The paper deals with contexts, causes and consequences of mistrust in politicians in today's Latin America's. The weak support for democracy across the entire continent is generated as much by mistrust of politicians as of institutions. Citizens are increasingly willing to separate their evaluations of incumbents from their evaluation of democracy as a regime type. Incumbents have repeatedly modified constitutional arrangements to suit their own interests. The analysis is based on sources such as the Latinobarometro (17 countries from 1995-2003), the World Values Surveys (7 countries in 1995), the Hewlett/Tulane study (Chile, Costa Rica and Mexico in 1998), the Informe Iberoamericano, and Transparency International.