By the end of the long 1980s, social movements, reformist political leaders and external forces had all helped to facilitate a region-wide transition to democracy as across Latin America, dictatorial regimes were swept from power. Civilian governments were brought to power by competitive elections and authoritarian rule ended in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Haiti and Uruguay, to name just some of the countries which were carried on the third wave of democracy. Although the transitional period lasted longer in some countries than others, and the ‘military still retained considerable power’ in many places, Karen L. Remmer makes the important point that, by ‘early 1991, for the first time since the beginning of the century, no purely military regime held power on the continent.’ 1