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The following program is produced by the University of Florida's school of journalism and communications under a grant from the National Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. On the whole Latin America is the fastest growing region in the world and the reason for this is a tremendous problem. And right now we have got to shock. The University of Florida resents social welfare and the population explosion. The fourth in a series of recorded documentary reports on the contemporary revolution
in Latin America. Your reporter is the distinguished American journalist and editor of The Christian Science Monitor. Where the so-called population explosion is discussed in the popular press and on radio and television. It's fashionable to cite as dramatic examples already overpopulated countries in Asia particularly India or China. And yet right here in our own hemisphere the biggest population explosion in the world is already in progress. Well Latin American countries if we take 20 of them collectively represent the whole great world area and let's see the growth of population is by far the most rapid demographer and sociologist at the University of Florida has made population studies for a number of Latin American governments.
Yeah right. He is somewhere around between two and two and a half percent annually. May I say in order to appreciate the importance of this ray that if we took a single pair began with a single pair at the beginning of our era of our era and this single pair reproduced at the rate of 1 percent per year they would in two thousand years produce more people in the world. Now contain it. So when you think of a rate of two and a half percent per annum. Sustained by approximately one hundred eighty million people. This means a tremendous upsurge of
population. At Columbia University sociologist SR explains what this population growth could mean in terms of total population. Dr. Senior makes a comparison with the population of Canada and the United States. At the present time we have about a hundred and ninety seven million people in the United States and Canada. Latin American countries have two hundred and six million people although only a few years ago they had many millions of people fewer than the United States and Canada put together. Now they have nine million people more. But at the present rate in 10 years by 19 70. There are going to be two hundred sixty six million people in Latin America compared with two hundred twenty five million people in the United States and Canada. And if you carry that projection on to the end of this century
assuming that present rates of natural increase continue you're going to have twice as many people in the Latin American countries as there are in the United States and Canada put together. This obviously has political economic and social implications in the countries themselves and it also has economic social and political implications in American and international affairs. We asked our senior to analyze the courses of Latin America's rapid increase in population on the whole Latin America is the fastest growing region in the world. And the reason for this is a reason which is going to start being felt in Africa pretty soon is already being felt in certain parts of Asia. It seems to be much more difficult to introduce
the idea of the control of births than to introduce the idea of the control of deaths. The control of deaths is now widely accepted throughout the entire world. The control of births is widely accepted only in such countries as the United States and Great Britain and the other countries of northwestern Europe the industrialized areas of the world the industrialized and urbanized areas of the world because the two going together seem to carry the ideas and attitudes which make it possible for people to use intelligence in the control of births as well as in the control of deaths. Obviously senior counsel himself among those who are alone and see nothing but problems resulting from this doubling of population in Latin America. Curiously the average Latin American has an entirely different viewpoint.
Dr Smith describes it for us. I would say this that I have met very few Latin Americans in my life who think of this as as being on the debit side of the ledger. Practically all of them knew their rapid rate of population increased as as an asset or as a favorable feature of their society and not as a problem. Many people in the United States consider the rapid growth of population per se I suppose as a as a problem now if if one were in Brazil with two thirds of the country still at early occupy this might temper a little less. One would have a rapid increase of population and the same would go for far Colombia Latin America and
just as aware as we are that that waiting world affairs he is engaged pretty largely by how many people a nation and Dr. Senior has a warning for those who would view population increase in Latin America as a Most people are rather low into a sense of security by the fact that there seems to be a great deal of an occupied land in some of the Latin American countries and therefore they do not think that there is much danger of overpopulation. However there are already several Latin American countries which are now demonstrably overpopulated and even more important than this is the fact that the rate of natural increase is so high. That it is going to be extremely difficult and probably impossible for them to improve their economies and to raise their levels of living.
