Widely regarded as the country's first president to come from its indigenous population, [a] his administration focused on the implementation of leftist policies and combating the influence of the United States and multinational corporations. Born to an Aymara family of subsistence farmers in Isallawi, Orinoca Canton , Morales undertook a basic education and mandatory military service before moving to the Chapare Province in Growing coca and becoming a trade unionist, he rose to prominence in the campesino "rural laborers" union. In that capacity, he campaigned against United States and Bolivian attempts to eradicate coca as part of the War on Drugs , denouncing these as an imperialist violation of indigenous Andean culture. His involvement in anti-government direct action protests resulted in multiple arrests.
What the coup against Evo Morales means to indigenous people like me
Evo Morales' party wins Bolivian election, but does he fit? - Los Angeles Times
Help us continue to fight human rights abuses. Please give now to support our work. Download the full report in English. Political interference in the justice system is a longstanding problem in Bolivia. During his almost 14 years in office, prosecutors filed charges against several of his political rivals in cases that appeared to be politically motivated. In November , Morales was forced to resign and fled the country amid nationwide protests motivated by allegations of electoral fraud—now disputed—and after the commanders of the armed forces and the police asked him to step down.
Evo Morales’ party wins Bolivian election, but where does the exiled former president fit in?
Within the social movements that brought him to power emerged indigenous visions of socialism and the values of Pachamama the Andean Earth Mother. Evo represents five centuries of indigenous deprivation and struggle in the hemisphere. But it was his victories that fomented this most recent violent backlash.