Spirit of solidarity
Humiliation is slowly being supplanted by a sense of solidarity with those in other Latin countries who have endured similar conditions for very much longer. There are also large numbers of migrants from these countries (particularly Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia) living in the barrios of Argentina. The new social movements here, and their attitude towards political, economic and cultural orthodoxy, are now widely known and influential across the continent. In their turn, Argentinean movements have been inspired from Bolivia, Peru and the Andean countries as a whole, where the tactic of blocking roads, for example, has been in use for very much longer. The unorthodox ideas of the Zapatistas in Mexico - 'autonomy' and 'horizontalism', rejecting hierarchical political parties and placing the encuentro or asamblea at the centre of decision-making processes - are now remarkably pervasive. All Latin America's social movements know that behind the electoral victory of Lula in Brazil lie groups like the Landless Movement (MST) and their urban equivalents.
Photo: Ian Nixon