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QUE SE VAYAN TODOS!: DEMOCRATIC CONSOLIDATION AND COLLECTIVE ACTION FRAMING IN ARGENTINA'S PIQUETERISMO AND URUGUAY'S FRENTE AMPLIO BY SARAH ANN KNOTTS A Thesis Submitted to the divisions of Social Sciences and Humanities New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts in Political Science/Spanish Language and Culture Sarasota, Florida May, 2009
Table of Contents Acknowledgements ........................................................................................................ iii Abstract .......................................................................................................................... iv Introduction: Democratic Consolidation and Collective Action Framing ........................ 1 Chapter One: Argentina's Piqueterismo ........................................................................ 17 Chapter Two: Uruguay's Frente Amplio.......................................................................... 49 Conclusion....................................................................................................................... 77 Bibliography...................................................................................................................... 82 ii
Acknowledgements First and foremost, I would like to thank Dr. Mink for his consistent and brilliant assistance with the completion of this project. His expansive knowledge and tireless dedication to students never fails to impress me. I would also like to thank Dr. Hicks and Dr. Bennaji for their guidance and mentorship through my years at New College. For their loyal friendship and tolerance, I thank Jenba LeLauren, Christina Goldstein, and David Bennett. I could not have made it through this without you. iii
QUE SE VAYAN TODOS!: DEMOCRATIC CONSOLIDATION AND COLLECTIVE ACTION FRAMING IN ARGENTINA'S PIQUETERISMO AND URUGUAY'S FRENTE AMPLIO Sarah Ann Knotts New College of Florida, 2009 ABSTRACT This project seeks to assess the topics of democratic consolidation and collective action framing. The project discusses the problem of democratic consolidation and how countries with democratic institutional models may vary in terms of their legitimacy and ability to represent the public as well as the injustice, agency, and identity frames which social movements use to further their interests, particularly with regard to 20th century Latin America. As conditions in a country's political society affect the manner and effectiveness with which social movements are able to communicate, the project seeks, at large, to assess how democratic consolidation may affect the possibility of collective action frames as well as how such collective action frames may influence transitioning democracies. Drawing upon interviews and publications written in Spanish, Argentina's Piqueterismo and Uruguay's Frente Amplio are assessed. While the movements differed in their goals and organization, both sought the strengthening of democratic conditions of participation and public inclusion in political decision making. While no clear correlation is established between democratic consolidation and the types of injustice, agency, and identity frames that were both effective and possible in the respective movements, a relationship is apparent; the collective action frames utilized by Piqueterismo were iv
effective only until their needs were met while the Frente Amplio won Uruguay's 2004 presidential election. Dr. Joseph Mink Department of Political Science v
Chapter One Democratic Consolidation and Collective Action Framing From the late 1970s through the late 1990s, more than sixty countries from around the world transitioned from authoritarian regimes to some form of democratic rule. 1 One explanation offered is that aggregate economic development, as measured by increased inflation and stunted growth, deteriorated. Although economic crisis is not necessary or sufficient to explain authoritarian withdrawal or regime change, a weak economy reduces the bargaining clout of authoritarian incumbents and increases the force of opposition. These economic circumstances coincided with international diplomatic pressures stemming from the Cold War and its aftermath as well as the contagion effect of political transitions in neighboring countries, contributing to dramatic political transformations internationally. 2 According to political theorist Michael Walzer, democracy is viewed as the sine qua non of governance"; normatively, democracy has come to be thought of as the only legitimate form of governance. Few states wish to be viewed as undemocratic; indeed, even overt dictators aspire to the status conferred by the democratic title. Democracy provides legitimacy unmatched by alternative systems of governance; as the Que se Vayan Todos! 1 1 Andreas Schedler, "What is Democratic Consolidation?" Journal of Democracy 9, no. 2 (1998): 91-107. 2 Stephen Haggard and Robert R. Kaufman, "The Political Economy of Democratic Transitions," Comparative Politics 29, no. 3 (1997): 266.
people are the subjects of the law, and the law is to bind them as free men and women, it is the people which must create the law. 3 In American Constitutional Interpretation Walter F. Murphy, James E. Fleming and William F. Harris provide a basic definition of the political commitments necessary for democratic rule. The authors posit that democratic countries must allow leaders to be selected by the people in an open contest. At minimum, this requires that important policy makers in governmental positions and institutions are elected into office. Furthermore, democratic elections require both free entry of citizens to candidacy for electoral competitions, as well as universal adult suffrage with only minimal restrictions to protect against fraud. 4 Such electoral processes provide legitimacy to the decisions of public officials as those officials are chosen by popular vote to act in the name of the people. While Murphy, Fleming, and Harris provide a basic idea of what constitutes democratic rule, their focus upon the procedural requirements of democracy does not help us understand how to sustain and expand democratic conditions. Andreas Schedler explains that with the mass move towards democratic systems of government, it became "apparent that sustaining democracy is often as difficult a task as establishing it." While scholarly assessment of democratic consolidation initially described the challenge of strengthening new democracies to prevent return to authoritarian governance, this original task, according to Schedler, came to include: Que se Vayan Todos! 2 3 Michael Walzer, "Philosophy and Democracy," Political Theory (1981), 379. 4 Walter F. Murphy, James E. Fleming, and William F. Harris, "The Theoretical Context of Constitutional Interpretation," in American Constitutional Interpretation (Mineola, New York: The Foundation Press, Inc., 1986), 23-47.
"such divergent items as popular legitimation, the diffusion of democratic values, the neutralization of anti-system actors, civilian supremacy over the military, the elimination of authoritarian enclaves, party building, the organization of functional interests, the stabilization of electoral rules, the routinization of politics, the decentralization of state power, the introduction of mechanisms of direct democracy, judicial reform, the alleviation of poverty, and economic stabilization." 5 Thus, it is not enough to simply secure democratic procedures; such procedures must ensure that political institutions and decision making are substantiated and accurately represent the will of the public. In this project, I assess how democratic conditions in political, civil, and economic society influence the manner in which social movements portray their identity, the injustice which motivated them to organize and act, and their agency for change. This self-portrayal, which social movements utilize to garner support, is broadly signified as collective action framing. Furthermore, I seek to assess how such collective action framing may influence democratic consolidation trajectories. This evaluation is not meant to develop a distinct and correlative relationship between specific indicators or limits to democratic consolidation and collective action framing; rather, my analysis serves as a foundation for further scholarly work in social movement research, particularly with regard to countries in Latin America. The last quarter of a century has witnessed a move toward democratic governance in virtually every country in Latin America. Countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay witnessed a return to civilian-led rule and free elections after years of authoritarian governance. In Central America, Costa Rica, Que se Vayan Todos! 3 5 Schedler, "What is Democratic Consolidation?," 90-91.
Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador Nicaragua, and Paraguay also restored or newly instituted democratic institutions of governance. 6 While a shared history of authoritarian leadership and an underdeveloped centrally-structured economies have created significant barriers to the development of strong and representative public institutions and economies able to complete in the global market, the democratic strides made in recent history are quite remarkable in light of the economic and political difficulties which characterized Latin America during the harrowing financial crises of the 1970s and early 1980s. Latin America's democratic reforms of the 1980s and 1990s have resulted in very little back-peddling and a general resistance to pressure to return to the past. 7 Social movements are important to consider when assessing democracy as it is often these movements which inspire democratic transition and consolidation. Social movement groups attempt to mobilize the public's values and issue interests into new political forces which challenge governments. By defining and advocating issues through direct citizen action, social movement groups seek to modify extant political situations in effort to recreate or expand the boundaries of politics. 8 In the case of Latin America, social movements have and continue to affect democratization in Latin America by reworking fundamental power structures. The chant Que se Vayan Todos! or "Out with you all!" which Argentina's unemployed picketers movement ( Piqueterismo) decried, calling for a relinquishment of the Argentine government, represented this: civil society Que se Vayan Todos! 4 6 Robert H. Dix, "Democratization and the Institutionalization of Latin American Political Parties," Comparative Political Studies 24 (1992): 488-489. 7 Richard Feinberg, "Policy Issues, Competitiveness, and Democracy" Latin American Politics and Society 50, no. 1 (2008): 1-2.
sought to organize and change political society. Movements such as Brazil's Partido dos Trabajadores (Worker's Party) moved policy and contributed to the destabilizing of nondemocratic regimes. Indigenous movements such as the Confederacin de Nacionalidades Indgenas del Ecuador (Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador) have challenged traditional definitions of citizenship and participation by contesting power and policy. Social movements in Latin America have in fact intensified during this past quarter century of democratization, intensifying the need to better understand their effect on democratic transition and consolidation. 9 Framing processes are important to understanding social movements as their resonance determines whether or not the public chooses to support and participate in their movement. The public must be convinced by the movement that their participation is worthy of forgoing time spent on other activities. A social movement actively and deliberately creates frames and these frames may evolve as political, social, and economic conditions change. The ability for a social movement to garner support and participation affects its bargaining power and clout, thereby determining whether it can achieve their goals. As social movements' clout and influence are affected by democratic consolidation, it would make sense that democratic conditions influence the possibility and effectiveness of collective action frames and that collective action frames utilized by social movements to garner support for their causes may influence democratic conditions. Que se Vayan Todos! 5 9 Richard Stahler-Sholk and Harry E. Vanden, "Globalizing Resistance," Latin American Perspectives 34, no. 2 (March 2007): 131.
Organization of Project Both Argentina's Piqueterismo and Uruguay's Frente Amplio emerged in the last quarter of the 20th century in protest against traditional government power structures which did not fairly adjudicate citizen interest. While Piqueterismo sought, specifically, the amelioration of immediate need through the formation of local-level organized protest and the Frente Amplio sought official recognition through their formation as a coalition of Leftist groups, both demonstrated keenly democratic interests; the Piqueteros (followers of Piqueterismo) sought recognition by a government which rendered them unable to achieve their needs through politically or economically sanctioned forms of bargaining and participation; the Frente Amplio sought change within the traditional Uruguayan political structure through the incorporation of opposition interest. Furthermore, both Argentina and Uruguay feature historically active civil societies which formed in response to poor economic conditions and have fought for democratic values of inclusion and participation through community-level organizing. While Argentina and Uruguay have unique democratic histories, both were laced with ineffective and deteriorating economic societies, parties which maintained strongholds on political society, and periods of military rule. Both movements "succeeded" in their own respects; the Piqueteros ousted the incumbent president while gaining the recognition they sought and a Frente Amplio candidate won Uruguay's 2004 presidential elections. In the two chapters that follow, I present an overview of the political histories of Argentina and Uruguay from their moment of democratic transition. I focus my analysis Que se Vayan Todos! 6
on three arenas: political, civil, and economic society, paying attention to how these societies interact and influence each other. I then turn to assess the injustice, agency, and identity collective action frames utilized by these movements to persuade citizens to participate and mobilize for their respective causes. From this foundation, I discuss how conditions in political, civil, and economic society influenced the kind of collective action framing that was both effective and possible as well as how such frames may influence the democratic trajectories of Argentina and Uruguay. The relevance of evaluating democratic consolidation and collective action framing through these lenses is explicated in the next sub-sections that follow. In discussing the collective action frames utilized by Piqueterismo and the Frente Amplio to garner support for their movements, I gather evidence from disparate though limited sources. Due to Argentina's restricted political communication at the time of Piqueterismo's inception, resources for this component of analysis were limited largely to excerpts from interviews published in other scholarly works and the book Los Piquetes de la Matanza one of the only first-hand published account of Piqueterismo available in the United States. For Uruguay, where political communication was free aside from the brief period of military rule which began in 1973, the Frente Amplio 's party-run website was utilized for the majority of frame interpretation. Furthermore, frame analysis is not limited to published texts or dictated discussion alone; the forms of protest, ideological identification, and manner in which social movements communicate with the public contribute to their deliberate construction of frames that portray them in ways that they garner public support and action. Que se Vayan Todos! 7
Democratic Transition and Consolidation Since the rise in democracies towards the end of the 20th century, scholarly attention to democratic consolidation has spread to incorporate a wide array of topics; for the purpose of this project, I evaluate democratic consolidation in terms of a country's political, civil, and economic societies. These societies interact to form the institutional and social realities which influence the manner in which a country's citizens interact with their government and society. Democratically consolidated countries feature workable political societies. Juan J. Linz and Alfred Stepan define political society as "that arena in which the polity specifically arranges itself to contest the legitimate right to exercise control over public power and the state." 10 Political society consists of those parties, organizations, and publics which control and manage economic and social issues. 11 Citizens of democratically consolidated countries understand the function of political society and view it as a feasible mechanism through which decisions are made. A country may feature democratic institutions, yet corruption by patrimonial, nepotistic, or kleptocratic undertones prevents institutions from fairly representing and adjudicating public interest. Consolidated democracies must allow for the free entry of citizens to competitions for Que se Vayan Todos! 8 10 Juan J. Linz and Alfred Stepan, Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), 7. 11 Jean L. Cohen and Andrew Arato, Civil Society and Political Theory (MIT Press, 1994), ix.
political office and ensure that public interest is fairly adjudicated and represented through electoral competition. 12 Civil society often challenges and influences countries to move toward more representative and participatory forms of governance. According to Linz and Stepan, civil society is "that arena of the polity where self-organizing groups, movements, and individuals, relatively autonomous from the state, attempt to articulate values, create associations and solidarities, and advance their interests." 13 To be considered democratic, a country must maintain some form of civil society, yet it is obvious that the quality of civil society varies drastically among countries with democratic systems of governance. Countries may feature civil societies in which individuals are able to form groups only covertly and seek political recognition by working outside structures and rebelling in the form of coups and protest. Jean L. Cohen and Andrew Arato state that "modern civil society is created through forms of self-constitution and self-mobilization. It is institutionalized and generalized through laws, and especially subjective rights, that stabilize social differentiation." 14 Civil society actors organize independently to further their interests, especially rights which may be threatened by their respective governments. Political society serves to mediate the interests of civil society. Actors in political society are the forces which give power to democratic institutions and control decision making and the economy. Cohen and Arato claim that this obligation: Que se Vayan Todos! 9 12 Kenneth A. Shepsie, "The Strategy of Ambiguity: Uncertainty and Electoral Competition," The American Political Science Review 66, no. 2 (1972): 555-568. 13 Linz and Stepan, Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation, 7. 14 Cohen and Arato, Civil Society and Political Theory ix.
