A Constitutional Amendment for Deworming

In February 2009, The Washington Post reported that three South American countries, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela, have either launched or completed ambitious efforts to rewrite their constitutions in order to expand the social and economic rights guaranteed to its citizens. For the most part these new charters are considered populist documents, reflecting the leanings of newly elected leftist regimes and emphasizing the rights of poor and indigenous people, i.e., populations that have suffered decades or even centuries of neglect in previous regimes. In Venezuela, Hugo Chavez has ruled the longest—a decade—while both Bolivia’s Evo Morales (who became the region’s first indigenous leader) and Ecuador’s Rafael Correa campaigned and won elections based on their pledges to reverse centuries of discrimination.

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