New Internationalist

Morales wins – and so do his enemies!

Bolivia’s indigenous president easily won Sunday’s ‘recall vote’, securing between 60 and 63 per cent of the vote. That’s even more than the landslide election victory that brought Evo Morales to power in 2005. After Sunday’s victory Morales immediately vowed to push ahead with the social equality reforms – land redistribution, nationalization, and a more equal sharing of the country’s oil and gas revenues – that his rightist opponents are trying to block. (See: NI 410: ‘I will return… and I will be millions’ and ‘Journey to the half moon’).

 However, several of his fiercest opponents, many of whom belong to the land- and business-owning elite in the east of the country, also won recall votes on Sunday. One of them, Ruben Costas, won 79 per cent in resource-rich Santa Cruz, Bolivia’s biggest city. So Bolivia’s deep political divisions – which recently flared into racist, anti-indigenous attacks – are likely to remain fierce as Morales and his Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party now press for a new constitution to be approved in a national referendum.

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About the author

Vanessa Baird a New Internationalist contributor

Vanessa Baird lived and worked as a journalist in Peru during the tumultuous mid-1980s, and she maintains a passionate interest in South America. She joined New Internationalist as a co-editor in 1986 and since then has written on everything from migration, money, religion and equality to indigenous activism, climate change, feminism and global LGBT rights. She also edits the Mixed Media, arts and culture section of the magazine.

Vanessa’s books include The No-Nonsense Guide to World Population (2011), Sex, Love and Homophobia (2004), The Little Book of Big Ideas (2009) and, People First Economics (2010). In 2012 she won a prestigious Amnesty International Human Rights Media award.

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