Interesting comparison, and feasible. You have to break it down more though. The two are very comparable, if you do it with the right countries. Let's try this:
Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico: compare to Russia, Ukraine, Belarus.
Uruguay, Chile, Costa Rica, Panama: compare to Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Baltic States.
Paraguay, Ecuador, Guatemala, Peru, Belize: compare to Bulgaria, Romania.
Bolivia, Nicaragua, Honduras: compare to Albania, Armenia.
Are they poor, dangerous, and corrupt? Hmm... yes. But they know it, and they are doing something about it. Give them time. These places, all of them, are actually intelligent, and evolving. As to which is better: Still Eastern Europe. Simply because the nature is less murderous; no earthquakes, volcanoes, crocs, snakes, or jaguars (well - only of the Doublesix variety in Europe..).