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Latin America’s Left Slowly Regaining Power Throughout the Region

Latin America’s Left making a slow comeback.

The politically progressive left in the developing region of Latin America and the Caribbean Sea is gradually resurging after several elections in countries such as Colombia, Argentina, and Uruguay were held on Sunday, October 27. From presidencies to mayorships, progressives in South America are once again slowly on the rise.

In Argentina, as the country goes through another stagnated economy, incumbent President Mauricio Macri of the conservative Cambiemos party lost his reelection bid to the center-left candidate, former Buenos Aires city legislator Alberto Fernandez of the Peronist Justicialist Party. Fernandez’s running mate, former Argentine President and former First Lady Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, will become the country’s vice-president despite criminal investigations into allegations of corruption. Under de Kirchner’s administration, social welfare programs were expanded to combat poverty and same-sex marriage for LGBTQIA+ couples was legalized and recognized.

In neighboring Uruguay, a second presidential runoff election will be needed after former Montivedo city mayor Daniel Martinez of the ruling progressive leftist Broad Front party failed to get more than 50% of the direct popular vote. Martinez will faceoff former national legislator Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou of the conservative National Party. Since 2004, the progressive leftist Broad Front, led by presidents Tabaré Vázquez and José Mujica, expanded Uruguay’s national economy, reduced poverty through social welfare, and legalized abortion for women, recreational cannabis usage, and same-sex marriage for LGBTQIA+ couples.

In Colombia, despite a conservative wave at the national level, progressives take on the local level in major cities nationwide. In the capital city of Bogota, Claudia López Hernández of the center-left environmentalist Green Alliance became the city’s first woman mayor as well as the first openly gay mayor of a major city in Colombia. Her advocated policies include increasing police on the streets, combating child labor, and creating better educational opportunities for adults over 45 years old as well as tackling corruption.

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