engage in beliefs and practices associated with “gifts of the Holy Spirit,” such as divine healing and exorcism. In a majority of the countries surveyed, at least half of Protestants report that they have witnessed or experienced the divine healing of an illness or injury, and at least a third say they have experienced or witnessed the devil being driven out of a person.

Smaller but substantial shares of Catholics also report charismatic experiences. This is especially true in parts of Central America and the Caribbean, where roughly half of Catholics in El Salvador (53%), the Dominican Republic (50%), Nicaragua (49%) and Guatemala (46%) report that they have witnessed or experienced a divine healing. At least one-in-five Catholics in the Dominican Republic (36%), Honduras (26%), Guatemala (23%), Nicaragua (23%), Venezuela (22%), Panama (21%) and Colombia (21%) say they have been present for an exorcism.

The survey also asked respondents about “speaking in tongues” – a practice closely associated with Pentecostalism around the world. In a majority of the countries polled, at least one-in-five Protestants say they personally have spoken in tongues, including about four-in-ten in Panama (39%) and a third in Brazil (33%). By comparison, relatively few Catholics report speaking in tongues, ranging from 1% in Argentina, Chile and Panama to 12% in Guatemala.

Speaking in Tongues, Praying for a Miraculous Healing and Prophesying Are More Common in Protestant ChurchesThe survey also asked churchgoing respondents how often they see fellow worshipers speaking in tongues, praying for a miraculous healing or “prophesying” (spontaneously uttering a message or “word of knowledge” believed to come from the Holy Spirit). Most Latin American Protestants say that speaking in tongues, praying for a miraculous healing and prophesying are frequent occurrences in their religious services. Fewer Catholics say that such behaviors are on display during Catholic worship services, and majorities of Catholics in Uruguay (63%), Argentina (61%) and Puerto Rico (60%) report that speaking in tongues, praying for a miraculous healing and prophesying arenever part of their worship practices.

In several countries in Latin America, however, at least half of Catholics say they have witnessed these practices during Mass at least occasionally. For example, majorities of Catholics in the Dominican Republic (77%), Honduras (61%) and Paraguay (60%) say they have witnessed fellow worshipers speaking in tongues, praying for a miraculous healing or prophesying. (For definitions of terms, see the glossary.)

The Religiously Unaffiliated

Unaffiliated IdentityLatin America’s religious landscape is being reshaped not only by people who have switched from Catholic to Protestant churches but also by those who have given up any affiliation with organized religion. The unaffiliated category includes individuals who describe themselves as atheist, agnostic or having no particular religion.

Uruguay is home to the largest percentage of religiously unaffiliated adults in Latin America (37%), roughly double the share of unaffiliated people in any other country in the region. (See Religion in Uruguay.)

Across Latin America, as well as among Hispanics in the United States, most people who are unaffiliated say that they have no particular religion rather than describing themselves as atheist or agnostic. About one-in-ten or more adults in Uruguay (24%), the Dominican Republic (18%), El Salvador (12%) and Chile (11%) say they have no particular religion. In the United States, 15% of Hispanics fall into this category.

Religion in Uruguay

On many questions in the survey, Uruguay is an outlier, far and away Latin America’s most secular country. Fully 37% of Uruguayans say that they have no particular religion or are atheist or agnostic. In no other Latin American country surveyed do the religiously unaffiliated make up even 20% of the population.

Laicidad, or the separation of religion and the state, has a long history in Uruguay. In 1861, the government nationalized cemeteries across the country, breaking their affiliations with churches. Soon after, the government prohibited churches from having a role in public education or issuing marriage certificates.4 Secularization continued in the 20th century: A new constitution enshrined the separation of religion from public life, references to God were removed from the parliamentary oath and religious references were dropped from the names of cities and villages.5

Today, Uruguay has by far the lowest levels of religious commitment among the countries polled. Fewer than a third of Uruguayans (28%) say that religion is very important in their lives; in no other country surveyed do fewer than four-in-ten people say this. Relatively few Uruguayans say they pray daily (29%) or attend religious services weekly (13%). In neighboring Brazil, by contrast, 61% of adults say they pray daily, and 45% report attending services at least once a week.

When it comes to social views and attitudes toward morality, Uruguay consistently stands out for its liberalism. It is the only country surveyed where a majority of the public favors allowing same-sex couples to legally marry (62%), and where as many as half of adults (54%) say that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. And it is the only country in the region where a majority (57%) says that religious leaders should have “no influence at all” in political matters.

Religious Commitment

The Commitment GapCatholics and Protestants in Latin America differ in their levels of religious observance. In every country surveyed, Protestants are more likely than Catholics to exhibit high levels of religious commitment – that is, to say they pray daily, attend worship services at least once a week and consider religion very important in their lives. Some of the widest gaps are found in Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Peru and Uruguay, where the share of adults who demonstrate high religious commitment is at least 30 percentage points higher among Protestants than among Catholics. The gaps between Protestants and Catholics on these standard measures of religious commitment are smallest, but still statistically significant, in the Central American countries of Guatemala (17 points), Costa Rica (15) and Honduras (8). (See Chapter 2 for an analysis of each component of the religious commitment index.)

Relatively few Latin Americans who are religiously unaffiliated say they attend worship services on a weekly basis. In Puerto Rico, for example, roughly a third of religiously unaffiliated adults (32%) say religion is very important in their lives, but only 3% attend religious services once a week or more.

Age and Gender Differences in Religious Commitment

Young Protestants More Religious Than Young CatholicsIn many countries across the region, women demonstrate higher levels of religious commitment than do men, and people ages 35 and older tend to be more committed than those between the ages of 18 and 34.

Protestants generally display higher levels of religious commitment than Catholics in comparable demographic categories. For example, Protestant men report attending church more frequently than do Catholic men, and young Protestants report attending religious services more frequently than do young Catholics. These patterns prevail in nearly every country where the survey’s sample sizes are large enough to permit such comparisons.

