Is Bolivia heading for Andean- Amazonian capitalism?

Eric Tousaint1

In spite of its considerable natural resources, this country of 10 million inhabitants is one of the poorest in Latin America. In 1952 Bolivia went through a major revolutionary upheaval leading to land reform, nationalization of mines, free, compulsory education and universal suffrage. From 1971 to 1978, Bolivia was under the iron rule of Hugo Banzer’s military regime. From 1985 on, the worst kind of neo-liberal policies were enforced on the country. To bring 20 years of such policies to an end, social movements in Bolivia waged fierce, heroic battles. Finally in 2005, for the first time in Bolivian history, a representative of the country’s Indian majority was elected president. 2

Evo Morales’ government has undertaken a vast programme of reforms, not necessarily in themselves a clear break with capitalism. Their purpose, in particular, is to establish full, comprehensive rights for an Indian majority that has suffered oppression for over five centuries, and to regain public control of natural resources so that they can be used to serve the economic, social and cultural rights of Bolivia’s citizens.

The new Constitution adopted by referendum in January 2009 is a significant step forward for political democracy and for ensuring the people’s economic, social and cultural rights. Of course, adoption of this new Constitution does not mean that all its provisions in terms of collective and individual rights will be carried out immediately. Rather, a series of Articles set out the mid-term objectives to be reached. Their implementation will depend on the capacity of the party in power –MAS-IPSP (Movement Towards Socialism – Political Instrument for the Sovereignty of Peoples) – to put to good use the two-thirds majority it commands in the Plurinational Legislative Assembly.3 The decisive point is that adoption of the new Constitution provides the government and the legislative with a legal framework for pursuing the reforms initiated since 2006. As a corollary, it also provides social movements with a legal framework for ensuring that the government adopts all necessary measures for making the Constitution a practical reality. The challenge is therefore a tough one, because the experiment undertaken by MAS-IPSP is vulnerable to external threats and to its own shortcomings.

The right-wing opposition and the threat of separatism

In 2008 Evo Morales’ government had to face very violent opposition from rightist elements representing the interests of the local capitalist class (industrialists, large landowners, financial groups) associated with the interests of private multinationals exploiting Bolivia’s natural resources (oil, gas, various minerals). An interview4 with Bolivian vice-president Álvaro García Linera provides a strategic view of these confrontations. Here are a few particularly significant excerpts. García Linera starts out with the observation that the right refused to accept its minority status as a political force and opted for a separation between the wealthy western departments5 and the rest of the country, including the capital, La Paz. He goes on to describe the policy the government has followed, refusing confrontation on several occasions before deciding to clamp down.

“The right was not willing to be included in the national-popular project as a minority force led by others, and it opted for territorial explosion. The struggle for power brought closer the moment for its warlike or final solution insofar as, in the last analysis, State power is coercion. This is what we call ‘the fork in the road’, the moment at which the crisis of the State, begun eight years beforehand, would be resolved either through restoration of the old State power, or through the consolidation of the new popular power bloc. (…)

After the outcome of the approval referendum in August 2008, the civic-prefectorial bloc (i.e. the right, Editor’s note) undertook its putschist escalation: they took over institutions, we waited; they attacked the police, we waited; they destroyed and sacked public buildings and institutions in 4 departments, we waited; they disarmed the troops, we waited; they took over airports, we waited (…). They worked themselves into an impasse (…) The prefect launched the Pando6 massacre to send an intimidation signal to the people’s leaders… and this act pushed the whole of Bolivian society’s tolerance to its extreme limits. The peasant massacre (…) forced the State to react by sharp, swift intervention in defence of democracy and society. And without a single second’s doubt, we were aiming at the weakest link in the putschist chain: Pando. This was the first state of siege in Bolivian history dictated by the defence and protection of society, with the total support of a population horrified by the putschists’ actions.

