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Approximations to the moral responsability of the creditors

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The fastest massive increase in poverty in Latin American modern history is commonly attributed to the debt crisis. The 80s of this ending century have been called “the lost decade”. The Jubilee 2000 campaign presses for placing a strong moral exigency on the creditors and must lay a solid foundation for its request. The purpose of this paper is to unravel the different facets of that exigency. Why should the creditors assume responsibility for reducing Latin American poverty? After all, poverty in Latin America is ancient, and is the consequence of many factors aside from payment of the external debt or the “conditionality” imposed upon governments in indebted countries. Therefore, it is important to give the best possible response to the questions: Who are the creditors? What type of responsibility do the creditors have toward what is being called social debt? Once we try to work out a practical proposal the answer may not be so evident. In this paper, some concepts as freedom of agency, collective agents and actions, and positive duties among others are used to produce a moral case.


Poverty, Economic policy, Social policy, Foreign debt

JEL Classification

A13, I30, I31, I32, I38