"Prevents normative integration and open-ended communication characteristic to civil society...[as political actors]...cannot afford to subordinate strategic and instrumental criteria...the political role of civil society in turn is not directly related to the control or conquest of power but to the generation of influence through the life of democratic associations and unconstrained discussion in the cultural public sphere." 15 Accordingly, Michael W. Foley and Bob Edwards state that civil society has been credited with enhancing democracy and curbing authoritarianism... in Latin America." Thus, civil society organizations seek to influence, not control politics. Foley and Edwards also state that civil society organizations can "boost the vitality of political society by mobilizing people and stimulating debate." 16 Civil society organizations can, however, move into the political sphere in attempts to wield more control over politics by constructing political parties able to engage politically and economically sanctioned forms of participation and bargaining. Citizens with stronger democratic institutions and more legitimate political actors understand that the institutions of political society are erected to be fair and citizens are less likely to resort to disruptive forms of protest as they understand the institutions in place to be effective. Democracies which feature workable and legitimate political societies often feature civil societies which transition into political society. Economic society is often the source of power which drives political transformations and motivates civil society to organize. Democratically consolidated countries maintain economic institutions which effectively mediate the needs of the state, market, and citizens. Linz and Stepan state that consolidated democracies require a set of Que se Vayan Todos! 10 15 Cohen and Arato, Civil Society and Political Theory, x. 16 Michael W. Foley and Bob Edwards, "The Paradox of Civil Society," Journal of Democracy 7,no.3 (1996): 38.
"sociopolitically accepted norms, institutions, and regulations that mediates between state and market." 17 As the state is responsible for a range of issues which involve economic procedures and incentives including social conditions such as education, health, and literacy, citizens must view the economic institutions which govern their personal and national financial existence as legitimate and effective. The manner and efficiency with which political society manages economic society influences how civil society interacts with political society. Countries with economic structures unable to effectively mediate between the state and market are more likely to experience social protest as citizens may view such governments as unable to provide for citizens through social development, economic growth, or government expenditures. 18 The strength and legitimacy of a country's political society affects the ability and manner in which social movements can protest government actions. An organized and powerful civil society can pressure political society to change; furthermore, conditions in political society determine how civil society can effectively negotiate with political society. Finally, a country's economic society affects both its political and economic spheres, motivating civil society to organize and pressure political society. Evidently, these conditions affect a country's ability to frame itself in ways which garner public support. Before further discussing this relationship, it is necessary to elaborate on the types and function of collective action frames. Que se Vayan Todos! 11 17 Linz and Stepan, Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation, 7. 18 Sonia E. Alvarez and Arturo Escobar, The Making of Social Movements in Latin America (Westview Press, 1992), 7.
Collective Action Framing Prior to 1980, social movement literature treated movement actors as carriers of pre-existing ideas and meanings, constructed by structural arrangements, unanticipated events, or existing ideologies. 19 Social movement literature such as Anthony Oberschall's book Social Conflict and Social Movements and MacCarthy and Zald's article "Resource Mobilization and Social Movements: A Partial Theory" focus on resource-driven theories as central to understanding social movements, ignoring the importance of the mobilization and counter-mobilization of ideas. 20 This dearth of discussion prompted movement theorists including Robert D. Benford, William Gamson, and David A. Snow to draw upon Irving Goffman's 1974 book Frame Analysis to construct an alternative understanding of social movements based on the intentional construction of frames to garner citizen support. Goffman asserts the existence of social frameworks which "provide background understanding for events that incorporate the will, aim, and controlling effort of intelligence, a life agency, the chief one being the human being." 21 Social movement literature began viewing social movement actors as "signifying agents actively engaged in the production and maintenance of meaning for constituents, antagonists, and bystanders or observers." 22 This process of producing and maintaining meaning is broadly signified as framing. Que se Vayan Todos! 12 19 Robert D. Benford and David A. Snow "Framing Processes and Social Movements: An Overview and Assessment," Annual Review, Sociology 26 (2000): 612. 20 Benford and Snow, "Framing Processes and Social Movements: An Overview and Assessment," 612. 21 Erving Goffman, Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience (New York: Harper & Row, 1974). 22 Benford and Snow, "Framing Processes and Social Movements: An Overview and Assessment," 613.
As framing's utility for understanding social movements matured, movement theorists began denoting the type of framing useful for investigating social movements as collective action framing Collective action frames are "constructed in part as movement adherents negotiate a shared understanding of some problematic condition or situation they define as in need of change, make attributions regarding who or what is to blame, articulate an alternative set of arrangements, and urge others to act in concert to affect change." 23 Collective action frames are accenting devices which "punctuate or single out some existing social condition or aspect of life and define it as unjust, intolerable, and undeserving of corrective action." 24 Collective action framing allows the masses to identify and organize ideas and problems in ways that make sense to them. The common individual may lack the political knowledge or ability to fully understand the events and processes which influence social movements. Frames interpret and decode such events and processes for the public, crafting a lens through which past, present, and subsequent events are understood. 25 Frames serve as articulation mechanisms which tie together disparate events, enabling social movements to advertise their vision to potential supporters. 26 Awareness and understanding of a social movement's ideas, concerns, and motivations are not enough, however, to inspire the masses to mobilize. The common Que se Vayan Todos! 13 23 Benford and Snow, "Framing Processes and Social Movements: An Overview and Assessment," 615. 24 David A. Snow and Robert D. Benford, "Master Frames and Cycles of Protest," Frontiers in Social Movement Theory, ed. A Morris and C. Mueller (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992), 138. 25 Benford and Snow, "Master Frames and Cycles of Protest," 135. 26 David A. Snow, The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements ed. S. Soule, H. Kriesi (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2004), 384.
individual's participation in social movements may be politically risky, or, at minimum, require that they forego some preferred use of their time. Collective action framing seeks to convince the masses that their support and participation is needed and worth personal costs. As opportunity structures affect the formation and procedures of social movements, collective action frames seek to convince the masses of their own agency to elicit social and political change. 27 In order to better illuminate the process of informing and mobilizing action, William A. Gamson asserts the existence of three types of framing: injustice, agency, and identity. Each frame-type performs tasks crucial to the definition and communication of social movements' goals and ideals. Injustice, agency, and identity frames may exist independently or in unison yet ultimately culminate in a cohesive collective action frame which seeks to attract support from and mobilize citizens. Injustice frames articulate the cause of undeserved suffering. When the target of blame is abstract, the common citizen accepts that such situations are imbedded in society and cannot be changed. Conversely, if the common citizen is able to attribute suffering to the malicious or selfish actions of clearly identifiable actors, the onus of injustice is given emotional charge. These actors need not be autonomous; actors may be "corporations, government agencies, or specifiable groups rather than individuals" and may be depicted as "constrained by past actions of others and by more abstract forces." 28 While the identification of human actors as the source of injustice is most poignant in generating Que se Vayan Todos! 14 27 William A. Gamson, "Constructing Social Protest," Social Movements and Culture ed. Hank Johnston and Bert Klandermans (Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 2005), 86. 28 William A. Gamson,"Constructing Social Protest," 91.
support of the masses, injustice frames may "overemphasize the role of human actors" overlooking structural conditions and "misdirect[ing] their anger at easy and inappropriate targets." 29 For collective action frames to sustain support, social movements must identify both the underlying causes of injustice and the actors that promote them. Social movements require definition of a "we" charged with ameliorating a social or political problem. Identity frames seek to articulate this "we" in contrast to some "they" who are the source of injustice. Collective actions frames imply that this designated "they" has the power to eliminate existing social or political problems by changing their behavior at the will and action of the designated "we." Gamson suggests that social movements create identities in three imbedded layers: organizational, movement, and solitary group. 30 The organizational layer refers to identities built around movement components; Gamson cites the example of the union maid or the party loyalist. The organizational layer is then embedded in a "movement that is broader than any particular organization"; an individual may support only specific organizations within a social movement or at different moments in history yet still claim allegiance to the movement at large. Social movements, finally, "may or may not be embedded in a larger solitary group identity constructed around people's social location." Examples of this include identification as an indigenous person, worker, or black woman. Collective action Que se Vayan Todos! 15 29 William A. Gamson,"Constructing Social Protest," 93. 30 William A. Gamson, Talking Politics (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 84.
frames draw upon all or various layers to create identities for both the "we" and "they" parties involved in social movements. 31 Agency frames encourage the common citizen's support of and participation in social movements by convincing them of their own ability to effect change. Collective action frames "empower people by defining them as potential agents of their own history" denying "the immutability of some undesirable situation." 32 The effectiveness of this component of collective action framing relies heavily on social movements' ability to convince both the government and public of their salience; movement opponents must understand that the social movement is to be taken seriously; movement adherents must believe in the power of the movement. Collective action frames must promote agency in the face of cultural or social forces that "systematically remove from their consciousness any sense that they can collectively alter the conditions and terms of their daily lives." 33 Injustice, identity, and agency frames work both together and individually to garner the public's support for social movements. These frames may evolve over time, changing to accommodate the changing political, social, and, economic interests of the public. With an idea of what conditions both facilitate and detract from conditions of democratic consolidation as well as the specific types and purposes of collective action frames, a foundation is constructed for the analysis of Argentina's Piqueterismo and Uruguay's Frente Amplio Que se Vayan Todos! 16 31 Gamson, Talking Politics, 84. 32 Gamson, "Constructing Social Protest," 90. 33 Gamson, "Constructing Social Protest," 95.
Chapter One Argentina's Piqueterismo Argentina's Piqueterismo emerged toward the end of Carlos Menem's second presidency in 1997. Privatization reforms mandated by Menem's neoliberal economic adjustments led to the mass-closing of YPF (Argentina's nationally owned and controlled oil company sold to Repsol, a private Spain-based company) plants in the towns of Tartagal and Cutral-C Both Tartagal and Cutral-C had grown dependent upon the oil industry for labor; closing the plants led to mass unemployment. 34 In protest, groups of men and women began organizing road-blocking pickets preventing the flow of goods into, out of, and through the two towns. As economic privatization, outsourcing, and unemployment spread through Argentina, news of such road-blocking pickets spread, inspiring similar picket-yielding protests in the peripheral neighborhoods of cities such as Rosario, Santa Fe, and Cordoba, reaching the outskirts of Buenos Aires by 1999. 35 While the Argentine government initially responded to Piquetero protests with violent sanctions, such efforts became increasingly less common during Fernando De La Ra's presidency as the government's continued inability to ameliorate conditions in economic society rendered them politically vulnerable. In 2001, the imposition of the Que se Vayan Todos! 17 34 Paula Colmegna, The Unemployed Piqueteros of Argentina:Active Rejection of an Exclusionary Form of Democracy (Quilmes Argentina: Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, 2003), 50. 35 Gabriela Bukstein, Tiempo de oportunidades, el movimiento piquetero y la democratizaci n en la Argentina trans. by the author [dissertation on-line] (Ph.D. diss., Universidad de Buenos Aires, 2009, accessed 10 March 2009); available from http://188.8.131.52/scholar? hl=en&lr=&q=cache:jwgDvub1FicJ:bibliotecavirtual.clacso.org.ar/ar/libros/sursur/democra/09buk.pdf +gabriela+bukstein ; Internet.
Corralito, a measure which froze all bank accounts and prevented citizens from accessing their money, elicited additional street-based protest from those Argentines who had not already been rendered unemployed by the government's economic reforms. Viewing this surge of citizen discontent and political vulnerability as an opportunity to assert their interest, the Piqueteros joined these street protests, contributing to the infamous December 19-21 uprisings which overthrew the incumbent De la Ra administration. According to James Petras, "There is no question that the principal arms of the state apparatus (the judiciary, the police, and the armed forces), as well as the traditional parties, politicians, and Congress lost their legitimacy in the eyes of the majority of Argentines in the events leading up to the uprisings of December 2001." 36 Before a closer examination of the success and potential limits of Piqueterismo is conducted, it is important have a basic understanding of Argentina's political development after its transition to democracy in 1983. This will provide the foundation to conduct analysis regarding how Argentina's political, civil, and economic societies affected the Piquetero' s process of framing protest as well as how such frames affected Argentina's democratic trajectory. Democratic Consolidation in Argentina: Ral Alfons n through Nestor Kirchner From 1975 until their surrender to the British in Malvinas on June 14, 1982, Argentina was ruled by an authoritarian and hierarchically-organized military regime. By the 1980s, the military's undemocratic and violent rule had alienated all facets of political Que se Vayan Todos! 18 36 James Petras, "Unemployed Worker's Movement in Argentina," Economic and Political Weekly 36, no. 45 (2001), 7.
and civil society; this lack of support as well as increasing internal dissension within the military led to the resignation of then-in-command General Galitieri. The Argentine military assigned Reynaldo Bignone as caretaker president in July of 1982, announcing elections to be held no later than the end of 1983. Linz and Stepan claim that Argentina's transition was free. Divisions within the military were so strong that internal armed conflict was feared; these circumstances made the military weak as it could not even control its own forces. This allowed political parties to "refuse military overtures to enter into a pact" as the military lost legitimacy and power because of internal dissension. 37 The new democratic government was not forced to answer to the military as the military had become too weak to assert its interest. Ral Alfonsn of the Unin Cvica Radical was elected Argentina's new president in December of 1983 with 52% of the popular vote. 38 Argentine politics in the 20th century featured two populist parties: the Unin Cvica Radical and the Peronists The Peronist party, founded as an unstable coalition of trade unions and conservative provincial caudillos, promoted corporatist policies in which only state-sanctioned institutions wielded political power. The Unin Cvica Radical dates back to the late 19th century when Bartlom Mitre and Leandro Alem organized opposition against the conservative government; the Unin Cvica Radical traditionally opposed Peronist control, calling for fair and honest elections and broader Que se Vayan Todos! 19 37 Linz and Stepan, Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation, 192. 38 Steven Levitsky "From Labor Politics to Machine Politics: The Transformation of Party-Union Linkages in Argentine Peronism, 1983-1999," Latin American Research Review 38 no.3 (2003): 33-56.
participation in government. 39 The Peronist party dominated Argentina's government from 1943-1975, interrupted by a seven-year military takeover in 1975. 40 As the Unin Cvica Radical presented increasingly viable and powerful political competition, the Peronists moderated their agenda over time to remain competitive in elections. 41 Featuring a presidential system of government and bicameral legislature, Argentina has maintained the institutions and electoral processes necessary for democratic consolidation since the 1983 reinstitution of democracy. In 1983 and 1989, the president was elected through an electoral college in which majority vote was required; this changed in 1995, when the president was elected through a modified version of the double component rule. 42 Chamber deputies are elected through a proportional representation system with 24 electoral districts corresponding to the nation's 23 provinces and the Capital. 43 Argentina not only maintains universal suffrage, but voting has been compulsory in Argentina since 1912; presently, citizens who do not participate in presidential elections are issued a fine. Such fines are loosely enforced, Que se Vayan Todos! 20 39 Charles D. Ameringer, Political Parties of the Americas, 1980s to 1990s (Greenwood Publishing Group, 1992), 43. 40 Sandra McGee Deutsch, Las Derechas: The Extreme Right in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile:1890-1939 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999), 30-44. 41 Ernesto Cabrero, "Multi-Party Politics in Argentina? Electoral Rules and Changing Patterns," Electoral Studies 17, no, 4 (1996): 477-495. 42 The double component rule requires that if, in the first round, no candidate receives either (a) over 45% of the vote, or (2) a minimum of 40% of the vote while remaining more than 10% ahead of the second candidate, a runoff is held between the top two candidates from the first round. 43 Mark P. Jones, "Federalism and the Number of Parties in Argentine Congressional Elections," The Journal of Politics 59, no. 2 (1997): 542.
however; Argentina's highest voter turn out was in 1983 with 84% of the eligible voter population. 44 In response to the former military regime's violent repression of civil society organizations and violation of human rights, Argentina's return to democracy was buttressed by the promotion of civil society organizations. Furthermore, commitment to open participation and recognition in political decision making persisted in Argentina's civil society after the 1983 reinstitution of democracy. Organizations such as the Centro de estudios legales y sociales, (Center for Legal and Social Studies,) which demanded legal representation for human rights groups,) Hijos (Children) which fought to organize children of individuals who disappeared during the military regime, developed during this period and relied on inclusive and participatory decision making to most accurately represent the interests of their members. 45 According to Friedman and Hochstetler: "In civil society, social movement activity, particularly of the human rights organizations that spearheaded the opposition to authoritarianism, marked the political transition of the 1980s. Whereas the rejected Peronist presidential candidate had ties to the military, the winning Radical candidate, Alfonsn, explicitly affirmed human rights organizations and rejected the military's attempt to declare a self-amnesty. 46 Alfonsn thus garnered support for his campaign by promoting civil society organizations as the military had repressed them. Que se Vayan Todos! 21 44 Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, Compulsory Voting [report on-line] (2001, accessed 10 March 2009); available from http://www.idea.int/vt/compulsory_voting.cfm ; Internet. 45 Elisabeth Jay Friedman and Kathryn Hochstetler, "Assessing the Third Transition in Latin American Democratization: Representation and Civil Society Regimes in Argentina and Brazil," Comparative Politics, 35 no. 1 (2002): 31-33. 46 Friedman and Hochstetler, "Assessing the Third Transition in Latin American Democratization: Representation and Civil Society Regimes in Argentina and Brazil," 32.
