Latin America has witnessed three waves of overlapping and interrelated social movements over the last twenty-five years. The first wave, roughly from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s, was largely composed of what were called "the new social movements." They included human rights, ecology, feminist, and ethnic movements as well as Non-Government Organizations (NGOs). Their leadership was largely lower middle class professionals, and their policies and strategies revolved around challenging the military and civilian authoritarian regimes of the time.
This article can also be found at the Monthly Review website, where most recent articles are published in full.