Category: Political Processes

Justice to President

A couple of years ago, after visiting Egypt and Tunisia in a mission to promote a greater freedom of speech and better democracy, and then attending the presidential succession in Honduras, I realized that in Bolivia, some years earlier, in 2005, an acute political crisis had been successfully overcome in peace, without violence, and under the Constitution. Not too long ago, change of this kind was typically undertaken by the military …

Evo Morales Through the Prism of Wikileaks

A century ago, the U.S. ambassador to Bolivia suggested that coca-leaf consumption, a millenarian tradition among indigenous peoples, was the source of Bolivia’s problems. He proposed instead “plain American chewing gum for everyone.” The gum would be donated by U.S. companies and distributed by the embassy. …

Beyond Caudillos

Driving through La Paz, Bolivia’s capital city, one sees signs of the remarkable political transformation since the 2005 election of Evo Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous president. Eighteen months after the December 2009 reelection—which Morales won by a broad margin (64.2%)—and more than a year after the April 2010 municipal and regional elections, campaign murals still line the thoroughfares …

Political Effects of an Economic Measure

English + EspañolOn the usually sleepy day after Christmas, on December 26, 2010, Bolivia was awakened with a jolt: the Bolivian government had just decreed a huge increase in the price of combustible fuels. The country exploded in a series of popular protests. A week later, the government revoked the measure. Nevertheless, the price of food and transportation continue to spiral upwards. …


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