Rebel Cities 14: In Montevideo, People-Power Keeps Pushing Uruguay’s Pink Tide

Progressive Tactics: A Short History of Frente Amplio

The party Frente Amplio (Broad Front) has led the nation since 2005, and is renowned continentally and worldwide with policies that include legalizing marijuana, abortion and gay marriage. Water and sanitation are recognized in Uruguay as a human right. Minimum wage has risen more than two-fold. By 2009, every schoolchild was given a laptop.

Fight for Your Housing Rights

Last year, Montevideo’s Mayor Daniel Martinez strengthened the city’s ties to the housing movement that has been active for 50 years and affirmed the right to housing. In practical terms, this meant that the Frente Amplio-led city increased its commitment to a cartera de tierras (land bank).

People Power Unlocks Social Change

To Frente Amplio’s credit, the cooperative movement’s fight ultimately pressured the party at city council and higher government levels to support cooperative housing. More broadly, Frente Amplio has continued to implement radical social change nationally through healthcare investment, providing laptops for each child, a renewables revolution and other progressive measures.



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Steve Rushton

Steve Rushton

Freelance journalist focused on political alternatives, universal rights and ecological survival