State Medical Projects and Popular Reactions in Modern Latin America
Conference on Latin American History 34
This panel brings together scholars who examine the official and popular dynamics of public health policy in twentieth-century Latin America. The first paper analyzes the interactions between government health reformers, who projected various cultural assumptions onto a diverse population, and citizens from across Colombia, who articulated their own public health needs through various means. The second paper examines how, in the context of the Cold War, Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo accepted foreign aid and dedicated domestic resources to a haphazard set of health programs that did more to consolidate the regime’s authority than to respond to pressing health concerns. The third paper traces the conflicted process by which the Mexican medical profession established standard practices and developed a centralized bureaucracy to enforce them. The fourth paper explains why Chilean physicians in the early twentieth century became political activists who lobbied for the creation of a Ministry of Health and the socialization of medicine.