In recent years, Latin American governments have been developing public policies to promote the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and, in particular, the use of Internet, as a tool to improve both the efficiency of government (through e-government) and the quality of democracy (through e-democracy). This paper focuses on e-Democracy, however, a diagnosis of the context is required in order to asses its developments and potentialities. Thus, the paper proposes an analysis of the 'state of democracy', with an overview of the consolidation and quality of democracy, and some basic indicators of development. The second section explores citizens' confidence in the institutions of representative democracy and the electoral turnout. A third one, explores the spread and uses of direct democracy mechanisms, given that it provides useful information about current political conflicts and tensions between grassroots-based democracy and concentration of power (often in hands of the president). Finally, electronic initiatives to promote transparency, deliberation and participation are investigated. By crossing both approaches we want to assess not only the actual evolution of e-democracy but also their future potentialities and risks.