This fact, combined with the international community’s rejection of the putschists, was to put an end to the civic-prefectorial initiative, bringing about their disorderly retreat. It was the time for a popular counter-offensive, with social and popular organizations in Santa Cruz7 department in the front lines. Not only did the peasants and the colonizadores8 mobilize, but also the poor in Santa Cruz popular districts and especially urban youth, who, during memorable days of resistance against fascist gangs, defended their districts in Santa Cruz and broke with the clientelist domination of the Santa Cruz lodges.

The government’s vigorous, firm political and military response to the coup combined with the social mobilization strategy in Santa Cruz and towards Santa Cruz, created a perfect junction between society and State rarely seen in Bolivia’s political history.(…) The right took stock of the state of its shock troops - isolated, in disarray - and recognized the high level of political determination in an indigenous-popular bloc that was ready for anything. The right preferred to admit defeat and surrender. This is how the cycle of State crisis and political polarization was closed and a durable new State structure was established during a warlike show of force.”

Up to this point, Álvaro García Linera has developed a very optimistic viewpoint on the right’s political rout, but later in the interview he points out that the right wing does not lack the leverage to bounce back and try to regain the initiative in order to put an end to the ongoing left experience: “The private income bourgeoisie no longer has the petroleum firms as a generous source of revenue. The agrarian patronage network that the landowners set up in the agro-industrial field has been greatly weakened by the existence of the State food corporation EMAPA and the fact that the public share in the soy, wheat and rice production chain represents between 20 and 30% of total production. But the intransigent opposition bloc still controls important areas of agricultural,9 commercial and financial power and this provides the bloc with a great capacity for pressure and confrontation.

On the other hand what it lacks today, and this can last for years, is a State project: for how long will it be without one? Nobody knows, but its goal is to prevent the popular project from continuing to make headway. (…) There is a difference in how the fork in the road is consolidated when the popular sector is politically and materially defeated, compared to when the employer side is defeated, because the latter can lose politically but hold on to economic power, enabling it to keep a permanent power of veto.”

On the demands of indigenous originary peoples10

To learn more about the indigenist political project defended by large organizations with links to MAS (Movement Towards Socialism, Evo Morales’ political party) we must refer to the Unity Pact made public in 2006 to prepare for the Constituent Assembly.

Autonomy: “Indigenous, originary and peasant autonomy, as a fundamental axis of the decolonization and self-determination process, is the condition for and basis of the freedom of our peoples and nations. (…)It aims for the permanent construction of a full and complete life, via our own forms of representation, administration and ownership of our lands.”

Landholding and territorial regime: “Original rights to non-renewable resources belong to indigenous originary nations and peoples and peasants. Ownership of non-renewable resources belongs equally to the originary indigenous nations and people and peasants and to the unitary plurinational state.” This formulation can be interpreted in various ways. In practice, what tends to hold sway in Evo Morales’ governmental policy is the State’s exploitation of national resources, as the vice-president of the Republic clearly stated in a recent interview (see below: “Oil resources in the Amazonian region: an emblematic issue”).

Latifundio: “[The State must] distribute lands fairly, and be the guarantor of current and future rights and needs of originary peoples and peasants, and see to the well-being of the population as a whole.”

Education: “The priority for the plurinational State is to provide an intracultural, intercultural, pluricultural and plurilingual character to education, a basic cornerstone, on all levels and in different forms; in conformity with the ethnic and linguistic diversity of the country, teaching and administration will use indigenous language as a priority, and then Spanish as a language of intercultural communication.”

The Unity Pact also calls for the coexistence of originary and peasant legal systems with the western legal system and the creation of a fourth power independent of the State: alternative instituting social power rooted in the social movements. The theme of plurinational social power has been broadly debated, as a civil and corporatist type “fourth power” (its members would be chosen on a customary basis and by universal suffrage). It would have the responsibility to “watch over and control” State powers and would be empowered to inflict sanctions on them, being independent of them. This idea was eventually omitted in the NCPE (New Political Constitution of the State).

