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International Socialist Review Issue 44, NovemberDecember 2005
Analysis of a continent in revolt
Latin America on fire
by TOM LEWIS
THE SCALE of the social crisis throughout Latin America is immense. From Tijuana to Patagonia, implosions of the neo-liberal model since 2000 have ushered in a period of intensified class struggle in almost every country. Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela are the best known instances, but today spirited protest and political polarization also mark Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. Even Chile—the darling of neoliberalizers after Argentina’s collapse in 2001—is showing signs of losing its apparent immunity from the economic and social tribulations that ravage the rest of South America.
Neoliberalism in Latin America
Neoliberalism consists of a package of economic policies that include privatization, labor flexibilization, debt repayment, balanced budgets, and trade liberalization.