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Why Colombia’s Peace Deal Hangs in the Balance

By |7/December/2021|

In 2016, the Colombian government and FARC signed a landmark agreement to end decades of conflict – but five years on, President Duque’s reactionary politics are putting peace at risk.

Colombian president Iván Duque has been busy using COP26 to cultivate his image as a ‘green’ leader. The UK government and parts of the media have obliged, often painting him as a beacon of morality in Latin America, in stark contrast with his counterparts in countries like Brazil. But Duque has much more in common with his authoritarian counterparts than he would care to admit.

Despite Duque’s much-hyped green credentials, in 2020, 65 environmental activists were murdered on his watch. And from March 2020 to April 2021, 22 trade unionists were murdered, making Colombia the deadliest country in the world to be a trade unionist, human rights activist or environmental campaigner.

The situation for former FARC combatants is even more extreme, with over 296 assassinated since being incorporated into civilian life. In fact, almost one thousand activists have been murdered in the last four years – on average, that’s more than four a week.

The 2016 Colombian peace process was supported by Colombian and international trade unions. Justice for Colombia, a British and Irish trade union campaign, was crucial in supporting it, even organising exchanges between Northern Irish politicians involved in the Good Friday Agreement and Colombian negotiators.

The Conditions for Peace

In 1985, during an earlier attempt to end the armed conflict, thousands of Colombian left activists and former guerrillas organised in the Patriotic Union Party were exterminated in a prolonged episode of state-backed paramilitary violence – a political genocide.

Colombia is often praised for being one of Latin America’s oldest democracies, but as the massacre of the Patriotic Union shows, its democratic system was built on the violent persecution of organised opposition.

The 2016 peace agreement proposes fundamental democratic reforms which would open the door for broad political participation, but the escalation of politically-motivated violence taking place in Colombia today lays bare the failure of the Colombian government to act on the democratic reform demanded by the accords.

Another important part of the agreement is on comprehensive rural reform, which addresses the problematic concentration of land ownership and huge levels of inequality which have driven the conflict from the very beginning. Here, too, the Colombian government is reneging its obligations, and Duque is committed to a staunchly neoliberal economic settlement – putting the structural reform elements of the accords at risk of becoming a dead letter.

Despite triumphant rhetoric and greenwashing, even the state’s obligations to dismantle Colombia’s notorious rightwing paramilitaries and financing sustainable crop-substitution to support farmers away from growing coca has fallen dramatically short of what is needed.

Where the FARC have acted honestly, handing in their weapons and submitting to the transitional justice process, the Colombian state has failed to consistently or completely uphold many of its most important commitments.

An Opportunity for Democracy

Continued democratic exclusion and tenacious opposition to the peace process from the far-right culminated in the election of a government determined to ignore, impede or

Why Colombia’s Peace Deal Hangs in the Balance

By |7/December/2021|

In 2016, the Colombian government and FARC signed a landmark agreement to end decades of conflict – but five years on, President Duque’s reactionary politics are putting peace at risk.

Colombian president Iván Duque has been busy using COP26 to cultivate his image as a ‘green’ leader. The UK government and parts of the media have obliged, often painting him as a beacon of morality in Latin America, in stark contrast with his counterparts in countries like Brazil. But Duque has much more in common with his authoritarian counterparts than he would care to admit.

Despite Duque’s much-hyped green credentials, in 2020, 65 environmental activists were murdered on his watch. And from March 2020 to April 2021, 22 trade unionists were murdered, making Colombia the deadliest country in the world to be a trade unionist, human rights activist or environmental campaigner.

The situation for former FARC combatants is even more extreme, with over 296 assassinated since being incorporated into civilian life. In fact, almost one thousand activists have been murdered in the last four years – on average, that’s more than four a week.

The 2016 Colombian peace process was supported by Colombian and international trade unions. Justice for Colombia, a British and Irish trade union campaign, was crucial in supporting it, even organising exchanges between Northern Irish politicians involved in the Good Friday Agreement and Colombian negotiators.

The Conditions for Peace

In 1985, during an earlier attempt to end the armed conflict, thousands of Colombian left activists and former guerrillas organised in the Patriotic Union Party were exterminated in a prolonged episode of state-backed paramilitary violence – a political genocide.

