The endemic political instability and the nature of the economy resulted in the emergence of caudillos , military chiefs whose hold on power depended on their military skill and ability to dispense patronage . The political regimes were at least in theory democratic and took the form of either presidential or parliamentary governments. Both were prone to being taken over by a caudillo or an oligarchy . The political landscape was occupied by conservatives , who believed that the preservation of the old social hierarchies served as the best guarantee of national stability and prosperity, and liberals , who sought to bring about progress by freeing up the economy and individual initiative. Popular insurrections were often influential and repressed: 100,000 were killed during the suppression of a Colombian revolt between 1899 and 1902 during the Thousand Days' War . Some states did manage to have some of democracy: Uruguay , and partially Argentina , Chile , Costa Rica and Colombia . The others were clearly oligarchist or authoritarian , although these oligarchs and caudillos sometimes enjoyed support from a majority in the population. All of these regimes sought to maintain Latin America's lucrative position in the world economy as a provider of raw materials.
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Throughout the 2012-2015 Partnership Strategy the Bank’s main lending focus has been subnational entities (states and large municipalities) and Brazil's Northeast and North, the country's poorest regions.
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