US-aligned right wing forces have been advancing in Latin America over the past three years. They have capitalised on the political instability created by an economic crisis which has engulfed the region following the crash in commodity prices in 2014. Their agenda is to reverse the huge social gains delivered by socialist and left wing governments throughout Latin America since the turn of the century and subordinate the region’s governments to US policy.
By Stephen MacAvoy
The huge youth student protests that have shaken Chile in recent months have shattered the myth that it is Latin America’s neo-liberal success story and underlined how mass protests are key to forcing concessions from politicians who argue “there is no alternative”.
The students, whose demands are free education and an end to profit-making in education, have organised six months of resolute protests involving prolonged occupations of hundreds of schools some for months at time, regular demonstrations attracting as many as 1m people (as shown in this video report) in a country of just 16 million people and civil disobedience in the form of direct action, such as this occupation of Parliament (seen here).