Transitions of power correspond with economic crisis. A government's inability to solve economic problems leads to social unrest and the delegitimization of politically and economically sanctioned forms of bargaining and protest. In 1981, Argentina witnessed an economic collapse which resulted in US$43 billion foreign debt. Although the interim government's lifting of wage freezes and lowering of interest rates allowed the economy to recover modestly in 1983, Alfonsn inherited inflation rates of 400% and a US$10 billion federal budget shortfall. 47 Exacerbating these conditions, Alfonsn assumed office at the height of the early 1980s world debt crisis. In attempt to remedy Argentina's failing economy, Alfonsn introduced the Plan Austral, which called for the freezing of prices and replacement of the existing currency, the austral with the peso argentino at a rate of one thousand to one. 48 Despite his efforts, Alfonsn was largely unable to implement the Plan Austral because he could not gain majority support in either house of the Peronistdominated legislature. In 1988, Alfonsn's inability to negotiate effective economic reforms led to Argentina's first ever hyperinflation. 49 Humiliated, Alfonsn left office six months early. Peronist candidate Carlos Menem was elected president in 1989. During his presidency, corruption in Argentina increased, modifying itself to incorporate increased big business interests (resulting from neoliberal reforms which often featured the sale of Que se Vayan Todos! 22 47 James W. Wilkie, ed., Statistical Abstract of Latin America [book on-line] (Los Angeles: UCLA Press, accessed 2 March 2009); available from http://www.international.ucla.edu/lac/publications/sala.asp ; Internet. 48 La Presidencia de Ral Alfonsn (1983-1989) [book on-line] (accessed 1 February 2009); available from http://www.todo-argentina.net/historia/democracia/alfonsin/1985.html ; Internet. 49 Steven Levitsky, "From Labor Politics to Machine Politics: The Transformation of Party-Union Linkages in Argentine Peronism, 1983-1999," 20-25.
national industries to multi-national corporations) into traditional networks of political clientelism. According to Della Porta and Vannucci, corruption is defined as: "symbolic struggles that involve conflicts over: boundaries between public and private roles, institutions, and resources; the boundaries between state and society; the distinction between politics and the administration; and conflict over the proper extent and limits of market, bureaucratic, and patrimonial processes of allocation." 50 In 1993, two of Menem's close aids were involved in the sale of rotten milk to a federal program for poor children. Later that year, the former head of a national social program for the elderly was accused of taking bribes in exchange for favors. 51 Corruption also pervaded Argentina's democratic institutions and traditions; taking advantage of a clause in the Argentinean constitution which allowed the issue of decrees by the president if he considers them necessary and urgent, Menem issued 244 such decrees between 1989 and 1993; thirty such decrees had been issued between 1953 and 1989. Not only did such governing through decrees occur, but only 4% of Menem's decrees went through the full process of ratification which included post facto review by the legislature. In addition to circumventing the legislature, Menem created and staffed an upper criminal tribunal which superseded the Supreme Court and was endowed with the judicial capacities to review himself and his supporters in light of allegations that Menem and his advisors accepted bribes in return for the granting of economic privileges to big businesses. 52 If Menem were to be charged for corruption, he would be convicted by this Que se Vayan Todos! 23 50 Donatella Della Porta and Alberto Vannucci, Corrupt Exchanges, Actors, Resources, and Mechanisms of Political Corruption (Italy: Aldine Transaction, 1999), 8. 51 Silvio R. Waisboard, "Scandals, Media, and Citizenship in Contemporary Argentina," American Behavioral Scientist 47 (2004), 1075. 52 Linz and Stepan, Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation 121.
tribunal; thus, Menem insulated himself from rule of law. Because Menem insulated himself and manipulated democratic institutions and rule of law to suit his interest, political decision making was not transparent. By over-riding the autonomy and power of both the legislature and Supreme Court, Menem delegitimized democratic institutions, crafting them as purely symbolic. This lack of transparency in Argentina's democratic institutions was exacerbated by Menem's measures to restrict political communication. Menem's incentives to protect his power included the receipt of 139 threats to anti-Menem journalists by people with government connections; the leader of the Argentine Journalists' Union claimed that "in the first five-month period leading up to the 1993 congressional elections, the main conservative newspaper, La Naci n (The Nation), charged that twenty-two of their journalists received death threats, specifically warning that they should stop criticizing President Menem." 53 According to Silvio R. Waisbord, "a television expose about the building of an oversized airstrip near President Menem's private residence triggered a short-lived scandal that was quickly terminated after the owner of the television station decided to cancel the news program." 54 Such efforts by Menem's regime evidence that political decision making was not transparent as Argentinean citizens received select and perhaps manipulated information regarding their government. Menem's attempted to control civil society organizations through selective recognition. According to Linz and Stepan: Que se Vayan Todos! 24 53 Linz and Stepan, Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation, 202. 54 Waisbord, Silvio R, "Scandals, Media, and Citizenship in Contemporary Argentina," American Behavioral Scientist 47 (2004), 1075.
"President Menem reached back into the classic corporatist repertoire for controlling labor. Much of the funds and power of labor leaders and unions is due to their official recognition. President Menem, like Getlio Vargas of Brazil and Lzaro Crdenas of Mexico before him, used the weapon of official recognition on his challengers (such as the CTA). Wild strikes were declared illegal and unions that persisted in strikes risked loosing their official status or some of the state support for their specific activities." 55 Argentines still seemed to believe in democracy and so strengthened those elements they could within their own organizations. Viewing this organization as a threat to his power, Menem attempted to break down civil society by providing official power and funding only to those civil society organizations which promoted his interest. Although Menem attempted to control political society by manipulating democratic institutions and restricting political communication and weaken civil society groups by selectively recognizing organizations, his efforts to control Argentina's economic society were less successful. Menem implemented a neoliberal model which featured the sale of national companies to foreign companies. Import markets were opened without restrictions, resulting in an influx of foreign goods; the state simultaneously stopped providing credits to small producers and regulating prices. Menem's adjustments resulted in massive unemployment as workers were rendered without time or government aid to adjust to the new economic structure; unemployment escalated from 7 percent in 1974 to over 14 percent in 1991. 56 While Menem was able to periodically control inflation by pegging the peso argentino to the American dollar, conditions for most Argentines remained poor. Menem's economic policies benefited Que se Vayan Todos! 25 55 Linz and Stepan, Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation, 195 56 Paula Colmegna, The Unemployed Piqueteros of Argentina:Active Rejection of an Exclusionary Form of Democracy (Quilmes Argentina: Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, 2003).
only large-scale business and never trickled down to the underclass. His efforts to ameliorate conditions for the unemployed were no more effective than Alfonsn's; unemployment remained high in 1995 at 30 percent; in 1999, GDP growth fell to -3.4 percent from 8.1 percent in 1997. 57 Menem's successor and winner of the 1999 elections, Unin Cvica Radical candidate Fernando De la Ra, won the presidency on a platform critical of the political corruption characteristic of Menem's regime and promising to restructure the administration to guarantee efficiency. 58 His promises for change were short-lived, however; rather than freeing Argentina's democratic institutions from Menem-sponsored bias and corruption, De la Ra bought out judges in return for their support in politicized cases. Furthermore, De la Ra's attempts to purge the delegative and corrupt Argentine Supreme Court and other political institutions crafted by Menem largely failed; the Peronist party refused to cooperate with or support De la Ra's reforms. Latin American researcher Hector E. Schamis claims that De la Ra was "cut off from larger political society...surrounded by a clique of unelected advisors...several of whom had no previous political experience of any kind." 59 In attempt to salvage the continuously worsening Argentinean economy, De la Ra downsized and tied the national currency to a combination Euro-American dollar. Rather than improve conditions, these reforms resulted in the potentiation of foreign debt. Que se Vayan Todos! 26 57 J.F. Hornbeck, "The Financial Crisis in Argentina," CRS Report for Congress [report on-line] (June, 2005, accessed 9 March, 2009); available from http://opencrs.com/rpts/RS21072_20030605.pdf ; Internet. 58 Hector E. Schamis, "Argentina, Crisis and Democratic Consolidation," Journal of Democracy 13, no. 2 (2002):81-94. 59 Hector E. Schamis, "Argentina, Crisis and Democratic Consolidation," 82
By 2001, Argentina was again in crisis; investors had lost confidence and capital flight increased dramatically. Citizens fearing the worst began closing bank accounts, leading to the state-imposed Corralito : a set of measures which froze all bank accounts for twelve months and allowed only minor sums to be withdrawn. These measures resulted in the public uprising of citizens protesting their inability to access their money. Unable to control protest by both the unemployed Piquetero s as well as those affected by the Corralito De la Ra left office in December 2001. A series of provisional presidents ruled in the period prior to the scheduled 2003 election. Peronist candidate Nestor Kirchner won the 2003 election. Conditions of corruption in Argentina's political society improved during Kirchner's presidency. According to his press secretary, Kirchner admitted that "only by winning the sympathy of those groups uncontaminated by the vices of the large parties" was he able to win the presidency; Kirchner gained support by attracting neglected social sectors. Immediately after assuming the presidency, Kirchner met with human rights groups and nullified statutory limitations on human rights violations committed during the military dictatorship. With a desire to make over Argentina in the image of "normal capitalism," 60 Kirchner set about a series of transformations in effort to undo Argentina's increasingly corrupt political legacy. 61 Kirchner successfully replaced Menem's "automatic majority" Supreme Court justices with legitimate jurists. He successfully removed from office Que se Vayan Todos! 27 60 James Petras, "Argentina: From Popular Rebellion to Normal Capitalism," The Center for Global Research [report on-line] (2004, accessed 4 April, 2009); available from http://socialistresistance.co.uk/ petrasargentina.pdf ; Internet. 61 "Excerpts, Kirchner's Inaugural Speech," BBC News [article on-line] (26 May 2003, accessed 4 May, 2009); available from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/2938070.stm ; Internet.
individuals charged with corruption who had been protected under former presidencies and made them accountable to the same laws which govern all citizens. 62 Conditions in Argentina's economic society improved during Kirchner's presidency; unemployment declined from 21.5% in 2003 to 16.3% in 2005. While this figure is still high, the decline is substantial in light of the previous presidencies' inability to ameliorate Argentina's economic society. Foreign trade based in agriculture and minerals boomed, leading to an 8.7% economic growth in 2003. While external economic indicators improved, conditions for the unemployed and poor did not improve; Kirchner implemented wide-spread yet minimalist welfare policies and provided short-term work orders which temporarily satiated the needs of the unemployed yet did not offer a longterm or sustainable solution to Argentina's labor problem. Despite structural and popular commitment to democracy and the existence of a civil space in which opposition could form, limits to democratic consolidation were prevalent in Argentina from the 1983 reinstitution of democracy through De la Ra's succession from office. While Argentina maintained the institutional foundations for democratic representation, political society evidenced personalistic corruption and restricted political communication; thus the legitimacy and effectiveness of political institutions were questioned. Furthermore, political society in this period was characterized by corrupt institutions and non-transparent decision making. Although Argentina's government maintained formal democratic institutions, free and fair elections, and compulsory voting, these actions were symbolic; citizens could engage the Que se Vayan Todos! 28 62 James Petras, "Argentina: From Popular Rebellion to Normal Capitalism," 5.
established mechanisms for political participation and negotiation yet could not guarantee that majority interest would be recognized. Through De la Ra's departure from office, political society accommodated opposition parties and maintained the institutions and electoral processes necessary for democratic governance. Alfonsn and Menem relied on support from and control over civil society organizations to acquire and maintain presidential power. Furthermore, civil society developed organizations which remained committed to democratic values of open and participatory organization and decision making when the government alienated citizens through economic reforms. Argentina's economy in the era following the reinstitution of democracy through De la Ra's succession from office was marked by the government's inability to implement reforms which benefited the population-at-large. While Menem was able to control inflation, the reforms which allowed such indicators of economic stability to improve did so at the expense of millions of Argentines rendered jobless by privatization; those who did not loose their jobs were affected by 2001. Thus, from the reinstitution of democracy through Nestor Kirchner's presidency, the Argentine government exemplified an inability to adjudicate majority (the Argentine people) and minority (political officials, big business) interest. Although Argentina continues to face barriers on its path to democratic consolidation, it is evident that political and economic conditions have improved. It is further evident that the Piquetero s, a byproduct of Argentina's powerful civil society were both affected by and influenced democratic consolidation. To better understand this, Que se Vayan Todos! 29
it is necessary to evaluate the manner in which the Piquetero s framed their agency, identity, and the source of their injustice to garner support. Collective Action Framing in Argentina's Piquetero Movement The Piquetero 's ability to frame agency in a way that encouraged mobilization relied on how effectively the movement communicated its ability to gain government recognition and immediately improve problematic social and economic circumstances outside politically or economically sanctioned forms of participation and bargaining. Through the use of road block protests and the promotion of local-level, participatory, and inclusive organization, the Piquetero movement provided direct and transparent mechanisms through which citizens could air demands and develop solutions to shared issues. The Piquetero movement emerged as a series of road block protests which forced the government to negotiate with its groups of protestors by blocking off major routes of commerce. These road block protests provided a visible and direct mechanism through which citizens could air demands when the government was not recognizing their needs. Argentine reporter Eduardo Lucta said of the Piquetero' s road block demonstrations: "[ Piquetero ] leaders...were clear and strict regarding the protests: they must be massive, peaceful, and a viable alternative which did not harm workers who needed to voice their needs. In this way, [protestors] would avoid legal prosecution and punishment by the government in regard to their freedom of movement. The Piqueteros understand the consequences of acting on the centers of production and capital accumulation." 63 Que se Vayan Todos! 30 63 Ral Isman, Los Piquetes de la Matanza trans. by Sarah Ann Knotts (Buenos Aires: Ediciones Nuevos Tiempos, 2004), 8.
