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11 People Who Changed The Course Of History In Latin America Through Violence And Military Coups

Latin America is the product of diverse processes of colonization that started with Christopher Columbus in 1492. Since then, the various countries that make up Latin America have seen numerous rulers and leaders launch violent coups to take power. Some of the rulers were eventually removed when the people led revolutions to overthrow their oppressive regimes. Here are 11 rulers in Latin America that used violence, intimidation and power to overthrow governments and stripped the rights away from the citizens of their countries.

1.  Fidel Castro

Credit: p04j14q0. Digital image. BBC News.


Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is one of the most recognizable faces when people talk about violent dictatorships. In the 1950s, Castro led a coup d’etat that toppled the authoritarian and Communist rule of Fulgencio Batista, a vicious ruler in his own right. Castro’s rise to power resulted in the deaths of thousands of Cubans and a humanitarian crisis as thousands more took to leaky rafts in an attempt to escape the country.

Credit: anderson-castro. Digital image. New Yorker.


Castro’s guerrilla war in Cuba led to decades of uncertainty and oppressive rule. He ruled over the country from 1956 to 2008 using intimidation, exile, imprisonment and violence to maintain control of the island. He gave the power of the country to his brother, Raul, when his health began to fail. Fidel died in November 2016 causing celebrations by Cuban exiles around the world and renewing hope that the island could soon be free again.

2. Augusto Pinochet

CREDIT: Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Chile. – Archivo General Histórico del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores

Augusto Pinochet took control of Chile after a U.S.-back coup d’etat in September 1973 overthrowing a democratically elected president. During his rule as the dictator of Chile from 1973 to 1990, Pinochet pushed through a constitutional rewrite the handed a majority of the power to the president allowing him to rule with little restraint.

CREDIT: Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Chile. – Archivo General Histórico del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores


After his death in 2006, the number of victims who died under his rule began to come to light. The Chilean government has officially recognized more than 9,000 deaths tied directly to Pinochet’s rule of the South American country.

3. Jorge Rafael Videla

CREDIT: Wikimedia

There’s no question that Jorge Rafael Videla ruled Argentina with an iron fist from 1976 to 1981 after a coup d’etat that overthrew the government led by President Isabel Martínez de Perón. Videla held on to his power by using forced disappearances of any dissenters in the country.

CREDIT: Wikimedia


Videla relinquished his power over Argentina in 1981 and democracy was restored to the country in 1983. Videla and many involved in his coup were put on trial for their human rights violations and it has been reported that anywhere from 5,000 to 30,000 political dissidents were disappeared during his time in power and his government employed widespread murder and torture to keep his dissidents quiet. This included imprisoning the families of political opponents in concentration camps.

4.  Ernesto Che Guevara

Credit: cf6e3c29265a4cf995e665be70ed9fed_18. Digital image. Al Jazeera.


The Argentine is one of the most controversial figures in recent years. His imagery is used as a sign of rebellion by many and his legacy is feared by most. Guevara joined Castro to rule over Cuba and earned the nickname “The Butcher of la Cabaña” as a prosecutor overseeing trials for the Castro regime.

READ: 21 Things You Need To Know About Ernesto “Che” Guevara

Credit: Che Guevara flag. Digital image. Europe Posters.


His legacy as “The Butcher of la Cabaña” persists to this day with many in the Cuban American community pointing out the deaths he caused without proper trials. Guevara’s role in the Castro government forced many Cubans to flee the country for freedom and to escape death.

5. Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco

CREDIT: Governo do Brasil – Galeria de Presidentes


Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco served as the first president of the Brazilian military government following a coup d’etat in 1964. He bowed to pressures from within his government to resist allowing a civilian to become president so they could continue to enjoy unfettered power of the largest South American country. As a result, Castelo Branco did away with the democracy that we know today and rid the country of other political parties and stayed in power until 1967.

CREDIT: Wikimedia

Castelo Branco gave up power and was succeeded in the presidency by Costa e Silva. However, after ridding the country of all of its political parties, Castelo Branco created two parties, the pro-government National Renewal Alliance Party (ARENA) and the opposition Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB) and he drafted a strongly authoritarian constitution. He died four months after leaving the presidency in a midair collision.

6. Hugo Chavez

CREDIT: Al Jazeera English / YouTube


Hugo Chavez first attempted a coup in Venezuela in 1992 and it failed. Yet, he was not deterred from seeking power over the oil-rich country. In 1998, he was elected the president of Venezuela and what followed was a pointed redirection of the country and its politics.

