Second chambers are often designed to represent territorial interests, but they are prone to being taken over by political parties which undermines legislators’ territorial focus. In traditional federal theory, a senate mediates the relationship between democracy and federalism because it enables subnational participation in national government. Recent literature challenges this assumption and provides evidence of inefficient territorial representation by the second chamber. The inability of a senate to represent territorial interests in national politics has been called Madison’s paradox. The findings of this study of territorial representation in bicameral and federal Latin American countries support Madison's paradox and reveal that second chambers in federal Latin America have been ineffective in expressing the territorial dimension. Alternative formats of subnational participation in central government have emerged, such as executive-based bodies comprising the central and regional governments for political negotiations and the coordination and implementation of policies.