Road block pickets forced the government to recognize Piquetero demands by preventing the flow of goods into, out of, and through areas of production. The non-violent and massive nature of the protests encouraged agency; Piquetero members were protected from individual prosecution as they always worked collectively. Piquetero protests further encouraged agency by providing evidence of progress to citizens rendered helpless by the government's neoliberal reforms by demonstrating that their needs could be recognized and sufficiently resolved by working outside of politically and economically sanctioned forms of participation and bargaining. The work orders, however, while providing short-term solutions and evidence of progress, did not provide long-term and genuine solutions to the unemployment problem. In 2003, Piqueteros "Svampa" and "Preyeyra" stated of the use of road blocks: "The limitations which unfold from this kind of institution are evident...[The pickets] effectively establish a relationship with public power...by demanding genuine labor yet fighting for work orders." 64 "Svampa" and "Preyera" assert that while the road block protests were effective in forcing the government to recognize them, this type of negotiation did not effectively generate genuine solutions to the unemployment problem. Road block protests forced the government to provide a short-term and immediate solution to the unemployment problem; the government needed to do whatever possible to prevent the Piquetero 's from blocking commerce. Piquteros organized as a "survival" strategy to allow their immediate and collective needs to be met. Ana C. Dinerstein claims that Piquetero organizations Que se Vayan Todos! 31 64 Virginia Romanutti, "El movimiento Piquetero en Cordoba: El reino de la diferencia?" [article on-line] Topos y Tropos trans. by Sarah Ann Knotts (accessed 28 April, 2009); available from http:// www.toposytropos.com.ar/N1/pdf/El%20movimiento%20piquetero%20en%20C%F3rdoba.pdf ; Internet.
"emerged to provide services, make food and shelter, sell locally made products, educate themselves, and organize collectively against the state and capital." 65 Accordingly, Piquetero activist "Solano" stated: "The movement emerged from the concrete necessities of the neighborhood. I think there was not a starting recipe, but that with time we made one, and in the way we organized ourselves, things emerged" 66 Piquetero organizations framed their agency for change by creating local-level organizations which assisted communities in solving collective needs that the government was not recognizing. Accordingly, Argentine journalist Marina Farinetti stated: "[The Piquetero 's institutional foundation] culminated in the form of new popular organizations, organizations that are not governmental. These organizations re-create social nets [abandoned by the government]...the organizations place unemployment and the social consequences of politics the center of debate." 67 Piquetero organizations compensated for the Argentine government's neglect by independently solving community need through small-scale organization and collective action. As citizens viewed these local-level organizations as effective and helpful, they were encouraged to participate in protests and join the Piquetero cause. Each community-based Piquetero group featured a horizontal and decentralized institutional structure which promoted participatory and deliberative decision making. As Piquetero movements spread throughout Argentina, the need to organize at the provincial and national level became evident. Indeed, the number of road-block protests in Buenos Que se Vayan Todos! 32 65 Ana C. Dinerstein, "Power or Counter-Power: the Dilemma of the Piquetero Movement in Argentina Post-Crisis," Capital and Class 81 (2003): 3. 66 Dinerstein, "Power or Counter-Power: the Dilemma of the Piquetero Movement in Argentina PostCrisis," 3. 67 Javier Auyero,, Retratos de la beligerancia popular en la Argentina democratica, trans. by Sarah Ann Knotts (Buenos Aires: Centro Cultural Rojas, 2000), 3-5.
Aires alone increased from 23 in 1997 to 587 in 2002; in all of Argentina, these protests escalated from 140 in 1997 to 2336 in 2003. 68 For these provincial and national-level organizations, two representatives were chosen by work groups within neighborhood organizations. Piquetero organizer "Andres" explains the process: "One of the forms in which we implemented horizontality, apart from getting rid of the post of secretary was to create work areas, so within the movement several areas exist in health, administration, press, relations with organizations and visits, financewhich is the work area which looks at the spending of the movement through a common fund. They do not control it, more oversee it. There is another work area, planning, which establishes what to do with regard to the needs put forward by the members. In each place there are assemblies where the activities of the movement are discussed, they discuss who will enter each work group. These assemblies lead to a general meeting of the areas with delegates from each group who bring plans, worries, doubts and conflicts that arise in each group. The delegates then take back information to their area to re-discuss the issues and finally come back to a general meeting to make final decisions. This fortifies and consolidates the participation of the compaeros in decision-making, maybe it does not go deep enough into some subjects. Where there is deeper discussion is in the training workshops in which compaeros use popular education techniques" 69 At the community, provincial, and national levels, Piquetero organizations and decision making sought to promote representation and to prevent representatives from being "bought off" or brokering deals with government officials. Further exemplifying this, Piqueteros would only negotiate with officials during road block protests rather than in formal offices or trade unions. 70 The Piqueteros framed their agency for change by promoting collective, inclusive, and participatory organization and decision making at all Que se Vayan Todos! 33 68 Javier Auyero, Retratos de la beligerancia popular en la Argentina democratica 6. 69 Dinerstein, "Power or Counter-Power: the Dilemma of the Piquetero Movement in Argentina PostCrisis," 5-10. 70 Dinerstein, "Power or Counter-Power: the Dilemma of the Piquetero Movement in Argentina PostCrisis," 1-5.
levels. Once Argentine citizens viewed the effectiveness of this kind of organization, they were encouraged to protest against their selectively beneficial, elite-centered government. During the interim prior to the 2003 elections, the provisional government issued a strategy of "divide and conquer" in which they attempted to drive wedges between the unemployed Piquetero protestors and those protesting the Corralito The government gradually unfroze bank accounts, first dividing the unemployed Piqueteros from those who had solely protested the government's freezing of bank accounts 71 Once this was accomplished and protest waned, the government successfully attempted to buy off the unemployed Piqueteros with guaranteed access to government assistance programs. 72 The allocation of hundreds of thousands of six-month work plans allowed the Argentine government to buy off willing Piqueteros by diverting attention away from the real problem (lack of long-term, sustainable employment) to the acquisition of immediate yet temporary employment. The provision of work plans fragmented the Piqueteros into groups placated by government assistance through work plans and those who still sought long-term solutions through institutional reform; as the Piquetero's clout relied on their size and unity, this "wedge driving" sapped the movement's strength and ability to exact change through protest-based negotiation. Those groups of Piqueteros who viewed the provision of work plans as evidence that conditions in Argentina's political and economic society were improving disengaged themselves from picket-based protest and began seeking politically and economically sanctioned forms of participation and bargaining. Que se Vayan Todos! 34 71 Petras, "Argentina: From Popular Rebellion to Normal Capitalism," 16. 72 Cabrero, "Multiparty Politics in Argentina? Electoral Rules and Changing Patterns," 479.
Kirchner continued the provision of work plans implemented by the interim government continued. While the work plans were never meant to lead to the creation of new full-time jobs, the provision of government aid as well as the reconstruction and relegitimization of democratic institutions implemented by Kirchner elicited support among protestors. According to Uruguayan journalist Andrs Gaudin, "Kirchner took the tack of protecting...[the Piqueteros] while awaiting their natural disintegration; he was steadfast in opposing any heavy-handed responses to Piquetero direct actions." 73 Such "natural disintegration" occurred on two accounts; the movement divided first internally, as their platform of demands changed constantly. Gaudin states, "one day they asked for subsidies, the next day they wanted seeds for a community garden or school supplies for their children...Kirchner refused demand for an aggressive response. He believed Piqueteros had legitimate grievances and he protected their right to protest until they tired and weakened." 74 Such lack of internal cohesion led the Piqueteros to disintegrate along politicized lines; the movement became divided into those groups of Piqueteros which sought to engage politically or economically sanctioned forms of bargaining by supporting Kirchner's regime and those who continued to relinquish the Argentine state. It is further relevant to note that with Kirchner's presidency, such anti-state Piqueteros became a minority; in 2005 only 30 such groups existed. 75 Que se Vayan Todos! 35 73 Andr s Gaudin, "The Kirchner Factor," NACLA Report on the Americas [report on-line] (accessed 4 May, 2009); available from http:// www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=1&url=http%3A %2F%2Fwww.mediaaccuracy.org%2Ffiles%2FBTN_PDFs%2FKirchnerFactor.pdf&ei=GvvSbSjIKXuMp3Y8c0E&rct=j&q=the+kirchner+factor&usg=AFQjCNHGqgDmjqFg4uVaMWWLrBteIRNFA ; Internet. 74 Gaudin, "The Kirchner Factor." 75 Gaudin, "The Kirchner Factor."
In his book Acts of Resistance and Change acclaimed Sociologist Pierre Bordieu argues that the unemployed tend to be demobilized as job loss causes the "destructuring of existence," whereby the unemployed are deprived of their "temporal structures and [perceive] the ensuing deterioration of their whole relationship to the world, time, and space." 76 Absorbed with uncertainties regarding their future yet bound by social and political realities, the unemployed require redefinition of their political present to form a foundation upon which battles for the future might be fought. The Piquetero movement was able to redefine the political present for the Argentine public and establish a foundation for exacting change by framing itself in a manner which resonated with the unemployed. Ral Isman, a prominent Piquetero activist and author of Los Piquetes de la Matanza one of the only first-hand published accounts of Piqueterismo, states that "the loss of employment...was the fundamental cause of the Piquetero crisis... the Piquetero s were a movement of resistance against unemployment." 77 As facets of Piqueteros came to view this plight as substantially resolved through the distribution of work orders and Kirchner's reforms, this identity frame lost resonance with those protestors who began viewing economically and politically sanctioned forms of bargaining as legitimate. While some factions of Piquetero s continued to admonish everything related to the government and capitalism, those factions which felt the government had regained legitimacy began identifying as adherents to a new rendition of Peronism under an unchanged party title; while such Piquetero s did not overtly support Peronism they did support the political and Que se Vayan Todos! 36 76 Pierre Bordieu, Acts of Resistance and Change (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1988). 77 Isman, Los piquetes de la Matanza 7-8.
social changes enacted by Kirchner, who identified as Peronist Isman, who followed this trajectory, states: "From our point of view, the Piquetero movement is a principal force of opposition against the clientelist mechanisms of Peronism and the Union Civica Radical ...On the other hand, the arrival of Nestor Kirchner, a Peronist has created interesting conditions for the actualization of plans which limit the control of the Peronist party...These changes provide the opportunity for the Piquetero 's to develop a new relationship with the government and assist in the actualization of a new social state." Isman claims that while the Piquetero s traditionally identified as in opposition to the traditional parties, the reforms implemented by Kirchner suggest that more progress might be made by engaging the government in efforts to re-craft the relationship between the government and the public. The Piqueterismo title also contributed to the movement's framing of identity. Linguistics Scholar Veronica Orellano discusses the significance of the title's root and suffix. According to Orellano, the use of Piquete Spanish for picket, is relevant as it signifies that the movement defined itself through its mechanism of political protest and negotiation. Furthermore, the use of the "ismo" suffix rather than the more commonly implemented "ista," (as in futbolista a football player, or guitarrista a guitar player, which imply that such a skill is an attribute which adds to the individual's self worth) implies unity and group identification. In Spanish, the ismo suffix is generally used for proper nouns which describe things such as religions or ideological affiliations, such as Catolicismo (Catholicism) or Liberalismo (Liberalism). 78 Thus, the Piqueterismo title framed the movement's identity as a unity of individuals united by a common issue yet Que se Vayan Todos! 37 78 Veronica Orellano, "Estrategias cognitivo-comunicativas y punto de vista narrativo," trans. by Sarah Ann Knotts (Ph.D diss., Universidad Nacional de San Juan), 2-3.
defined through their mechanism of protest. Orellano argues that such self-identification allowed protestors to re-orient public and government criticism away from the Piqueteros as individuals and towards the disruptive nature of their commerce-blocking pickets. 79 Furthermore, Piquetero s which did not continue participating in road block pickets still identified as Piquetero s; Ral Isman discusses his support for Kirchner in his text and identifies himself and other unemployed protestors who followed his trajectory as Piquetero s. This implies that although these facets of Piquetero s support Kirchner, their purpose is not explicitly political, focusing instead on their continued recognition and provision for their needs through work orders and state-controlled benefits. Even after facets of Piqueteros began engaging political society under Kirchner's Peronist regime, the Piquetero s did not prompt citizens to change their social, ideological or political affiliations, framing their diverse and collective identity as an attribute to their cause. In a 2000 interview with Piqueteros "Laclau and Mouffe," the protestors compared their unemployment and collective strength to a mountain untraveled and untouched: "A mountain serves as protection against enemy attack, an excursion for tourists, or fountain of resources, but that mountain is nothing without workers. However, this does not mean the mountain does not exist. The mountain exists to perform any of these tasks, yet when these tasks are not performed, the mountain still exists." 80 Laclau and Mouffe claim that while their collective need for labor and productive potential was not utilized by the government, this did not affect their strength and Que se Vayan Todos! 38 79 Orellano, Veronica, Perfiles de las ciencias del lenguaje, trans. by Sarah Ann Knotts (San Juan, Argentina: F.F.H y Artes de la U.N., 2006), 42. 80 Virginia Romanutti, "El movimiento piquetero en Cordoba," Topos y Tropos, (2004, accessed 29 March, 2009) trans. by Sarah Ann Knotts [article on-line]; available from http:// www.toposytropos.com.ar/ N1/pdf/El%20movimiento%20piquetero%20en%20C%F3rdoba.pdf ; Internet.
identity. The Piquetero 's diversity strengthened their clout as it demonstrated that the conditions which affected them were wide-spread; the collective unity of middle class and poor, women and adolescent men, provided the Piquetero movement with legitimacy unobtainable with a less diverse action force. Furthermore, the Piquetero s framed their identity in a way which celebrated traditional and established social roles. In a 2004 interview with Piquetero member "Viviana," Latin American Reporter Sebastian Hatcher observed: "She motivates her companions to get on the air but worries about allowing all the boys to be on TV. Her profile like everybody else's there is very different from that which the mainstream media usually presents when talking about Piqueteros duros ('hard' Piqueteros ). Almost thirty-years-old and with the movement for more than six years, she speaks with simple words and is simultaneously a baker, mother, and something of a teacher for all of the boys." 81 "Viviana" does not try to mask her established role as a mother and baker; rather, the fact that she, a woman fulfilling a traditionally feminine and maternal role, affiliated with the Piqutero s demonstrates that Piquetero organizations emphasize the ability for a community to solve shared problems outside of politically or economically sanctioned methods of participation and bargaining by organizing and utilizing the strengths and identities they already possessed. The Piquetero s sought change in the forces which governed them, not change in the political or social foundations of the people affected by such forces. Que se Vayan Todos! 39 81 Sebastian Hatcher, "Blockade the Airwaves, Piquetero Television in Argentina," Mute (March 2004, accessed 27 April, 2009) [journal on-line]; available from http://www.why-war.com/news/2004/03/01/ blockade.html ; Internet.
