Bolivia

Ernesto “Che” Guevara was executed by a Bolivian soldier in the village of La Higuera, Bolivia, on October 9, 1967. The soldier was acting on orders that came directly from Bolivia’s then-president Rene Barrientos.

Guevara was summarily executed for fear that a trial would become a public spectacle and garner sympathy for Guevara and his revolutionary socialist cause.

The world was again entering an era of “dark capitalist and imperialist barbarism” which acts against human dignity, the integrity of Mother Earth and the sovereignty of countries, Bolivian President Evo Morales told the United Nations General Assembly on September 21.

Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous president, called for a “new world order” that, rather than building walls, built a global citizenry where all people live together as a common family.

On being sworn into power on January 15, 2007, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said: “Latin America is not living through an era of change, it is living through a genuine change of eras.”

His enthusiasm was shared by many, and with good reason: after years of intense social struggles against right-wing neoliberal governments, new left forces were winning elections across the region.

More than 2 million Bolivians have been lifted out of extreme poverty in the past decade since President Evo Morales's government came to power.

Bolivia's economy is on course to grow by 5% this year, placing it among the top performers in Latin America. It is one sign of Bolivia's rapid economic transformation.

Another indicator is falling poverty rates. When Morales took office in 2006, the rate of extreme poverty was 38.2%. This year, the figure is 16.8%.

The Bolivian mining cooperative protests and the August 25 killing of the Bolivian Vice-Minister of the Interior Rodolfo Illanes by cooperative miners requires us to question our assumptions about the cooperatives.

Most of Bolivia’s mining cooperatives began during the Great Depression as miners banded together to work a mine in common. However, like many cooperatives in the US that arose out of the 1960s, they have turned into small businesses.

Regardless of their initial intentions, cooperatives existing in a capitalist environment must compete in business practices or go under.

United States State Department spokesperson John Kirby said on August 31 that Brazil's democratic institutions had acted within the country's constitutional framework when the Senate voted to oust elected president Dilma Rousseff and install Michel Temer as the new leader.

The US defence of the process that removed Brazil's elected president stands in contrast to many critics, including several Latin American governments, who have labelled it an institutional coup.

Bolivia has approved a new law that allows transgender people to change their name, sex and gender on birth certificates and other official records. LGBTI rights activists in Bolivia see the law as a groundbreaking sign of growing tolerance in Latin America.

Forty people began the process to change their personal information on identity documents and bank accounts, and alter their professional titles on the day the law passed.


Anti-coup rally in Brazil.

Since the start of the 21st century, the left has won elections in most Latin American countries in a powerful wave of popular rejection of the disastrous neoliberal policies of the previous regimes.

One must however distinguish between two quite different sorts of left governments:

A reform that better represents the nation's indigenous peoples has been implemented after a constitutional request by Bolivia's indigenous peoples of Yampara and the Sura people from Oruro department (state).

Bolivians can now add any cultural identity they want on the back of their ID cards, as the government of Evo Morales continues its efforts to build an inclusive society that better represents the nation's Indigenous peoples.

Socialist governments in Latin America must relaunch “democratic revolutions” in order to combat the strategies pushed by the United States to regain control of the region, Bolivian President Evo Morales said in an interview on May 23.

“In some countries it should be like a wake-up call where [governments] must start permanent conferences to relaunch democratic and cultural revolutions for Latin America and the Caribbean [region],” Morales said in an interview with Cubavision.

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