Morality and Social Views

Religious Groups’ Views  on Same-Sex MarriageCompared with U.S. Hispanics, Latin Americans are generally more conservative when it comes to social and sexual mores. For example, in recent Pew Research polling in the United States, 46% of Hispanics support gay marriage, while 34% are opposed. In most Latin American countries, by contrast, solid majorities oppose allowing gays and lesbians to legally marry. Only in a handful of countries, such as Uruguay (62%), Argentina (52%) and Mexico (49%), do roughly half or more people favor legalizing same-sex marriage. (Same-sex marriage is currently legal inArgentina, Brazil, Uruguay and parts of Mexico, but nowhere else in Latin America.)

In most Latin American countries, opposition to same-sex marriage is more pronounced among Protestants than among Catholics. And in countries where there are adequate sample sizes to permit separate analysis of the views of religiously unaffiliated people, this group tends to be more supportive of granting marriage rights to gays and lesbians. Indeed, about two-thirds or more of the unaffiliated in Uruguay (77%), Argentina (75%), Chile (67%) and Mexico (65%) favor gay marriage.

Differences among Catholics, Protestants and the religiously unaffiliated also are apparent on other social issues. Across Latin America, Protestants generally are more likely than Catholics and the unaffiliated to say that abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, that sex outside marriage and divorce are morally wrong and that a wife is always obligated to obey her husband.

Addressing Poverty

Protestants More Likely To Participate in Charity WorkWhen asked what they think is the most important way for Christians to help the poor, Catholics in nearly every Latin American country point most often to charity work. By contrast, pluralities of Protestants in many countries say that “bringing the poor and needy to Christ” is the most important way to help. Overall, fewer members of either religious group say that “persuading government officials to protect the rights of the poor” is most important, though Catholics are somewhat more inclined than Protestants to take this position.

Even though Catholics are more likely than Protestants to say charity work is most important, higher percentages of Protestants report that they, personally, have joined with members of their church or others in their community to help the poor and needy. In most countries surveyed, solid majorities of Protestants say they have participated in charity work in the past 12 months. Among Catholics, roughly half or fewer report that they have done so.

In addition, among those who attend church, higher percentages of Protestants than Catholics say their house of worship helps people find jobs or provides food and clothing for those in need. (For more details, see Chapter 6.)

Pope Francis, the Catholic Church and Change

Pope Francis Popular Among CatholicsLatin Americans have widely embraced Pope Francis, the Argentine-born Jesuit bishop elected to lead the Catholic Church after Pope Benedict XVI resigned in 2013. Favorable views of the new pontiff prevail across the region, with two-thirds or more of the population in most countries expressing a positive opinion of Pope Francis when the survey was conducted in late 2013 and early 2014.

Latin American Catholics are particularly enthusiastic about Pope Francis, with clear majorities across the region rating him favorably. Indeed, in 14 of the countries surveyed, at least half of Catholics say they have a very favorable opinion of Francis.

Former Catholics, by comparison, are ambivalent about the new pope. Explicitly negative views of Pope Francis are relatively rare among this group, but so are overwhelmingly positive reactions, except in Francis’ home country of Argentina. For many former Catholics, the jury is still out. In most places surveyed, a third or more of ex-Catholics either offer no opinion on Francis or volunteer that it is too soon to assess him.

The survey also asked whether the election of Pope Francis signals a major change, a minor change or no change at all for the Catholic Church. Half or more of Catholics in 16 of the countries polled view the selection of the former Argentine bishop as a major change. Former Catholics are less certain; only in Argentina do as many as half (53%) see the new pope as representing a major change. As with the pope’s overall favorability, substantial percentages of former Catholics say it is too soon to tell whether Francis represents much change.

Catholics’ Views on Birth Control and Divorce

Regardless of their assessments of whether change is occurring, many Catholics think some of their church’s teachings should be revised. For instance, across Latin America, a median of 66% of Catholics say the church should allow Catholics to use artificial means of birth control, and in Chile, Venezuela, Argentina and Uruguay, roughly eight-in-ten Catholics favor a change in church teaching on contraception. In the U.S., 72% of Hispanic Catholics think the Catholic Church should permit the use of contraceptives.

There also is substantial support among Latin American Catholics (a regional median of 60%) for ending the church’s prohibition on divorce. Again, Catholics in Chile (82%), Uruguay (78%) and Argentina (77%) are among the most likely to voice support for change.

Catholics in Latin America are more divided when it comes to changes in the priesthood. Across the countries polled, a median of 48% of Catholics think priests should be allowed to marry. A similar share (regional median of 42%) say the church should permit women to be ordained as priests. On each issue, most Hispanic Catholics in the U.S. favor altering the Catholic Church’s traditional positions: 59% say priests should be allowed to marry, and 55% think women should be eligible to serve in the priesthood.

Catholics’ Views on Changes to the Priesthood

History of Religious Change

Share of Catholics Decreasing in Latin America;                                        Protestants and Religiously Unaffiliated IncreasingIn 1910, an estimated 94% of Latin Americans were Catholic, and only about 1% were Protestant. But Catholics began declining as a share of the region’s population in the 1970s, according to Brazilian and Mexican census data and historical estimates from the World Religion Database.

As of 2014, the new Pew Research Center survey finds that 69% of Latin Americans identify as Catholic, while 19% belong to Protestant churches and 8% are religiously unaffiliated (atheist, agnostic or no particular religion). The remaining 4% include Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Spiritists and adherents of Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Brazilian or indigenous religions, such as Umbanda and Candomble. (See the glossary.)

Scholars of religion in Latin America offer several possible sociological explanations for the rise of Protestantism, and especially its Pentecostal variant. One theory posits that Pentecostalism’s compatibility with indigenous religions enhanced its appeal among Latin Americans. By emphasizing personal contact with the divine through faith healing, speaking in tongues and prophesying, Pentecostalism attracts those who share an affinity with indigenous religions that traditionally incorporate beliefs and practices associated with direct communication with the “spirit world.”