Colombia is often praised for being one of Latin America’s oldest democracies, but as the massacre of the Patriotic Union shows, its democratic system was built on the violent persecution of organised opposition.

The 2016 peace agreement proposes fundamental democratic reforms which would open the door for broad political participation, but the escalation of politically-motivated violence taking place in Colombia today lays bare the failure of the Colombian government to act on the democratic reform demanded by the accords.

Another important part of the agreement is on comprehensive rural reform, which addresses the problematic concentration of land ownership and huge levels of inequality which have driven the conflict from the very beginning. Here, too, the Colombian government is reneging its obligations, and Duque is committed to a staunchly neoliberal economic settlement – putting the structural reform elements of the accords at risk of becoming a dead letter.

Despite triumphant rhetoric and greenwashing, even the state’s obligations to dismantle Colombia’s notorious rightwing paramilitaries and financing sustainable crop-substitution to support farmers away from growing coca has fallen dramatically short of what is needed.

Where the FARC have acted honestly, handing in their weapons and submitting to the transitional justice process, the Colombian state has failed to consistently or completely uphold many of its most important commitments.

An Opportunity for Democracy

Continued democratic exclusion and tenacious opposition to the peace process from the far-right culminated in the election of a government determined to ignore, impede or

Honduras Rises Up to Reclaim Its Democracy

By |1/December/2021|

A statement from the Observatory on Sunday’s historic election.

On Sunday, delegates from the Progressive International Observatory witnessed history: the election of Xiomara Castro, the first woman to become president of Honduras.

For millions of Hondurans, the election not only offered a chance to endorse Castro’s programme of national ‘refoundation’ and the extension of social and economic rights it contained. It also presented the opportunity to turn the page from a decade of bloodshed, uncertainty and instability, since the armed forces led a coup against President Manuel Zelaya in 2009.

The triumph of democracy in Honduras reflects the courage of its citizens to overcome efforts to suppress their participation in Sunday’s election. Targeted political violence, mass disinformation and rampant corruption threatened to derail the democratic process. A cyberattack of unknown origins crashed the electoral authority’s webpage in the morning, and just hours later – with no votes counted and no clear exit poll – the ruling National Party declared victory in a major press conference: a clear effort to dissuade turnout among remaining voters.

But the Honduran people could not be deterred. Nearly 70 per cent of the country turned out to vote on Sunday, delivering a crushing defeat for the ruling National Party – and, by extension, the militarisation of Honduran society that the United States government had financed.

In the first test for the Progressive International Observatory, delegates worked closely with local activists and national electoral experts to bring transparency to the Honduran election. The delegation raised the alarm around failing physical infrastructure and preparation before days polls opened. The delegation denounced electoral irregularities and attacks to the democratic process on election day. And the delegation will remain watchful of potential ‘lawfare’ against Honduran democracy – until every vote is counted, and long after.

The return of democracy to Honduras is a staggering achievement. But is also fragile. In the decade since the 2009 coup, the armed forces have only become better supplied, better financed and more deeply connected with US military allies.

The Progressive International therefore calls for sustained global vigilance to ensure a fair conclusion to the vote count, and to resist the possibility of a military intervention in subsequent days.

Such vigilance is a necessary companion of the reconstruction process already underway in Honduras – to repair its democratic institutions, but most of all, to build a fairer society and bring justice for the crimes its people have so recently endured.

This article was originally published by Progressive International and has been edited for style.

Alborada is a member of the Progressive International wire service.

The World Is Watching Honduras

By |26/November/2021|

The Progressive International is in Tegucigalpa to conduct official observation as escalating violence threatens Sunday’s election.

Sunday is the decisive moment for democracy in Honduras.

Observers from the Progressive International arrive to Tegucigalpa as Honduras prepares to elect a president, three vice-presidents, 298 mayors, 128 national lawmakers and 20 deputies for the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN).

Combining observation at voting centres with real-time analysis of the vote count, the delegation will work with the Centro de Estudio para la Democracia (CESPAD) and the National Electoral Council (CNE) to ensure transparency and accountability in the country’s democratic process.

