Throughout the week, some people in Cochabamba had worried about how September 13, a date expected to involve confrontation between the supporters of the government of left-wing, indigenous President Evo Morales and the right wing, would turn out. People at work talked of a coup. Others remembered the protest on January 11 when three people were killed and some buildings burnt, worrying that the same would happen again. Some of the most right wing spoke of a campesino “invasion”.
On August 28, a Tuesday, the centre of the city of Cochabamba was unusually quiet, even compared to Sundays. Most shops had their shutters down, and the chaotic combination of small street stalls was replaced by a few women selling orange juice on one corner, another selling nuts. Some young boys played with a ball on the main road normally alive with trufis, micros and taxis, but on Tuesday almost empty. The quiet was a product of a strike organised by the right wing, targeting the government of Bolivias indigenous president, Evo Morales.
Bolivia, a country with a majority indigenous population, now has its first indigenous president, Evo Morales. Morales, who won the December 2005 presidential election, doesnt just identify as indigenous, he is a fighter for the indigenous cause. His presidency is a massive step forward for indigenous rights not only in Bolivia, but in Latin America, and possibly even the world.