Catholic Affiliation in Latin AmericaAnother potential explanation highlights the practical reasons why Pentecostalism may have gained a following in the region. Pentecostals often emphasize upward social and economic mobility and thrift. Consequently, followers of Pentecostalism may see the religion as more conducive to economic prosperity.6 Historical estimates for individual Latin American countries underscore that the shift away from Catholicism is a relatively recent phenomenon in most locations. The estimates reveal only two places that experienced double-digit declines in Catholic identity between 1910 and 1970: Chile (a decline of 20 percentage points) and Puerto Rico (a 13-point decline). In Colombia, the percentage of people who identified as Catholic actually increased by 15 percentage points between 1910 and 1970.

By comparison, the period between 1970 and 2014 is marked by significant declines in the percentages of Catholics in nearly all of the countries surveyed – ranging from a 47-point drop in Honduras to a 5-point decrease in Paraguay.

The Pew Research Center previously noted post-1970 declines in Catholic identity in Brazil and Chile. (See the 2006 Pew Research report “Spirit and Power: A 10-Country Survey of Pentecostals” and the 2013 report “Brazil’s Changing Religious Landscape.”)

About the Survey

This report is based on findings from a Pew Research Center survey conducted with generous funding from The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John Templeton Foundation. The survey took place October 2013 to February 2014 among nationally representative samples in 18 countries and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. Together, these countries and Puerto Rico account for more than 95% of the total population of Latin America. The survey was conducted through face-to-face interviews in Spanish, Portuguese and Guarani. Sample sizes and margins of error by country are available below. For more details, see the survey methodology.

Many Pew Research staff members contributed to the development of this survey and accompanying report. James Bell and Neha Sahgal were the principal researchers and the lead authors of the report. Alan Cooperman was the lead editor. Steve Schwarzer, Fatima Ghani and Michael Robbins helped design sampling plans, monitor field work and evaluate data quality. Ghani drafted Chapter 9 (Views of Pope Francis and the Catholic Church) and Juan Carlos Donoso drafted Chapter 8 (Religion and Science). Phillip Connor drafted the sections on the history of religious change in the region. Cary Funk, Jessica Martinez, Juan Carlos Esparza Ochoa and Ana Gonzalez-Barrera assisted in questionnaire development; Martinez, Jill Carle, Kat Devlin, Elizabeth Sciupac, Claire Gecewicz, Besheer Mohamed and Angelina Theodorou assisted with number checking. Sandra Stencel, Michael Lipka and Aleksandra Sandstrom provided editorial review and copy editing. Stacy Rosenberg, Bill Webster, Adam Nekola, Ben Wormald and Diana Yoo designed the graphics and online interactive presentation. Others at the Pew Research Center who contributed to the report include Conrad Hackett, Mark Lopez, Claudia Deane, Michael Dimock, Anne Shi, Katie Simmons and Jessica Schillinger. Luis Lugo, former director of the center’s Religion & Public Life Project, was instrumental in conceiving the survey and provided guidance throughout its execution.

Fieldwork for this study was carried out by Princeton Survey Research Associates under the direction of Mary McIntosh and by Ipsos Public Affairs under the direction of Clifford Young. The questionnaire benefited greatly from guidance provided by experts on religion and public opinion in Latin America, including Matias Bargsted, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile; Andrew Chesnut of Virginia Commonwealth University; Nestor Da Costa of Instituto Universitario CLAEH and Universidad Catolica del Uruguay, Uruguay; Juan Cruz Esquivel of CONICET – Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina; Silvia Fernandes of Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Frances Hagopian of Harvard University’s Department of Government; Fortunato Mallimaci of CONICET – Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina; Catalina Romero, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Peru; and Mitchell Seligson of Vanderbilt University.

  1. The finding that converts to Protestantism are more likely than Catholics to have relocated within their country is consistent with some scholars’ hypothesis that religious change in Latin America might be linked to modernization in the region, including urbanization. See, for example, Chesnut, Andrew. 1997. “Born Again in Brazil: The Pentecostal Boom and the Pathogens of Poverty.” Rutgers University Press. A full analysis of demographic differences between current Catholics and former Catholics who are now Protestants, including rates of relocation and education, can be found inChapter 1 of this report.
  2. See Chapter 2 for a comparison of Catholics who attend Mass weekly with Protestants who attend church services at least once a week, focusing on attitudes toward social issues and gender roles.
  3. For more information on global Pentecostalism, see the Pew Research Center’s 2006 report “Spirit and Power – A 10-Country Survey of Pentecostals.”
  4. Da Costa, Nestor. 2014. “The religious sphere in Uruguay: An atypical country in Latin America.” Presentation delivered at Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C.
  5. Alanis, Walter and Santiago Altieri. 2011. “Family Law in Uruguay.” Kluwer Law International, page 96.
  6. See Chesnut, Andrew. 2007. “Competitive Spirits: Latin America’s New Religious Economy.” Oxford University Press; Martin, David. 1990. “Tongues of Fire: The Explosion of Protestantism in Latin America.” Blackwell; and Stoll, David. 1990. “Is Latin America Turning Protestant? The Politics of Evangelical Growth.” University of California Press.

source http://www.pewforum.org/2014/11/13/religion-in-latin-america/

Interviuri cu scriitor Jorge Majfud

REVISTA FORUMUL JUDECÃTORILOR

Revistã semestrialã de atitudine si studii juridice Nr. 1/2014

EDITURA UNIVERSITARÃ Bucureoti

INTERVIURI

Despre justiþie si judecãtori

Interviuri cu scriitor Jorge Majfud

Coperta RFJ nr. 1-2014

Majfud Romania RFJ nr. 1-2014 (2)

Nãscut în septembrie 1969 în Tacuarembó, Uruguay, Jorge Majfud a absolvit studiile acolii Naþionale de Arte Frumoase (Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes) oi Facultatea de Arhitecturã din cadrul Universitãþii de la República din Uruguay. Deþine un masterat în literaturã oi un doctorat în Filosofie oi Litere la Universitatea din Georgia în 2008. În ultimii ani s-a dedicat în totalitate literaturii oi articolelor prin diverse cãi de comu- nicaþie. Este cunoscut mai ales pentru romanele sale oi pentru eseurile critice care au apãrut cu regularitate în prestigioase publicaþii din toatã lumea. Este membru al comitetului otiinþific al revistei Araucaria din Spania oi al revistei The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi din Statele Unite ale Americii, organizaþie care selecteazã profesorii cei mai renumiþi din þarã oi membru profesionist al PEN Club Internacional.

