I found this week’s readings hard to follow because the chapter talks about a number of Latin American countries all with different stories; and all of the stories have different backgrounds which made it feel as though I did not have enough context. This could be partly because I have a general view of Latin American history which is harder to contextualize in terms of specific countries.
This chapter talks about growing violence in Latin America. As with most of the issues that we have studied, this weeks guerrilla groups grew with people’s discontent. The growth of guerrilla groups also led to a growth in military groups. In general they would fight with each other which led to massive losses of lives. All of this led to fear coming from many different areas in people’s lives. This is different from before because know it is harder to identify what they should be scared of. It is also different because it is hard to tell who is right and who is wrong as both sides feel justified in their doings.
I feel that all of the violence pushed people away from some cause and towards others. The more violence there was, the more the people felt validated to support their side which only strengthened the ongoing violence. In turn, the existence of a middle ground was almost gone. From the readings, it seems as though people were either radically right or radically left; and if they were neither, then they were scared to support anybody.
Something that surprised me this week was that there was a significant amount of students that were radically left. Previously, I had always imagined student protesters as more peaceful than they were depicted in this chapter. It was also interesting to read that a large amount of them had been motivated by their professor Guzman. It goes to show how far education can motivate and shape people.
Taking into consideration how complicated the situations were in these Latin American countries, I wonder if violence was the best course of action. Would there have been anything else they could have done?