The delegation arrives at a decisive moment for democracy in Honduras. Following a decade of military force, foreign intervention and documented irregularities in its electoral process, the country now faces a stark choice: respect the popular will, or repress it.

Honduras has yet to recover political stability after the 2009 coup – led by the country’s armed forces and aided by US military officers – against president Manuel Zelaya.

The presidential elections that followed – in 2013 and 2017 – were again mired in allegations of fraud, low technical capacity and outright corruption. In 2017, even the Organization of American States (OAS) itself went as far as to say ‘the OAS General Secretariat cannot give assurance regarding the outcome of the elections.’

The country now faces both domestic and international threats to its democratic process.

Disinformation runs rampant across social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, as candidates spread conspiracy theories and slander opposition candidates in an attempt to suppress participation in the election.

Meanwhile, political violence is on the rise. In July, the former lawmaker Carolina Echeverría from the Liberal Party was assassinated in her own home as she planned for a congressional re-election campaign.

This was hardly an isolated attack. Just last month, opposition deputy Olivia Zúñiga Cáceres, daughter of slain Indigenous leader Berta Cáceres, faced an assassination attempt similar to that of Echevarría. Activists across the country report regular violence and intimidation in the run-up to Sunday’s election.

The rise in political violence has raised questions over the role of the armed forces in the country’s political system. Since the coup in 2009, the Honduran armed forces have enforced Zelaya’s exile, taken over key roles government administration and assumed police duties.

The power of the country’s armed forces is backstopped by the US government. Through its hemispheric ‘War on Drugs’, the US has pumped hundreds of millions of dollars in military training and aid to these same armed forces.

The strategy has proved disastrous both for Honduras as for the stated aims of US drug policy – exemplified most clearly by the indictment of sitting president Juan Orlando Hernández for his alleged attempts to ‘leverage drug trafficking to maintain and enhance his political power.’

Concern is now mounting – within Honduras and internationally – that Sunday’s election will see widespread fraud, violence and repression. Opposition forces have organised courageously to demand the restoration of democracy to the country. But careful monitoring will be necessary to guard against the deployment of authoritarian

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Announcing the Progressive International Observatory

By |15/November/2021|

The Progressive International invites progressive forces to join the Observatory and to protect the ‘fragile plant’ of democracy to flourish around the world.

Around the world, democratic institutions are under attack. From Narendra Modi in India to Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, authoritarian leaders are getting organised to rig the rules, capture the courts, spread lies and criminalise dissent.

But the institutions that claim to defend democracy are unfit to address this global crisis. On the contrary, groups like the Organization of American States (OAS) have abetted attacks on democracy. In the case of Bolivia, for example, the OAS provided cover for a bloody military coup against the government of Evo Morales on the basis of manipulated statistics. ‘There is no credibility in the OAS,’ Bolivian President Luis Arce said in March.

The time has come to build an alternative: an institution with the technical skills, legal expertise, and global reach to combat disinformation, to challenge persecution and to provide real-time defence of democratic institutions.

Over the past year, we have dispatched delegations of data scientists, trade unionists and parliamentarians to observe the electoral process in embattled democracies around the world — from Ecuador to Turkey to Brazil.

Along the way, we have earned a reputation with anti-democratic forces around the world. At the CPAC conference in Brazil back in September, extreme-right Colombian senator María Fernanda Cabal called the Progressive International a ‘group of convicts’ for our successful efforts to beat back Keiko Fujimori’s coup attempt in Peru. ‘Don’t let the Progressive International believe that they are going to do what they did in Peru,’ she said to the Brazilian audience. ‘From now, we are going to start writing down the names of electoral observers.’

But against these vicious attacks, we have seen major triumphs. In Ecuador, our international pressure helped ensure the presence on the ballot of the country’s largest political force. In Bolivia, vigilant international solidarity helped ensure a stable democratic process that returned the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) to power. In Peru, our team of data scientists helped refute the claims of electoral fraud with which Fujimori attempted to annul tens of thousands of votes and steal the election.

Now, we are building from these victories to launch a global Observatory — and we are inviting you to build it with us.

