Archive for the ‘ Latin America ’ Category

Ploughing In The Sea: The Legacy of Bolivar and the 6 de Agosto

Published in Bolivian Express, Issue 2

In the Zona Sopocachi of La Paz, things are peculiarly quiet. The normally chaotic traffic is calm, and pedestrians cross the road with relative ease. Shops are shuttered up, cafes are draped in red, yellow and green, and the rusty smell of a barbeque drifts over a garden wall. The famously hectic city is having a break. It is 6th August, and a national holiday, for, one hundred and eighty-five years ago today, and after a sixteen year war, Simón Bolívar declared Bolivia’s independence.

As I stroll up towards the Prado, kids are having ice-creams, their parents sitting relaxedly in the sun, and a couple walks hand in hand, in matching Bolivian national football shirts. It may be of some surprise, therefore, that of all the people enjoying a day off work, the attractive television reporter and accompanying cameraman coming down the street pick out the only other person who is (nominally) working. They ask me if I’m having fun, where I’ve been, and I respond as best I can, in broken Spanish. It becomes quickly clear that maybe, just maybe, I am not the most authoritative person to articulate the nation’s patriotic sentiment on what is perhaps the most important holiday in the Bolivian calendar…

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Customary Moralety

Published in Bolivian Express, Issue 2

It’s not often that a president who returns with 64% of the popular vote (nearly 40% more than their nearest rival) faces stern political opposition eight months into their presidency, but then, Evo Morales is not your typical president. Always a controversial figure, the country’s first Aymara President is once again causing a stir among his people, but, worryingly for his government, the traditional lines of division are shifting.

As a champion for an oppressed majority, it hardly needs saying that not all sections of Bolivian society have been fans of Evo…

Read the rest of the article on bolivianexpress.org