Latin America is rising up against all forms of oppression through protests against inequality of all kinds: economic, political and social. What started in Puerto Rico (which is both American and Latin American) this past summer has only intensified in South America throughout the fall. Here’s a quick recap of the protests and civil unrest in Bolivia, Chile and Ecuador. It has left people dead, policies removed and Presidents resigning.
Evo Morales, the first indigenous President of the country elected in 2006, ran for a fourth Presidential term in October. His election results were deemed irregular and opponents called his win a fraud. This after the country’s court system did away with term limits at Morales’ urging. Once the military and police turned on Morales resigned. He is in asylum in Mexico saying this is a coup by his opponents. Currently his supporters are protesting in mass for his return. Just last night 8 protesters were killed in clashes with police.Jeanine Áñez is the acting president until new elections are held in three months. Her motives have been questioned since she self-appointed herself President without lawmakers present during the Congressional session. In just a few weeks she has removed many of Morales’ appointees and officials from the governing Socialist party.
Transit fare hikes were the last straw for Chileans. The announcement was made in early October that metro prices would go up. It has led to the longest series of protests in the country since the end of the dictatorship. Issues including low pensions, expensive healthcare, high utility costs and widespread inequality are at the core of this movement. In just over a month several dozen people have died in clashes with police. The protests have led President Sebastian Pinera to walk back transit fare hikes and address demands including raising the minimum wage, increasing pensions and rewriting the dictatorship-era constitution. The violence and hard line police response are echoes of the Pinochet era and are gaining international attention. Mon Laferte, a Chilean singer, protested by wearing her beliefs on her bare chest at the Latin Grammy red carpet.
An attempt to rein in the country’s spending and reduce debt included pulling back gas subsidies in October. President Lenin Moreno’s plans were sidetracked when indigenous communities began protesting in Quito and demanding Moreno resign. Two weeks of protests shut down oil production, farming and other industries. The clashes ended when both sides met to find constructive solutions to the debt and spending problem while respecting the public’s voice and will.