[CMI-Chiapas] Americas Program | Dangerous Liaisons
communications en irc-online.org
Mie Dic 8 09:03:48 PST 2004
What's New at the AmericasProgram
“A New World of Ideas, Analysis and Policy Options”
December 8, 2004
New from the IRC's Americas Program:
A Panorama of Social Movements in South America
Dangerous Liaisons: Center-Left Governments & the Grassroots
By Raul Zibechi
Grassroots movements often become prisoners of their own success. This is the
essential paradox and challenge of popular struggle. When movements develop
the ability to mobilize large numbers of people and gain influence in the political
arena, they create a new scenario that often turns against them. Too often,
their success weakens and even divides social justice movements, thereby leading
to a period of withdrawal and demobilization.
Latin America has seen the rise of center-left governments, or governments
that before assuming power embraced an anti-neoliberal program. In Peru, Alejandro
Toledo gained office thanks to a broad-based movement that ousted Alberto Fujimori.
Colonel Lucio Gutierrez rose to the presidency of Ecuador largely due to the
support of a powerful indigenous movement. In Argentina and Brazil, Nestor
Kirchner and LuizInacioLula da Silva became presidents in the wake of vast
social movements that weakened or caused crises in the prevailing neoliberal
In none of these countries have the new political realities succeeded in completely
demobilizing popular movements. Indeed, the new conjuncture presented by the
ascent of progressive governments has in some cases led to a strengthening
of grassroots movements. At the same time, though, the new political context
marks another starting point for social movements. The experiences in Ecuador,
Bolivia, Argentina, and Brazil represent important lessons (and warnings) for
social movements in other countries that sooner or later will face a series
of dilemmas and challenges that have no easy answers.
RaúlZibechi is a member of the editorial staff of the weekly Brecha de Montevideo,
a teacher and researcher on social movements at MultiversidadFranciscana de
AméricaLatina, and an adviser to several social groups. He is a monthly contributor
to the IRC’s Americas Program (online at http://www.americaspolicy.org).
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Email: communications at irc-online.org
Siri D. Khalsa
Interhemispheric Resource Center (IRC)
siri at irc-online.org
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