The following contribution presents key arguments and findings from the paper ‘Business Power and the Politics of Postneoliberalism: Relations Between Governments and Economic Elites in Bolivia and Ecuador’, published by the author in the journal Latin American Politics and Society (vol. 58, no. 2, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1548-2456.2016.00313.x).
Since the 1970s, luxurious enclosed housing developments have proliferated throughout Brazil and have become one of the preferred housing options for the elites. What is the allure of gated communities for middle and upper-class Brazilians? Why is this important?
The pervasive problem of social inequality in Latin America, manifested in a huge chasm between immensely wealthy elites and poor masses, has its origins in the colonial era. For three hundred years, Spanish American economic elites were made up of immigrants from the Iberian peninsula who got rich by entering the highly lucrative enterprises of wholesale commerce and the production of export goods, such as silver and sugar.