Arriba Bolivia! Evo forever?
In December 2005 Bolivia elected its first indigenous President. After hundreds of years of oppression the indigenous people of Bolivia hoped to be able to live a far more self-determined life with their first Aymara native president Evo Morales.
The democratically elected coca farmer union leader mistrusts the capitalism, because in Bolivia it ever meant colonialism and exploitation.
Accounting 62% of the population, indigenous Bolivians are the majority ethnic group in the country. With Evo Morales Bolivia turned a ‘Plurinational State’, telling to give more rights to the indigenous people. He raised the standard of living, education and health care. He socialized the big branches of trade, as oil and mining. He legalized the coca cultivation in his country and tries to do so internationally. But Bolivia is still one of the poorest of the South-American countries in spite of fabulous wealth of natural resources.
Prior to 2006, the Andean country created worldwide one of the most alterations of presidents and suffered under a vast number of military coups. This poor record is stopped now. The socialist Evo Morales became already the longest running president in Bolivian history.
In 2016 the people voted in a referendum against a second re-election of President Evo Morales.
In 2017 the country’s highest court overruled the constitution. Morales could run for a fourth term in 2019. The US state department expressed ‘deep concern’ and the Bolivian opposition increased and warned of an ‘imminent Cuban dictatorship style’.
I visited Bolivia twice in the first two years of Evo Morales presidency. ‘Arriba Bolivia!’ was my final work/thesis at university.
In 2019 I went back. Over the years power and economic interests of the Bolivian government had grown and got more important than indigenous rights, nature and environment. Democracy was in danger as well as indigenous rights and their living environment.