Sunday, February 17, 2019

Introduction: living life on their own terms

Mural at Las Hormigas, Honduras: ‘Before it kills you, alcohol will kill everything you love.’ ©Pierre Fromentín, 2016.
Mural at Las Hormigas, Honduras: ‘Before it kills you, alcohol will kill everything you love.’ ©Pierre Fromentín, 2016.


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.

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.


About the Author

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, Brazil. © Fronteiras do Pensamento - CC BY-SA 2.0,

Eliane Brum (journalist, writer, and documentary film-maker): interviewed via email on 1 May 2018 by Sue Branford. Translated by Hugo Moss.

Marcos Orellana, Chile. © Pierre Bairin/Human Rights Watch 2017

Marcos Orellana (Human Rights Watch): interviewed in Washington DC on 22 December 2017 by James Thackara. Transcribed by Tom Gatehouse.

Maristella Svampa, Argentina. © Dafne Gentinetta 2016

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.

Maristella Svampa (sociologist): interviewed in London on 25 April 2018 by Tom Gatehouse. Translated by Theo Bradford.


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

World Bank (2017) ‘Higher education expanding in Latin America and the Caribbean, but falling short of potential



Brazil’s Bolsa Familia

Discover the experiences across ten years of two different families in the North East of Brazil who received Bolsa Família. They took opposite paths...

Maristella Svampa: recent political and social changes in Latin America

The distinguished Argentine sociogist and researcher visits the Universidad del Cuyo to speak about political and social changes taking place in Latin America today. Video:...

Maristella Svampa: the extractivist paradigm

Argentine sociologist Maristella Svampa, a researcher for CONICET, speaks to the Facultad Libre in Buenos Aires, 19 January 2016. Her lecture addresses the problem...

Raul Sohr: the new politics in Chile

Raul Sohr interviewed about his book Alejandro Guillier de Cara al País, about the presidential candidate for the Nueva Mayoría coalition, who came second...

Raul Sohr on Non-conventional renewable energy sources

Raul Sohr interviewed on Prensa Vértice TV, Región de los Lagos, Chile, November 2014

Further reading

Eliane Brum

Marcos Orellana

René Orellana

Raúl Sohr

  • 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)

Maristella Svampa



Voices News

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Voices of Latin America — US edition

Voices of Latin America will be published in the US by Monthly Review Press, in partnership with LAB and Practical Action Publishing, in March 2019. Individual copies can be ordered from Monthly Review Press at US$32.00 each. Review copies can be ordered here (on the same page there is a link labelled 'desk copies', for professors who have already ordered a book for a class). Ingram Book Ordering here. Here is what US academics have said about Voices: Anthony Bebbington, Higgins Professor of Environment and Society, Clark University, Worcester, MA; Member of the Board of Directors, Oxfam America; Professorial Fellow, Global Development Institute, University...

Endorsements for Voices of Latin America

Here are some of the endorsements for LAB's new book, Voices of Latin America: Dr Duncan Green, Senior Strategic Adviser, OXFAM: This is a wonderful X-ray of modern Latin America, a vision of the continent's struggles and potential futures through the eyes of its social movement leaders and intellectuals. Read it from end to end, whether as an introduction or an update, or mine it for quotes from inspirational figures across the region on a range of contemporary issues. Latin America (or most of it) has come the end of its progressive 'pink tide' years of the early 2000s. For the...

Voices: a work in progress

Work on LAB's exciting new book Voices of Latin America is progressing rapidly More than 45 of our interviews, from 11 countries, have been translated, and our wonderful team of volunteer editors are at work on the separate chapters The editor and project co-ordinator is Tom Gatehouse Publication date is now set for September 2018 Alongside the book, we will develop the Voices website. This will include more interviews, photos, videos and some of the audio recordings used in the book. But it will be progressively added to to create a constantly growing and up-to-date archive of social...

Voices of Latin America: Thank you to all our generous supporters

We estimate that the total raised from our crowd-funding will be around £12,720 A huge thank you to all our generous supporters. Your pledges on our project Crowdfunding site totalled a magnificent £7,000. We have now received a further £4,000 from our match-funder. We can claim Gift Aid on most of those donations made by UK tax-payers, worth another 25%. This will enable us to pay for some of the daunting amount of editing and translation work and, if necessary, commission further Voices interviews. It's a big boost to the project.  

Voices of Latin America: crowd-funding completed… fund-raising continues

May 18. Our Crowdfunder campaign finished last night. We raised £7,000, but the total will be considerably more because part of this was match-funded. A huge thanks to our 163 generous supporters. It was a great learning experience for the LAB Voices team, and will be excellent advance promotion for the book. More funding needed If you missed the Crowdfunder deadline, it's not too late for you to contribute. Just go to the 'Donate with CAF' button on LAB's Home Page, or click here. Keep watching this space ...for updates on the project as it proceeds. We plan to begin adding audio, video,...