The new Constitution, finally approved in January 2009 during the constitutional referendum by 62% of voters, is a step forward for indigenous and originary people. As we see below in the full text of part I, Title II, chapter 4, this Constitution guarantees in particular: recognition of indigenous languages, recognition of the rights of indigenous nations and peoples to exercise their own political, legal and economic system, establishment of “peasant originary indigenous” territories empowered in terms of definition of their own form of development, administration of indigenous justice, management of renewable natural resources, etc. Several parts of the Constitution guarantee these rights.

A test of power for MAS

Evo Morales’ party, MAS-IPSP (Movement Towards Socialism – Political Instrument for the Sovereignty of Peoples) was founded by peasant trade-union organizations in the late 1990s. As regards the social nature of MAS, Pablo Stefanoni12 now wonders whether or not it would be interesting to study this political movement as a party of rural and urban smallholders (merchants, micro-entrepreneurs) of indigenous origin. Adopting this outlook would mean changing our understanding of a political organization until now seen as an outgrowth of social movements of the most oppressed. This being said, we are talking here about small business owners it would be foolish to ostracize. They certainly have a place in a process of building a society that is an alternative to capitalism; a society in transition to socialism. Pablo Stefanoni asks another question that takes this issue further: “Doesn’t family accumulation – renamed “Andean capitalism” – still rely on forms of exploitation and self-exploitation at least equal, and generally worse, than those prevailing in formal capitalism, regulated by labour law ?” He goes on: “The current government has rescinded the labour flexibilization approved in the 1990s – in particular, ‘the freedom to dismiss’ – but these rules do not hold in the family or informal economies that are prevalent in entire cities such as El Alto, close to La Paz, where nearly one million people live. (…) The superiority of “indigenous cosmovision” – a smokescreen that often hides corporatist practices or deep-rooted regional identities – over “liberal cosmovision” is scarcely debated and the emphasis on the ethnic dimension of oppression has practically overshadowed its class dimension. It is no accident if progress in terms of labour movements’ rights is rare or non-existent.” 13

With a majority in the Chamber of Deputies since 2006, MAS must come to terms with the exercise of political power. As time goes on, as with any left-wing party involved in the concrete exercise of participation in parliamentary institutions and government, certain changes occur. MAS is no exception. As Pablo Stefanoni says, the reasoning of a certain number of activists is changing from “politics must serve to change the country” to “why am I not entitled to a post when I campaigned and fought for MAS to win”? This is all the more widespread since, according to a MAS operating rule, candidates foot their own electoral campaign expenses. This means that some of them (perhaps the majority?) go into debt to be able to wage an electoral campaign that could earn them a seat.14 In some cases, they also make commitments in order to ensure support. This shores up the patronage already permeating Bolivia’s political life.

When MAS came to government, it announced that it was breaking with the tradition by which the winning party sacks a large number of civil servants to replace them with its members, protégés or clients. It set the replacement threshold very low: 5% of civil servants, in order to guarantee a non-partisan institutionalization of the civil service. This decision was hard to accept for some party activists who had hoped their efforts during the electoral campaign and various struggles would be rewarded with a job - or several. Finally, the MAS leadership relaxed its stance and increased the 5% limit.

In January 2007, a scandal occurred in La Paz. Certain MAS activists were taking payments in exchange for support to civil service applicants. This scandal was of limited development. However, early in 2009 a second scandal caused greater damage: Santos Ramírez, a historic MAS leader15 who had been placed at the head of YPFB, the public petroleum company, was caught red-handed in a large-scale corruption scandal. The MAS government took strong action to set an example. Santos Ramírez was jailed while awaiting trial. MAS showed Bolivian society that although some of its cadres were not immunized against corruption, the party was breaking with the tradition of impunity for political office-holders by favouring their conviction in the case of a legal offence. The Santos Ramírez scandal caused a genuine commotion that would leave its marks.16