The chant que se vayan todos (out with you all) dominated Piquetero protests prior to Kirchner's presidency, representing the movement's identification of the arbiters of injustice; the Piqueteros framed the Argentine state as the entity responsible for unemployment. Supporting this, Isman states: "Is there another way to interpret reality for an organization unable to utilize the established government other than viewing and understanding the national situation as the principal problem?...We see in the state a solitary function: repression." 82 Isman indicates that the Piquetero s, rendered helpless by the government's neoliberal reforms, could not help but view the state as a repressive entity and the cause of their economic difficulties. Furthermore, the Piquetero s framed neither the Peronists nor the Union Civica Radical party as the source of injustice. Until Kirchner's presidency, both parties had demonstrated their inability to ameliorate Argentina's political and economic circumstances. While economic disaster ensued in Argentina under a democratic model, democracy itself was not framed as the onus of injustice; the Piqueteros charged that the reason for their suffering was the failure of the Argentine state to recognize and account for the needs of the people-at-large. According to Isman: "The words of the Unin Cvica Radical candidate chosen in the historic 1983 elections, with democracy we shall eat, be cured and be educated' are remembered with irony. The Argentine people have recovered at least for now the ability to elect its rulers. But with this form of democracy we are not fed, cured, or educated...we must fight for the same values embodied by the Piqueteros ...for a substantive and formal notion of democracy that is not purely procedural. 83 Que se Vayan Todos! 40 82 Isman, Los piquetes de la Matanza 81. 83 Isman, Los piquetes de la Matanza 27.
Isman and the Piquetero s he speaks for do not deny that democracy could lead to social and economic improvement; rather, that the form of democracy implemented in Argentina did not benefit them. Democracy in Argentina had not led to their being fed, cured, or educated; the Piquetero s recognized that the form of democracy that existed in Argentina was procedural, allowing for citizens to participate in elections yet not guaranteeing that the public interest would be fairly represented. The Piquetero s believed democracy to be the most effective form of governance and implemented democratic values and decision making procedures in their community-level and national-level organizations; the Piquetero s believed democracy was not being effectively implemented or functioning correctly because the government implemented economic reforms which disadvantaged a large segment of Argentina's population. The Piquetero s recognized how strongly neoliberalism contributed to their economic problems and framed neoliberalism and capitalism as sources of injustice. According to Isman, "nothing is more relevant than the fact that privatizations were implemented without the consensus of their victims." 84 Isman later states that during Menem's presidency, "neoliberalism did not effectively mediate the diversity and successive rights of the oppressed population" and that "the model implemented by Menem.... did not derive legitimacy by allying monopolies with subordinate sectors." 85 In a conversation with Isman, an unnamed Piquetero activist states: "The social calamities which we now know were not caused by a passing crisis in which everything will return to normal and there will be employment and Que se Vayan Todos! 41 84 Isman, Los piquetes de la Matanza 30. 85 Isman, Los piquetes de la Matanza 37.
integration. Nothing will improve until the capitalist forms of accumulation are changed to benefit the unemployed majority." 86 This Piquetero expresses his view that Argentina's economic and social problems will not improve until the capitalist system is changed and that the neoliberal reforms which had been implemented will otherwise never improve the situation of the unemployed. Accordingly, Piquetero "Solano" states of neoliberalism and capitalism: "The great novelty seems to be that capitalism does not have any plans to integrate the unemployed. If this occurs in the future, the political sentiment we currently embody will only worsen, we will have to return to the protests to assure that our youth, which should be studying, do not have to return to the factories." 87 Solano claims that the principal problem with neoliberalism is its inability to benefit all citizens. Isman states that, "there is no doubt that the neoliberal reforms are made worse by the corrupt and criminal nature" of Argentina's government." 88 Accordingly, Piquetero Holloway" states: "The state is capital, a form of capital. The state is a form of social relations specifically capitalist. The state is so strongly integrated into the global web of capitalist relations that there is no way to create an anti-capitalist state outside of it...The state imposes these hierarchical relations that we do not want." 89 The Piqueteros understood that the Argentine government's neoliberal adjustments led to unemployment and impoverishment yet believed that the greater problem was that the Argentine government did not recognize or account for the people whom the reforms disadvantaged. Que se Vayan Todos! 42 86 Isman, Los piquetes de la Matanza 133. 87 Isman, Los piquetes de la Matanza 32. 88 Isman, Los piquetes de la Matanza 33. 89 Isman, Los piquetes de la Matanza 175.
Under Kirchner, Piquetero organizations that sought to engage the new government to further their interests re-framed the source of injustice along "old Peronist and "new Peronist lines; the source of injustice was re-framed as the corrupt regimes which thrived prior to the 2001 protests. In 2003, pro-Kirchner Piquetero Jorge Cevallos responded to anti-Kirchner Piquetero Raul Castell's claim that the military government was more honest than Kirchner by questioning, "Who is behind Castells? Who is paying him to try and destabilize the government?" 90 Accordingly, Isman states: "In the future, it will be known if [Kirchner's] gestures are not effective practices and if the new president tried to lead a coalition with the bold aim of introducing substantive changes into today's complex picture...in his words addressed to the Legislature [Kirchner stated] that the day he became president would be the day he recreated the nation with strong state-oriented protection of the most humble. In our view, the proper tactics to engage the new government is to support all measures that address the president's economic power and encourage the people. You can be the generation of a viable process of popular mobilization... the Piqueteros have entered a new phase." 91 Isman states that only the future will evidence if Kirchner holds true to his promise to recreate Argentina's government to protect the "most humble," yet argues that he and other Piquetero s must support the government in order for this recreation to come into fruition. Isman claims that the Piquetero s can engage in a new process of popular mobilization by encouraging the people to fight with Kirchner rather than against him. Those facets of Piquetero s that continued to view the government-at-large as the source of injustice continued framing injustice as they had during Menem's presidency. Exemplifying this, in 2003, Piquetero activist Anibal Veron stated: Que se Vayan Todos! 43 90 Gaudin, "The Kirchner Factor." 91 Isman, Los piquetes de la Matanza 101.
"[ Piqueteros ] believe firmly that popular organizations that emerge from the heat of the struggle should constitute themselves with independence from the state and its institutions, political parties, bureaucratic trade unions, and the church to guarantee that the interests of the people are not manipulated." 92 Veron claims that it is necessary for the Piqueteros and other popular organizations to maintain their independence from the state as the state was liable to manipulate the interests of the people. Piquetero activist "Solano" stated: "Unemployment is something that has motivated us to organize, the objective is to one day have a more dignified life, we won't find real work within the capitalist system, we have to create our own sources of work, without oppression or domination. Everything that comes from the system is because it suits the system, Kirchner is one more from within the system and up to now he hasn't done anything to improve the situation for those within the autonomous movements. For us governments are those we are struggling against." 93 Solano claims that the Argentine government promotes and supports capitalism because it promotes the interests of the elite minority at the expense of the unemployed majority. Those Piquetero s which continued to call for relinquishment of the government believed that Kirchner was as much the source of injustice as the previous presidents; these facets did not believe their participation in politics would favorably impact their interests and needs. Conclusions Unemployment elicited by Menem's neoliberal reforms prioritized the satisfaction of immediate need. Rather than focusing on the neoliberal adjustments themselves, the Piquetero movement framed the state and the capitalist, neoliberal model the state Que se Vayan Todos! 44 92 Dinerstein, "Power or Counter Power: The Dilemma of the Piquetero Movement in Argentina PostCrisis," 5. 93 Romanutti, Virginia, "El movimiento piquetero en Cordoba."
followed as the sources of injustice. As Argentina's political society during Menem was not transparent and considered corrupt, the state was the most visible and obvious arbiter of injustice. Furthermore, as the Argentine people understood unemployment to be caused by the neoliberal reforms enacted by the corrupt government, capitalism and neoliberalism were also blamed. Although the provision of work plans did not lead to a long-term solution to unemployment, it did afford the state increased legitimacy, rendering such "catch-all" framing less effective; Piquetero groups which continued to adhere to the old injustice frame, that the state-at-large needed to be relinquished, weakened and dissipated during Kirchner's presidency. Lack of transparency and corruption in political society allowed such a broad framing of injustice to resonate with Argentinean citizens; the unemployed couldn't decipher the precise source of blame and thus charged the entire government. Once the government re-gained legitimacy and began recognizing (albeit minimally) the needs of the unemployed, such injustice framing became less effective as citizens were better able to understand and engage politics, leading some Piqueteros to change their tactics in response. Thus, framing the state as the source of injustice was both effective and possible because of the poor conditions which existed in Argentina's political and economic societies until Kirchner's presidency. Once conditions improved, blaming the state as the source of injustice was no longer effective. Framing the government-at-large's inability to recognize and satisfy the needs of the unemployed as the source of injustice may have had both positive and negative implications for Argentina's democratic conditions and future. By demanding recognition, the Piquetero 's promoted the amelioration of conditions of corruption and Que se Vayan Todos! 45
exclusion in political society through citizen inclusion and representation, encouraging the development of democratic political skills. Furthermore, by blocking the flow of goods through important areas of commerce, the Piquetero 's demonstrated that the government relied on the compliance and efforts of the Argentinean people. Adversely, the "catch-all" injustice framing utilized by the Piquetero movement divided civil society. The Piquetero movement sought immediate resolution of their needs and was able to achieve those needs through their collective clout; once such needs were sufficiently met through minimal welfare plans and temporary work orders, the government was able to "divide and conquer" protestors without providing sustainable employment. This suggests that the injustice framing utilized by the Piquetero movement may have broken up Argentina's historically active civil society as large factions of protestors were willing to comply and succumb to the government without achieving a sustainable solution to their problem. Endemic institutional corruption and lack of transparent decision making which characterized political society prior to Kirchner's presidency rendered politically and economically sanctioned methods of participation and bargaining unworkable by citizens; furthermore, political communication was restricted during Menem's regime, preventing citizens from understanding and engaging their government. The Piquetero 's framing of agency was thus effective as road block protests and localized organizations re-engaged politically alienated citizens by demonstrating their ability to gain recognition and solve community-level problems outside ineffective and non-transparent government mechanisms. Que se Vayan Todos! 46
The Argentinean government's inability to ameliorate economic conditions rendered them politically vulnerable; the 2001 protests were largely effective as the government had lost legitimacy and support from most of society. The Argentine people knew that the government would be less likely to retaliate against protest as the weak economy and size of protest delegitimized and weakened government control over civil disobedience. The Piquetero method of road block protesting was thus possible due to Argentina's weak political society; the vulnerable government was more likely to appease Piquetero demands than repress them. The Piquetero movement agency framing may have positively affected the future of democracy in Argentina by providing visible and immediate mechanisms of bargaining and participation within their organizations, demonstrating and encouraging inclusive and participatory decision making. By organizing to promote inclusion and participatory decision making and seeking collective over individual need, the Piquetero movement demonstrated and encouraged democratic values, reminding the unemployed of the importance and power of political involvement. By demonstrating the effectiveness of democratic values within civil society, the Piquetero movement garnered support for their movement while enforcing the people's desire for such bargaining and participation at the national level. Finally, democratic conditions affected the kind of identity framing that was both effective and possible. The failure of both the Peronists and the Union Civica Radical to implement reforms which ameliorated Argentina's economic crisis rendered both parties undesirable by the unemployed; identifying along party lines would have discouraged Que se Vayan Todos! 47
citizens from participating in the Piquetero movement. Thus, as Argentina's political society was viewed as unworkable by citizens until Kirchner's reforms, identifying according to a common historical condition, as unemployed, provided an alternative foundation upon which the movement garnered support. It may be assessed that the manner in which the Piquetero movement framed their identity was not conducive to furthering conditions of democratic consolidation. As Argentina's political society regained legitimacy, the Piquetero movement factionalized into those in support of Kirchner's "New Peronism" and those who continued to relinquish the government-at-large. The Piquetero movement allowed themselves to be bought out by temporary work orders rather than continuing to organize and bargain for sustainable employment; political society thus controlled and broke up civil society, leading Piquetero factions to succumb to the historical Peronist party rather than develop their own official political party with which they could formally adjudicate their interests. Que se Vayan Todos! 48
Chapter Two Uruguay's Frente Amplio In 1960, social discontent resulting from the exhausted ISI-based economic model and fragmentation within traditional parties prompted the organization of various leftist political parties, movements, and individuals who wanted to break historical Blanco and Colorado government control. At inception, these organizations consisted of Uruguay's Communist and Socialist parties and splinters from the traditional Blanco and Colorado parties. These alternative-seeking organizations also included the Tupamaro guerilla group, which utilized political kidnapping and armed robbery to highlight the Uruguayan government's failure to ameliorate economic stagnation. Avoiding bloodshed when possible, the Tupamaros sought to embarrass and weaken the government through general disorder; Tupamaros often raided the files of government offices and kidnapped prominent figures, holding them before a "People's Court" on the basis of stolen evidence. 94 By 1970, the increasing vulnerability of the current president, Juan Mara Bordaberry of the Colorado party, presented an opportunity for these alternative groups, the dissatisfied members of the ruling parties, and guerillas to collaborate officially and gain recognition as a political party. After eleven years of information sharing and community-level organizing, this alternative coalition formally established themselves as Que se Vayan Todos! 49 94 MX Alvarez and A Lessa, "Tupamaros Revolution La Revolucion Imposible," Historia, Questiones, y Debates (2004), 58.
the Frente Amplio Spanish for Broad Front. The Frente served as a permanent coalition of disparate leftist groups which did not have large enough support to run for office successfully and so united under a common goal: political and economic change. The Frente's foundational document, developed in March 1971, was signed by the two major Marxist parties, the Partido Comunista del Uruguay (Communist party) and the Partido Socialista (Socialist party), the Tupamaro guerilla organization, dissident factions of the two traditional parties, as well as trade unionists, progressive military officers, and other opposition groups. 95 The Frente's immediately developed a campaign platform for the 1971 elections, "The First 30 Government Measures," based loosely around the thencontemporary Chilean "40 Measures" platform and drawing upon Allende's vision of economic and social centralization. According to the International Parliamentary Union : "Whereas the Blanco and Colorado Parties proposed similar electoral platforms, placing primary emphasis on maintaining law and order, strengthening the national currency and combating inflation, the Frente Amplio announced a series of 30 measures as its governmental program. These measures, to be implemented as soon as the party came to power, included amnesty for political prisoners (largely the Tupamaro guerillas, whom the government had struck against with violent acts of repression and imprisonment), control over private banks and export companies until their nationalization, agrarian reform, and setting up of a policy of full-employment and renewed provision of welfare benefits" 96 Although the Frente lost the presidency, earning only 21.3% of the popular vote, they were able to gain nearly two-dozen congressional seats. 97 The Frente 's ability to gain positions of political importance signified their increasing viability as an alternative Que se Vayan Todos! 50 95 Daniel Chavez, Del Frente Amplio a la Nueva Mayoria," in La nueva izquierda en America Latina, sus origenes y trayectoria futura D. Chavez, P. Barrett, and C.A. Rodriquez Garavito, eds., trans by Sarah Ann Knotts (Bogota: Grupo Editorial Normal, 2005), 5. 96 "Uruguay," Inter-Parliamentary Union [report on-line] (2009, accessed 8 April, 209); available from www.ipu.org/parline-e/reports/arc/URUGUAY_1971_E.PDF ; Internet. 97 Chavez, "Del Frente Amplio a la Nueva Mayoria," 6.