Then do a sociologist like Larry Sr.. More people simply mean more problems. Political economic and social. On the whole out of America displays to talk to seniors words all the familiar aspects of the vicious circle of poverty disease low productivity. Now nutrition disease poverty will be touching on some aspects of this vicious circle as we consider some of the grave social problems facing much of Latin America. This is Sue Burnett of the United Nations Children's Fund last Cruciatus is in Honduras Central America Last Crusade just means little crosses and the crosses are the graves of hundreds of children scattered through a shanty section known as the barranca. The children died because of poor sanitation and sewage facilities and because they did not have enough to eat. This is Dr. Sacks of the World Health Organization something like a
thousand million human beings in the world live on the planet of malaria. In Mexico alone 2 million people a year are attacked. Some 25000 a year die. The prevalence of poor health conditions in Latin America is surely considered a major social problem even in a comparatively advanced country such as Colombia. About 50 percent of the people that die in this area never has had the chance of being seen by a doctor. The city is currently in the department of state of Arab right yea in Colombia. We're listening to the former Minister of Public Health there Dr. Gabriele Velasquez about 60 percent of all of the kids that I born in good have you know which one I don't 100 that are born in a divide you
include in the cities 60 of them die before they are 10 years old. That gives you no protection. They're having 50 percent of the people die without it without even a death certificate because they were not a doc that available to see them when they were dying and 60 out of 100 kids that are born in good health die before they are 10 years old is nurturing concern with the lack of medical care. He had the faculty of medicine in the University of Dr Velasquez cites reasons for the low state of medical care. Number one probably enough doctors lack of enough economic facilities of those people to finance medical protection even the most. Same for one another they can get
into this picture is the number of hospital beds. As you know in this state for one thousand population for just average. And you have good good public health good nutrition on any level of income. We have about one point six fer 1000. That's why all of our hospitals have what you will call on most emergency hospitals and we have waiting to see the patients that are not so severely. Even here you know what a university hospital. Another serious problem is the lack of by medical personnel. The
number of nurses and things are very very low to cope with the serious obstacles to adequate medical care. The Medical School has sought expert medical advice from the United States and other countries for the past seven years the school has received full and financial support by the Rockefeller Foundation the Kellogg Foundation and lately by the ICAO the International Cooperation administration Dr. Alaskas points out that Colombia is not just sitting back and letting outside organizations plan and underwrite its medical care program. Back in 1956 or 57 they fan and budget and they're good for your health but they can watch forty five million pesos about one hundred and forty a little over three times the amount. Five years ago these showed a new interest a new tendency in Colombia. Why are
you trying to solve the problems of medical status of the community when medical care is available in Latin America. It's almost always to be found in the cities. This despite the fact that Latin America is predominantly rural in this regard. Bottom up provides a good illustration of a bad example. A retired American businessman who is now involved in community self-help projects in the rural areas of Guatemala compares the ratio of doctors in Guatemala City with the remainder of the nation. Seventy seven percent of the doctors in this country take care of about 400000 people in the city of Guatemala. Twenty three percent of the doctors take care of three and a half million people in the rest of the country. I understand there is a new ruling now that all doctors who graduate must give two years in the rural villages. However I think that this is not rapid enough
for the medical problem of the country. The dentist situation is much worse. About 88 percent of the docs dentists are in the department of Guatemala taking care of about 600000 people in the department in the department of San Marcos which has about 300000 people. There are two dentists. This is a very serious problem because not too many dentists are being graduated in Guatemala. One reason Latin America needs more and better medical care is the high incidence of diseases caused by improper diet by not enough food not enough of the right kind of food. This is John Drake of the Food and Agriculture Organization. Ever yours job is to study ways of improving standards of living in rural areas to help provide better food for people's dinner tables. An FAA study of a town in Costa Rica showed that one child in three had never tasted fruit or fruit juice less than half and
tasted milk after being weaned. Only one in 100 had ever eaten meat. The diet of corn and beans stultified stunts retards growth and development. It stifles energy. Now Israel has encouraged the planting of fruits and vegetables not as an export crop necessarily but to supplement the daily subsistence diets here. We have fishing experts and we have nutritionists to help people make the best with what they have. Six countries that make up the list of Central America are attacking this enemy of the people. Malnutrition in Guatemala City headquarters for encamp. We talked with men and women whose purpose it is to investigate the nutritional problems of Central American countries both in the laboratory and the field. They seek solutions to the problems of creating a better diet for their people. Well one of the major problems we have in this area is sad protein and nutrition. This is in Cap's assistant director and chief of the division of Clinical Investigation Dr Wise's they are. He speaks
of the diet of the peasant in the villages in which they're currently on. Right now is based mainly on corn with some beans but very poor quality proteins and the problem this is particularly severe for small children because they don't get even small amounts of beans to get what they said mainly US based on corn starch. That's what they're usually fed after weaning. And they do not receive significant amounts of protein in the diet on to DHL for five years and this video from after winning from 1 to 1 the mortality at this age is 40 times mortality in the States for instance the mortality
before one year of age use only about four times the one that you state. Protein and response are. Extremely severe disease in children in that score question day by day. Oh in children and that's swelling in the US and. Almost fatal if not treated properly. Now the problem of prevention of these bases it's a very complicated one because the sources of protein for biological value at a very scary India seems we don't have enough protein that is needed for prevention of the decease that use milk and meat eggs. We have developed a mixture
that they should that are products that they level in the area namely prepared with sorghum and cotton seed Mead. Well it's pretty easy. They range in the form of a flower. One school with water and some show that gives a liquid that is consumed by the children in the form of a dog. That's a good way to feed the children here. And it contains both in quantity and in quality the same amount of meat contains seem to have two proteins. This mixture is described as a flower. The Spanish word for flour is that's the name in Cap honoring the manager of the product in the first place.
