Full Text

Cocaleros peasant uprising

Dwight R. Hahn


Subject History
Social Movements » Collective Behaviour

Place South America » Bolivia

Period 2000 - present
1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics agriculture, poverty, rebellion, revolution, rural

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.00366.x


Extract

The man proclaimed as Bolivia's first indigenous president, Juan Evo Morales Ayma , won the presidency with a stunning electoral victory in December of 2005. That victory came on the heels of the two failed and incomplete presidential terms of Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada and Carlos Mesa Gisbert. The election of December 2005 marked a significant shift in the electoral politics of Bolivia as the parties that had formed the post-1952 National Revolution system lost their hold on significant sectors of the Bolivian electorate and a new political party captured those sectors with a call for “decolonization” and a new nationalism rooted in the indigenous cultures of Bolivia. The social shift revealed by that election had been decades in the making and was mostly brought about by the economic stresses related to the neoliberal economic policies that Bolivia had implemented, beginning with the “shock therapy” treatment prescribed by Decree 21060 of President Victor Paz Estenssoro in 1985. Those stresses, in turn, led to a coalition of various social movements under the banner of a new or reconstructed indigenous identity in opposition to the economic imperialism implicit in the adoption of the “Washington Consensus” and to the cultural imperialism implicit in the Washington effort to eradicate the coca leaf – a sacred symbol of the Andean indigenous population. Neoliberal policies of the ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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