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Oberlin College

Publication Date

Spring 2007

Program Name

Argentina: Social Movements and Human Rights


In the last ten years, the piquetero movement has emerged as the new representative of the popular class in Argentina. Rising from the disarticulation of the neoliberal reforms in 1990s, the movement positioned itself as the main canal for protest of the popular class. Between the years 1995 and 2003, the piqueteros were defined for their use of the road block (piquete) as a means to get government concessions. However, with the election of Néstor Kirchner, the relationship between the government and many of the piquetero groups has begun to be redefined, as the government has incorporated some of the organizations into the state bureaucracy. The objective of this study is to critically look at this new relationship that is being constructed between certain piquetero organizations and the government of Kirchner. Focusing on groups, Movimiento Barrios de Pie and Movimiento Evita, this investigation poses the following questions: Why have the piquetero organizations decided to affiliate themselves with the Kirchernismo? How do they understand their new relationship? How has the relationship affected their goals, structure, forms of collective action, and autonomy? This essay tries to draws conclusions of the nature of the new relationship and what means for the piquetero organizations movement. Taking in account the important historical events in the last sixty years, I argue that the piquetero movement is a part of a new social matrix based in the neighborhoods that has redefined the identity and construction of the popular classes. Coming from this new construction, certain piquetero groups view the politics of the Kirchner government as an immense opportunity to create a new relationship with the state that will facilitate the realization of their goals for societal change. With this in mind, the piquetero organizations aligned with Kirchner have been willing to make challenges in their strategy and structure, while trying to maintain their overall identity and ideology. However, it is not clear if the organizations with will be able to maintain their revolutionary goals and autonomy while being institutionalized within the state bureaucracy.


Politics and Social Change | Social and Behavioral Sciences


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