Majfud a primit mai multe premii la concursuri literare internaþionale, printre care oi Premiul Menþiune Casa de las Américas (La Habana, Cuba, 2001), pentru romanul „Regina Americii” (La Reina de América). În anul 2012, revista Foreign Policy l-a desemnat ca fiind unul dintre cei mai influenþi 10 intelectuali ibero-americani.

Eseurile oi
articolele sale
au fost traduse
în portughezã, francezã, englezã, germanã, italianã, bascã, greacã oi în multe alte limbi.10

  1. Dacã ar trebui sã vã adresaþi unei instanþe din þara dumneavoastrã pentru a vã proteja drepturile, aþi avea încredere în sistemul judiciar?

Eu ao spune, oi acesta în ciuda înclinaþiei mele naturale spre scepticism, cã atât în Uruguay, cât oi în Statele Unite ale Americii, sistemul judiciar se bucurã de suficientã încredere. Deoi în diverse articole (oi ulterior într-o scrisoare deschisã de anul trecut semnatã alãturi de Juan Gelman, Eduardo Galeano oi Emilio Cafassi, fãrã ca vreunul dintre noi sã fie jurist, ci dintr-o perpectivã mai puþin specializatã)11, am criticat dur o decizie a Curþii Supreme de Justiþie din Uruguay referitoare la dictatura trecutã, aceasta nu înseamnã cã sunt împotriva Curþii oi cu atât mai puþin împotriva sistemului judiciar din Uruguay, despre care înþeleg cã oferã toate garanþiile unui stat democratic oi al unei societãþi destul de deschise. Este redundant sã menþionez cã niciunul dintre aceste sisteme nu este perfect, ci toate sunt perfectibile, precum democraþia însãoi, ca orice lucru legat de fiinþa umanã. Nedreptatea face parte din orice sistem de justiþie, dar virtutea cea mai importantã a acestora este acceptarea criticii oi prefigurarea unor modificãri oi corecturi care pot fi determinate de oricare dintre cetãþenii sãi. În Statele Unite ale Americii sistemul este cumva diferit oi cetãþenii pot inclusiv participa la un proces, ceea ce adaugã o dimensiune democraticã, dar oi o dimensiune psihologicã oi culturã care îoi are riscurile sale. Eu însumi am fost de mai multe ori convocat pentru a face parte din aceste jurii care trebuie sã se ocupe de cazuri extreme; evident, am refuzat dând diverse scuze de la caz la caz.

  1. Ce mãsuri consideraþi oportune pentru consolidarea independenþei justiþiei oi câotigarea încrederii cetã- þenilor (avocaþi, judecãtori, procurori etc.)?

Cred cã încrederea în justiþia formalã începe odatã cu un sistem specific oi prima condiþie ar fi independenþa puterilor. Apoi, acea încredere se modeleazã pentru o culturã oi un stil, în acest caz pentru o culturã care sã combatã corupþia oi un stil ritual. Prima provine din umanism oi iluminism, în ce cealaltã se trage din superstiþiile cele mai vechi. Independenþa îoi are propriile limite oi dã naotere la întrebãri atunci când judecãtorii de scaun sunt aleoi de preoedinte oi confirmaþi de cãtre parlament, cum este cazul Statelor Unite. Dar ulterior permanenþa sau efici- enþa acestor judecãtori este pozitivã dintr-un anumit punct de vedere, întrucât sunt astfel îndepãrtaþi de avatarele politice ale oricãrei democraþii: dacã funcþiile lor nu depind de opiniile lor juridice, atunci judecãtorii tind sã fie mai independenþi. Sunt sigur cã cel mai rãu ce s-ar putea întâmpla unei democraþii ar fi ca cetãþenii sãi sã lase politica pe mâna unor politicieni profesionioti, dar nu sunt la fel de sigur de asta în cazul sistemului judiciar. Din contrã, cred cã ar trebui sã se bazeze în mare parte pe un grad înalt de profesionalism oi disputele sã fie rezolvate de specialioti. Cu toate acestea, ar fi o eroare sã se opreascã motorul oricãrei justiþii, al oricãrei democraþii oi al progresului istoric însuoi, acolo unde aceasta poate exista, oi anume critica. Dintr-un punct de vedere total opus, cred cã lumea ar respecta mai mult judecãtorii dacã aceotia nu ar apãrea atât de mult în spaþiul public. În acelaoi fel a funcþionat timp de câteva milenii stilul vestimentar al magistraþilor oi al preoþilor. Este o formã destul de neplãcutã de a confirma o autoritate prin distanþã oi a funcþionat din neolitic, dacã nu mai devreme.

  1. Care ar trebui sã fie rolul unui ministru al justiþiei, membru al guver- nului (oi solidar cu deciziile luate de guvern)?

