The Latin American Left Isn’t Dead Yet

Santiago Anria, Kenneth M. Roberts

Argentina, Bolivia and Uruguay will all hold presidential elections in October. And, for now, leftists are strong contenders in all three countries.

This is a somewhat unexpected development. Beginning in 2015, conservatives toppled major leftist strongholds, including in Brazil, Argentina and Chile. The socially progressive Latin American left was declared dead many times over.

But the left-leaning populist Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s victory in Mexico in July 2018 showed that Latin American political winds don’t all blow in the same direction.

So what can be learned from the failures and successes of Latin America’s leftist parties and governments in the very recent past?

Latin America’s ‘Left Turn’

About two-thirds of all Latin Americans lived under some form of leftist government by 2010 – a “pink tide” that washed over the region following the election of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela in 1998.

Only a few countries – notably Colombia and Mexico – remained under conservative political leadership during this period.

Academics conventionally grouped this Latin American left into two camps.

Read the original article.