Since the fall of the Cold War dictatorships, social movements have thrived in Latin America and have been some of the most important and effective agents of change.
1. Introduction: living life on their own terms
However, with the recent end of the ‘pink tide’ – a wave of more or less socially progressive governments that held power across the region from the late 1990s – these movements now face tougher conditions and an uncertain future. Five experts assess the current regional panorama and the role of social movements within it.
Tom Gatehouse is a writer and translator who has lived in Argentina, Spain and Brazil. He holds an MPhil in Latin American Studies from the University of Cambridge.
He has written for LAB and Red Pepper and his translations have appeared in Folha de S. Paulo, Agência Pública and Tales and Trails Lisbon, a recent collection of short stories and other writings. He lives in London.
Eliane Brum (journalist, writer, and documentary film-maker): interviewed via email on 1 May 2018 by Sue Branford. Translated by Hugo Moss.
Marcos Orellana (Human Rights Watch): interviewed in Washington DC on 22 December 2017 by James Thackara. Transcribed by Tom Gatehouse.
Maristella Svampa (sociologist): interviewed in London on 25 April 2018 by Tom Gatehouse. Translated by Theo Bradford.
René Orellana (politician and academic): interviewed in La Paz on 5 December 2016 by Tom Gatehouse. Translated by Matty Rose.
Raúl Sohr (journalist and sociologist): interviewed in Santiago de Chile on 22 November 2016 by Tom Gatehouse. Translated by Matty Rose.
NB: All web references were checked and still available in May/June 2018 unless otherwise stated.
Encarnación, O. (2018) ‘The rise and fall of the Latin American left’, The Nation, 9 May
Toro, F. (2017) ‘As socialist Venezuela collapses, socialist Bolivia thrives’, Washington Post, 5 January
- Brum, E. (2018) ‘Lula, o humano’, El País, (in Portuguese)
- Brum, E. (2018) ‘They owned an island, now they are urban poor: the tragedy of Altamira’, The Guardian
- Brum, E. (2017) ‘The Forest of Midwives’, Words Without Borders
- Orellana, M. (2018) ‘The case for a right to a healthy environment’, World Policy
- Orellana, M. (2017) ‘Argentina’s Race with Time to Protect Our Resources and Our People’, Human Rights Watch
- Orellana, R. (2017) ‘René Gonzalo Orellana Halkyer’, (personal blog, in Spanish)
- Cultura, Política y Sociedad (2017) ‘Raúl Sohr analizó la reelección de Evo Morales en Bolivia | Última Mirada’, YouTube, (in Spanish) [currently unavailable on YouTube – Jan2019]
- Sohr, R. (2018) ‘Análisis de las relaciones internacionales’, (personal blog, in Spanish)
- Muñoz, G. (2016) ‘The Democratic Horizon of Emancipation: Interview with Maristella Svampa on the Crisis of the Progressive Cycle in Latin America’, Alternautas
- Svampa, M. (2015) ‘The ‘Commodities Consensus’ and Valuation Languages in Latin America’, Alternautas
- BBC News (2015) ‘Brazil’s most populous region facing worst drought in 80 years’, BBC News
- Casey, N. and Haner, J. (2016) ‘Climate Change Claims a Lake, and an Identity’, The New York Times
- Global Witness (2017) ‘Defenders of the earth: Global killings of land and environmental defenders in 2016’, Global Witness
- Goñi, U. (2016) ‘Why did South America’s progressive dream die so suddenly?’, The Guardian
- López Levy, M. (2018) ‘#NiUnaMenos: ‘Now that you see us’: The resurgence of feminism in Argentina makes waves’, Latin America Bureau
- Rísquez, R. (2018) ‘Odebrecht Scandal Takes Political Elites by Storm in Peru’, InSight Crime, <https://www.insightcrime.org/news/analysis/odebrecht-scandal-takes-political-elites-storm-peru>
- TV Folha (2015) ‘O Desmatamento e o aquecimento global’, YouTube, 16 September, (in Portuguese with English subtitles)
- Watts, J. (2017) ‘Operation Car Wash: Is this the biggest corruption scandal in history?’, The Guardian