CREDIT: Al Jazeera English / YouTube


In the early 2000s, a coup was launched to unseat Chavez as the president of Venezuela. The coup was unsuccessful and Chavez enacted sweeping reforms to prevent another uprising from challenging his power. A new constitution was implemented and most high ranking military leaders were removed from their posts. Chavez did away with presidential term limits and was allowed to run for reelection indefinitely. He was succeeded in the presidency by Vice President Nicolas Maduro when he died in in 2013 after running the country for 11 years. Follow Maduro’s rise to power, Venezuela has experienced widespread unrest and an economy that continues to decline with many Venezuelans fleeing to other countries in an attempt to seek freedom.

7. Manuel Noriega

CREDIT: The New York Times / YouTube


Manuel Noriega spent a lot of his time working within the Panamanian government before taking power in 1984. The military professional was a close confidant of dictator Omar Torrijos and assumed control fo the country following his death. His years in power saw increased violence and tension in the country while he was tied to drug traffickers and money laundering.

CREDIT: The New York Times / YouTube


The U.S. invaded Panama in an attempt to capture Noriega and bring him to trial for the crimes he committed. The invasion was launched by President George H.W. Bush and after a standoff at an embassy Noriega was arrested and extradited to the U.S. serving 17 years in prison for his crimes.

8. Anastasio Somoza DeBayle

CREDIT: Wikimedia


Somoza was the last in a long line of Somozas that were president of Nicaragua. The family controlled the country from 1936 until 1976. Political and social unrest during his presidency led to the president seeking exile in Paraguay.

CREDIT: Wikimedia


Somoza faced an insurgency from Sandistas who were trying to take the country back after decades of corruption. After fleeing the country, Somoza’s successor handed over the government just one day later. Somoza was later assassinated while in exile in Paraguay.

9. Alfredo Stroessner

CREDIT: AP Archive / YouTube


Alfredo Stroessner was a brutal dictator in Paraguay who served as the president for 35 years. He won re-election seven times in 1958, 1963, 1968, 1973, 1978, 1983 and 1988. Stroessner was a leading participant in Operation Condor and left devastation in his wake.

CREDIT: AP Archive / YouTube

Stroessner eventually had to flee from Paraguay and sought refuge in Brazil. He tried to re-enter Paraguay when he was dying but was denied access by the government at the time. While in power, Stroessner was responsible for the disappearance, kidnapping and murder of dissident in his country.

10. Diego Murillo Bejarano

CREDIT: Teleantioquia / YouTube


Diego Murillo Bejarano was the leader of the United Self-Defenders of Colombia (AUC) and launched brutal attacks in Colombia. He was also the leader of The Office of Envigado cartel.

CREDIT: Teleantiquoa / YouTube

His crimes eventually led to him being extradited to the U.S. for drug trafficking and money laundering. He was arrested in COlombia before the extradition for the murder of a deputy when he was working in the Medellin cartel.

11. Carlos Castillo Armas

CREDIT: Wikimedia

Carlos Castillo Armas was the president of Guatemala for three years but his impact was severe and swift. He immediately silenced his critics and political opponents by arresting 3,000 and subsequently saw 1,000 agricultural workers killed.

CREDIT: @Wikiguate / Twitter

Armas was assassinated by a presidential guard who then committed suicide. A centrist politician won the election following his death ushering in an end to Arams’ authoritative rule.

The Music Video For New Shawn Mendes And Camila Cabello Hit ‘Senorita’ Is Pure Fire And No Wonder Fans Think Theyre A Couple Like OMG

Entertainment

The Music Video For New Shawn Mendes And Camila Cabello Hit ‘Senorita’ Is Pure Fire And No Wonder Fans Think Theyre A Couple Like OMG

camila cabello / YouTube

There is one thing in music that is not up for debate: the Camilizer fandom is one of the strongest. No matter what the pop star is doing, her fans will always show up with full support on social media and irl. That fandom is making power moves again now that Cabello’s new collab “Señorita” with Shawn Mendes is out. In less than 24 hours, the video already had 14 million views.

Camila Cabello got her fandom ready with one tweet and it worked.

Credit: @Camila_Cabello / Twitter

Cabello’s Twitter is a powerful tool. When she tweets, her millions of followers listen. It is clear that she has learned how to harness social media for the betterment of her career and it is paying off. Tbh, she kind of deserves the success she has garnered so far. Like, she skipped her quinces so she could audition for the X Factor and the rest is music history.

