How Latin America deals with campaign finance
For months before elections, Latin Americans are bombarded by campaign publicity from his politicians, including posters, big rallies, merchandising and even cash. Who pays for all the paraphernalia of electoral democracy, and what might they get in return? tries to answer The Economist in this week issue.
The focus of the issue is mainly in the corrupt political donations made by Odebrecht and other Brazilian construction to Latin American campaigns. Nadine Heredia, the wife of Peru’s former president, Ollanta Humala, denies having received a $3m donation from Odebrecht for her husband’s victorious campaign in 2011. A former Colombian senator who admitted pocketing an Odebrecht bribe claims, without proof, that $1m went to President Juan Manuel Santos’s campaign in 2014.
In general, public financing of politics is unpopular; in Mexico it may have raised, rather than cut, the cost of campaigns. Bans on corporate donations (which exist in several countries) risk prompting recourse to organised crime for money.
Read the full article in The Economist.