From organising delegations to preparing investigations, the PI Observatory will ensure greater transparency, integrity and accountability in our democracies. ‘Democracy is a fragile plant,’ said PI Council member Noam Chomsky. ‘Today the threat is severe from a resurgent proto-fascist right. The formation of this Observatory should create a badly needed barrier to these destructive tendencies.’

The timing of the launch is critical. Just this month, we are preparing to travel to two key battlegrounds: Chile and Honduras. In Chile, the promise of a new and inclusive constitution is under threat by reactionary forces that declare their support for military dictatorship. In Honduras, candidates face daily assassination attempts as their prospects for victory rise. The Observatory will bring the eyes of the world to bear witness

Alborada Co-editor Nick MacWilliam Discusses His Documentary Santiago Rising

By |30/October/2021|

Santiago Rising was filmed on the streets of Chile’s capital city in late 2019 as massive protests over economic inequality engulfed the country and makes its London cinema debut on Saturday 6 November.

Alborada co-editor Nick MacWilliam recently spoke to UK independent media outlet Skwawkbox about his documentary Santiago Rising, released through Alborada Films in January 2021.

After several screenings around the UK and online, the film makes its London cinema debut on Saturday 6 November as part of a day of Latin American documentaries at Rich Mix.

You can watch Nick’s interview above. Tickets to the Rich Mix screening are available via the Rich Mix website.

Chile is at the Dawn of a New Political Era

By |24/October/2021|

The search for the new era in Chile has two important avenues: the writing of the new constitution, which is what the 155 members of the Constitutional Convention are doing, and the presidential election to be held on 21 November 2021.

‘It feels like we are at the end of an era,’ Bárbara Sepúlveda tells me on 12 October 2021. Sepúlveda is a member of Chile’s Constitutional Convention and of the Communist Party of Chile. The era to which Sepúlveda refers is that of General Augusto Pinochet, who led the US-backed coup in 1973 that overthrew the popularly elected government of president Salvador Allende. During the Pinochet era, the military acted with impunity, and the left was assassinated and sent into exile – while big business (both Chilean and foreign) received all the blessings of the dictatorship. That’s the era that has slowly been sputtering to a halt since Pinochet’s removal in 1990 and since the Chilean people voted to throw out the dictatorship’s constitution of 1980 and write a new one.

Neoliberalism was born in Chile, as the popular slogan goes, and it will die in Chile. This slogan seems to have come true with the ending of the Pinochet era.

But Sepúlveda is not sure about what comes next. ‘Everybody knows everything is uncertain,’ she says frankly. ‘That is an opportunity to begin a new era.’ The first decade and a half after Pinochet’s removal seemed bleak. Then, in 2006, a cycle of student protests rattled the country. These were led by young students, whose black-and-white school uniforms gave the protests a name – La Revolución Pingüina, or the Penguin Revolution. The young people demanded a new national curriculum as well as a reduction in public transportation fares and examination fees. When the government failed to deliver on these demands, a second cycle of protests mobilized in 2011-2013 with the same demands. Their leaders – including Camila Vallejo of the Communist Party and Giorgio Jackson of the Democratic Revolution – are now important figures of the left project in Chile. Once more in 2011-2013, the students were met with a stalemate, with the constitution of 1980 being a barricade to their ambitions.

A third cycle of student protests began in early October 2019 following a hike in public transportation fares. The ‘penguins’ led a campaign of fare evasion (under the slogan ¡Evade!). The protesters were met with a harsh repression campaign including violent clashes with the Chilean police. On 18 October, the rightwing government, led by President Sebastián Piñera, issued a two-week state of emergency, authorising the deployment of the Chilean army against the protests, which only intensified. The violence used to suppress the protests resulted in the emergence of the slogan Piñera Asesino (Piñera the assassin) among protesters and their supporters.

Sepúlveda says of the 2019 mobilisation that the breaking point on ‘18 October moved the axis [of Chilean politics] further to the left.’ Although the third cycle of protests had initially been a response to the transportation fare hike, the government’s reaction made it clear

Canada’s Role in the Horrors of Guatemalan Civil War

By |21/October/2021|

Canada has played a historic role in driving conflict and instability in Guatemala as part of its long-term coveting of the Central American country’s natural resources.

