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From Social Movements to ‘Other’ Societies in Movement – Part 1

By: 
Raúl Zibechi

To analyze the state of Latin American social movements today, we must review the main popular struggles since 2005, when the previous cycle of struggle concluded with the second gas war in Bolivia and Evo Morales’ electoral triumph.

A mapping of these resistances will give an idea as to what is happening to counter the advance of the right wing and the retreat of the left in the electoral scenario. As we see in the following table, new social actors appear from 2005 onwards, while others are dispersed. The bottom line is the consolidation of the energy extractivism model, which involves the re-colonization of territories and peoples, and excludes a considerable part of the population, particularly Indians, Blacks, mestizos, peasants, and urban popular sectors – whom I refer collectively to as los de Abajo, those from below.