When Evo Morales entered office, he took an exemplary measure to show he was putting an end to privileges: he lowered his own salary. Of course, this was very popular among the people, for understandable reasons. This measure also entailed lowering the salaries of other political officeholders, since it was unthinkable for them to be earning more than the president and not showing the example of a government refusing privileges for itself. Later, the government decided to relax its position so that it could authorize high salaries for public corporation executives. These executives are allowed to earn more than the President of the Republic. Álvaro García Linera, justifying this decision, called it Bolivia’s NEP, in reference to the NEP applied by Lenin in the early 1920s in Soviet Russia17: “It is our version of Lenin’s NEP (the New Economic Policy in post-revolutionary Russia). NEP’s aim, beyond an alliance with the peasantry, was fundamentally to recruit technicians to administer State technical bodies, taking into account the fact that although the State is a political structure, it has bureaucratic-administrative and technical-scientific levels demanding knowledge and competencies that cannot be acquired or transformed swiftly. To call a halt to the economic disaster that followed on the heels of the revolution, Lenin had to rehire technicians from the former State, until a simpler administration could be gradually built. His watchword was: under each technical manager, we must place a young person who will learn. We are doing the same. We already began in 2006: we changed the organization and personnel at the decision-making levels of public administration (ministers, deputy ministers and some directors) but we have not touched the secondary level of the State administrative structure until young, trained State managers can take over from the senior managers.”

Towards an “Andean-Amazonian capitalism”?

Álvaro García Linera backs the development of an “Andean-Amazonian capitalism” in which the State plays a key role. Without deforming his concept, it can be said that the Bolivian vice-president is favourable to an Andean-Amazonian form of State capitalism. Using a railway metaphor, he clearly outlines the hierarchy of participants in this model: “The State is the only actor that can unite society. It is the State that takes on the synthesis of the general will, plans the strategic framework and steers the front carriage of the economic locomotive. The second carriage is Bolivian private investment. The third is foreign investment. The fourth is small business. The fifth is the peasant economy and the sixth, the indigenous economy. This is the strategic order in which the country’s economy must be organized.”18 The outlook described by Álvaro García Linera is clearly different from, or opposed to, an authentic 21st century socialism. It is true that he does not disguise the true nature of his project with pompous socialist rhetoric. This project, which could potentially drift in dangerous directions, is one possible scenario for the future.

According to Pablo Stefanoni, Evo Morales has an outlook similar or identical to his vice-president Álvaro García Linera: “Far from encouraging the class struggle in its Marxist sense, Evo Morales has updated the divisions already mentioned – nation/anti-nation, people/oligarchy and in practice is promoting a new “class alliance” – without using a term reminiscent of the 1950s. This alliance includes “patriotic entrepreneurs” and “nationalist military”, to build a “productive and modern country”, thanks to the profits from natural resources “repossessed by the State”. The core of the governmental economic program thus bears on the modernization and industrialization of a backward economy under the leadership of a strong State, which substitutes for a non-existent national bourgeoisie.”19 This is a far cry from Evo Morales’ many statements in international forums and in his own country when he speaks out against the capitalist system and declares that we must rid the planet of it.

Furthermore, Álvaro Garcia Linera challenges a certain “NGOist”20 and “indigenist” view of Bolivian Indians: “The outlook according to which the indigenous world has its own cosmovision, radically opposed to that of the West, is typical of latecomer indigenists or those closely linked to certain NGOs. I don’t want to imply that there are no specific organizational, economic and political logics. Basically, everyone wants to be modern. The Felipe Quispe insurgents, in 2000, were demanding tractors and Internet. This does not mean giving up their organizational principles. Moreover, this can be seen in indigenous economic practices. The development of indigenous businesses follows a very flexible logic. They seek to accumulate, but they don’t risk everything for accumulation. First of all, I start to work alone with my family group, the ultimate basic social core. That goes very well: I hire more people and I stop working; that doesn’t work: I go back to the second level: that goes very badly: I return to my family where we put up with everything. We never break with the family logic… They want to modernize but they do it their way. They can export, be part of globalization, but the family core remains the last resort where they can survive on just bread and water. When business expands to 10 or 15 workers, instead of expanding to 30, 40 or 50 workers they stop and another small business emerges, their son’s, their brother-in-law’s; the logic says you never put all your eggs in one basket. It is different from a very rational Weberian accumulation, with economies of scale, with a lot of technological innovation. In this case, the family is never the last fulcrum for productive activity, it is an element among links, networks, markets, and matrimonial strategies… The indigenous world has its own logic but it is not an antagonistic logic, standing apart from “western” logic. The people who took part in recent movements are very aware of this.” 21

