Disempowerment in Latin America

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For a while, in Latin America, there has been an effort by left-wing governments to empower less privileged classes of the population. The empowerment, although still small, of blacks in Brazil has grown. In Bolivia, the indigenous population was also empowered by the rise of one of their representatives in the country’s government. In Ecuador, especially during the first part of Rafael Correa’s government, with Alberto Acosta at the head of the Constituent Assembly, the indigenous were also empowered by a leftist view. This demonstrates, not only in the countries and groups cited, an increasing empowerment of the most vulnerable classes and races of the population, such as black people, indigenous people, women, LGBTQs, the poor and others, during the existence of leftist governments.

Today, with the massive presence of the United States in the politics of Latin America and the rise of the right and especially the extreme right to power, a strong movement of disempowerment of the less privileged classes and groups emerge. The middle class in these countries, without realizing it or for prejudice, end up supporting this disempowerment. With that, the old ideology of white supremacists comes to power and demonstrates the machismo, racism and homophobia that spread throughout these countries.

A federal deputy who is also a military police colonel (Coronel Tadeu) in Brazil destroyed a work of art part of an exhibit on black consciousness in the Chamber of Deputies. After the destruction, another deputy (Daniel Silveira) addressed the plenary of the House in defense of the colonel and said lightly and liarly that 99% of the traffickers are black, in addition to other barbarities that demonstrate their racism. The most striking is that both deputies belong to the PSL party responsible for electing Bolsonaro, someone marked by a series of racist and homophobic statements, president of the country. Other actions by the Federal Government and state governments confirm this tendency to attack the black population, such as the Anticrime Package formulated by the Minister of Justice and Public Security, Sérgio Moro. One item of the project, for example, may free a cop who kills someone if it is allegedly excused to fear, surprise or violent emotion, a real license to kill who the police kill, the black people. However, not only the black race is affected by the Brazilian far right. The indigenous population also suffers from the support of Bolsonaro and his government to the prospectors, land grabbers and farmers who invade indigenous reserves and are responsible for much of the burning in the Amazon region.

Evo Morales, the former president of Bolivia and he also a member of the indigenous people in the region, was deposed by a coup that began with allegations of fraud by the Organization of American States (OAS). It is clear that the Bolivian white elite has allied with the United States and submissive countries in the region, such as Brazil and Colombia, to lift Morales from power. Unable to defeat him electorally, they took advantage of the OAS presence and denunciation to deliver the coup. Luis Fernando Camacho, a Catholic lawyer, who belongs to a family of businessmen and he, also a businessman, was primarily responsible for the protests that led to the fall of Evo Morales. Like Bolivia’s self-proclaimed president, Jeanine Añez, Camacho has a conservative, right-wing profile that appeals to Christian fundamentalism. Añez and Camacho made the Bible their shield and the north for the future of Bolivia in their speeches. The Bible and Christianity are used to confront Morales’ mostly indigenous supporters which were empowered by Morales. This empowerment, as well as being evident in the much improved rates of hunger and poverty with Morales and the political inclusion of indigenous groups, is eminently perceived through the religious freedom presented by the 2009 Constitution that deprives the Catholic Church of its official religion status. The Morales government allowed Indians, Catholic or not, to affirm their belief in Mother Earth (Pachamama) and their religious values, which is being denied by Camacho and Añez ((https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/bolivia-protests-coup-evo-morales-socialism-election-religion-a9208871.html).

The conflict between two national projects in Ecuador weakened the left. Rafael Correa’s project of the citizen revolution and the “One” people, i.e. with one identity, came into conflict with the Constituent Assembly project of diverse and multi-ethnic civil society. This conflict, coupled with the onset of the commodity crisis, has weakened Ecuador, and current President Lenin Moreno, accused of treason by his former ally Rafael Correa, has adopted a liberal policy that has hurt the poor and the population. local indigenous. This population did not give up and through huge protests and demonstrations, Moreno was able to retreat in the 123% increase in fuels, as well as the so-called liberal economic adjustments, a victory for indigenous communities that have been present for decades in the region. Ecuadorian political struggle.

Protests and demonstrations, as well as persecution of the most vulnerable classes and ethnic groups, are also present in other countries. In Honduras, for example, the population, mostly made up of a mix of Spanish and indigenous, protests against the privatization of health and education systems. There, in 2016, the coordinator of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), Berta Cáceres, was murdered. For this crime, military, government officials and DESA (company Desarrollos Energéticos SA) were convicted. Before she died, Berta Cáceres accused Hillary Clinton of being behind the latest coup in her country.

Another example of revolt against ultra-liberal politics and economics, in addition to the disempowerment of fragile and indigenous populations, is found in Chile. Sebastián Piñera, president of the country, had to retreat to such an extent of his economic and social policy that even the creation of a new constitution was accepted by him. However, the protests have not yet stopped and his government has been cornered. A fact that draws attention in these protests is the use of the Mapuche flag, indigenous people of Chile and Argentina recognized for the struggle for their rights, as a symbol for the protesters.

Although much of Latin America has opted, through free choice, for democratic socialism and the changes in the liberal standard of economy are not as great as those desired by their peoples, local elites, supported by foreign agents, struggle so that the ultra-liberal and segregationist ideals are implanted through an ideology that, in many of its characteristics, recalls that was done by Nazism. To blame or harm a people, race or weakened part of a population is to repeat the cowardice practiced by fascism and Nazism. Blacks and Indians in Brazil, Indians in the Andean and Central American countries, poor people around the world suffer from the disempowerment and ideals of those who only think about maintaining the status quo of those who have always held the immense part of power. These people not only think about maintaining power, but seek to increase it and further lower those on the side of diversity and difference, through a biased and segregating extreme right ideology.

Ex-professor de diversas universidades públicas e particulares. Lecionou na Universidade Federal Fluminense e na Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro.

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