Minim sau niciunul. Deoi acest minister existã în mai multe state din lume, pare o contradicþie de fond, poate o rãmãoiþã a unei tradiþii monarhice, nu republicane (dincolo de faptul cã existã în multe republici), oi poate de aceea mai existã încã un Minister al Justiþiei în Spania. În Franþa are rolul unui supraveghetor, deoi chiar oi aoa este un supervizor politic al unei puteri care ar trebui sã fie apoliticã oi liberã de orice presiune politicã pãrtinitoare. Dacã aceasta nu a fost niciodatã practica acestor ministere, mãcar ar trebui sã le schimbe denumirea. „Ministerul Justiþiei” este, tehnic vorbind, un oximoron republican.

  1. Care ar fi mãsurile adecvate care trebuie luate pentru o „definitivã” separaþie între puterile politice oi judiciare? Este o utopie?

Bineînþeles cã este o utopie, la fel cum sunt obiectivitatea, libertatea, adevãrul oi democraþia. Sunt utopii din moment ce sunt concepte ideale, platonice. Dar dacã sunt utopice sau ideale, asta nu înseamnã cã nu sunt practice, având în vedere cã prezentul lumii materiale se explicã prin trecut, prezentul fiinþelor umane se explicã în mare parte prin viitorul lor. Aceste idealuri oi aceste utopii sunt principalele busole ale societãþii moderne: niciodatã nu se ajunge la Nord oi nici nu se doreote, dar servesc pentru a oti în ce parte sã o luãm la fiecare rãscruce de drumuri, adicã la fiecare crizã. Un aspect practic l-ar putea constitui slãbirea progresivã, în mãsura posibilului, a tuturor pârghiilor puterii publice (guvernul) oi ale puterii private (corporaþiile).

  1. Sunteþi de acord cu ideea de a filma oi difuza procesele judiciare?

Din perspectiva dreptului la informare al cetãþeanului, ao fi tentat sã rãspund da. Totuoi, aceasta implicã multe alte riscuri: nu cred cã expunerea întregului sistem oi a protagoniotilor sãi unei drame extreme la practicile oi legile spectacolului mediatic (ceva asemãnãtor cu ceea ce se întâmplã la unele nivele din sistemul judiciar din Statele Unite oi care corespunde dorinþei voyeriste a societãþii de consum oi a paradoxalelor reþele sociale) este negativ, poate chiar pervers.

  1. În opinia dumneavoastrã, jude- cãtorul ideal existã deja sau încã nu s-a nãscut?

Aceasta numai în glumã poate, cel puþin cât timp ne miocãm în sfera umanã a metafizicii. În aceastã ipotezã, bineînþeles, un credincios nu ar avea dubii cã judecãtorul ideal existã oi a existat întotdeauna (deoi procesul perfect, Judecata de Apoi, mama tuturor utopiilor începând cu anticii egipteni, încã nu a sosit). Este posibil ca într-un viitor apropiat sã se creeze vreun software oi un supercalculator care sã soluþioneze sau mãcar sã ofere o „soluþie tehnicã” asupra unei speþe determinate din viaþa de zi cu zi. Cu toate acestea, nu doar ideea cã justiþia oi-ar putea avea variantele sale, ci oi o lume judecatã de maoini ar fi o lume cel puþin monstruoasã.

Copyright © 2014
Editura Universitarã
Editor: Vasile Muscalu
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© Toate drepturile asupra acestei lucrãri sunt rezervate pentru Editura Universitarã oi Asociaþia Forumul Judecãtorilor din România
ISSN 2065-8745
DOI: (Digital Object Identifier): 10.5682/20658745

Spanish version:

  1. Si debe acudir a un tribunal de su paíspara proteger sus derechos, ¿tendría confianza en el sistema judicial?

JM: Yo diría, y muy a pesar de mi natural tendencia al escepticismo, que tanto en Uruguay como en Estados Unidos el sistema judicial es bastante confiable. Aunque en varios artículos (y luego en una carta abierta firmada con Juan Gelman, Eduardo Galeano y Emilio Cafassi, sin ser juristas ninguno de nosotros sino desde un punto de vista menos específico) el año pasado critiqué duramente una decisión de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de Uruguay referida a la pasada dictadura, eso no significa que esté en contra de la Corte y mucho menos del sistema judicial de Uruguay, el cual, entiendo, ofrece todas las garantías de un país democrático y de una sociedad relativamente abierta. Está de más decir que ninguno de éstos son sistemas perfectos sino perfectibles, como la democracia misma, como cualquier cosa referida al ser humano. La injusticia es parte de cualquier sistema de justicia, pero la mayor virtud de éstos es la aceptación de la crítica y la previsión de enmiendas y correcciones que puedan ser impulsadas por parte de cualquiera de sus ciudadanos. En Estados Unidos el sistema es algo diferente y los ciudadanos pueden incluso participar en un juicio, lo cual agrega una dimensión democrática pero también una dimensión psicológica y cultural que tiene sus riesgos. Yo mismo he sido convocado más de una vez para integrar estos jurados que deben ocuparse de casos extremos; naturalmente, decliné dando las excusas del caso.

  1. ¿Cuáles serían las medidas adecuadas para reforzar la independencia de la Justicia y ganar la confianza de la gente (abogados, jueces, fiscales etc.)?

 JM: Creo que la confianza en la justicia formal comienza por un determinado sistema y su primera condición es la independencia de poderes. Luego, esa confianza se refuerza por una cultura y un estilo, en este caso por una cultura que resista la corrupción y un estilo ritual. Una procede del humanismo y la Ilustración y la otra de las supersticiones más antiguas. La independencia tiene sus límites y es cuestionable cuando los jueces de cortes son elegidos por un presidente y confirmado por un parlamento, como es el caso de Estados Unidos. Pero luego la permanencia o efectividad de dichos jueces es positiva en un aspecto, ya que los aleja de los avatares políticos de cualquier democracia: si sus cargos no dependen de sus opiniones jurídicas, entonces los jueces tienden a ser más independientes.  No tengo dudas que lo peor que le puede pasar a una democracia es que sus ciudadanos dejen la política en manos de los políticos profesionales, pero no estoy tan seguro en el caso de un sistema judicial. Por el contrario, creo que debe basarse en gran medida en un alto profesionalismo y sus disputas deben ser atendidas por especialistas. No obstante, sería un error apagar el principal motor de cualquier justicia, de cualquier democracia y del progreso histórico mismo, allí donde pueda haberlo, que es la crítica. Desde un punto de vista radicalmente diferente, creo que la gente respetaría más a los jueces si éstos no opinaran tanto en público. En el mismo sentido ha funcionado desde hace milenos la indumentaria de los magistrados y sacerdotes. Es una forma bastante odiosa de confirmar una autoridad a través de la distancia y ha funcionado desde el neolítico, sino desde antes.