Oil resources in the Amazonian region: an emblematic issue

Coherently, in relation to the prospect of an “Andean-Amazonian capitalism”, Álvaro García Linera advocates the exploitation of the Amazonian region’s petroleum resources. There again, he defends a “Realpolitik” at odds with the ecological outlook often expressed by Bolivia’s president:

“In the case of gas and petroleum exploration in the Amazonian north of La Paz, we seek to produce hydrocarbons in order to geographically balance the sources of society’s collective wealth, generate a State surplus and at the same time preserve the environmental space in coordination with the indigenous communities. Today, we are not in the process of opening up the Amazonian north to let Repsol or Petrobras in. We are opening up to let the State in. (…) Do we have to exploit gas and petroleum in the Amazonian north of La Paz? Yes. Why? Because we need to balance Bolivian society’s economic structures, given that rapid development of Tarija,22 with 90% of the gas, will generate long-term imbalances (…)

Answering the question “what if the communities said the State couldn’t come in either?” Álvaro García Linera continues: “This is the debate. What happened? When we consulted the Central Organization of Indigenous Peoples of La Paz (CPILAP in Spanish), they asked us to go negotiate in Brussels with their legal firm and to respect the environmentalist principles published by USAID. How is this possible? Who wants to prevent the State from exploring petroleum north of La Paz? Indigenous Tacana communities? NGOs?23 Or foreign countries? We went to negotiate community by community and we obtained support from the indigenous communities to continue to explore for and exploit petroleum. The indigenous-popular government consolidated the long struggle of the peoples for land and territory. In the case of the minority indigenous peoples of the lowlands, the State consolidated millions of hectares as a historic territoriality for many peoples of low demographic density; but besides a people’s right to land, the State (the State led by the indigenous-popular and peasant movement) has the right to prioritize the higher collective interest of all the peoples. And this is how we proceeded afterwards.”24

It is legitimate to ask the following questions: by persuading Amazonian peoples, in the name of the “indigenous-popular bloc” (Álvaro García Linera’s expression) to accept exploitation of non-renewable underground resources in the ancestral territories they occupy, isn’t the Evo Morales government perpetuating the extractive, productivist model? Wouldn’t a right-wing government have faced very strong popular resistance by indigenous peoples if it had wanted to exploit Bolivian Amazon petroleum found on their lands? If the right returns to power in a few years, won’t it radically cut back on the concessions the central power made to originary peoples when it wanted to secure the right to exploit resources on their lands? In this case, wouldn’t it be better for the indigenous originary peoples to refuse industrial exploitation of non-renewable natural resources?

Translated by Marie Lagatta in collaboration with Judith Harris


Box: The rights of originary indigenous and peasant nations and peoples

(Excerpts from the new Bolivian Constitution)

Chapter Four

Article 30. I. Any human community that shares a cultural identity, language, historical tradition, institutions, territory and cosmovision whose existence is prior to the Spanish colonial invasion is an indigenous originary and peasant nation or people.

II. Within the framework of State unity and in accordance with this Constitution, originary indigenous and peasant nations and people enjoy the following rights:

1. To exist in freedom;

2. To their cultural identity, religious beliefs, spirituality, practices and customs and their own cosmovision.

3. That the cultural identity of each of their members, if the member so desires, be recorded along with Bolivian citizenship on the member’s identity card, passport or any other legally valid identity documents.

