Week Eleven

This week in our readings we were introduced to the horror stories that many of us know today as the “gorilla wars”.┬áComing straight from high school history we learn about the cold war, and the cuban missile crisis. this is what I immediately thought of. But I was not aware that this bloodshed was throughout Latin America.

This conflict was a result of the cold war leaving Latin American countries struggling even more so than before their involvement within this proxy war. The gorilla fighters were often found being supported by either side. The public knew that their own governments were corrupt, which created many movements in itself. Similar to the movements in the US, many leftists were joined by students. The famous Che Guevara became a figure in the movement, idolized by many wanting change.

The terror began with the gorillas bombs, murders and kidnappings, resulting in police brutality.

Whenever I am in Chile visiting my family I always hear stories about the Allende-Pinochet era. The stories continue to be told today at the dinner table or when walking around Santiago with my grandfather. One of my family friends even participated in the marches with the other women banging pots and pans demanding food. I know that one of our family friends sausage factory was taken over during the Allende time. And because of these impacts my family and friends in Chile are not the Americans biggest supporters.

It is very clear the American involvement in most of the movements throughout Latin America, especially when they are supporting the violent overthrow of presidents and supporting gorilla movements with money. I find it very difficult to not be very critical of the US involvement in Latin America, from what we have been learning recently it seems as if there has only been a large amount of harm done. We see this now because it is many years ago but it makes me reflect on the impacts of current American involvement in Latin America and throughout the world.

How much influence does the US have on Latin America today?

Will the US influence worldwide be as devastating as it was to Latin America?

If yes, than how can we either stop this or help?

7 thoughts on “Week Eleven

  1. Nayid Contreras

    I liked your take on this weeks readings especially the idea that the United States international politic affairs are not always pristine or legal. The way U.S has influenced different groups ( guerrillas and left-win movements) talks of a government that preaches one thing indoor but outside does the opposite. I think that political, military, and economic intervention by U.S bodies are still at play in many Latin American Countries and for some of them, this is crucial in economic terms because the US is for many Latin Countries their main commercial foreign partner.
    I think that this, however, does not only happens in Latin America but all throughout different regions of the world, such as China, the Middle East, Africa, and even here in Canada, were US has important social, political, and social ties.
    Good job!

  2. CennediMills

    I too was surprised to read about the violence that occurred during this time period in Latin America. Coming from the US, our curriculum mainly focused on how events impacted our own nation and neglected to acknowledge the issues in other places.

  3. Yusuke Sakanashi

    I was surprised with the US involvement in Latin America. They are trying to establish pro American government by giving financial and military aid. I also liked your personal experience where you explained how your family was involved in a certain movement in Chile.

  4. adan barclay

    It is interesting to hear first-hand experiences about the topic… Very serious issues.
    I think you raise great questions. I am curious, yet worried to know their answers.
    U.S. intervention and exploitation in many Latin American countries has been a devastation. In some cases, the dependency theory has made it so difficult for countries to make a “turn around.”
    For example, the United Fruit Company’s power in Guatemala and U.S. intervention, refraining Guatemala to be a true democracy.

    Nice job!

  5. Emily Townsend

    Thanks for your comments on the Allende-Pinochet period. It makes these stories a lot more real when primary sources come into the picture. I agree with you on your statement about the US’ involvement. Sometimes I feel like their power and wealth was superimposed into Latin America. It’s as thought they barged into a party that they weren’t invited to, and are the rowdiest guests there. I’m not saying the dirty wars wouldn’t have happened, but I wonder what they would’ve looked like.

  6. eva streitz

    I completely agree with Nayid in that the US’s constant intervention is not only detrimental to Latin American countries, but countries all across the world. Being a “superpower”, the US claims the position of savior when their intervention ultimately hurts more lives than it helps. Although I must say, there are times when standing as a peaceful ally is necessary.


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