  1. ¿Cuál debería ser el papel de un Ministro de Justicia, miembro un gobierno (y solidario con las decisiones tomadas por ese gobierno)?

 JM: Mínimo o ninguno. Aunque este ministerio existe en muchos países del mundo, parece una contradicción de fondo, quizás un resabio de una tradición monárquica, no republicana (más allá de que exista en muchas republicas), y quizás por ello todavía existe en España un Ministerio de Justicia. En Francia es como un supervisor, pero aún así es un supervisor político de un poder que debería ser apolítico y libre de cualquier presión política partidaria. Si esta nunca ha sido la práctica de estos ministerios, por lo menos deberían cambiarles de nombre.“Ministerio de Justicia” es técnicamente un oxímoron republicano.

  1.  ¿Cuáles serían las medidas adecuadas que deberían tomarse para lograr la separación “definitiva” de los poderes político y judicial? ¿O es una utopía?

 JM: Claro que es una utopía, como lo son la objetividad, la libertad, la verdad y la democracia en sí mismo. Son utopías desde el momento en que son conceptos ideales, platónicos. Pero no por utópicos o ideales dejan de ser prácticos, ya que si el presente del mundo material se explica por su pasado, el presente de los seres humanos se explica en gran parte por su futuro. Esos ideales y esas las utopías son las principales brújulas de una sociedad moderna: nunca se alcanza el Norte ni se pretende, pero sirven para saber hacia dónde debemos dirigirnos en cada cruce de camino, es decir, en cada crisis. Un aspecto práctico consistiría en debilitar progresivamente en la medida de lo posible todos los lazos del poder público (el gobierno) y los del poder privado (las corporaciones).

  1.  ¿Está de acuerdo con la idea de filmar los procesos para televisarlos luego?

 JM: Desde un punto de vista del derecho a la información del ciudadano, estaría tentado a responder que sí. Sin embargo, esto tiene muchos otros riesgos: no creo que exponer todo un sistema y a sus protagonistas de un drama extremo a las prácticas y a las leyes del espectáculo mediático (algo que se está volviendo común en algunos niveles del sistema judicial estadounidense y que responde al morbo voyerista de la sociedad de consumo y de las paradójicas redes sociales) es negativo, quizás hasta perverso.

  1. Según su opinión,  ¿el juez ideal ya existe o todavía está por nacer?

 JM: Eso no pasa de una broma, al menos que nos movamos de la esfera humana a la metafísica. En ese caso, claro, un creyente no tendría dudas de que el Juez ideal existe y siempre ha existido (aunque el juicio perfecto, el Juicio Final, la madre de todas las utopías desde los antiguos egipcios, todavía no ha tenido lugar). Es posible que en un futuro cercano se cree algún software y alguna supercomputadora para resolver o al menos tener una “opinión técnica” sobre un caso determinado en la vida del más acá. No obstante, no sólo la idea de justicia puede tener sus variantes sino que un mundo juzgado por maquinas sería un mundo por lo menos monstruoso.

Cuando la resistencia es progreso y el cambio, reacción

Al día siguiente de las elecciones parlamentarias en Estados Unidos un estudiante me preguntó qué cambios importantes veía en el país a partir del histórico triunfo del partido republicano. “Ninguno”, dije. “Sí veo cambios, pero ninguno importante”. Es parte de un patrón histórico.

Para empezar, el amplio triunfo del partido opositor en el segundo mandato del presidente no es ninguna novedad. Como todos saben, la política es un asunto de intereses para unos pocos, de ideas para unos más y de puras emociones para los demás. Sobre todo en una campaña electoral, lo que triunfa es el “espíritu de partido”, que es una forma elegante de decir “el espíritu futbolístico”: una vez que alguien toma posición, la verdad pasa a ser apenas un legitimador; lo que importa es vencer. Por otra parte, ¿quién puede confiar plenamente en un político? Muchos de ellos hacen trabajos muy nobles, altruistas y sacrificados, pero por la lógica interna de la democracia representativa, poco o nada pueden hacer si pierden las elecciones. Y para ganarlas deben, antes que nada, seducir a un electorado. En otras palabras, deben adularlo, deben decirle lo que quiere escuchar, no lo contrario. Conozco pocos políticos que se dedican a desafiar al electorado. Obviamente, ninguno de ellos ha ganado la presidencia. En Estados Unidos, uno de esos casos es el viejo lobo Ron Paul, del partido republicano.

Si comparamos en términos estándar, Estados Unidos se encuentra de lejos mejor de lo que estaba al terminar la presidencia de George Bush. Hoy en día el país tiene (según el método de medición tradicional) una tasa de desempleo del 5,8%. En los últimos años se han creado mensualmente un promedio de 220.000 puestos de trabajo. Casi todas las industrias, como las automotoras que habían quebrado en el 2009, han recobrado los primeros lugares en la producción mundial y tienen billonarios superávits. El mercado inmobiliario se ha reactivado con una borrachera de inversiones extranjeras y otras nacionales que retornaron. Hace meses que el combustible baja cada día, no solo por los problemas económicos en otras partes del mundo sino por el exceso de producción de petróleo nacional (en gran parte debido a las nuevas y cuestionables tecnologías de extracción), lo cual ha llevado al país a exportar este producto, algo impensable diez años atrás. La economía ha crecido cada año desde 2010. Para este año se prevé un crecimiento similar a los anteriores, alrededor del 2% que, comparado con el 0,5% de Brasil y algo similar en la Eurozona, no es un numero pequeño, aún más considerando que se trata de la primera economía mundial. Wall Street sigue rompiendo récords, a pesar de atendibles advertencias de un nuevo estallido de las bolsas.

