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Latin American youth: looking for a less violent social project

Young people make up a key sector of the political and social-economic growth in Latin American countries and it is during this crucial moment, in which they define their projects, the objectives and the strategies to carry them out. In other words: they begin to be noticed in society.


Heidy Maurell Lara


However, the conditions of life of this age-group in some Latin American countries are not adapted to their needs, it is a situation that puts the future of these nations at risk.

According to the Mexican researcher José Manuel Valenzuela, Mexico is one of these countries that is confronting a worrying situation, with questions arising about the murders of its youth.

For the first time since the Mexican Revolution at the beginning of the twentieth Century, life expectancy has decreased, as a consequence of these youth killings, said Valenzuela.

In statements to Prensa Latina (Latin Press), he explained that his country has a controversial border with the world power of the United States, imposing itself on the region, with its powerful social-economic capitalist model, and because of this, Mexico has turned into a target for youth migration from all over the hemisphere.

The reasons behind this mass exodus are social, and in some cases economic, not for individual reasons.

According to the Mexican expert, around 200,000 people are murdered each year in Mexico, more than 33,000 people are disappeared, and 98% of crimes committed remain unpunished.

The difficulties in the region are clear to see, the femicides, by the very fact of their existence, reveal males motivated by misogyny and sexism.

Other crimes against women, becoming increasingly common, are happening in parts of Mexico, Colombia and other countries, such as ‘stealing the face’, often by throwing acid in the victim’s face, or acts of rape.

According to specialist researchers on young people, it is about situations arising as a consequence of heavy-handed politics: on one side, a system that generates exclusion processes, inequalities and violence, and on the other, the aggression by different police agencies and a military that acts against young people.

The Cuban experience

Something different happened in Cuba according to experts. In fact, the Cuban Government places its young people at the centre of its implementation of the official Political, Economic and Social Guidelines of the Cuban Communist Party. For example, it is evident in its economic and social development plan for the country up to 2030.

The Caribbean island shows very high levels of education, health and professional development of its youth despite the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the US for more than half a century.

The educator, Jennifer Bello has described how one of the areas which is in a constant process of improvement is education.

Bello told Prensa Latina that the Cuban education system is continually being perfected using analysis of, for example the structure of the institutional curriculum, and educational guidelines as a function of the teacher-training professional.

The new recommendations  are based on the approach that the education guidelines can offer to the development of the school curriculum with the participation of each person involved in the process: teachers, directors, students and the community.

What is happening in Cuba shows that there are other possibilities, other paths, on which it is possible to build a social project which is more powerful, less grey and less violent, and that offers a different future horizon for the great majority of Latin Americans, and also for the world. (PL)

(Traducido por Carol Byrne – Email: – Photos: Pixabay

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