In the 1980s, the indigenous social movements emerged, an event that was occasioned by political liberalization in Latin America to join a protest fuelled by the bad social and economic conditions. Edward states that “These movements were the beginning of a new form of mobilization and protests for indigenous people that affected the politics of Latin America.”1Indeginous people made alliances with bodies and people that had the ability to put pressure on the political system to eliminate inequality and exclusion. Edward elaborates that, “These movements rejected the traditional institutional political players which resulted to increasing distancing of political parties, and unions, from social realities.”2 The government, police, and media tried to delegitimize the movement which created in a rise of more movements against government and police brutality. However, these movements increased political inequality and exclusion as Latin America has the highest rates of inequality in the world to date.
Some movements such as the opposition of the Free Trade Agreement caused an economic boom. The Free Trade Agreement was radical and resulted in poor living standards for Latin Americans, reviving moderates on this trade union reduced the rate of unemployment and improved living standards. According to Edward, “Opposing the trade agreement was very essential to the economy of Latin America as it resulted in economic growth.”3 This growth caused the emergence of economic classes, leading elites and intellectuals, hobbies and a sophisticated lifestyle. Moreover, modern technology and improvements in the measure of scientific success in both Mathematics and Astronomy also occurred.
The rise of social movements resulted in a diverse culture with the creation of ethnic groups. The international regime created social interaction between the indigenous people and international actors created new ethnic groups. Latino which is the major group in Latin America has many subgroups, their main language is Spanish with Portuguese, French and Creole influences. Also, the participation of international actors in the social movements affected religion with about 90% of Latin America following Christianity, especially Roman Catholicism.
Edward l. Cleary, Resurgent Voices: Indians, Politics, and Religion in Latin America, (New Brunswick,
Rutgers University Press, 2004), 1- 23
Timothy J. Steigenga. “Resurgent voices: Indians, politics, and religion in Latin America.” Resurgent
Voices in Latin America: Indigenous peoples, political mobilization, and religious (2004):11-16