presidential candidate as well as the weakening of Blanco and Colorado power. Faced with this threat, Tupamaro disruption, as well as Uruguay's increasingly deteriorating economy, the 1971 Colorado president-elect ceded government power to the military in 1973. The traditional parties were dissolved (yet continued to convene unofficially) and the Frente Amplio was declared illegal. Liber Sergni as well as hundred of other Frente leaders were detained and jailed; tens of thousands of Frente activists were tortured or forced into exile. The military regime also began censored the media, restricting all political content. 98 Although the government may have had a multitude of reasons for handing over control to the military and outlawing opposition parties, their timing could not have been more precise; the Frente had established themselves as a viable contender in the 1971 elections and were gaining strength; the Tupamaro guerilla group, which affiliated with the Frente cause, had also been defeated by the military in 1972. The Colorado presidentin-power's succession could easily be interpreted as an attempt to defend the historical Blanco / Colorado stronghold from Frente power. Before further analysis on the Frente Amplio is conducted, it is first necessary to discuss Uruguay economic and political development from the reinstitution of democracy in 1904 to the present day. This will provide the background necessary to better understand how the Frente Amplio may have framed itself to garner support from the Uruguayan public, leading to their eventual presidential victory in the 2004 elections. Que se Vayan Todos! 51 98 Maria Ximena Alvarez, La Revolucion Imposible (Montevideo, Fin de Siglo, 2001), 220-226.
Democratic Consolidation in Uruguay: From Batllismo to the Rise of the Left In the 19th and early 20th century the leftist, urban, anti-clerical, and more progressive Colorado party and the conservative, rural, and traditional Blanco party dominated Uruguayan politics. 99 The 19th century was laced with civil wars fought between them in which the Colorados generally persevered; however, such wars almost always resulted in power sharing arrangements which allowed both to participate in government. According to Latin American Scholar Alberto Spektrowski, Uruguay's political parties "provided the organizational structure that kept the rural poor at bay and allowed their leaders direct access to the government." Furthermore, both the Colorado and Blanco parties formed from "political armies that did not represent neither the well defined economic interests nor a cultural view or a distinctive interpretation of the nation... [allowing] them to initiate negotiations to find a certain form of equilibrium instead of imposing a dominant world view." 100 After the last civil war in 1904, the two parties signed a military truce, signifying the birth of modern Uruguayan democracy. According to Political Scientist Jeffery Cason, both parties controlled the political process following the truce, engaging in a "great deal of elite cooperation [which] effectively established a grand coalition style of government before partisan conflict reached the point of threatening stability." 101 Colorado leader and Que se Vayan Todos! 52 99 Jeffrey Cason, "Electoral Reform and Stability in Uruguay," Journal of Democracy 11, no. 2 (2000), 85. 100 Luis Roniger and Mario Sznajder, Constructing Collective Identities and Shaping the Public Sphere (Sussex Academy Press, 1998), 245-264. 101 Cason, Jefrey, "Electoral Reform, Institutional Change, and Party Stability in Uruguay," 92.
winner of the 1904 presidential elections, Jose Battle y Ordonez, sought to institutionalize this unique party dynamic by promoting co-participation, decentralized political power and a centralized economy featuring top-down provision of welfare benefits through a self-proclaimed Batllismo political and economic model; overall, Batllismo aimed to create a society in which individual happiness prevailed over the creation of a national identity. 102 Moreover, the Batllismo model sought to ensure that the equally competitive and powerful Colorado and Blanco parties shared power rather than competed for control. This method of power sharing created a stronghold in government; the parties supported each other and generally agreed on political decisions and policy making. Additionally, because of the historical nature of the Blancos and Colorados (both were originally formed in 1836) the Uruguayan public possessed a strong sense of party identification along Blanco / Colorado lines; the two traditional parties never received less than 75% of the combined vote in 20th century elections. 103 Uruguay's political society was established early on as a workable force which seemed to adjudicated the interests of citizens; participation in politics has been strong since the establishment of modern democratic governance in 1904. Elections have been held on schedule and consecutively aside from the 1973-1985 military dictatorship; furthermore, according to the U.S. Department of State's Human Rights Report, all Que se Vayan Todos! 53 102 Alberto Spektorowsky, "Argentina 1930-1940: nacionalismo integral, justicia social, y clase obrera," Movimiento Obrera en America Latina 2, no.1, trans. by Sarah Ann Knotts [article on-line] (1991, accessed 27 April, 2009); available from http://www.tau.ac.il/eial/II_1/index.html# articulos); Internet. 103 Linz and Stepan, Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation, 151
elections held since 1904 were considered free and fair. 104 Accordingly, Linz and Stepan state: "In the twentieth century, the Uruguayan military never directly ruled....[and] the country had lived more years under democratic regimes than any other country Uruguayan voters, even by European standards, had a tradition of high party identification and a clear sense of a left-right index. Most military officers also identified with one of Uruguay's two traditional party families'" 105 This history of participatory democratic rule rendered a sense of democratic dedication in Uruguay's civil society. Support for democracy in Uruguay has always been strong according to the Latinobarometro a study of public opinion held annually, consisting of 19,000 interviews of 18 Latin American countries and representing more than 400 million habitants. Civil society in Uruguay until the military dictatorship was, however, generally dependent on political society. Because Batllismo established a class of political elite (the state) which distributed welfare benefits, the state versus the majority became the economic dynamic precluded the development of an economic dynamic based on social class lines; the dynamic became those distributing benefits and those dependent upon them. 106 Latin American Theorists Arturo Escobar and Sonia Alvarez state that "the combination of a strong and activist welfare state with a weak civil society and a type of representative democracy that emphasized consensus and Que se Vayan Todos! 54 104 "Human Rights Report," US Department of State [report on-line] (2009, accessed 20 April, 2009); available from http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/index.htm ; Internet. 105 Linz and Stepan, Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation, 152. 106 Sonia Alvarez, Evelina Escobar, and Arturo Escobar, "Los movimientos sociales latinoamericanos," in Political Cultural, Aruturo Escobar, et. al, eds., trans. by the author (Bogota: ICANH, 2001), 17-48.
compromise as the legitimate means to solve social conflicts produced a political culture in which democratic values were an integral component." 107 Following the Batllismo tradition of economic centralization, in the early 20th century, Uruguay featured the implementation of an I mport Substitution Industrializationbased economic model; this model led to a significant drop in unemployment through state-sponsored industries and rapid, though limited, economic growth. 108 This period of relative fiscal prosperity and political peace lasted until the early 60s. The results of this ISI-based economic model and Batllismoinspired welfare policies became known as Uruguay's "Golden Age." By the early 1960s, economic growth began to slow as education, urbanization, and labor supplies surpassed the government's ability to fund programs and create jobs. The excess labor supply created major social problems as standard of living dropped for most citizens. 109 In both 1959 and 1968, stabilization attempts failed; according to Political Scientist Henry Finch, such failure was because of the "inconsistency between their aims (reduction of domestic demand, incentives to traditional exporters) and the political structures purporting to implement them (political parties which employed clientelist mechanisms to sustain their power)." In 1971, inflation exceeded 100%. 110 Amidst economic crisis, elections were held in 1971. For the first time ever, the Frente Que se Vayan Todos! 55 107 Alvarez and Escobar, "Los movimientos sociales latinoamericanos," 17-48. 108 JP Luna, "Sobre la economia politica de las reformas de mercado en Amrica Latina," Revista Ciencia Politica 25, no.2, trans. by Sarah Ann Knotts (2005), 198-210 109 Luna, "Sobre la economia politica de las reformas de mercado en Amrica Latina," 198-210. 110 Henry Finch, "Towards the New Economic Model: Uruguay 1973-79," (Ph.D. diss, University of Liverpool,1998), 5.
Amplio ran for government office. Soon after, the military took over the Uruguayan government. Economic society through the military interim demonstrated the Blanco and Colorado parties' inability to implement sustainable economic institutions and policies. After ISI's exhaustion, the Uruguayan government's failure to implement consistent and effective economic reforms weakened the legitimacy and perceived effectiveness of the traditional Blanco and Colorado parties. Aside from some macroeconomic reforms and minor efforts toward trade liberalization, the military did not embark upon any significant structural or institutional reforms during the interim, in which Uruguay, according to Linz and Stepan, "was dominated de facto by the military and ruled de jure by a hierarchically led military...until united military organizations handed over power to a democratically elected president in 1985." 111 In 1984, the political institutions and parties in effect prior to the military interim were "unfrozen"; the Frente was re-legalized and allowed to run for office. Effectively, the Blanco Colorado, and Frente Amplio continued to attract the same electoral support bases; the Frente Amplio lost the 1984 elections to Colorado candidate Julio Maria Sanguinetti, garnering 23% of the popular vote. Although this increase in electoral support was not drastic from 1971, the Frente 's ability to maintain a support base through military exile indicate that the outlawed party was able to sustain a significant amount of support even when political society was inaccessible. Que se Vayan Todos! 56 111 Linz and Stepan, Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation, 151.
With the 1984 return to democracy and re-legalization of the Frente party, civil society activity diminished as Frente advocates who had organized civil society turned their efforts toward the reactivation of the party as a political contender. Social movement theorist Eduardo Canel suggests that as the new democratic state assumed the role of mediator and implementer of social projects prior to the consolidation of a rigid class structure, Uruguayan society formed along political rather than social-class lines. Thus, it was only during the period of military rule, when the institutions of governance were not accessible, that civil society organizations developed; furthermore, community organizations often doubled as covert information sharing mechanisms with which the Frente was able to continue spreading word about their cause despite military-elicited repression. Once democracy was re-implemented in 1984, civil society activity dwindled as Frente leaders which had been unable to engage politics during the military regime sought to further their interests through established mechanisms of participation and bargaining. According to Latin American Social Movement Scholar Arturo Escobar, after the relinquishment of military control, "grass-roots activities declined, and many of the new organizations disappeared or were assimilated into more traditional ones...civil society which had shown unusual vitality and initiative towards the end of the dictatorship quickly became dominated, as in the past, by political structures 112 Uruguay's political society dominated over civil society; civil society only flourished independently when Que se Vayan Todos! 57 112 Escobar,"Los movimentos sociales latinoamericanos," 17-48.
political society was unworkable and displayed an inability to sustain activity once political society became workable. In 1994 the additional coalition Encuentro Progresista (Progressive EncounterEP) joined Frente Amplio under that year's joint electoral ticket. Two years later, with fears of Frente's increasing support and in a move to block an inevitable Frente victory, the traditional parties promoted and passedthrough national referendum -a reform to the Uruguayan Constitution which called for a run-off in the case that one party does not receive over fifty percent of the vote. Three years later, as analysts had expected, with nearly 40% support in the 1999 elections, Frente garnered more votes than either of the traditional two parties, but lost in the run-off to the National Party's Jorge Battle. Despite the loss, the union of the traditional parties to block the advance of the growing leftist coalition, marked an important transformation in Uruguay's electoral system. Many analysts recognized that the reform was only a temporary solution for the traditional parties to win five more years before Frente's eventual victory. The addition of Nueva Mayoria (New MajorityNM) which joined the Encuentro Progresista Frente Amplio coalition in December, 2002, boosted the group's numbers further. The Colorado and Blanco candidates who won the 1985, 1989, 1994, and 1999 elections implemented gradual reforms away from the traditional ISI-based economic model, implementing an increasingly inconsistent policy mix which consisted of trade and financial liberalization while maintaining some components of the former statecentric model. In the short-run, not depriving citizens of the benefits they received under the former welfare system reduced the social costs of reform; unemployment and fiscal Que se Vayan Todos! 58
deficit rose gradually, making institutional weakness less visible. In the long-run, however, continuing to provide ISI benefits while conducting neoliberal reforms exhausted Uruguay's economy. 113 Over ten years after the re-implementation of democracy and several decades after the implementation of neoliberal reforms, Uruguay's social expenditures (as per cent GDP) remained higher than Chile, Brazil, Bolivia, and Venezuela. Such unsustainable social spending combined with a severe drop in the price of Argentina's primary commodities and crisis in the international sector (such as the 2001 Corralito in Argentina, which led to massive Argentine withdrawals from offshore accounts) led to an economic crash in 2001; by 2002, GDP had fallen by nearly 11%. From 1998-2002, household income fell more than a fifth; the percentage of Uruguayans falling under the poverty line increased from 19 percent to 31 percent between 2000 and 2003. As both Colorado and Blanco party presidents proved themselves increasingly incapable of ameliorating Uruguay's economic situation, interest in a party which offered alternative economic and political perspectives strengthened. In the 1984 elections, immediately following the Uruguayan military's succession and before neoliberal reforms had been implemented, the Colorado party received 24 per cent of the national vote, the Blanco party received 3 per cent, and the Frente Amplio received 21 per cent. 114 In 1989, 1994, 2000, and 2004, the party earned 23%, 31.8%, 40%, and 50.4% of the total votes, respectively. Que se Vayan Todos! 59 113 Luna, "Sobre la economia politica de las reformas de mercado en Amrica Latina," 198-210. 114 Linz & Stepan, Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation, 156.
Amidst growing economic crisis, a candidate from the Frente Amplio Tabare Vasquez, won the presidency with 52 percent of the popular vote, promising a return to Uruguay's Batllismo heritage through the re-implementation social programs and statecontrolled industry. 115 The "Responsible Transition" plan touted as the basis of the 2004 Frente campaign proposed to satisfy the needs of the entire nation with selective benefits for marginalized sectors of society; the model actually implemented by economic minister Danilo Astori is a centrist and classically neoliberal policy focused on benefiting big-business owners by prioritizing economic relations between the United States and Uruguay and satisfying external debt. Exemplifying this, in a 2004 conference, the Frente Amplio rejected proposals to raise the minimum wage, vowed to increase payments on foreign debt and proposed to maintain amnesty imposed by previous governments for torturers and killers of the military dictatorship. The Frente 's major unemployment and poverty initiative, to create social and jobs programs, continues to prove difficult in light of the government's dedication and subordination to the demands of international investors. 116 Frente Amplio Senator Enrique Rubio responded to criticism regarding the attention focused on Uruguay's economic policies, stating "it is one thing to be in the opposition, and completely another to be in power." Que se Vayan Todos! 60 115 Evolucion Electoral Frente Amplio Website, trans. by Sarah Ann Knotts (accessed 1 April 2009); available from http://www.frenteamplio.org.uy/frenteamplio/evoluci%C3%B3n ; Internet. 116 Daniel Renfrew, "Frente Amplio Wins Elections in Uruguay," World Socialist Web [article on-line] (4 November 2004, accessed 1 May, 2009); available from http://www.wsws.org/articles/2004/nov2004/urugn04.shtml ; Internet.
