The general objective of this study is to gather, systematise, analyse and disseminate in one single text, the main characteristics –both formal and actual– of political funding systems in the 18 countries it covered. Furthermore, it aims to find, on the one hand, points of agreement and differences to better understand this central aspect of the functioning of democracy in Latin America; on the other hand, it aims to identify the major trends of reform and their possible repercussions for political party systems and democratic regimes throughout the region.
Political finance in Latin America is examined from three perspectives: a) a comparative regional analysis based on five thematic approaches –i.e. political funding systems, access to the media, account-rendering and disclosure, controlling entities and system of sanctions, and the gender perspective; b) a comparative, subregional analysis (including Central America, Panama, the Dominican Republic and Mexico, the Andean subregion, and the Southern Cone); and c) 18 country case studies.
Far from prescribing formulas or models for the creation, reform, or management of political funding systems, an outline is here presented about available options in the area of reform and their possible consequences. The aim is to contribute, with information and knowledge, to encourage reflection and enrich the discussion. Additionally, a number of non-prescriptive recommendations are formulated for the various actors involved in the process of political finance reforms.