It's nutritionally as good as me and feeding of children but in price it cost about four times less. Now we have interest in private that I'm going to put it in a commercial way and to sell it to population to be in the area both in Guatemala as well as even beyond the countries of Central America. It has become almost a pictorial cliche to contrast the corrugated tin shacks of Caracas with the modern skyscrapers of that Venezuelan city. This whenever one wishes to illustrate the tremendous gap between the rich and the poor in Latin America the slums of Caracas however are not unique. Rio for instance has its five day allies people dotting the hills like so many ants living together in unimaginable and poverty. Because of the inability of many peasants to eke out a minimal living wage in the last 20 years there has been a huge exodus from the rural areas to the big cities.
This migration a social problem itself results in another major social problem. When Smith speaks of the problem of the suburbs a very important social problem in their minds is what many of them call a problem of the suburbs meaning these bands. Shacks and shanties entirely lacking sanitary facilities water supply streets sidewalks like what have you what you mushroom on the outskirts of all the important towns and cities in the last 15 20 years. This tremendous displaced poverty stricken population which has pushed in and settled on the outskirts of the principal cities is generally evaluated by them as a
serious social problem. Having you tremendous tremendous problem because people are coming from the country. Right now. We have for instance in Caracas 400000 people living in shacks. Dr. Alfredo director of the Creole foundation in Caracas he is interviewed by a radio Center report. Probably very important because it died in the educational program of that class of people. It's difficult to resolve because this class of people. Have not been conscience of the you know the regret or not I would say. I'm happy to read only
they do not have the rush to change their type of living conditions. And of course we have to get that education. Program. You know to teach them how to live like united people. Could you give me an example there is I mean I saw a lot of these large apartment houses they look from the west and very modern but I understand there have been some problems in putting families so close together and having used elevators and things of that nature. Yeah that's correct you know the family brought up you know by force. She can. And they wanted to bring you know the same type of apartment development. Created a lot of.
You know to apartments you know five or six people living was. Not. Given to things you mention as well I mean I think because I. Love the place. And. Think. Tremendous. Amount without previous analysis of the conditions and the occasion. It's completely you would think that the government private enterprise. I've been reading very much about the social condition of the people living in shacks. So that. An organization that had been created that
great of our business concerns of any swap. And real foundation was one of the participants in the program. Developing right now the first project that had been undertaken. About two hours. And I thought about what kind of educational program I want to. Program. And program. So
you know. The. Garden one room and you know and so on. Dr. Alfredo director of the Creole foundation in Caracas lack of an adequate land tax prevents many Latin countries from financing large scale welfare services. Dr Smith explains generally speaking in Latin America there is little or no tax on the land. Practically without exception the constitutions of these countries contain a provision which limits their right to tax law and to levy a land tax to the state and I know government meaning that the local units of government corresponding to our counties are expressions prohibited by the National Constitution from letting any tax on the land.
Now in effect this means that the local people are left without any means whereby they can secure. Property owners in Rastan says residents of the locality say a substantial share of their endeavor each year in order to provide themselves with services such as schools health services bridges local roads police protection and so on which the people need and long for the past half hour we've been reporting on social welfare and the population explosion. The contemporary revolution in Latin America. Social welfare and the population explosion is the fourth in a series of weekly documentary reports on the contemporary revolution in Latin America.
The program is narrated by the distinguished American journalist and editor of The Christian Science Monitor Wendy can. This is produced in cooperation with the University of Florida school of Lindor American studies. You may receive without charge the text of today's program by writing this station interviews with representatives of the United Nations through the courtesy of United Nations radio. This program was prepared and recorded by us for Radio Center school of journalism and communications University of Florida Gainesville under a grant from the National Educational Television and Radio Center and is being distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the end Radio
Contemporary revolution in Latin America
Social welfare and population explosion
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University of Florida
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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This program looks at the quality of life and the rapidly growing population in Latin America.
A documentary series on problems facing Latin America, including panel discussions at program conclusion. The series is hosted by Erwin Canham, editor at the Christian Science Monitor.
Global Affairs
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Host: Canham, Erwin D. (Erwin Dain), 1904-1982
Interviewee: Senior, Clarence Ollson, 1903-1974
Interviewee: Smith, T. Lynn (Thomas Lynn), 1903-1976
Interviewee: Burnett, Sue
Interviewee: Vasquez, Gabriel
Interviewee: Drake, John
Interviewee: Anzola, Alfredo J.
Producing Organization: University of Florida
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 61-54-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:24
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Chicago: “Contemporary revolution in Latin America; Social welfare and population explosion,” 1961-10-11, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 14, 2021,
MLA: “Contemporary revolution in Latin America; Social welfare and population explosion.” 1961-10-11. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 14, 2021. <>.
APA: Contemporary revolution in Latin America; Social welfare and population explosion. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from