No es menos cierto que, mientras los ricos y las corporaciones han multiplicado sus beneficios (en todos los países las crisis son excelentes negocios para quienes tienen dinero), la clase media apenas ha visto una mínima parte de esa bonanza. Pero esta tendencia no es nueva. Tiene, por lo menos, cuatro décadas. Tampoco es nueva la poca memoria histórica del pueblo, por la cual cada cuatro años expresa su “frustración por el rumbo que ha tomado el país”, como si todo se tratase de la obra de un individuo que ocupa la presidencia. En parte es una característica de la cultura protestante: como en las tapas de las revistas Time, se ven rostros, individuos concretos, no realidades abstractas, no cambios o permanencias históricas. En parte, es la lógica del sistema representativo.

Esos individuos se sienten frustrados y, en cada elección (como en cualquier otro país donde existe este sistema, nunca suficiente pero necesario en cualquier democracia representativa), luchan desesperadamente para que su partido gane con la ilusión de un cambio. Porque de eso se trata básicamente: mantener la ilusión de que, si el partido opositor gana las elecciones, las cosas van a cambiar.

Demócratas y republicanos son más o menos el mismo partido. Puede ser que con uno haya alguna que otra guerra más o menos, alguna clase social se beneficie de algún que otro plan: los conservadores republicanos, que hace dos o tres generaciones eran los liberales, probablemente insistan en recortar impuestos a las clases mas adineradas; los liberales demócratas, que hace dos o tres generaciones eran los conservadores, probablemente insistan en extender el seguro de desempleo o las ayudas familiares. Pero básicamente, todas son variaciones de un mismo partido conservador.

La idea de que los partidos políticos han hecho los cambios en un país normalmente es una ilusión. En Estados Unidos, por ejemplo, esos mismos partidos que en cada elección insisten con la palabra “cambio” han sido, irónicamente, los que han impedido o retrasados esos mismos cambios fundamentales.

Echemos una mirada al siglo XX, por lo menos desde la Segunda Guerra hasta hoy. Por la misma naturaleza de la democracia representativa que mencionaba antes, los políticos parten y terminan en el discurso correcto, es decir, evitan hasta donde sea posible desafiar el status quo, que es donde surge la narrativa social. Ahora veamos todos los ejemplos d​e verdaderos​ cambios sociales en este país, desde la lucha por los derechos civiles de los negros, simbolizada y simplificada en la figura de Martin Luther King; la lucha de los trabajadores hispanos que también fue una lucha protoecologista, liderada por Cesar Chávez en el oeste; los movimientos antibélicos de los sesenta; las revisiones de la historia colonialista, imperialista e intervencionista de las potencias noroccidentales, generalmente realizada por malditos intelectuales; la lucha por los derechos de las mujeres, de los homosexuales, y un largo etcétera.

Dichos cambios sociales, grandes o pequeños, fueron impulsados por movimientos sociales de resistencia que, paradójicamente significaron progreso social. Todos esos logros fueron posibles, no por los partidos políticos, sino a pesar de ellos.

Entonces, ¿quiénes representan el cambio y quienes la reacción? ¿Quiénes son los verdaderos motores y salvaguardas de la democracia? ¿Los partidos políticos o los movimientos sociales que lucharon contra esas fuerzas reaccionarias? Como siempre, y por la misma lógica, cuando alguna de esas luchas, luego de años de resistencia feroz, lograba imponerse en cierta minoría significativa (como hace 1.700 años Constantino comprendió que tenía más que perder si no reconocía y oficializaba a los cristianos perseguidos), el poder político sube al poder (es decir, se mantiene en él) secuestrando el discurso de los nuevos valores que antes combatía para presentarlos como una reivindicación propia con un discurso de cambio.

Y la gente vuelve a pensar que algún partido puede hacer una gran diferencia, cuando su misión es precisamente la contraria: resistir los cambios hasta donde sea posible. Y, cuando estos verdaderos cambios se hacen imparables, entonces sí, se presentan como los campeones del progreso.

 http://www.huffingtonpost.es/jorge-majfud/cuando-la-resistencia-es-_b_6133478.html 

El Huffington Post

“Que vuelvan las botas”

“Que vuelvan las botas”

 

Según el diario La República, “constitucionalistas y especialistas en derecho penal consideran que las expresiones de la dirigente del Partido Nacional Ana María Ugolini de que ‘vuelvan las botas ya’, constituye un delito de incitación a la violencia, ya que se interpreta como una instigación al golpe de Estado”.

En mi modesta opinión, aunque la legislación uruguaya tiene sus particularidades,  como todas, creo que la libertad de expresión debe ser algo radical. Es uno de los pocos principios que se pueden establecer en una ley o en una constitución y llevarla a la práctica, pese a su idealismo. Si limitamos la libertad de expresión en cualquier sentido, luego alguien más podrá continuar recortándola con cualquier otro argumento.

Cuando criticamos el excesivo poder de los grandes medios de prensa, no lo hacemos para limitar la libertad de nadie sino para potenciar la libertad de todos por igual, aunque esto de la libertad es un principio idealista casi imposible de llevarlo a la practica; no solo porque toda libertad está naturalmente limitada por mil factores (existenciales, económicos, políticos, culturales, intelectuales), sino porque libertad sin poder no existe, razón por la cual lo ideal no es la libertad, a secas, sino la “igual-libertad” de cada individuo.

