The Drugslord Double Defeat
Evo Morales Recognizes Defeat
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Following several dramatic weeks, on Friday, October 21, 2011, Evo Morales recognized defeat. The Sunday before that I reported in Evo I of Cocaland is not the 99% on the elections being held – for the first time in human history – to the judicial authorities of Bolivia. All the candidates had been approved by a government committee and where thus widely seen as representative of Evo Morales and his party, named MAS (acronym of “Movement Towards Socialism” in Spanish). Elections in Bolivia are compulsory and carried out under curfew conditions, thus the only way to oppose was to nullify the vote or to mark nothing at all.
During the last weeks a major campaign to nullify the vote took place. Sadly they were kept in the outskirts of the city. Any time they attempted to advertise on main plazas and avenues they were evicted. Surprisingly, they won the elections.
Almost a week later, there are no official result yet. Even if there were it wouldn’t matter because all the candidates were anonymous until October 7, when little brochures with their names were handed out by government agents on La Paz main venue. However, the vote “nullify the vote” was massive. 45% of ballot papers were spoiled and 15% were left blank, the poll for the private Bolivian ATB television network claimed.
"Today we did not elect judges, today the majority of the country has spoken out against a government characterized by authoritarianism," said Juan del Granado, leader of the opposition MSM party. The first defeat of the week left authoritarian leader Evo Morales speechless. He mumbled something about high turnout and turned the listeners’ attention towards its second baby.
In an odd turn of political issues, the TIPNIS Affair became related to the recent elections. In Evo Morales, TIPNIS and Illusions of Green I described the brave struggle of the indigenous people from the TIPNIS National Park against Evo Morales, who wanted to build a highway through their pristine home. Officially, that’s part of a highway about to give Brazil access to the Pacific Ocean; in fact it would allow the coca produced at the Chapare to reach Brazil easily. Evo Morales is head of the federation of coca growers.
The brave protesters from TIPNIS began a march across the Amazonian Basin and the Andean High Plateau towards La Paz. The Bolivian government violently tried blocking them. Eventually, they were delayed so that they would enter La Paz only after the judicial elections. Then, a small group of government supporters staged an entrance to La Paz the day before the elections and angered many voters. Eventually, the real protestors arrived the Wednesday after the elections and settled in several of the main plazas. There were talks about negotiations about to begin, but Evo Morales knew the truth: trying himself to carry the indigenous flag, he had no chance against indigenous people considering him a neo-colonizer seeking to augment his coca-fortune. Evo Morales is not the 99%.
On Friday, Evo Morales appeared on the Bolivian television and announced the road will be moved outside the boundaries of the TIPNIS National Park. It was the second time within a year Evo made a public acknowledgment of a major political failure. Last December he was forced to nullify his decision to double the gasoline price overnight (the “gasolinazo” as it became known). On both cases he summarized: “This is called to govern listening to the people.”
As things look now, he won’t have a third chance for using the catchy phrase. Hours after the announcement merry fireworks announced the result of the unofficial elections of that day. TIPNIS in, Evo out.
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