‘Canada’s bilateral programming in Guatemala is aligned with Canada’s feminist international assistance policy and focuses on supporting the most vulnerable, including women and girls, Indigenous peoples, and rural populations through gender equality, human rights, inclusive governance, and economic growth.’

Embassy of Canada to Guatemala

Jacobo Árbenz knew his administration was in danger. Although he won the Guatemalan presidency handily in 1950, a vote which gave him a massive popular mandate to pursue nationalist agrarian reforms targeting the holdings of foreign companies (in particular the US-based United Fruit Company), by early 1954 he had come to realise that he was unlikely to serve out his term. The CIA, in collaboration with US business and elements of the Guatemalan military, was plotting against his administration, and if the fate of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953 was any indication, then President Árbenz had little time left.

Around one year before the US coup forced him from power, Árbenz’s foreign minister, Guillermo Toriello Garrido, contacted the government of Canada. Officials within the Canadian government had already voiced their disdain for Árbenz’s nationalist program. Before his election in 1950, the Ottawa trade commissioner in Guatemala described Árbenz as ‘unscrupulous, daring and ruthless, and not one to be allayed in his aims by bloodshed or killing.’ The trade commissioner’s opinion was clearly shared at the highest levels of power. When Toriello contacted the Canadians and asked to open embassies in the two countries – a clear sign of normalising relations which could have helped the image of the increasingly embattled Árbenz administration – the Department of External Affairs refused. Reporter Peter Macfarlane later revealed that ‘at external affairs and in Canadian board rooms…the coup [against Árbenz] was chalked up as another victory of the Free World against the [Red] Menace.’

Árbenz was no communist. He was a moderately leftwing nationalist who viewed his administration’s agrarian agenda not as an ideological project, but as a common-sense initiative for restoring resource sovereignty to his people. But this agenda was too much for US interests, and Canada stood idly by as Washington enacted its regime change policy. During Operation PBSuccess, the CIA initiative which toppled Árbenz, the Canadian government authorised only one military action in Guatemala: a plan to evacuate Canadian citizens should the CIA-orchestrated coup fail and plunge the country into chaos.

Throughout subsequent decades, the Canadian government quietly profited from the imposition of far-right authoritarianism in Guatemala. While the state massacred leftwing activists and Árbenz supporters, displaced Indigenous people from their lands for the benefit of North American capital and committed genocide against the Mayan people, Canada sold large amounts of weapons and technology to the perpetrators of the violence. CIA operations conducted against anti-government forces during the Guatemalan Civil War often used P-47 and F-47N fighter planes and C-47 and C-54 cargo planes, whose engines were built

Indestructible Podcast #8: The UK and Latin America

By |14/October/2021|

In the eighth episode of Indestructible Rodrigo interviews journalist Grace Livingstone.

Indestructible: Latin America with Rodrigo Acuña is a new podcast from Alborada bringing you monthly discussions with some of the most interesting voices working on and from Latin America.

In the eight episode of Indestructible Podcast Rodrigo interviews Grace Livingstone who is a journalist and academic, specialising in Latin American affairs. She has reported for the BBC World Service, The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent on Sunday and the New Statesman. She is an affiliated lecturer at the Centre of Latin American Studies, University of Cambridge.

The podcast is available on Spotify and other podcast streaming websites.

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Please consider supporting the podcast on Patreon.

::: Episode 8:

The UK and Latin America: An Interview with Grace Livingstone 

Listen to episode 8 on Audioboom and range of other podcast streaming websites

Click here to go to the Indestructible homepage.

Presented by Alborada contributing editor Rodrigo Acuña

Produced and edited by Pablo Navarrete

Music by Chylez Productions.

Please consider supporting the podcast on Patreon.

Get in touch with the podcast: info [at] alborada [dot] net

 

 

Australia’s Clandestine Role in the 1973 Coup in Chile

By |8/October/2021|

Recently declassified documents confirm what researchers have long claimed: that Australian intelligence worked with the CIA to instigate a coup in Chile during the Cold War.

On 2 June, the Australian government conceded for the first time that the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) supported CIA covert operations in Chile in the early 1970s. These operations created the climate for a coup against the democratically elected socialist president Salvador Allende and his Popular Unity government. The National Security Archive (NSA) recently published some of the ASIS’ station reports in Santiago, and the story has drawn attention in the Australian media.

