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However, though Phelan thesis is still frequently mentioned in the U. academy, two Latin American historians, the Uruguayan Arturo Ardao and the Chilean Miguel Rojas Mix proved decades ago that the term "Latin America" was used earlier than Phelan claimed, and the first use of the term was completely opposite to support imperialist projects in the Americas.
Ardao wrote about this subject in his book Génesis de la idea y el nombre de América latina (Genesis of the Idea and the Name of Latin America, 1980), and Miguel Rojas Mix in his article "Bilbao y el hallazgo de América latina: Unión continental, socialista y libertaria" (Bilbao and the Finding of Latin America: a Continental, Socialist and Libertarian Union, 1986). Edward Shawcross summarizes Ardao's and Rojas Mix's findings in the following way: "Ardao identified the term in a poem by a Colombian diplomat and intellectual resident in France, José María Torres Caicedo, published on 15 February 1857 in a French based Spanish-language newspaper, while Rojas Mix located it in a speech delivered in France by the radical liberal Chilean politician Francisco Bilbao in June 1856". The first event happened less than a decade before the publication of Bilbao's and Torres Caicedo works: the Mexican–American War, after which Mexico lost a third of its territory.
Latin America can be subdivided into several subregions based on geography, politics, demographics and culture.
Over the course of millennia, people spread to all parts of the continents.
Some groups formed more permanent settlements such as the Chibcha (or "Muisca" or "Muysca") and the Tairona groups. The Chibchas of Colombia, the Quechuas and Aymaras of Bolivia were the three indigenous groups that settled most permanently.
The region was home to many indigenous peoples and advanced civilizations, including the Aztecs, Toltecs, Maya, and Inca.
is a group of countries and dependencies in the Western Hemisphere where Romance languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, and French are predominantly spoken; it is broader than the terms Ibero-America or Hispanic America.
The term "Latin America" was first used in an 1856 conference with the title "Initiative of the Americas.