Global freedom declined for a fifth straight year in 2010 as authoritarian regimes dug in worldwide and crime and unrest plagued democracies like Mexico, a US watchdog said Thursday.
In “Freedom in the World 2011” the Washington-based Freedom House said it had documented the longest continuous period of decline since it began compiling the annual index nearly 40 years ago.
“A total of 25 countries showed significant declines in 2010, more than double the 11 countries exhibiting noteworthy gains,” the group said.
The report classifies countries as free, partly free or not free based on individuals’ ability to exercise political and civil rights, taking into account political systems and other factors like war and crime.
Mexico, which along with Ukraine, Djibouti and Ethiopia saw its status decline, moved from free to partly free “as a result of the government’s inability to stem the tide of violence by drug-trafficking groups,” it said.
Ukraine’s demotion, also from free to partly free, owed to “deteriorating levels of press freedom, instances of election fraud and growing politicization of the judiciary,” the Freedom House report said.