Cabello stans are here to tell you that “Señorita” is a song that is here to stay.

Credit: @joyfulseavey / Twitter

No one is surprised to hear that Cabello was able to put out a hit. She is proving herself as a powerful musician. We still can’t get “Havana” out of our heads and it has been out for two years.

Like, this is what the Camilizer fandom is doing the rest of the weekend with this song in the background.

Low key, a lot of people will be giving this song all of their streams this weekend. Who wouldn’t want to spend the next couple days bouncing to this song?

People are crying over the new song because they have been waiting for new music.

Credit: @InZaynFor5H / Twitter

Take some deep breaths and relax. You don’t want to miss any of the music or video because you can’t see or hear over your own sobs. Is it even worth listening if you are crying so intensely?

Fans had theories about how the singers prepared for their intimate moments on screen.

Credit: @ShawnMendes / Twitter

Obviously, you wouldn’t want to have bad breath when you have to kiss someone over and over again. It is also kind of cute that Mendes was so concerned that he ate mints to make sure he had good breath for Cabello.

The video and the passion between the singers is reigniting speculation that they are secretly more than friends.

Credit: @_emgm_ / Twitter

Some people might call it good acting and on-screen chemistry. Camilizers call it them sharing their truth while hiding behind the facade of music and the arts. Whichever it is, they know how to make a convincing couple on the screen.

Here is the full video for Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes’s “Señorita.”

Congrats, you two. Seems like you really did the thing with this video.

Keds Latest Designs Proves That Avoiding Cultural Appropriation In Fashion Is Totally Possible

Culture

Keds Latest Designs Proves That Avoiding Cultural Appropriation In Fashion Is Totally Possible

Keds

It’s always really cool to see a big name brand embrace the art of our Latinidad. It’s like a nod to all of the great Latinx artisans who add beauty and color to our culture. In fact, seeing consumers enthusiastically welcome these goods feels like further validation. With this in mind, it makes this new collaboration all the sweeter for us art and fashion lovers.

Keds is collaborating with designers Thelma Dávila and Lolita Mia on a line inspired by the Latina-created brands.

Instagram / @Keds

In what the shoe company is calling a “collaboration fiesta,” Keds released three fun and vibrant new designs.

Some of the shoes borrow inspiration from Thelma Dávila’s colorful Guatemalan textiles. Alternatively, other pairs utilize Lolita Mia’s festive fringe as embellishments. These touches combine with Keds’ original platform shoes to make a unique product.

Of the partnership with these new brands, Keds’ website says:

“It’s so rewarding to be able to be a part of the professional and personal growth of women who decided to follow their dreams. Entrepreneurs (especially female ones) are always brave, they’re risk-takers that believe strongly in themselves. And we believe in them too. We’re so excited to introduce you to our latest for-women-by-women collaborations.”

The Thelma Dávila brand is named after its Guatemalan founder.

Keds

The company specializes in designing and crafting unique pieces by hand. Furthermore, their products utilize Guatemalan textiles, leathers and non-leather materials. Obviously, this collaboration is built on a solid relationship between the two brands. Since last year, Keds retail locations have carried Thelma Dávila bags and products in stores.

On their website, Keds said the design collaborations were intent on “taking geometric design and color cues from [Dávila’s] native culture, our classic Triple Kick gets transformed into a fiesta-ready standout.”

Founded by jewelry artisan and entrepreneur, Elena Gil, Lolita Mia is a Costa Rican accessory brand.

Keds

While studying abroad in Italy, Gil made a significant personal discovery. She realized that ethnic crafts and traditions were very alike across regions. Specifically, they were similar in cultural importance. In light of this, she decided to start her own brand. Lolita Mia’s handmade products embrace what Gil has coined a “Universal Ethnic Luxury.”

Of the collaboration with Lolita Mia, Keds’ website reads:

“[The] aesthetic shines through in these playful renditions of our platforms in the form of fun, festive fringe and punchy tropical shades.”

The Ked × Lolita Mia collaboration has two designs while the Ked x Thelma Dávila collab is made up of one.

Instagram / @lolitamiacr

“Triple Tassel” is a multicolored platform with purple, pink, orange and white tassels attached to the laces. “Triple Decker Fringe” is an off-white platform slip-on with multi-colored fringe and golden embellishments on top. The “Triple Kick” features a neutral platform with Guatemalan textile accents around the bottom.

Each design is priced at $70 a pair. Moreover, they are available exclusively on Keds’ website. Be sure to order yours today and add a little extra Latinx flare to your summer looks.

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