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Bolivia

Evo – one year later

It’s been one year since Evo Morales became Bolivia’s president.  While the goals of his administration – refounding the country on a more equitable foundation – are hard to argue with, his methods and results are disastrous.  He’s used demagougery and stirred up his supporters to cause civil unrest and blockades around the country in the hopes that his party, MAS, will get its way.  All this culminated in bloody confrontations in Cochabamba, between MAS and its opponents, that left 2 people dead and over 100 injured.  Today, the country is more polarized, violent, and divided than at the beginning of 2006, with little hope for reconciliation.

Angus Reid has a balanced look at his first year in power: A year of Evo in Bolivia.

In one year, Bolivia has seen protests, violence and an increasing tension between Morales’ supporters and opponents. The country is polarized and the threat of a major clash between east and the west, "the rich" and "the poor", is growing. Both sides are becoming more and more radical and less inclined to listen to the other one. A recent push for autonomy in some regions, precisely the ones holding most of Bolivia’s natural resources and exporting agricultural businesses, caused major turmoil in Cochabamba last week.