January 27, 2007


Ground zero in Bolivia's dispute: Cochabamba, scene of rioting, symbolizes the nation's rift and calls president's leadership into question (Patrick J. McDonnell, January 27, 2007, LA Times)

Embattled President Evo Morales launched his second year in office this week, mocking his political opponents and vowing that "this Indian is going to be around for a while."

But recent turmoil in this city long regarded as a bastion of support for Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous president, has raised new questions about his leftist government's ability to serve out its five-year mandate. [...]

[T]he paroxysm of rage has reverberated in national politics at a time when Morales' "democratic revolution" was already facing fierce resistance.

"If you'd asked me six months ago if Evo's government would survive, I'd have replied, 'Yes, absolutely,' " said Jim Shultz, a Californian who works with a nonprofit pro-democracy organization here. "I still say 'yes' today, but the possibilities of 'no' are rising."

Bolivia has a long history of forced ousting of governments, including many military coups. Morales won the presidency after protests chased out two previous presidents.

Outlasting another one....

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 27, 2007 8:53 AM
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