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Meet the people building alternatives to mining in Colombia

By: 
Hannibal Rhoades and Benjamin Hitchcock Auciello

On the 26th March 2017, citizens from the mountainous municipality of Cajamarca, Colombia, voted, with a 98% majority, to ban South African miner AngloGold Ashanti’s vast La Colosa gold mining project, in a ‘popular consultation’ led by grassroots youth activists and small-scale farmers.

One year on, and Cajamarca’s victory has helped inspire a much wider movement of citizens and municipalities exercising their democratic right to participation. 9 other municipalities have held consultations, each rejecting planned mining, gas and oil projects with majorities above 90%. More than 70 others have indicated their intention to do the same.

Some thoughts, self-criticisms and proposals concerning the process of change in Bolivia

By: 
Pablo Solon
What has happened? How did we come to this? What occurred in the process of change that more than 15 years ago won its first victory with the water war? Why is it that a conglomeration of movements that wanted to change Bolivia ended up trapped in a referendum to allow two persons to be re-elected in 2019?
To say that it’s all the work of the imperialist conspiracy is nonsensical. The idea of the referendum for re-election did not come from the White House but from the Palacio Quemado.[2] Now it is obvious that imperialism and the entire ultra-right are benefiting from this great error, the calling of a referendum to enable two persons to be re-elected.

What Happened to the Pink Tide?

By: 
Kyla Sankey

When the “pink tide” of left-leaning governments first rose to power on the back of anti-neoliberal protests across Latin America in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the initial reaction from the Left was euphoric. Striving to move beyond the “there is no alternative” mantra, many pinned their hopes on what seemed to be a new wave of actually existing alternatives to neoliberalism.

Amidst the revolutionary fervor of social forums, solidarity alliances, and peoples’ councils, it appeared an epochal shift was underway, which Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa optimistically dubbed “a genuine change in the times.”

But in retrospect, the 2005 political mobilizations that led to the defeat of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) may have been the high point of the pink tide project. Since then, the balance of power has slowly shifted back towards the Right, with the popularity and efficacy of left-wing governments rapidly diminishing.

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