latin america is addressed as a region and as part of a global system, whose expressions are linked with new hemispherical dynamics, which have in the american hegemony one of its main axis of articulation. in this framework, the paper studies the characteristics of the current political processes from the point of view of the major internal and external tensions in the region. in doing so it favors the category of democracy, not only as a regime, but as a political change of society and state. the argumentative line recognizes the context of neo-liberalism, in the widespread questioning phase. the signals about crisis abound, particularly because the results of the current model, in its complex and contradictory context. nonetheless it also recognizes trends that are oriented towards alternative development and integration projects.