4. To self-determination and territoriality.

5. That their institutions are part of the overall structure of the State.

6. To collective property title to their lands and territories.

7. To the protection of their sacred sites.

8. To create their own communications systems, media and networks.

9. That their own traditional knowledge and wisdom, traditional medicine, languages, rituals and symbols and clothing are valued, respected and promoted.

10. To live in a healthy environment, with proper management and use of ecosystems.

11. To collective intellectual ownership of their knowledge, science and wisdom and their valorization, use, promotion and development.

12. To intra-cultural, intercultural and multilingual education throughout the educational system.

13. To a universal, free healthcare system that respects their cosmovision and traditional practices.

14. To the exercise of their political, legal and economic systems in accordance with their cosmovision.

15. To be consulted through appropriate procedures and in particular through their own institutions, whenever legislative or administrative measures that may affect them are planned. In this context, their right to a preliminary, compulsory consultation, carried out by the State, in good faith and in concertation, will be respected and guaranteed, with regard to the exploitation of non-renewable natural resources in the territory they inhabit.11

16. To sharing in the profits from exploitation of natural resources in their territories.

17. To autonomous indigenous territorial management and exclusive use of and benefit from the renewable natural resources found in their territories without prejudice to rights legitimately acquired by third parties.

18. To participate in State bodies and institutions.

III. The State guarantees, respects and protects the rights of originary indigenous peoples and peasants enshrined in the Constitution and the law.

Article 31. I. Originary indigenous nations and peoples in danger of extinction, in a situation of voluntary isolation and without contact, will be protected and respected in their forms of individual and collective life.

II. Indigenous nations and peoples in isolation and without contact have the right to remain in that condition and the right to demarcation and legal consolidation of the territory they occupy and inhabit.

Article 32. The Afro-Bolivian people enjoys, in everything concerning themselves, economic, social, political and cultural rights recognized in the Constitution for originary indigenous and peasant nations and people.



[1] Eric Toussaint, president of CADTM Belgium (Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt, ). He is the author of Bank of the South. An Alternative to the IMF-World Bank, VAK, Mumbai, India, 2007; The World Bank, A Critical Primer, Pluto Press, Between The Lines, David Philip, London-Toronto-Cape Town 2008; Your Money or Your Life, The Tyranny of Global Finance, Haymarket, Chicago, 2005.

[2] In the presidential elections Evo Morales won 53.7% of votes, with a very high turnout (84%). It should be noted that in Santa Cruz, a bastion of the right, the MAS attracted 33.2% of votes.

[3] In the general elections held in December 2009, MAS-IPSP won two thirds of parliamentary seats and a majority in the Senate. Evo Morales was elected for a new term with 64.3% of votes. He scored impressively in many departments associated with the opposition, for example in Tarija, with 40% of votes.

[4] Interview with Maristella Svampa, Pablo Stefanoni and Ricardo Bajo, “El punto de bifurcación es un momento en el que se miden ejércitos” .

[5] The eastern departments making up the media luna (half moon) are those of Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando and Tarija. Together, they make up 36% of the population and 45% of gross domestic product.

[6] Some 15 peasants were murdered and dozens of others wounded on 11 September 2008 in El Porvenir in Pando province. Its prefect, Leopoldo Fernández, one of the central figures of the right opposition and directly involved in the massacre, was jailed upon order of the central power.

[7] Santa Cruz department was the epicentre of the right-wing reaction.

[8] The colonizadores are peasants who occupied new lands, either in the framework of colonization policies promoted by the State in the 1930s, or in the framework of self-organized population movements. This is the case of families that emigrated towards Chapare province, in Cochabamba department, to cultivate coca. They came first from Altiplano, either through State colonization policies in the 1930s, then, with the structural adjustment plan implemented in 1985, from the mining regions of Oruro and Potosi following the closing of the mines and the loss of their jobs. Evo Morales’ family was one of these peasant families that left the cold, arid high plains for the hot, humid lowlands of Chapare. However, as indicated above, if the cocaleros are indeed colonizadores, the latter are not only coca farmers. For example, while the mobilization towards Santa Cruz involved cocaleros from the Chapare area, the peasant settlers from the San Julián area were in the front ranks.

