This article is an overview of contemporary social movements in Latin America, with a focus on the Colombian case. Based upon different sources, it provides data on the recent protests, and analyzes the main trends of social movements in the continent, which are determined by two complementary processes: neoliberal globalization and increasing democratization. The Colombian case also highlights another process, one which is not entirely absent in the rest of Latin America: political violence against social actors and leftist activists.

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