Collective Action Framing in Uruguay's Frente Amplio The manner in which the Frente Amplio framed the source of injustice, developed an identity, and encouraged agency served to garner support from individuals who viewed political society as legitimate yet understood that their government was not effectively recognizing their interest; thus, rather than seeking resolution of immediate need, as in the case of the Piqueteros the Frente sought long-term change through official recognition and participation in electoral competitions. It is further evident that the collective action frames utilized by the Frente Amplio increasingly moderated as the party sought to attract a broader and larger support base. Prior to the military takeover, the Frente Amplio framed the traditional Blanco and Colorado government as the source of injustice. The Frente 's founding document, signed in 1970, states: "These citizens who have signed state their concern about this serious situation in which our government has implemented policies which feature only digression and violence of unknown precedent in the course of this century...We seek to establish an agreement which unites us in our opposition to the country's current political forces and develop a program which would allow us to overcome the country's current structural crisis." 117 At the time of their foundation, the Frente established themselves as an opposition party; with this founding document, the Frente coalition of alternative-seeking parties, splinters, and guerillas framed themselves as the official catch-all alternative to the traditional and historical Blanco and Colorado government stronghold Que se Vayan Todos! 61 117 Documentos Fundacionales," Frente Amplio Website, trans. by Sarah Ann Knotts (accessed 2 April 2009); available from http://www.frenteamplio.org.uy/documentos/fundacionales ; Internet.
The Frente framed the traditional Blanco and Colorado government as the cause of Uruguay's increasingly worsening economic conditions. In a March 26, 1971 speech, General Liber Seregini ( Frente presidential candidate in the 1971 elections) stated: "What is the current situation of Uruguay?...Uruguay has become a country of emigration. Uruguayans now emigrate by the thousands and thousands because this country will not offer them the possibility to live and work here. The migrating demonstrate that they have lost hope in Uruguay's government. Uruguay is hopeless, a Uruguay that until recently was known for the hospitality it demonstrated to the men and families who came here from other countries hoping to find a place to work and form a household. That was before...This emigration is the direct responsibility of the oligarchy and the government. It is violence in the country, violence so terrible there are killings in the street...The oligarchy does not want to change the economic structure because it benefits some...When our youth view their futures as bleak they take their own individual paths and radicalize. Then the regime responds with sanctions and punishment....with real wages dwindling and only a small oligarchic group benefiting from the economy, we are strangled and compromised of our future. The middle classes and the urban working class, retirees, and the rural middle class are the main victims of the current economic policy." 118 During Uruguay's Batllismocentered "Golden Age," Uruguay's top-down welfare policies and state-sponsored employment opportunities attracted immigrants from South and Central America. The Frente believed the neoliberal reforms implemented by successive Blanco and Colorado governments following ISI's exhaustion in the 1960s advantaged only private corporations and Uruguay's small upper-class; the majority of Uruguayan workers were negatively impacted by job loss and wage cuts resulting from the sale of state-controlled industries, causing workers to emigrate from Uruguay in search of better opportunities. Seregini explicitly states, in this speech, that the economic reforms were intentionally implemented by the government to benefit an elite minority at the majority's expense. Seregini further articulates the Frente 's early framing of injustice Que se Vayan Todos! 62 118 Documentos Fundacionales," Frente Amplio Website.
by creating an "us against them" scenario in which the traditional Blanco and Colorado government is the villain unjustly and maliciously disadvantaging the majority of Uruguayan citizens. Over time, the Frente Amplio 's framing of injustice became more specific, calling for amelioration of the present system's inadequacies. The party gradually moved from framing the source of injustice as the "oligarchic" and inept traditional government to focusing on those characteristics which they felt were missing from political society. This diminishing focus on the inadequacies of the traditional Blanco and Colorado parties and increasing focus on what the Frente felt would make political society better sought to appeal to a broader support base as it did not drastically alienate traditional Blanco and Colorado supporters. In a 1984 document entitled "The Basis of Unity," the Frente states: "The [ Frente calls for the] protection of a political system based on the plurality of parties to ensure popular will is reflected in the state's power structure and the elimination of all factors that have traditionally hindered or distorted this...we call to ensure adequate availability of all means of communication, official and private, with no exclusions of any kind for political or economic reasons." 119 By declaring their dedication to a pluralistic political system which would ensure that traditional party interest would be recognized, the Frente moderated their presentation; at their founding, the Frente embellished their strongly Leftist and guerilla roots. This intensely Leftist and anti-traditional framing may have alienated those Uruguayan citizens who still had strong ties to the traditional parties or feared the violence and chaos caused by the Tupamaro s. Que se Vayan Todos! 63 119 Documentos Fundacionales," Frente Amplio Website.
In 1989, the Frente issued a document entitled "Major Lines and Proposed Program for Government Plans" which discusses the party's major political and economic issues and incentives for the upcoming election. Here, the source of injustice is further moderated away from the Frente' s original "Uruguayan majority versus the Blanco and Colorado injustice frame. The document states: "The main objective of capitalism is to maximize the rate of gain. However, we live in a world in which imperialism imposes a neoliberal strategy that encompasses economic, political, ideological, cultural, and military arenas...The concentration of wealth has reached record levels...While 3000 million people live on less than two dollars a day and lack sanitation...Globalization expands upon a concept, a policy and neoliberal agenda that is driven from the great centers of hegemonic power, led by the United States of America...The implementation of these policies in our Latin America has left an increasing gap between the majorities of people pushed to unworthy living standards and social impoverishment. In our country, these policies began being implemented by the conservatives in the 1960s and 1970s." 120 In this document the Frente thus continues to frame the traditional government for Uruguay's economic difficulties, yet this injustice frame becomes more broad; the government was at fault, but external factors (namely, the international neoliberal international market) were also at fault. By recognizing external factors, such as globalization or the hegemonic position of the United States, the Frente moved some of the blame away from the Blancos and Colorados and towards those things outside the government's control as well as towards those things the Frente Amplio believed they would be better at confronting In 2001, the Frente published a document entitled "Commitment for Change for the New Century," similar in purpose and style to the "Major Lines" document. Here, Que se Vayan Todos! 64 120 Linamientos Basicos," Frente Amplio website, trans. by Sarah Ann Knotts (accessed 4 April, 2009); available at http://www.frenteamplio.org.uy/frenteamplio/lineamientos ; Internet.
focus on the international market and globalization as the source of economic and political injustice is increasingly evident. The document states: "Neoliberalism has taken globalization to an ideological status, imposing its model and aims to enshrine the only possible alternative...Neoliberalism has led to growing inequalities between rich and poor countries, concentration of economic development in small areas with hunger and poverty everywhere else." 121 The remainder of the document precedes to explain how the solution to the inequalities caused by neoliberalism is the creation of a new world economic order in which Latin American countries bind together in economic blocs to strengthen their clout with international lending and trade agencies. The document then ties this dedication to the creation of a new order within the existing structure to promote more equal and widespread economic and social development to the ideological foundations of the Frente Amplio : "The integration of the peoples of Latin America has been a historical objective of the Frente Amplio. Designed with the richness and broadness the name implies, the Frente goes beyond purely commercial agreements to seek integration within the different sectors and regions." 122 Thus, whereas in the Frente's earlier injustice framing, the traditional Blanco and Colorado parties were framed as the villains victimizing the Uruguayan majority, in later years, the Frente moved increasingly towards framing the increasingly neoliberal global economy as the source of injustice. The Frente further articulated the neoliberal global economy as the source of injustice by promoting the creation of a new order in which Latin Americans might effectively adjudicate their interest in the international sphere. Que se Vayan Todos! 65 121 "IV, Congreso Ordinario Documento Final," Frente Amplio Website, trans. by Sarah Ann Knotts (accessed 1 April, 2009); available from http://www.frenteamplio.org.uy/documentos/congresos ; Internet. 122 IV, Congreso Ordinario Documento Final," Frente Amplio Website.
For the 2004 elections, the Frente based its campaign upon a platform entitled La transicion responsable (The Responsible Transition). Here, the Frente' s move toward the framing of more specific political and economic inefficiencies as the sources of injustice to attract a broader audience is further evident. In a campaign-related document, the Frente declares: "the politics of improvisation and lack of [economic and political] objectives... are the responsibility of the state, yet the state has failed us here and around the world...However, we are not a demolition business; we believe, rather, that there is much to build such as the Ministries of Industry, Livestock, and Agriculture, conditions of labor and Social Security, and the Directorate of Foreign Trade." 123 Although the Frente 's framing of injustice still identified that the traditional Uruguayan government was inadequate, the Frente did not wish to portray itself as against Uruguay's political tradition. Rather, the party sought to improve the existing political society, framing themselves as able to improve those areas the traditional Blanco and Colorado parties had not. The Frente called for the creation and strengthening of state-run organizations, such as the Ministries of Industry, Livestock, and Agriculture to improve and regulate Uruguay's economy. The traditional parties' neoliberal reforms eliminated most state industry and employment assistance, allowing historically provided state benefits, such as Social Security, to be eliminated. This was not entirely the fault of the traditional parties, however, as states all around the world had acted similarly in efforts to enact neoliberal reforms which would make them competitive in an increasingly global economy. The Frente 's final framing of injustice prior to their 2004 presidential win was thus defined by what they felt the traditional Blanco and Colorado parties lacked; the Que se Vayan Todos! 66 123 "La Transicion Responsable," Frente Amplio Website, trans. by Sarah Ann Knotts (accessed 2 April, 2009); available from http://www.frenteamplio.org.uy/documentos/actuales ; Internet.
ability to provide state-sponsored benefits while remaining competitive in the hegemonic neoliberal international economic sphere. Like the Frente 's framing of injustice, their framing of identity also changed as the party moderated its approach to attract a larger support base. These changes are evident in the party's name changes throughout history as well as their adoption of Batllismo in the late 1980s. Some aspects of the Frente 's identity has been framed consistently since the party's inception, however; their position as a coalition of diverse and united political and economic alternative-seeking Uruguayans as well as their identification as the voice of the majority continue to serve as a central components of the party's identity frame. Consisting of such diverse components as fragmented reformers from the traditional parties and the sixty-year old Marxist Left, the Frente continues to frame itself as a permanent Leftist coalition united under a shared programmatic agenda; a coalition of diverse groups united under a common desire for political, social, and economic change. Under the "Foundations" section on the Frente Amplio website, the party identifies itself as "a political force for change and social justice, progressive in design, democratic, popular, and anti-oligarchic, formed through coalition and organization for political action." 124 A recent article published on the Frente Amplio website states that the Frente "emerged as a unification of the left shaped largely by the labor movement" and grew to "contain the majority of progressive and leftist sectors in Uruguay." The article continues to describe how the Frente was established with "the people as its protagonist" Que se Vayan Todos! 67 124 "Linamientos Basicos," Frente Amplio Website.
and derived strength from its existence as a "union of brothers, colored and white...men and women of different ideologies...in a word, all the representatives of labor and culture, legitimate spokespersons of the same nationality." 125 The Frente thus built its identity by creating an organic space for diverse political and social forces concerned about Uruguay's deteriorating economy economy and the subsequent fall in standard of living; the party grew as a labor movement, yet came to encapsulate Uruguayan scholar Daniel Chavez states: "The principal novelty of the Frente Amplio was its existence as a coalition that combined such diverse components as the populist reformism of the splinter sectors of the two traditional parties, the sixty-year old Marxist left, and various expressions of the new revolutionary left. The Frente was conceived as a permanent coalition that would unify all the families of the left that used to compete against themselves, under the umbrella of a common programmatic agenda of profound social and political changes." 126 After their second presidential loss in 1984, the Frente realized that to garner enough support to win presidential elections they would have to modify their framing of identity to appeal to the non-working class subordinated sectors; at this point, the Frente drew its largest support base from the middle-class sectors as strong Socialist and Communist influence within the party created a strong labor and working-class identity. 127 According to Sociologist Luna, by presenting a "progressive programmatic stance centered on opposition to neoliberal reforms and a reinterpretation and appropriation of Batllismo the Frente was able to moderate its program and appeal to a Que se Vayan Todos! 68 125 Aqu estamos todos y aqu hay uno solo: el Frente," Frente Amplio Website, trans. by Sarah Ann Knotts (accessed 1 May, 2009); available from http://www.frenteamplio.org.uy/node/599 ; Internet. 126 Chavez, "Del Frente Amplio a la Nueva Mayoria," 6. 127 Geronimo de Sierra, "La Izquierda en la Transicion," Revista Mexicana de Sociologia 47, no. 2 (1985), 111-121.
broader support base." 128 Although the Batllismo model was created by a Colorado party president and sought, at its inception, to ensure that Blanco and Colorado parties (who, at the time, were the only strong political parties) shared power in government regardless of what party controlled the presidency, the Frente 's framing of itself as upholding Batllismo sought to distinguish it from the traditional parties while simultaneously providing the Frente with legitimacy. The Frente 's claimed to seek the re-institution of Batllismo -era economic policies through nationalization of banks and major industries and social policies through the provision of universal welfare benefits; this differentiated the Frente from the traditional parties as Uruguayan citizens had come to view the Blanco and Colorado presidents as moving away from the historically-honored Batllismo tradition and towards a neoliberal model which caused economic havoc and social distress. Contrastingly, identifying as Batllismo also suggested that, once in power, the Frente would engage in power-sharing with the Blancos and Colorados, as the historical Batllismo sought the negotiation by powerful parties for the maximum benefit of the Uruguayan people. Furthermore, identifying as Batllismo prompted the Uruguayan people to associate the Frente with a return to the "Golden Age" which reached its height during Battle e Ordonez's presidency. Although the Frente Amplio did not win the 1984 or 1989 elections, in 1989, Frente candidate Tabare Vasquez won Mayor of Montevideo, Uruguay's capital. In office, Tabare demonstrated the Frente's political vision of decentralization on a small scale; local-level government offices were set up in each of Montevideo's eighteen districts. Que se Vayan Todos! 69 128 Luna, "Sobre la economia politica de las reformas de mercado en Amrica Latina," 198-210.
