The author first argues that Latin American liberalism is part of the Euro-Iberian tradition. He then reconstructs the history of liberal thought and political activity in the continent, comparing it to that of conservatism and populism. This particularity of Latin American history combined with scarce inclination for theoretical investigation led to a form of tendentially pragmatic liberalism, which nevertheless struggled to be accepted until very recently, when other developmentist strategies revealed glaring limits. To this day, even if liberal ideas have been accepted by most political parties, liberalism is still harshly criticised and has a hard time struggling to organise a coherent political proposal. Austerity, though, is unavoidable and the consequent task of liberals is to educate Latin Americans to accept new liberal ways of addressing old problems.