Skip to main content
Create interactive lessons using any digital content including wikis with our free sister product
. Get it on the
Learning Latin America
Pages and Files
C.Am and Mexico
South American Current Events
Lauren, Rachel, Hetal, Emilie
South America has a vivid history. It is a beautiful continent with a fascinating past. Its rain forests are unique and colorful, and its mountains are the home to many unusual (and furry) creatures. It was once home to amazing ancient civilizations.
In contrast, today the countries of South America have weak governments and economies. The drug trade is a growing issue, and though they have mostly good intentions, the government leaders often attract negative attention from the world. Fortunately, many of these countries are beginning to rebuild after centuries of unrest.
After reading this page, we hope you understand what has caused this unrest, and how it is improving.
Emilie and Rachel's Essential Questions:
What common problems did South American countries share over the course of the past century? How did the governments of each country deal with these problems?
What is the place of South America in the world economic order?
The drug trade is a problem in South America. Why is this? How can it be solved?
Lauren and Hetal's Essential Questions:
Compare the governments of South America in the last century. Note any similarities.
How have other countries and world events affected South America in the last century?
The drug trade is a problem in South America. Why is this? How can it be solved?
Homework for Period 3:
Watch the first video (Drug Trade In Bolivia) and write a response to it on our discussion board under the discussion called "Homework Video". Also look over all the info on our page so you are prepared for class.
New York Times: Drug Trade in Bolivia Video
(Period 3 Homework)
New York Times: Venezuelan Conflicts Video
Governments of South America 1900-Present
SOUTH AMERICA ARTICLES:
1. Peru's Shining Path and Cocaine
2. Chilean Protest
3. Brazil and World War II
The Dirty War
Juan and Eva Peron
has lost more than 1/2 its territory
Chaco War (1932 1935)
dispute between Bolivia and Paraguay over ownership of the Gran Chaco a large lowland plain bordering the two countries
Bolivia was defeated
Gave up land in settlement made in 1938
The Revolution of 1952
1936 to 1952- 10 presidents (6 were military officers)
tin miners formed unions and held strikes for better working conditions supported a political party called National Revolutionary Movement
overthrew the military rulers then in power
gov took over the largest tin mines, broke up large estates and gave the land to Indian farmers
Signing of agrarian reform law (August 2, 1952)
Recognized property regimes
Intended to stem growing disparity in access to land, allow the sate to reclaim lands, modernize land reform agency, seize lands to protect biodiversity, ensure collection of land taxes
1994- mostly agriculture
self sufficient in oil and natural gas
New Economic Party (1985)
Break down barriers to capital flows & strengthen the state
Lead to privitization of other concerns
oil, natural gas, mineral exports 50%
agriculture and lumber 30%
influence from many political parties in 1980s and 1990s
1992- 37% illiterate
investment in industry – World War II (1939-1945)
double exports during 1960s and 1970s
mid 1970s- used ethanol instead of oil (high priced) to make petroleum
after war ended- demand for products ended
Vargas dictatorship (1934)
Better for people
Economy suffers during Great Depression (1930s)
1937- dictatorship established
censored the press
banned political parties
took over Brazil's labor unions
WWII- demand for goods
1942- war on Germany and the other Axis powers
Allied with Italy
1946- new constitution
Gave back individual rights
1960s- São Paulo became major industrial center (image from Worldbook)
1964- General Castelo becomes head of government
1979- much inflation and labor unrest- strikes for higher wages
1985- constitutional amendment for direct election of future presidents by people (after military rule ended)
1986- New Congress and legislatures
During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s Chile had an unstable government
Chile returned to constitutional rule in 1932
Reelection of President Arturo Alessandri
1970—Socialism gained support
Salvador Allende became the first freely elected Marxist president in South America
Economy soon began to fail
1973—General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte led a military coup
Aided by the United States
Built a productive economy
Led a dictatorial government and committed human-rights abuses
Deaths or disappearances of at least 3,150 dissidents
1988—held a national vote to gauge his popularity
Defeated by Patricio Aylwin Azocar
Azocar becomes first elected president since 1970
Chile "was becoming one of the most prosperous [South] American countries”
Maintained political balance
More spent on education
Closer economic ties with North and South America
Reduced military influence
Finding those lost during Pinochet’s regime
Between 1830 and 1948, Ecuador had 62 presidents, dictators, and military leaders
1941—Peru and Ecuador fought over ownership of southern Amazon region
Was controlled by Ecuador
1942—treaty granted Peru most of the territory
Treaty denied Ecuador access to large mineral wealth and the Amazon River
Ecuador later rejected it
Hostilities continued for over 35 years
1948—Galo Plaza Lasso became the first freely elected president to serve a full term
There were short-lived civilian and military governments in the country for the next 20 years
1979—New constitution created; allowed for a freely elected president
January 1995—Clash over border lasted for several days before international observers settled it
October 1998—A treaty was signed
Granted Ecuador a small portion of land as well as navigation rights on some rivers in Peru
1996—elections marked Ecuador's "fifth consecutive peaceful government transition"
Abdalá Bucaram (known as “the Madman”) became president,
Promised to help Ecuador's poor
1997—Congress voted to remove Bucaram for “mental incapacity”
Charged with corruption
Jamil Mahuad—elected president in 1998
Overturned by a military coup in 2000
Replaced by his vice president, Gustavo Noboa
2002—Lucio Gutierrez was elected and began to stabilize Ecuador's economy
2006— Congress voted Gutierrez out of office
The country is currently unstable politically
Border issues nearly solved as of last week (May 2007)
Chaco War: disputed area
1933— Constitution created
Peru be governed by:
1. A president
2. A legislature
Both elected to six-year terms
In actuality, military leaders and dictators presided in Peru until the 1960s
An election was held in 1963
Fernando Belaúnde Terry was elected president.