Tabare's style of governance won the support of additional parties who began viewing the Frente 's vision of political change as an increasingly viable alternative. In 1994, the Encuentro Progresista a more moderate opposition party which had previously organized independently of the Frente joined the coalition. To reflect this addition as well as their increasingly moderate approach to politics, the Frente Amplio changed its name to the Frente Amplio-Encuentro Progresista (Broad Front Progressive Encounter). In this election the Frente Amplio came close to winning the presidency with 30.6% of the vote, loosing the to the Colorado party by only 2%. In 2002, another moderate opposition party, the Nueva Mayoria joined the Frente ; the party changed its name again to the Frente Amplio-Encuentro Progresista Nueva Mayoria (Broad Front, Progressive Encounter, New Majority) to represent their increasingly moderate presentation and incorporation of the Nueva Mayoria. In a 2003 campaign address, Frente candidate Tabare Vasquez stated: "The worst mistake we who define ourselves as the Left can commit is to deny the Right the ability to update and become better every day. To deny the Right would not only abandon the mark of the Left, but would also betray the trust in us that Uruguayans demonstrate, increasingly, election after election." 129 Rather than presenting itself as a Leftist party which stood in opposition to the Right, the Frente's identity framing evolved to embody a progressive stance which sought to improve political society by working with traditional structures and parties. As the Frente Amplio moved their framing of injustice further away from blaming the traditional Blanco and Colorado parties as the source Uruguay's political and Que se Vayan Todos! 70 129 "2000 Address," Nestor Kirchner, Frente Amplio Website, trans. by Sarah Ann Knotts (accessed 3 February, 2009); available from http://www.frenteamplio.org.uy/noticias ; Internet.
economic difficulties, their framing of identity moved away from their initial formation as a group of anti-traditional party radical Leftist groups and towards a moderate, progressive, and politically inclusive opposition party based around an appropriation of the historical Batllismo political, social, and economic model. At the time of their presidential victory, the Frente had effectively conceded to share power and interest with the traditional parties, facilitating the development of a pluralist Uruguayan political society. The Frente Amplio 's ability to frame themselves in a way which encouraged agency became more effective over time as their framing of injustice and identity moderated. The Frente Amplio was most effective at generating agency when framing itself as an alternative to traditional parties without relinquishing the traditional Blanco and Colorado parties; the more willing to cooperate with the traditional parties the Frente became, the more electoral support they were able to acquire. As the traditional parties increasingly alienated voters by failing to ameliorate deteriorating social and economic conditions, the Frente 's presentation as a political alternative attracted increasing citizen support. The Frente further encouraged agency by simultaneously moderating its presentation; with the defeat of the Tupamaros, the Frente increasingly moved away from being a radical Leftist party toward a progressive yet politically moderate party. This served to meet dissatisfied Uruguayans in between relinquishing the historical political system and continuing to support parties which continued to demonstrate their inability to ameliorate Uruguay's social and economic problems. Que se Vayan Todos! 71
The Frente Amplio also framed themselves to encourage agency through their organization as an internationally-spread web of grassroots coalitions. Since inception, the Frente coalition of alternative-seeking, political groups, splinters, and guerillas organized institutionally through community-centered Comites de Bases (base committees/grassroots committees); Comites de Bases sought to garner support for their vision of change through local-level information sharing. Within Comites de Base, open communication and participation were emphasized. According to Sociologist Geronimo de Sierra : "The Comites de Bases represented one of the most original innovations in Uruguay's modern political history, a democratic innovation which involved hundreds of thousands of people, many children and adolescents without the right to vote, and sought solely to instill in the consciousness of the Uruguayan people their vision of democracy, participation, and militance and encourage them to support their cause." 130 As discussed, the Frente was declared illegal following the 1973 military take-over; until the return to democracy, the Frente was kept alive through the Comites de Bases which continued to organize covertly during the military regime. For the elections following their 1984 re-legalization, the Frente drew upon the Comites de Bases for support. Conclusions Uruguay's history of strong political society affected the type of injustice framing that was both effective and possible for the Frente Amplio Since the turn of the century, Uruguayan citizens viewed the government as an effective mechanism of airing demands and seeking their interest. The Blanco and Colorado parties were viewed as capable Que se Vayan Todos! 72 130 Sierra, "La Izquierda en la Transicion," 115.
parties which accurately represented citizens as expressed through popular vote. Thus, at their inception, the Frente Amplio 's strongly Leftist presentation and explicit blaming of the Blanco s and Colorado s as the reason for Uruguay's economic and social suffering did not resonate with a sufficient amount of Uruguayan citizens to win presidential elections. Although, through the course of the 20th century, Uruguay's economic and social conditions deteriorated, the public still believed the Blanco and Colorado parties to be the most effective and legitimate political options available and continued to vote candidates from the traditional parties into office. The Frente Amplio's change from framing the source of injustice as the traditional parties and Uruguayan government towards framing the source of injustice as those aspects which the traditional parties had not ameliorated and that they, the Frente could ameliorate, was thus imperative to their eventual electoral success in 2004. The Uruguayan public understood that something was wrong with Uruguayan politics as social and economic conditions continued to worsen yet were unwilling to completely relinquish their political foundations and vote for a party which decried the Blanco s and Colorado s. Although framing the source of injustice as the traditional parties, explicitly, was ineffective at gaining the Frente enough electoral support to win the presidency, the party's ability to do so relied on Uruguay's freedom of political communication and open political competitions. The Frente was allowed to run for office as an opposition party and voice their opinions about the traditional parties publicly; while the military censored Uruguay's media temporarily, it is evident that Uruguay's political society made it possible for such injustice framing to be utilized. Furthermore, in later years, the party's Que se Vayan Todos! 73
ability to frame Uruguay's specific economic and political issues as the source of injustice demonstrated that Uruguay's political society was transparent; Uruguayan citizens were able to learn about political and economic processes and make their own opinions as to the effectiveness of political authority. The manner in which the Frente Amplio framed the source of injustice may have positively influenced democratic consolidation in Uruguay. The Frente 's emergence as an opposition party which sought alternatives to the traditional Blanco and Colorado stronghold on government moved Uruguay toward becoming a more pluralist political society. Opposition parties positively influence democracy as they keep dominant parties in check, threatening their positions of power by offering an alternative if and when the dominant parties fall out of favor with the electorate. The Frente 's emergence onto Uruguay's political scene thus presented an alternative for the Uruguayan public to turn to when their faith in the historical parties waned. Furthermore, the manner in which the Frente Amplio framed the source of injustice in later years, by identifying the inefficiencies of the traditional parties, facilitated democratic consolidation by bringing the inefficiencies of the traditional parties into public knowledge. Since its official formation in 1971, the Frente has framed itself as a coalition of disparate Leftist groups united under a common programmatic agenda and desire for change in Uruguay's political society. Like the Piquetero s, the Frente did not discriminate against ideological or political affiliation; the party incorporated both Marxists and traditional party splinters. However; the movement was inherently political and framed its identity, from 1971, as a broad Left coalition. Uruguay's political society Que se Vayan Todos! 74
influenced the effectiveness and possibility of this identity framing; Frente organizers viewed electoral competitions as open and legitimate and began competing for positions of political power immediately after they organized formally and officially in 1971. Uruguay's historically strong political society weakened the appeal of the Frente 's Tupamaro and radical Leftist formative identity. Although the Blanco and Colorado parties failed to ameliorate Uruguay's increasingly deteriorating economic conditions, their historical foundation, as parties which worked together to seek the interest of the majority, continued to render them legitimate political options in the eyes of the public. Thus, it was not until the Frente moderated its approach and came to embrace Batllismo (which implied that they would work with the traditional parties to seek the benefit of the majority) and moved away from their radical Leftist roots and Tupamaro affiliation that they were able to frame their identity in a way which encouraged sufficient electoral support to win the presidency. Thus, as Uruguay's political society was historically viewed as an effective adjudicator of public interest, framing their identity as a progressive party willing to work with the traditional parties may have attracted more support than when the party identified as disparate from them. Like the Frente Amplio 's framing of injustice, their framing of identity may have positively influenced conditions of democratic consolidation by encouraging a more pluralist political society and encouraging citizens to make decisions regarding political candidates on grounds other than traditional affiliation. Prior to the Frente 's emergence, opposition groups (such as the Socialist and Communist parties which later joined the Frente ) formed yet were not large or strong enough to break the traditional parties' Que se Vayan Todos! 75
stronghold on government. By framing their identity as within the traditional system yet as a progressive party which sought change, the Frente promoted the emergence of a more pluralist society, potentially encouraging other non-traditional parties to participate in political competitions. During the military interim, Frente leaders who avoided government prosecution turned their energies toward converting Comites de Base into community-level organizations such as The Coordinating Committee of Food-Purchasing Clubs (1982) and The Coordinating Committee of Neighborhood Health Clinics (1983) under the Frente cause. 131 These organizations sought to solve immediate need on a local basis; by doing so, the Frente was able to maintain its support base and spread news about its cause despite military repression. The Frente drew upon its organization as a network of Comites de Bases for support, particularly following the 1983 reinstitution of democracy. The Frente 's reliance on small scale organizations may have facilitated civil society growth; Uruguay's civil society was historically underdeveloped and dependent on political society as political society was conceived early on as a legitimate adjudicator of majority interest. By promoting civil society, the Frente encouraged the development and organization of civil society independent of the Blanco and Colorado parties. Que se Vayan Todos! 76 131 Gabriel Kaplun, "Hacia una agenda academica y politica de la comunicacion en el Mercosur," Revista de la Informacion y Comunicacion 8, no. 5 (2005), 56-69.
Conclusion My project sought to assess how conditions in political, civil, and economic society affect the possibility and effectiveness of injustice, identity, and agency collective action framing. From my conducted and analysis of Argentina's Piqueterismo and Uruguay's Frente Amplio, it appears that some relationship exists between a conditions which facilitate and potentially limit democratically consolidated institutions and political structures and the collective action frames which movements utilize to garner citizen participation and support. Piqueterismo emerged amidst economic turmoil and a government perceived as corrupt and unworkable by its citizens. While the restricted political communication and delegative and corrupt institutions which characterized Argentina at the movement's inception prevented citizens from understanding the specific political and economic issues which led to unemployment, the Piquetero s knew something was amiss in their allegedly democratic state. Rendered jobless and unable to sustain their livelihoods, the Piquetero s focused on resolution of their immediate need: recognition by a government which had alienated them through selectively beneficial economic reforms and the provision of employment. With this goal, Piquetero groups formed road-block pickets preventing the flow of commerce through major areas of industry. While the pickets forced the government to recognize and contend with the Piquetero s, they did not solve Que se Vayan Todos! 77
the real issue: need for sustainable employment. Rather, the pickets forced the government to rapidly placate protestors through the provision of short-term work plans. As facets of Piquetero s viewed their mission as resolved and chose to support the incumbent Kirchner regime rather than continue protest, the movement weakened and largely dissipated. The manner in which the Piquetero movement framed the source of their injustice, their identity as a movement, and their agency for change reflected these circumstances. The Piquetero 's framed their identity broadly around a shared condition of unemployment and their mechanism of protest; the source of injustice was also framed broadly, focusing on "the government" and "neoliberalism" rather than the inefficiencies of specific political parties, institutions, or reforms. The Piquetero s generated agency by demonstrating to the Argentinean people that by working outside politically and economically sanctioned forms of bargaining, demanding government recognition through road block protests, they could achieve their needs. Because this framing was so broad and focused on the resolution of immediate need rather than a long-term solution to the unemployment problem, once facets of Piquetero s viewed the issue as improved through the interim government and Kirchner's provision of work orders and minimal welfare benefits, the framing utilized by the Piquetero s lost resonance. Even those Piquetero s which elected to support Kirchner did not attempt to form their own party or politically sanctioned interest group with which they could participate in government. Thus, it may be assessed that the type of framing implemented by the Piquetero movement was sufficient to mobilize civil society, but not sufficient enough to Que se Vayan Todos! 78
push those interests into the political sphere. This is further accentuated by the idea that the Piquetero framing of identity, injustice, and agency all revolved around the implementation of road block pickets, a form of negotiation outside politically and economically sanctioned forms of bargaining and participation. It is possible, however, that the framing utilized by the Piquetero movement effectively pushed Argentina to finally (albeit minimally) recognize those disadvantaged by the government's neoliberal reforms, thus promoting democratic values of inclusion and decision making based on the needs and interest of citizens. Like Piqueterismo the Frente Amplio also formed amidst conditions of economic, seeking change in a government which did not effectively recognize their needs. Furthermore, both the Frente Amplio and Piqueterismo organized protest in civil society and drew upon civil society organizations for support. Unlike Argentina, however, Uruguay's political society was established early on in Uruguay's democratic history as the primary and trusted mechanism of adjudicating the public interest. The faith the Uruguayan people maintained in the traditional Blanco and Colorado parties waned only after years of continuously worsening economic conditions; the Uruguayan people finally realized that change was necessary. The Frente Amplio, understanding the workability of Uruguay's political society, sought to engage their vision of political, social, and economic change by running for office. The traditional Blanco and Colorado party stronghold on government office proved difficult to break for the opposition party; after nearly thirty years of participating in political competitions, the Frente won the presidency for the first time in 2004. Que se Vayan Todos! 79
Although the Frente formed as an opposition party to the traditional party stronghold on government, the manner in which the movement framed their identity, injustice, and agency for change further incorporated the traditional parties and structures over time. Furthermore, the Frente moved increasingly towards identifying particular issues, such as the development of state-funded industries, which they believed themselves more capable of ameliorating than the Blanco s and Colorado s. By the time the Frente won Uruguay's presidential elections, the party had moved from identifying as opposed to the traditional parties to agreeing to incorporate their interests through Uruguay's historical Batllismo model of governance. The evolution in the manner in which the Frente Amplio framed themselves through time is indicative of a party which seeks to further their interests through longterm and sustainable mechanisms; while it took the Frente nearly 30 years to achieve their goal, their ability to influence politics is now much greater than if they had elected to work outside politically and economically sanctioned forms of participation and bargaining. While the Frente Amplio emerged as a coalition of civil society groups, the party effectively transitioned from civil to political society; thus, it may be conferred that more specific bargaining, which does not alienate or disdain traditional power structures historically supported by the electorate, is more effective in furthering long-term and sustainable interests. The frames utilized by both the Piqueteros and the Frente Amplio may have changed the democratic trajectories of their respective countries. Both parties served to further recognition of groups that were neglected by traditional political society. Without Que se Vayan Todos! 80
the collective action framing utilized by the two movements to garner support, Argentine and Uruguayan citizens may have continued to accept the inefficiencies of the traditional and historical governments. This analysis provides a foundation for further study in social movement research, particularly in Latin America. Scholars with more access to first-hand publications, speeches, and interviews might expound on my analysis to determine a more correlative effect between democratic consolidation and collective action framing; analysis could be conducted on specific conditions in democratic society (such as particular policies implemented by democratic leaders), with attention paid to how those specific conditions are portrayed in social movements. It would be lucrative to assess, with the recent trend in Latin America towards more socialist-centered economic and welfare states, how discussion of democracy by social movements is utilized to further or weaken socialistdriven reforms. Que se Vayan Todos! 81
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