El peor castigo de estupideces como “que vuelvan las botas”, dicho por alguien que participó de una elección y perdió, es haberlo dicho. Y si quien sostiene estas palabras no se avergüenza de semejante barbarismo antidemocrático, de cualquier forma es siempre conveniente que todos sepan qué piensan realmente algunos políticos.

¿O alguien cree que es mejor que los golpistas permanezcan en las sombras o camuflados de otra cosa?

Ya bastante trabajo tenemos con la autocensura, con la tiranía de lo políticamente correcto, de las narrativas y narraturas sociales; ya bastante trabajo tenemos todos con el miedo de aquellos que no dicen lo que realmente piensan por no sufrir las consecuencias de alguien con más poder, como un empleado que teme perder su modesto trabajo si critica a su jefe; como un periodista que sabe que los anunciantes de los cuales depende su diario pagarán con su silencio y su magnánima retirada cualquier discrepancia ideológica, porque ése es su derecho, el derecho a la dulce y silenciosa extorción que por todas partes ejercen quienes tienen dinero en desproporciones significativas, que es cuando el dinero merece realmente llamarse “efectivo”.

Si se modificara la ley que impide que la libertad de expresión sea radical y absoluta, los ciudadanos decentes podrían entrarse de muchas cosas de sus vecinos, como los odios raciales, sexuales, ideológicos, religiosos, etc. Claro que siempre queda el viejo recurso de la hipocresía, pero al menos los más honestos hijos de puta saldrían de vez en cuando de sus closets de odio.

¿Alguien puede ser acusado de incitar a la violencia por decir lo que piensa, demostrando, de paso, una grave discapacidad intelectual?

Bueno, pero qué no es incitación a la violencia en un mundo como el nuestro que dista aun varios siglos ser un mundo civilizado? ¿No es todo un orden mundial la más perfecta incitación a la violencia? ¿No es toda nuestra cultura consumista, del Norte y del Sur, del Este y del Oeste, una incitación a la violencia? ¿No es la ignorancia la más radical y la más antigua de todas las incitaciones a la violencia? Con el agravante de que cada día somos más ignorantes a medida que nos convertimos en cyborgs, primero, y en robots, después. ¿Vanos a protegernos de la ignorancia prohibiendo que los ignorantes hablen? No, no; que hablen.

El odio no se previene callando y mucho menos imponiendo silencio. Por el contrario, se pudre, y no se detecta hasta que hiede y es demasiado tarde para advertirlo. Es mejor escuchar y leer estos barbarismos con nombre y apellido que verlos multiplicados como la peste en los foros anónimos de los diarios electrónicos, donde la gente va a vomitar todas sus frustraciones.

Algo positivo hay que reconocerle a esta señora: dio la cara y firmó con su nombre, cosa que ya se está volviendo una rareza en esta cultura global de la incitación al odio y a la violencia.

 

Jorge Majfud

 

Eco Latino int

http://www.ecolatino.com/en/news/local-stories/2014-11-05/story/jorge-majfud 

Jorge MaJfud

  1. Jorge MaJfud
  2. by Mario Bahamón Dussán

    Who is Who?, seeks to highlight and make known the work of the hispanic residents in north Florida outstanding in activities useful to our society

    In this edition, Eco Latino wants to highlight the Uruguayan writer and educator Jorge Majfud resident of Jacksonville. Author of the novels: La reina de América (2001), La ciudad de la Luna (2009) y Crisis (2012).

    Doctor Majfud was honored with the Excellence in Research Award in Humanities and Letters. Was a finalist in the contest Casa de America and Juan Rulfo. He is one of the most important Latin American Writers from the new generation.

    Ecolatino: How did you get to the United States?

    Jorge Majfud: A professor of the University of Georgia, that had read my books, invited me to apply for a scholarship at his university. After the GRE and TOEFL, I started a graduate degree where I worked as a teaching assistant. It was an opportunity to devote completely to my first vocation.

    EL: What do you miss most about Uruguay?

    JM: My parents, my people, the value given to time as a human experience and not as financial resource, all of that doesn’t exist anymore and I can only visit it from time to time in my memory.

    How did you get involved with Jacksonville University?

    JM: After UGA, I taught for two years at Lincoln University, but my family and I aren’t made for cold weather, snow and shadows. I looked for a city in frontof the ocean and coincidentally there was a request for a Spanish and literature professor at JU. After the process of interviews, I got the offer to come here. JU has one of the most beautiful campus in the country, a team of very professional teachers and students with merits and respectful, in a city with a river, an ocean and a nature that allows outdoor life the whole year.

    What message would you give to the Hispanics that want to succeed in the United States?

    JM: I always tell my students not to believe me, I tell them to investigate by themselves. But if you ask me, I’d tell them to first reconsider what succeeding means. If it’s about a project that helps the passion for life, it’s welcome. If it’s about being rich and famous, it’s very probable that they’ll turn into poor and unknown. And if any of them gets rich and famous, perhaps he or she will end up like many of the rich and famous we know, which is very discouraging. Isn’t? In the United States there are many possibilities, a lot of good people, almost as much as the other ones. If we consider the terrible initial conditions of many immigrants, the fact that they can support their families, it’s already a bigger success than the one of any new rich. There are very few groups as hardworking and sacrificed as immigrants. Many illegal immigrants don’t even speak English, they don’t have documents, they don’t know the law and they don’t get many of the state benefits and despite all this, they find a job while others who prefer to stay home and benefit from the help of the same state complain that immigrants are taking their jobs. They are shameless. Then, the invisible immigrants expelled from their countries arrive here and are blamed for all the bad things. But the world has always been unfair, so until something is done to improve it, there is a lot that can be done to live the life that we have with as much joy as possible. That’s succeeding, according to me. In any case, the formula is very simple: acquire the sense of responsibility, sacrifice and joy of children. Without that, the rest of the skills are not as useful or are useless on the long run.

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