Colombia has risen three places to 57th on The Economist’s 2010 Index of Democracy. Amidst a worldwide decline in democracy, Colombia marginally improved its index score, yet remains the 8th most democratic Latin American country.
Uruguay is the only country in Latin America to be considered a “full democracy,” with a rating of 8.1 out of 10, putting it at 21st worldwide. Colombia’s 0.01 improvement to 6.55 still renders it a “flawed democracy,” a status that was lost by three Latin American countries with Bolivia, Honduras and Nicaragua all regressing to the category of a “hybrid regime.”
Experts have attributed the global decline in democracy to an underlying negative trend, exacerbated by the worldwide economic crisis in 2008, which has led governments to feel vulnerable and threatened. Colombia was one of 36 countries in which media freedom has deteriorated since 2008.
The overall index scores are based on five criteria: electoral process and pluralism; functioning of government; political participation; political culture; and civil liberties. Each category is given a score out of ten and then averaged.
Colombia also recently ranked 45th in an economic freedom index, the Wall Street Journal reported on the same day.