The subject of ASIS and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) activities in Chile has been the subject of inquiry by journalists, politicians and researchers for decades. But the Australian government has long worked to cover its paper trail in Chile. Even though the declassification of these documents for the first time is a significant development, few details are revealed by the heavily redacted documents beyond the admission that Australia had an ASIS station in Santiago and collaborated to some degree with the CIA.

Clinton Fernandes, a professor of politics at the University of New South Wales began the process to declassify the ASIS’ station reports in Chile in 2017 with barrister Ian Latham and solicitor Hugh Macken. According to Fernandes, when he started searching for the archives on ASIS records in Chile, the Australian ‘government’s response was that we can’t even confirm or deny the existence of records.’

On 26 May, Fernandes and his legal team filed a 16-page set of arguments for the declassification of ASIS records on Chile and, in early June, Fernandes was finally given files on ASIS activities in Chile.

Decades of Secrecy

Fernandes was not the first to look into ASIS’ activities in Chile in the early 1970s. Journalist Ian Frykberg published an article in October 1974 in the Sydney Morning Herald citing two former intelligence agents who claimed it was likely that the Australian mission in Chile was working with the CIA by ‘acting as the conduct for money passing from the CIA to newspapers and individuals leaking propaganda information to newspapers and other influential people.’

On 2 December 1974, Clyde Cameron, the Labor and Immigration Minister, wrote to the Attorney General Senator Lionel Murphy about ASIO agents in Chile. ‘I am particularly disturbed to learn that ASIO agents have been posing as migration officers in South America,’ Cameron wrote, ‘and I am now convinced – though firm denials are to be expected – that the reports of ASIO collaboration with the CIA in bringing about the overthrow of the Allende Government is very close to the mark.’

In 1977, a Royal Commission into Australia’s Intelligence and Security (popularly known as the Hope Royal Commission) was tabled before the Australian Parliament. At the commission, Prime Minister Gough Whitlam stated, ‘It has been written – and I cannot deny it – that when my Government took office, Australian intelligence personnel were working as proxies of the CIA in destabilising the government of Chile.’

In 1983, Seymour Hersh published a biography on ex-US Secretary

Latin America’s Left and Constitutional Change

By |28/September/2021|

Why is constitutional change important for Latin America’s resurgent Left? We examine the cases of Chile, Colombia and Bolivia.

Oour latest Alborada Online show brought together academics and analysts to explore the possibilities and limitations of constitutional reform projects in Chile, Bolivia and Colombia and how the leftwing forces in these countries have shaped and been shaped by them. The different strategies of constitutional change are of key importance for Latin America’s Left and the future of democratic socialism in the region.

Event info here.

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Indestructible Podcast #7: CODEPINK’S Struggle for Peace

By |24/September/2021|

In the seventh episode of Indestructible Rodrigo interviews CODEPINK’s Medea Benjamin.

Indestructible: Latin America with Rodrigo Acuña is a new podcast from Alborada bringing you monthly discussions with some of the most interesting voices working on and from Latin America.

In the seventh episode of Indestructible Rodrigo interviews Medea Benjamin about US foreign policy towards Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Palestine, Venezuela, Cuba and Peru. Medea is one of the United States’ most distinguished peace activists and the co-founder of both the women-led peace group CODEPINK and the human rights group Global Exchange.

The podcast is available on Spotify and other podcast streaming websites.

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Please consider supporting the podcast on Patreon.

::: Episode 7:

CODEPINK’S Struggle for Peace: An Interview with Medea Benjamin

Listen to episode 7 on Audioboom and range of other podcast streaming websites

Click here to go to the Indestructible homepage.

Presented by Alborada contributing editor Rodrigo Acuña

Produced and edited by Pablo Navarrete

Music by Chylez Productions.

Please consider supporting the podcast on Patreon.

Get in touch with the podcast: info [at] alborada [dot] net

 

 

Photography

Kiev, 26 May 2018

By |27/May/2018|

Liverpool supporters attending the Champions League final carry banners in solidarity with Brazilian former president Lula Da Silva and Catalan political prisoners. Polls show that if Lula ran in this year’s presidential election, he would win by a landslide and restore the Workers’ Party to government.

