Term Paper: Latin American Politics United States

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[. . .] The corporatist system is one that can be beneficial to commercial farmers, while detrimental to rural farmers. Commercial farmers can remain in control of agriculture under this system, monopolizing the industry.

Over the years, many changes have occurred recently concerning the numbers and types of interest groups. Now interest groups are not just the army, the church, and the oligarchy, but also the middle class, workers, peasants, women, indigenous groups, university students, government entities, and international groups.

Even with these new interest groups, pluralism in Latin America is still a limited pluralism as the majority of the new groups are unorganized and inarticulate, and the political bias still leans toward the privileged rather than the mass. Because of its corporatist roots, Latin America mainly consists of small, intimate societies where the privileged all band together.

A pluralist system is typified by numerous interest groups, mass media and a free press, strong local authorities, separate political, administrative and judicial systems, a bureaucracy without its own preferences, and a democratic and perhaps even a proportional representation system.

Commercial farmers benefit from this system the most, as large landowners control most of the best agricultural lands, the best soils and in many cases, the water resources. Small farmers, on the other hand, are suffering, as they cannot keep up with the pace. Peasant production contributes to urban food requirements, in effect subsidizing nearby towns and cities given the low prices they receive for their products. Therefore, while commercial farmers can actually make money under this system, peasant farmers might benefit more from a communist system.

The indigenous people of Latin America can benefit from this system as they fight for demands backed by a considerable advocacy network of ethnic organizations ranging from the grassroots community level to national confederations and regional coordinating organizations.

The middle class also stands to benefit from pluralist systems. As Latin America's middle class increases, it is only a matter of time before the region joins the ranks of industrialized modern economies with a thriving educated middle class. A pluralistic society in which the middle class could have its interests represented and could rise up in rank would boost Latin America's growth potential.

In contrast, an authoritarian system is one in which society is governed by a dictator or oligarchy that is not constitutionally responsible to the people. A class system is a large part of this society. The upper class maintains its position by means of inheritance; they are born into positions of authority and wealth, and society is organized to preserve this class system. By this means the culture, wealth, and education could be passed down to successive generations. The lower classes do not matter, and they are constantly held at a subsistence level.

As a strong backlash among the military becomes evident throughout Latin America, the military is losing its influence over the people. In the past, Latin American states were configured under the shadow of military power, whose influence was great. As this influence declines, the military is rapidly losing the economic and political power it accumulated throughout the decades. It flourished under an authoritarian system and will fall in a pluralist one.

Latin America's communist system is one in which in factors of production are collectively owned and directed by the state. Because everything in a communist system is supposedly for the common good, communism fosters a society without classes in which everyone contributes equally toward a shared goal.

In communism, there is no private property, no voluntary exchange because the government owns and controls all resources and means of production, no economic freedom, and no profit motive. Communism offers security to the worker, and the state provides a range of public services.

The indigenous people of Latin America are the poorest of the poor. These people are not idle and are more likely to have a job than the general population. However, they are concentrated in low-wage sectors of the economy, work longer hours for less pay, and are more likely to be "working poor" who must hold two jobs to survive. These people would benefit from communism, as it promotes a system of working for the common good. They would have more security and might be pulled out of poverty.

Latin American women, who are expected to play the traditional role, are victims of communism, as they are never given the opportunities they would receive under a pluralistic society. As for the latifundistas, they would have a serious lifestyle change under communism, as they would no longer control their areas and live the life of the elite.

3. The indigenous people of the Latin Americas have emerged as a major political force in the last twenty-five years. Describe three circumstances where their involvement has been crucial and describe the issues around which they have organized.

Over the past 25 years, important changes have taken place for the indigenous people of Latin America, national States and international cooperation in the region. Despite negative circumstances working to their disadvantage, the indigenous peoples of the region have strengthened their group and are now seen as an important social sector and an emerging political force in the majority of Latin American countries.

The indigenous people of Latin America have a rapidly growing territorial and demographic presence. Their languages have been preserved and are now gaining more respect as a result of their use in the public and in education.

The native communities and people have developed an awareness of their unique cultural heritage and of therights deriving from that heritage and are pursuing demands backed by a considerable advocacy network of ethnic organizations ranging from the grassroots community level to national confederations and regional coordinating organizations.

In addition, indigenous economies have recently entered the national domestic market, and many are even operating effectively in the international marketplace. This emergence of indigenous peoples has turned the spotlight on various matters of vital importance for the future of Latin America.

Prior to the 1980's, indigenous organizing was mostly confined to local communities. There weren't many organizations which united different indigenous groups and indigenous people who became involved in politics usually did so under the wings of the traditional left, which did not support these groups.

In the 1990's, indigenous movements created a strong presence in Latin American politics. With the traditional left in decline, indigenous groups took the spotlight as protagonists in the struggle against the neoliberal attack. A nationwide indigenous mobilization in Ecuador in 1994 screwed up the government's attempt to ram through a neoliberal agrarian reform without any public discussion. The government was forced to negotiate with indigenous leaders and change the law to include their requests.

Constitutional rights have become another focus point of indigenous groups. Due to indigenous activism, the new constitutions in Colombia and Brazil now include a number of indigenous rights. One of the main demands of indigenous groups in both Guatemala and Ecuador is the revision of the constitution to recognize those countries as plurinational states.

Constitutional rights, however, translate unfairly into land protections. In the current battle over indigenous land rights in Brazil, private landed interests have proven skilled at manipulating the judicial and political system in their favor, minimizing established constitutional protections in the process.

Indigenous groups are also stepping up to the plate in electoral politics. In the past, indigenous people had high absentee rates when it came to elections. This was based on a deep-rooted distrust of traditional politics. However, recent elections showed higher voter turnout, resulting in indigenous activists taking office in a number of municipalities. In addition, Colombia's 1991 Constitution reserved two seats in the national Senate for indigenous representatives.

As recently as last year, indigenous groups have played political hard-ball with many of Latin America's leaders. In Ecuador, last year, indigenous groups, along with some mid-level army officers, toppled then-President Jamil Mahuad after expressing opposition to his austerity programs and the imminent dollarization of the economy.

Indigenous groups took over Congress in Quito and proclaimed a "Junta for National Salvation," composed of nationalist Colonel Lucio Gutierrez, indigenous leader Antonio Vargas, and Carlos Solorzano, the former president of the Supreme Court.

As a result of their efforts, Gutierrez was replaced by General Carlos Mendoza, former commander of the armed forces, who derailed the entire process and ushered in the return of the former government. In place of Mahuad, he installed then-Vice President Gustavo Noboa. The dollarization process and austerity programs are underway, but the position of Noboa in the face of frequent indigenous uprisings continues to be as weak as Mahuad's had been. [END OF PREVIEW]

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Latin American Politics United States.  (2002, November 6).  Retrieved July 19, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/latin-american-politics-united-states/8104808

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"Latin American Politics United States."  Essaytown.com.  November 6, 2002.  Accessed July 19, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/latin-american-politics-united-states/8104808.