By Luis Alonso Garcia Calderon - International Relations degree student
To think that there is only one religion or that you can assure that most of the people in a state feel represented by the same ideologies might have been possible if we look back into history, but in the most recent years people have started to believe in things as important as religion from many different points of view, and society has failed to adapt to these changes, for instance as it has been seen in repeated occasions when making state decisions in the recent years. There is always going to be a group of people against the idea, not because it affects them directly or it will induce any harm, but because it goes opposite to what they believe. In the years to come, states will need to find a balance and, in the end, address the matters in the most reciprocal way they can so that every group feels represented.
Not so long ago most of the people in Latin America were considered catholic, for instance due to different social and moral conditions the amount of people who considered themselves catholic went from an 80% into a 59% from 1985 to 2017, which is a huge decrease of power for the catholic church. And, as a matter of fact, the institution that has gained the most out of this is the evangelic church. Some people started looking into other options as to what to believe in, either because of a loss of trust on the people who represent this institution, or simply because they wanted to explore around different ideologies looking for something to believe in that goes more according to their expectations.
Changes in politics as important as the OC24/17 from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Arce, 2018), that refer to topics as polemic and specific as same gender marriage, are triggers for the population to share their opinions and concerns, most specifically for specific groups to show their support for what they believe in and discredit whatever goes against their ideologies. Using this topic as an example opens the possibility to take a deeper approach into the 2018 Costa Rica election in which, without any precedent, an evangelic party got into the second round of the national election taking out of the race the most traditional political parties based only on the premise of “keeping family as it is and defending its integrity” which goes directly against what the international agreement states. The evangelic candidate even got a 24,99% of the votes getting first place in the first round, against the second place that got 21,63% of the votes but also gained a ticket to the second round. (Granados, 2019).
In the end, the evangelic party ended up losing, but it set up a precedent of how much the political odds changed only based on the fact that there was an international matter going on that didn’t compelled what a certain amount of the population. It can even be called as one of the biggest shows of intolerance and how before allowing this international opinion to change the course of the country, a catholic country according to its constitution nearly chose not only an evangelic president but one that, before running for the position, was an actual priest with very little knowledge on politics in comparison to his opponents.
Latin America has seen many changes throughout the years, but some of the most notable have been the states leaning more towards satisfying the different ideologies, as more movements come into the equation the harder it becomes to a country to make the necessary choices for its development and, most important, to try and make the most people they can be on board with these decisions. When talking about a democratic representation the different powers really help things go as multilateral as they can, but also that is when a state starts questioning how effective it is to comply to every ideology that comes up.