Relentless Persistence: Nonviolent Action in Latin America

Phil McManus and Gerald Schlabach, co-editors
With an introduction by Leonardo Boff

“A tremendous contribution toward documenting the courage of thousands of people throughout Latin America who struggle for a world of peace, justice and human dignity.”

–Isabel Letelier

“This is not only part of the Latin American story. It becomes part of the North American story as we reflect on what ‘relentless persistence’ could mean in our own lives.’

–Robert McAfee Brown

rpIn the face of enormous disparities of wealth and despite brutal repression, Latin America is alive with movements for change. Struggles for human rights, community organization and political participation have enabled Latin Americans to assume their role as authors of their own history. Relentless Persistence illustrates in human terms the vitality and diversity of those movements — and their often astonishing results.

How did popular pressure in Uruguay drive the military dictatorship into retreat? How are the indigenous people of Peru continuing their 450-year-old tradition of resistance to subjugation and acculturation? What are base community organizers doing to create real democracy in Chile? In answering these questions Relentless Persistence gives us inspiring examples of human creativity and commitment, explores the rich relationship between faith and politics, and demonstrates the dynamic integration of reflection, strategy and action that can lead to liberation.

Here are the stories of cement works in Brazil who maintained militant nonviolence throughout a twelve-year strike; of four women whose hunger strike brought Bolivia to a standstill until tin miners’ rights were restored; of Honduran peasants whose land occupations enable them to feed their families; of the Argentinian Madres de Plaza de Mayo, whose bold actions awakened the conscience of their nation. Through case studies and personal testimonies, Relentless Persistence offers both the fascination of remarkable success stories and a deeper understanding of how ordinary people can create dramatic change.

For North Americans, conditioned to expect quick results, Relentless Persistence provides perspective for the long haul — a healthy antidote to easy discouragement. It is above all a strength-giving book full of moving examples of people acting with great determination and a profound joy of life.

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