Readers discuss instability in Latin America with Folha correspondent – 08/23/2021 – Panel of readers

The most recent political instabilities in Latin America were the subject of a virtual conversation between Folha readers and correspondent Sylvia Colombo last Wednesday (18).

The conversation was part of a series of initiatives that have been adopted by the new editorial staff of Interação to bring Folha closer to her audience. The newspaper made an ad on Twitter and selected seven readers for the chat. Places were limited.

Correspondent in Buenos Aires since 2016 (and previously from 2011 to 2013), Sylvia Colombo has just launched the book “The Year of Cholera” (ed. Rocco), which gives an overview of what happened in five countries of the world. Latin America – Chile, Bolivia, Venezuela, Argentina and Uruguay – in the years 2019 and 2020, when the tensions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic added to those underlying those in each country.

“[O livro] This is basically a look at what has been going on in Latin America since 2019, which has been a very eventful year, with many events, tensions, elections, illegitimate takeovers, which some are calling a snap. State and some don’t, ”he said in her introduction.

“I decided to try to synthesize this into a book that would be available to the general public, and the result is ‘The Year of Cholera’. Which is an open saga. There are now consequences or continuations of these. explosions, from that question which opened in 2019, the questioning of populations and societies in relation to the State. “

“Every country is a country. Every context has a consequence, even if these countries have common roots and problems,” she added.

Paloma Szerman, reader from Argentina, wanted to know precisely if the hot wave of 2019 and the defeat of Donald Trump in the American elections last year were not the sign of a “moderate turn to the left” underway in the region and how it might end. to crystallize.

“There is this thesis that there is a wave of the left returning and it is based on the idea that what happened in 2019 was an affront, a challenge to liberalism in Latin America. This questioning is at the base of all the protests that is the backdrop, and in Peru, we have already seen this transformation, ”said Sylvia, referring to the election of Pedro Castillo to the presidency.

“However, we know that reality always brings new things and that the particular characteristics of countries influence a lot. [a onda de esquerda] all the same, it will depend on many factors. “

For the journalist, there are also signs of a move in the opposite direction. “Cuba is an example. For the first time, the Cuban socialist regime is questioned in the street. So, if Cuba abandons socialism, how is the left in Latin America?” He asked. “I don’t know the answer, let’s look at this together.”

Reader Ronan Wielewski Botelho asked the correspondent about the evidence of an articulation between left movements or countries to promote political change in the region.

“There is an exchange between left parties, groups, social organizations. There is dialogue between progressive forces. But what brings about transformations is very specific to each country,” Sylvia analyzed, citing the increase in metro fares as an example. in Chile. .

“I still think that every movement had its moment of explosion, at its source, which was unique to this country and was very national. If Mexican cartels, FARC dissidents or Venezuelans were there to destabilize liberal governments, I wouldn’t risk saying that. . “

Chilean reader Pablo Bello, who lives in São Paulo, said he sees distrust of institutions as a common denominator among countries in the region, albeit for different reasons. He cited his country and Colombia as examples of the exhaustion of the liberal model, but he saw Brazil and Mexico as cases where the loss of confidence is more linked to corruption, giving rise to populist movements with ideological features. very different.

“What can you expect in terms of rebuilding the social space? Bello asked.

Sylvia said she agreed with the theoretical assessment, but felt that reality shows that there are aspects that remain and gaps through which the past can take precedence over the present. She cited strong resistance to leftist projects in Colombia and even in Peru.

“The pandemic has shown the idea of ​​asking the state to participate more, to have more interference and to contribute more to the civil rights of all,” he said. “Neoliberalism has been and is being confronted. But I think it is a little naive to think that it has turned the key, that we are in another world and that things are not going backwards.”

“Perhaps more than an anti-liberal wave, it is an anti-status quo wave,” prompted reader Sidney Dupeyrat de Santana. For him, the constitutional process initiated in Chile and the last elections in Uruguay are examples of this.

“The challenge to neoliberalism was what drove people to demand the Constituent Assembly in Chile in 2019. Now we are in 2021. The country has serious economic problems due to the pandemic, and a lot of people don’t did not vote, which can lead to the Charter being called into question, ”Sylvia commented.

Diogo Yamada Assis, meanwhile, sought advice from journalism students who, like him, want to become international correspondents in the future. Sylvia Colombo suggested that in addition to the journalism faculty, students invest in a second training – she is a historian and has a master’s degree on 19th century Argentina.

“Journalism colleges train generic professionals, and the journalism specialty is everyone’s hallmark,” he said.

She also suggested that the student spend a period abroad, whether on sabbatical, language lessons or working.

“Students take to the streets to protest” is news that anyone can read. Now you go to the metro, see how they jump the turnstile, how much the ticket costs, the ticket equals how much Coca-Colas … When you go into these details, you fully understand the news. It’s a bit magical. “

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