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People and Places in the History of Latin America


Great men and women have called Latin America their home. Names such as Simon Bolivar, Evita Peron and Pancho Villa were well known in their own time and continue to be important today: years, decades and even centuries later. Idealistic rebels, impassioned writers and artists, corrupt madmen and ruthless dictators have all done their part to shape the History of Latin America.
  1. Dictators and Strongmen
  2. Pirates, Outlaws and Criminals
  3. Explorers and Conquistadors
  4. Generals and Soldiers
  5. Great Women in Latin America
  1. Presidents and Statesmen
  2. Rebels and Activists
  3. Artists and Writers
  4. Countries and Cities
  5. Latin American History Image Galleries

Dictators and Strongmen

It's a bit of a cliché: the soldier in his uniform running a Latin American country like his own private ranch. There is a certain truth to it, however: Latin America has had a number of iron-fisted dictators who answered to no one but themselves. The unchecked power they held has allowed them to leave their mark on their nations.

Pirates, Outlaws and Criminals

Often, it's the villains of the story who make the greatest impression. Here are some famous villains from the history of Latin America, from swashbuckling pirates to powerful drug lords.

Explorers and Conquistadors

The intrepid men who discovered, conquered and carved up Latin America for the Spanish and Portuguese were ruthless and ambitious, determined to carve out private empires from the deserts and jungles of the New World. Although they are all long dead, their spirits continue to haunt the blood-soaked regions they made their own.

Generals and Soldiers

Military men have always been important to the History of Latin America, which is not surprising considering how many wars, revolutions and civil wars have afflicted the region. Many charismatic military officers have risen to positions of supreme power in government, where their record is mixed: although some have brought stability to troubled nations, others have piled up countless human rights abuses against their own citizens.

Great Women in Latin America

Machismo isn't everything. In spite of major cultural barriers designed to marginalize them, extraordinary women have played important roles in the History of Latin America. As the region modernizes, the impact of capable, ambitious women will continue to grow.

Presidents and Statesmen

Traditionally, Latin American Presidents have enjoyed a great deal of power. Over the years, presidents - some fairly elected, some not - have left their mark on the nations they ruled, often like kings.

Rebels and Activists

Rebels and activists have played an important role in Latin America over the centuries. If it weren't for them, Latin America would still be ruled by the Spanish and the native people of the New World would still be enslaved! Sometimes driven by a keen sense of justice, extraordinary individuals unhappy with the status quo have often been able to work for change.

Artists and Writers

From Frida Kahlo to Gabriel García Marquez, Latin America has been home to many influential artists and writers. Many of these men and women are not afraid of expressing their political and cultural views in their work. As a result, they have often become a voice for marginalized elements of society and some have been quite influential in their homelands and abroad.

Countries and Cities

In Latin America, places such as countries and cities take on personalities all their own. Many cities have long and fascinating histories!

Latin American History Image Galleries

Follow these links to see the History of Latin America in words and images!

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