8 Hotspots of Progress :: Key

An outline of the Social Movements and examples of New Regional Cooperation that are transforming Latin America.


Via Campesina: International Peasant Movement

Coalition of over 100 organizations in the Americas, Asia, and Europe, Via Campesina combines the power of grassroots movements that oppose neoliberal control of agriculture. Invented the term “food sovereignty,” the right of people to grow food sustainably on their own land in accordance with their development needs, and to regulate trade.

Landless Workers' Movement

Brazil's Landless Workers' Movement (MST) is one of the largest social movements in the Americas, with 1.5 million members. MST has won land titles for nearly 400,000 families through peaceful occupations in a country where 3% of the population owns 2/3 of all arable land. Members start co-op organic farms, build schools, and settle communities.

In Brazil: Creating a New Reality

Recuperated Factories

Argentine workers began taking over abandoned factories during the economic crisis of 2001 and operating them as cooperatives. Today, recuperated factories provide jobs for more than 10,000. Similar movements exist in Brazil, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Horizontalidad: Where Everyone Leads

Argentine Workers Build New Economy : : Starting Over

Water Wars

In Cochabamba, Bolivia, thousands protested the privatization of water in 2000. They eventually ejected foreign corporate “owners” and reclaimed the water system. Water protection movements are also found in Uruguay, Argentina, and Ecuador.

Oscar Olivera: After the Water War

Bolivians Topple President : : YES! issue #28: Whose Water?

Human Rights Movements

Human Rights movements are found all over Latin America. Especially prominent are groups seeking justice for those who committed (or continue to commit) political murders and torture. Meanwhile, Argentina, Venezuela, and Uruguay have withdrawn their respective military personnel from the U.S.-based School of the Americas (WHINSEC).

Indigenous Rights Movements

Indigenous peoples are reclaiming rights to self-determination, ancestral lands, and cultural and religious practices. Many are blocking mining and oil exploitation of their lands—some of richest in biodiversity on Earth. Gatherings at all levels are issuing calls for change.

Declaration of La Paz

Latin America's First Indigenous President : : Indigenous Rights Go Global


ALBA (The Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas)

Unlike “free-trade” agreements such as NAFTA and FTAA, ALBA's purpose is to end poverty and social exclusion while protecting the environment. Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, and Nicaragua have signed on. ALBA agreements to date have covered exchanges of Cuban medical care and training of doctors, Venezuelan oil, and Bolivian indigenous knowledge, natural medicine, and food exports, among others.

Why is Cuba Exporting Health Care to the World?

Chavez brings hope to new Bolivian government

No to IMF; Yes to “Bancosur”

The IMF presence in Latin America has dwindled to nearly nothing as countries restructure and pay off their debt, often with help from Venezuela. Presidents Chávez of Venezuela and Kirchner of Argentina signed an agreement to launch the Bank of the South (Bancosur). Chávez has pledged 10% of Venezuela's foreign reserves to the bank.

U.S. Role Turned Upside Down

No Paywall. No Ads. Just Readers Like You.
You can help fund powerful stories to light the way forward.
Donate Now.