The historical roots of liberation theology are to be found in the prophetic tradition of evangelists and missionaries from the earliest colonial days in Latin America — churchmen who questioned the type of presence adopted by the church and the way indigenous peoples, blacks, mestizos, and the poor rural and urban masses were treated. The names of Bartolomé de Las Casas, Antonio de Montesinos, Antonio Vieira, Brother Caneca and others can stand for a whole host of religious personalities who have graced every century of our short history. They we the source of the type of social and ecclesial understanding that is emerging today.
Social and Political Development
The populist governments of the 1950s and 1960s — especially those of Perón in Argentina, Vargas in Brazil, and Cárdenas in Mexico — inspired nationalistic consciousness and significant industrial development in the shape of import substitution. This benefited the middle classes…
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