February 17, 2009

About Latin American Constitutions

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This is an article the Post published on Latin American constitutions. It points to the alleged role some Spanish scholars have had in the writing of the Venezuelan, Ecuadorian and Bolivian constitutions. The question is, how much influence (if any) have these academics had on the texts?

Latin America's Document-Driven Revolutions

Team of Spanish Scholars Helped Recast Constitutions in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador

Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, February 17, 2009; Page A01

LA PAZ, Bolivia -- Once a product of armed rebellion, the revolution in Latin America today is taking place on paper in the form of new constitutions, a mostly peaceful process influenced by the work of European legal scholars who have played a behind-the-scenes role in drafting the populist documents.

Venezuela's referendum Sunday on whether to amend a constitution less than a decade old to allow President Hugo Chávez to run for office indefinitely is just the latest example. Two other South American countries have embarked in the past decade on rewriting their societies' fundamental rules, creating enormous new charters that vastly expand the social and economic rights granted to citizens, particularly the poor.

In all three cases, from the Venezuelan charter in 1999 to the new constitutions in Ecuador last year and Bolivia last month, a team of Spanish legal scholars influenced the conception, drafting or implementation of the documents, which have stirred domestic class tensions and harmed relations with the U.S. government. The leader is Roberto Viciano Pastor, an author and constitutional law professor at the University of Valencia whose technical, and some say ideological, assistance in writing the constitutions is generating new scrutiny across South America.

(Continue reading in Washington Post)

Sorry, I would like to post the whole article but I cannot, copyright!!!!!