Video

Chile’s Student Uprising (Documentary)

By |2/April/2020|

(Director Roberto Navarrete, 35 mins, Alborada Films, 2014)

Mass student protests took place in Chile between 2011 and 2013 demanding a free and state-funded education system and radical change in society. The documentary puts these protests in their historical context of widespread dissatisfaction with the economic model put in place under the Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1990), but that still remains largely in place.

The film’s director travelled to Chile between 2011 and 2013 to speak to then student leaders (now Members of Congress) such as Camila Vallejo and Giorgio Jackson, and also to other students, to explore why their protests had caused such effect in Chile and inspired others in the country and beyond.

“Roberto Navarrete’s is the most complete and compelling visual account of Chile’s student uprising to date. All the lessons from Patricio Guzmán’s path-breaking style of documenting in film are there: poetic visuals, an engaged narrative, the focus on personal feelings and stories combined with subtle and accessible analysis, plus a sense of the tragic tempered by the optimism of the will. Navarrete adds to it the passion and distance of the exile’s gaze, and a Latin American Beckettian flare for celebration while thinking. This is a must see for all those interested in the current sway of global rebellions that show us all the shape of things to come. Superb!”

Dr Oscar Guardiola-Rivera, Professor in Law, Birbeck, University of London and author of ‘Story of a Death Foretold: The Coup Against Salvador Allende, September 11th, 1973’

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Video

Chile’s Student Uprising (Documentary)

By |2/April/2020|

(Director Roberto Navarrete, 35 mins, Alborada Films, 2014)

Mass student protests took place in Chile between 2011 and 2013 demanding a free and state-funded education system and radical change in society. The documentary puts these protests in their historical context of widespread dissatisfaction with the economic model put in place under the Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1990), but that still remains largely in place.

The film’s director travelled to Chile between 2011 and 2013 to speak to then student leaders (now Members of Congress) such as Camila Vallejo and Giorgio Jackson, and also to other students, to explore why their protests had caused such effect in Chile and inspired others in the country and beyond.

“Roberto Navarrete’s is the most complete and compelling visual account of Chile’s student uprising to date. All the lessons from Patricio Guzmán’s path-breaking style of documenting in film are there: poetic visuals, an engaged narrative, the focus on personal feelings and stories combined with subtle and accessible analysis, plus a sense of the tragic tempered by the optimism of the will. Navarrete adds to it the passion and distance of the exile’s gaze, and a Latin American Beckettian flare for celebration while thinking. This is a must see for all those interested in the current sway of global rebellions that show us all the shape of things to come. Superb!”

Dr Oscar Guardiola-Rivera, Professor in Law, Birbeck, University of London and author of ‘Story of a Death Foretold: The Coup Against Salvador Allende, September 11th, 1973’

Chile’s Student Uprising (Documentary)

By |2/April/2020|

(Director Roberto Navarrete, 35 mins, Alborada Films, 2014)

Mass student protests took place in Chile between 2011 and 2013 demanding a free and state-funded education system and radical change in society. The documentary puts these protests in their historical context of widespread dissatisfaction with the economic model put in place under the Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1990), but that still remains largely in place.

The film’s director travelled to Chile between 2011 and 2013 to speak to then student leaders (now Members of Congress) such as Camila Vallejo and Giorgio Jackson, and also to other students, to explore why their protests had caused such effect in Chile and inspired others in the country and beyond.

“Roberto Navarrete’s is the most complete and compelling visual account of Chile’s student uprising to date. All the lessons from Patricio Guzmán’s path-breaking style of documenting in film are there: poetic visuals, an engaged narrative, the focus on personal feelings and stories combined with subtle and accessible analysis, plus a sense of the tragic tempered by the optimism of the will. Navarrete adds to it the passion and distance of the exile’s gaze, and a Latin American Beckettian flare for celebration while thinking. This is a must see for all those interested in the current sway of global rebellions that show us all the shape of things to come. Superb!”

Dr Oscar Guardiola-Rivera, Professor in Law, Birbeck, University of London and author of ‘Story of a Death Foretold: The Coup Against Salvador Allende, September 11th, 1973’