[9] According to Charles-André Udry, in the two departments of Beni and Santa Cruz, 14 families own some 312,966 hectares. Part of these lands is not cultivated. These families have long been the pillars of the most hardcore right-wing parties. Today, these families – who appropriated the lands between 1953 and 1992, in particular under military dictatorial regimes – are violently protesting the implementation of land reform. (Réforme agraire et réappropriation territoriale indigène,

[10] Bolivian aboriginal peoples are generally referred to as “originary” in the Andes and “indigenous” in Amazonia. The new Bolivian Constitution makes “peasant originary indigenous” populations a legal subject when it is a matter of giving collective rights to rural communities.

[11] We should point out however that if consultation of populations affected by non-renewable natural resource exploitation is mandatory (a positive measure), its outcome is not binding!

[12] Pablo Stefanoni is the co-author, with Hervé Do Alto, of Evo Morales, de la coca al Palacio (Malatesta, La Paz, 2006).

[13] Pablo Stefanoni in “L’indianisation du nationalisme ou la refondation permanente de la Bolivie”, in the journal Alternatives Sud published by CETRI: La Bolivie d’Evo. Démocratique, indianiste et socialiste? Vol XVI -2009/3, Louvain-la-Neuve, .

[14] This rule effectively bars the poorest people from being candidates for the office of member of parliament, senator or member of the Constituent Assembly. In practice, it is not rare to see trade union leaders with a strong political background and training forced to give up their places to middle class intellectuals or small entrepreneurs with bigger economic resources, when electoral slates are drawn up.

[15] According to Álvaro García Linera, Santos Ramírez could claim to be next in line to Evo Morales as MAS candidate to the Presidency of the Republic.

[16] See Hervé Do Alto, “¿“Más de lo mismo” o ruptura con los “tradicionales”? Bolivia y el MAS: un caso de democratización paradójica”, Le Monde diplomatique (Edición boliviana), February 2009, nº 11, pp. 6-8.

[17] In the interview with Maristella Svampa, Pablo Stefanoni and Ricardo Bajo, entitled: “El punto de bifurcación es un momento en el que se miden ejércitos ”. [18] Ortiz P. (2007), “Fue un error no liderar el pedido autonómico” (entrevista a Álvaro García Linera), El Deber, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 21 January 2007. Quoted by Pablo Stefanoni in “L’Indianisation du nationalisme ou la refondation permanente de la Bolivie”, op. cit.[19] Pablo Stefanoni in “L’Indianisation du nationalisme ou la refondation permanente de la Bolivie”, op. cit.

[20] A neologism meaning: related to NGOs (non-governmental organizations).

[21] In Svampa M., Stefanoni P. (2007), “Evo simboliza el quiebre de un imaginario restringido a la subalternidad de los indígenas” (entrevista a Álvaro García Linera), in Monasterios K., Stefanoni P. and Do Alto H. (dir.), Reinventando la nación en Bolivia, La Paz, Clacso-Plural.[22] The prefect of Tarija province was part of the right-wing opposition together with the prefects of Santa Cruz, Beni and Pando provinces.

[23] However in the case of Bolivia, such a line frankly opposing NGOs is all the more astonishing for being in total contradiction with the very makeup of the government, as most of its ministers come from such institutions. Among these is the CEJIS (Centre for Legal Studies and Social Research), recognized by Eastern indigenous movements as a staunch supporter in the reconquest of aboriginal peoples’ prerogatives on their ancestral territories. Some of the heavyweights in Morales’ team earned their wings there, such as Carlos Romero, the current minister of Autonomies.

[24] Interview conducted by Maristella Svampa, Pablo Stefanoni and Ricardo Bajo entitled: “El punto de bifurcación es un momento en el que se miden ejércitos”

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