Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Latin America’s Leftist Divide

Posted in News and Articles by politicalrisklatam on August 17, 2010

by Immanuel Wallerstein for The New York Times, August 17th, 2010.

Latin America has been the success story of the world left in the first decade of the 21st century. This is true in two senses. The first and most widely noticed way is that left or left-of-center parties have won a remarkable series of elections during the decade. And collectively, Latin American governments have established for the first time a significant degree of distance from the United States. Latin America has become a relatively autonomous geopolitical force.

Moreover, movements of the indigenous populations of Latin America have asserted themselves politically almost everywhere and have demanded the right to organize their political and social life autonomously. This first gained world attention with the dramatic uprising of the neo-Zapatista movement in the Mexican state of Chiapas in 1994. What has been less noticed is the emergence of similar kinds of movements throughout Latin America and the degree to which they have been creating an inter-American network of their local organizational structures.

The problem has been that the two kinds of lefts — the political parties that have achieved power and the indigenista movements — do not have identical objectives and use quite different ideological language. (continue reading… )

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