The editor of this small volume chose to include the constitutions of six Latin American countries—Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico, and Venezuela—supposedly because they represent major varieties of constitutional systems to be found in the region. Thus he selected Mexico and Venezuela to represent Latin American federalism and Chile and Colombia as unitary states. Costa Rica and El Salvador were supposed to represent different approaches to Central American integration.
Translations of the texts are those provided by the Pan American Union. Each constitution is preceded by a very brief introduction. Although the editor outlines in his preface some main characteristics of Latin American constitutionalism and also offers historical sketches for each country selected (approximately one and a half pages), his comments are so brief and general that they contribute little or nothing to placing the laws in their cultural and historical context and even less to any systematic analysis of the role and significance of the constitutions in each political system. Hence, the usefulness of this volume is extremely limited.