Military deposed him in 1968
Ruled for 12 years (a time called la dictadura
In 1980, military returned control to the people
Economic trouble remained
Economy improved during Alán García's presidency (1985–90)
1980—the Maoist group Shining Path arose (BBC)
Started a campaign of guerrilla warfare
Aim: overthrowing the government
Responsible for tens of thousands of deaths during the 1980s and 1990s
Paid drug traffickers for protection and the right to operate in Peru
Country maintained democratic institutions and free elections
Returned recently, primarily as a drug trafficking organization (May 2007)
1990—Alberto Fujimori was elected president
To mend economy
To end terrorist violence
Suspended the constitution, dissolved Congress, took emergency powers, cut down on individual rights
1993—approved a new constitution
Outlined a democratic government
1995—Fujimori reelected, and his party gained a majority in Congress.
Successful economic reform
1992 capture of Shining Path leader Abimael Guzmán Reynoso
Resolution of Peru's border dispute with Ecuador
May 2000—Fujimori was elected for a third presidential term
Was accused of misuse of power
Fled to Japan
November 2000— Fujimori resigns
In 2002—Arrest warrants are created for Fujimori who allegedly committed human rights violations
2000—Alejandro Toledo was elected as the nation's first president of indigenous heritage
Reduce threat from Peru's rebel groups
Reduce government corruption
Make economic reforms to aid Peru's many poor
Period 2 Homework:
Period 3 Assessment:
Period 3 Lesson Plan:
Final lesson plan.doc
Ember, Melvin, and Carol R. Ember. "Bolivia." __Countries and Their Cultures__. Macmillan Reference USA, 2001. 245-54.
Ewell, Judith. "Venezuela." __Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia__. __Grolier Multimedia__ __Encyclopedia__. Scholastic Lib. 8 May 2007 .
Galloway, J. H. "Bolivia." __World Book Online__. __World Book Online Reference__ __Center__. World Book. 8 May 2007 .
Galloway, J. H. "Brazil." __World Book Online__. __World Book Online Reference Center__. World Book. 11 May 2007 .
Harrison, John P. "Latin America, History of." __Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia__. __Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia__. Scholastic Lib. 7 May 2007 .
"History of Chile." __CultureGrams__. __CultureGrams World Edition__. ProQuest. 10 May 2007 .
"History of Ecuador." __CultureGrams__. __CultureGrams World Edition__. ProQuest. 11 May 2007 .
"History of Peru." __CultureGrams__. __CultureGrams World Edition__. ProQuest. 13 May 2007 .
Kent, Robert B. "South America: The Southern Cone." __Encyclopedia Americana__. __Encyclopedia Americana__. Scholastic Lib. 8 May 2007 .
McCoy, Jennifer L. "Venezuela." __World Book Online Reference Center__. __World Book__ __Online Reference Center__. World Book. 12 May 2007 .
Rojas, Cristina. "Colombia." __World Book Online Reference Center__. __World Book__ __Online Reference Center__. World Book. 11 May 2007 .
Snaden, James N. "South America." __Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia__. __Grolier__ __Multimedia Encyclopedia__. Scholastic Lib. 3 May 2007 .
Wiley, James, and Brian P. Owensby. "South America." __World Book Online__. __World__ __Book Online Reference Center__. World Book. 4 May 2007 .
help on how to format text
Turn off "Getting Started"