The future of Latin America, agreed journalists, academics and activists, lies in the legitimate resistance organized from below, often made invisible by the big media that show chaos and death in our region.
MEXICO CITY.- What are the prevailing contexts in a region so diverse and complex that only a few decades ago it lived through dictatorships and de facto governments? What role does economic and political dependence on the great world powers play? How do you resist a pandemic from the community, from the social movements? What alternatives do we build?
These are just some of the questions that arose from our gathering, where the voice and experience of colleagues who report from Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Haiti and Colombia give clues to the situation that our region is going through.
One of the great milestones worldwide, but especially in Latin America, has been the agenda of the feminist movement that has positioned the respect and expansion of the sexual, identity and reproductive rights of women and trans people.
In Argentina, since the great mobilizations in 2018 managed to get the congress to debate the decriminalization of abortion, the conquests of the feminist movement have been escalating.
This was narrated by the journalist Cecilia González, who underlines the importance that women and trans people have had in marking a halo of hope that like a tide has overturned all regions of the continent.
“In Argentina, it has been a pleasant surprise for the struggle of the social movements that, right in the middle of the pandemic, in the last 7 or 8 months there have been very important achievements that are also exemplary for the region because they are, in effect, a cascade.”
The journalist referred to the legalization of abortion at the end of 2020 and the transvestite job quota, an unprecedented event that responds to the visibility and coverage that the feminist movement has promoted in autonomous and collective spaces.
Despite the scant media coverage of the feminist mobilizations and struggles, the legal and social conquests have opened up new spaces for debate within Argentine society, which is now committed to the expansion and realization of these rights.
Chile: a 30-year transition
In the Chilean case, the militant and activist against torture Juana Aguilera, points out that the progressive political processes in the region can be explained from the discontent generated against the dictatorships throughout the continent, such as the accumulation of mobilizations that have derived in the Constituent Assembly in Chile.“I went through the three years of great hope that the Popular Unity in Chile meant with Salvador Allende at its head, then the tremendous coup that plunged us into a process of anti-dictatorial struggle and resistance, to later be with the post-dictatorship civilian governments in these 30 years that culminate today with perhaps the list of requests that we had at the end of the nineties, with a constituent assembly and repealing the dictatorial constitution”, narrated Juana Aguilera.
The Constituent process in Chile is the result of a broad struggle for the democratization of the country, where 155 people work in a Constituent Convention that will propose a new legal order that will be submitted to a plebiscite for its approval; However, the reaction of some sectors of the right that saw themselves as beneficiaries of the Pinochet constitution have opened a new battlefield for the Chilean people who are fighting for democratization and against the privatization of national goods and services.
“The Chilean right that remained there speaks very badly of this majority, they say that it crushes them. As if they did not understand that for practically 47 years a minority in Chile crushed the vast majority and forced us to live under the rules and the permanent theft of what is the wealth produced by thousands of people in Chile,” Aguilera explained.
Colombia: roads lead north
“When you try to understand the violence in Latin America, almost all roads lead north,” said Alex Sierra of the Center for Latin American Socio-Legal Studies in Colombia.
The context that the Colombian people are currently going through, where the massive protests of the social, student and indigenous movements have been harshly repressed after questioning the current neoliberal model, has similarities not only with the demands of the Chilean people, but with the same method of coercion used by the carabineros in Chile.
“There is a dirty war against the historical social movements, there is a smear campaign to muddy any type of organization or social movement that tries to propose a different way out of the neoliberalism of privatization in each of our countries and in each of our the economic spheres. she denounced.
US interference has shaped the political, economic and social reality of the region, such as the creation of paramilitary groups and the use of de facto coups to contain social mobilizations.
In the Colombian case, which occupies the first place of internally displaced persons and of disappeared persons worldwide, despite the signing of the Peace Accords in 2016, social mobilizations have exposed the contradictions of a regime that presents itself internationally as one of the most stable democracies in Latin America.
According to Alex Sierra, working conditions in Colombia and most Latin American countries have deteriorated since the covid-19 pandemic in the world.
The instability of the workers who live day to day without social security rights or a fixed salary, added to the loss of income and the impoverishment generated from the pandemic, caused a social outbreak in Colombia that has not ceased despite the strong violations of human rights by the government of Iván Duque.The gatherings are held at the Tierra Adentro restaurant located in Colonia Juárez, you can listen to them live and eat a delicious pizza. Also, by consuming you support Rompeviento’s independent journalism.