A few weeks, the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) handed down the results of a forensic audit of the files found on laptops that were reportedly seized during a raid on a rebel encampment of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in
Some of the first responses from the right to the rise of left wing leaders in Latin America came from the opposition in
The right wing opposition in
Another recent challenge, this time to the government of Evo Morales in
Morales’ reforms seek to distribute wealth more evenly across regions, which has brought him into conflict with large landowners and agribusiness interests in
As a solution to the crisis, Morales has agreed to hold a referendum on his rule within ninety days. The referendum will determine whether he, his vice-president, and nine governors should stay in office. When Morales initially raised this idea of a referendum in December, the opposition rejected it, however, given their recent victory in the autonomy vote, some elite sectors are feeling encouraged that they could defeat Morales in such a referendum.
Unable to defeat Morales through elections or the constituent assembly, the efforts of elites are now focused on destabilizing the country through secession and gaining control over land and natural resources. Chávez and Correa have warned that this strategy could be followed by opposition groups in other countries. In a recent speech, Chávez pointed to the upcoming regional and local elections to be held in Venezuela in November, that could follow a similar trend. Correa also talked about the separatist elites fostering similar autonomy claims in Guayaquil and Guayas in Ecuador and Zulia in Venezuela, who had met in 2006 to form a confederation. Yet, these movements cannot be compared to the Bolivia case, where the geographical divisions of the country are much more marked.
The region of Latin America may not be facing the same phase of cold war politics as in the 1960s to 1980s, with CIA-sponsored invasions, American-backed contras, and active wars of destabilization and "containment." Particularly given the entrenchment of the US military and economic resources in the occupation of Iraq, there are fewer resources available for fighting at other fronts. The electoral path being followed by leftist governments, who have as yet not carried out any major expropriations of property, has also won them greater legitimacy in the diplomatic sphere. However, as recent events show, dominant classes in the region are still strong and the threats of destabilization, possible war, and polarization, are always on the horizon.
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