3 QUESTIONS FOR Enrique Krauze

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Mexican historian and publisher. Currently director of the cultural magazine Letras Libres and director general of the publisher Editorial Clío.

1When you launched Letras Libres, would you have predicted that Latin America would look as it does today? When we founded Letras Libres in 1989, we were cautiously optimistic about Latin America. In 1989, the miracle of continent-wide democratization had begun. Cuba was isolated. Fears about Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez hardly registered. What we did not foresee at all was the phenomenon of drug traffi cking.

2How would you describe how your country and Latin America have changed since then? With 12 years of distance, we see that the democratic optimism was justifi ed. Democracy has taken root in our region, which has also achieved sustained economic growth. The revolutionary fever has almost disappeared, as has militarism. What remains is the old populism and anachronistic regime of President Chávez. I do not underestimate the danger that he poses, but I believe that it will be temporary. The real danger is drug traffi cking and organized crime. It could push some countries, Mexico in particular, into a Hobbesian state of nature. …