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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.

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Dodgers Win First World Series Championship Since 1988 And It’s Great To Be An Angeleno

Entertainment

Dodgers Win First World Series Championship Since 1988 And It’s Great To Be An Angeleno

Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the champions after 32 years. The bizarre year of Covid and social distancing was also a year of wins for Los Angeles after both the Lakers and Dodgers bring home the championships. The city was alive with energy after the historic and wonderful win.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the new World Series champions.

The baseball team has not won a World Series championship since 1988. This year, after a long 32-year drought, the Dodgers broke that curse and delivered LA a win during the time of Covid. The Dodgers went against the Tampa Bay Rays and battled it out in a nerve-wracking and nail-biting World Series.

Of course, there is a lot of love being showered on the Latino players.

Latinos are a major part of the Dodgers and their fanbase is huge. There is a reason that the nickname of the Dodgers is Los Doyers. There are four Latino pitchers on the Dodgers and they made themselves crucial parts of the team this season leading the team to the championship.

The Dodgers triumphed over the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series on Game 6. The teams kept battling it out for the first four games with the Dodgers winning the first and third. The Tampa Bay Rays won the second and fourth. Yet, the Dodgers came through at the end with victories in the fifth and sixth game to clinch the title.

The story overpowering the coverage of the Dodgers’ World Series win is Justin Turner.

The third baseman tested positive for Covid-19 during the game and was removed when the test came back positive. However, when the Dodgers won the sixth game, Turner ran onto the field without a mask. He was photographed holding the trophy, posing with the team for photos, and even taking selfies without wearing a mask.

It is a clear violation of Covid guidelines for the MLB. According to reports, officials sent security to remove Turner from the field because he was breaking safety guidelines. He allegedly refused to leave the field.

Fans have a lot of questions about how Turner caught Covid since the league was supposed to be operating in a bubble.

The MLB has had issues with some teams dealing with Covid infections but it had been a while since one had happened. Turner was tested the day before the game but it came back inconclusive, a pretty common issues with Covid testing right now. Turner was then tested before the game and when the results came back positive in the second inning, Turner was immediately removed.

The MLB has launched an investigation into Turner’s outright refusal to comply with Covid safety guidelines.

“Following the Dodgers’ victory, it is clear that Turner chose to disregard the agreed-upon joint protocols and the instructions he was given regarding the safety and protection of others,’’ the Commissioner’s Office said in a statement. “While a desire to celebrate is understandable, Turner’s decision to leave isolation and enter the field was wrong and put everyone he came in contact with at risk. When MLB Security raised the matter of being on the field with Turner, he emphatically refused to comply.’’

READ: The Los Angeles Dodgers Are Playing In The World Series And People Are Excited

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The Los Angeles Dodgers Are Playing In The World Series And People Are Excited

Entertainment

The Los Angeles Dodgers Are Playing In The World Series And People Are Excited

Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The World Series is still happening despite Covid because baseball just can’t be held down. The Dodgers are playing their first World Series game today and fans are so excited to finally get some more baseball in their lives.

The World Series is here and Los Dodgers are playing their first game.

Baseball is America’s pastime and few teams have a fanbase as energized as The Dodgers. Ask any Dodgers fans about how difficult it is to get to the stadium and their commitment to the team is clear. It is not anywhere accessible by public transportation so you really have to want it.

People are super energized to celebrate and support their team.

The Dodgers made it to the championship game against the Houston Astros in 2017. The Dodgers lost to the Astros that year but three years later the Astros had the title stripped because of a cheating scandal. Now, The Dodgers have a chance to make win a title and Dodgers fans are excited to see it happen.

Even the furry fans are getting excited about the games.

It’s a fact that if a team has furry fans then they have the best fanbase. Who doesn’t want to end up at a stadium or party with these cute fluffers walking around in their Dodgers’ gear? These four-legged fans are better than child fans because they are going to get everyone’s spirits up.

The team has a lot of big names behind them cheering them on.

Los Angeles is home to some of the top celebrities and athletes. It must be nice to know that some of the most influential people are out there pushing for you to make it all the way. Bonus points if they are other athletes who know just how exciting and hard it is to compete at the elite level.

Let’s go, Dodgers!

The Dodgers play the Tampa Bay Rays tonight at 5:11 PST. Be sure to tune in and cheer for your favorite baseball team as they try for the championship again.

READ: From Serving Tacos To Being Signed With The LA Dodgers, Here’s What We Know Of The LA Dodger’s Pitcher

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