Evo Morales
President of Bolivia
Evo Morales
Juan Evo Morales Ayma, popularly known as Evo, is a Bolivian politician and activist, serving as President of Bolivia, a position that he has held since 2006. He is also the leader of both the Movement for Socialism party (MAS) and the Cocalero trade union.
Biography
Evo Morales's personal information overview.
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Relationships
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News
News abour Evo Morales from around the web
Bolivia opens 'Evo museum' dedicated to indigenous president
Fox News - 21 days
School notebooks, a boy's sandals and T-shirts given to him by famous soccer players are among the objects displayed at a $7 million museum inaugurated Thursday by Bolivian President Evo Morales.
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Fox News article
Bolivia opens $7 million museum honoring President Morales
Yahoo News - 21 days
Bolivia on Thursday opened a $7 million museum dedicated to President Evo Morales and indigenous peoples in Morales's birthplace of Orinoca high up in the deserts of the Bolivian antiplano. Morales ordered the museum to be built by decree shortly after he became Bolivia's first indigenous president in 2006, creating a place to hold hundreds of his gifts as well as photos, videos and archeological treasures. "This town that has raised me, this town that has taken care of me, I want to say 'thank you, we will keep working'," said a tearful Morales at the inauguration some 400 kilometers (249 miles) from Bolivia's main city of La Paz.
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Yahoo News article
Getting tough with Trump is good politics for Mexican president Peña Nieto
Huffington Post - 27 days
Salvador Vázquez del Mercado, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) It did not take long for a diplomatic rift to open between the United States and Mexico following the election of Donald Trump. Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto has cancelled a planned visit to the White House after Trump signed an executive order calling for construction to begin on the much-vaunted border wall between the two countries. Trump campaigned heavily on the idea of building a wall, and insisting Mexico pay for it, while also pushing to renegotiate NAFTA, the trade agreement that has bound the economies of both countries (and Canada) for more than 20 years. Peña Nieto has consistently said that Mexico will not pay for the wall, while also signalling that he is open to rethinking trade relations with the US. An easy target Dealing with the wall and NAFTA issues at the same time would be challenging for both the Mexican and the American governments regardless, ...
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La Marcha de las Mujeres.
Huffington Post - about 1 month
Marcha de las mujeres en Sydney, 20 de Enero, 2017. Australia ©VioletaAyala Yo marcho porque elijo creer en la humanidad. Yo marcho porque como una mujer indígena morena, voy a luchar con todas mis fuerzas para proteger los pocos derechos que tengo hoy, que además han sido ganados por mujeres en luchas anteriores. Yo marcho porque mi abuela de 90 años tuvo el coraje de salir a las calles a pelear, fue encarcelada, pero ni así le quitaron la fuerza y siguió luchando, para que yo tenga la oportunidad de soñar con una vida mejor. Mi abuela Herminia, ni siquiera terminó la escuela primaria, pero se aseguró de que todos sus hijos y nietos tuvieran educación, sin importar su sexo. Ella ha luchado su vida entera, para que hoy, yo tenga el derecho a elegir. Yo y mi hija, Suri Blue, marchando en Sydney, 20 de Enero, 2017. Sydney, Australia. ©Dan Fallshaw A mis 17 años aborté, en un país donde el aborto, era y sigue siendo ilegal, mi abuela estaba a mi lado, esa noche me agarrab ...
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Huffington Post article
Editorial: In Bolivia, an Entrenched President
NYTimes - about 1 month
Bolivian voters decided last year that Evo Morales should not be allowed to run for a fourth term. He now intends to disregard their call.
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NYTimes article
El Evo Ya No Es Pueblo
Huffington Post - about 2 months
Las Personas con discapacidad son reprimidas por el gobierno Boliviano, 25 de Mayo, 2016. ©UnitedNotionsFilm Una mujer campesina empujando a un niño en silla de ruedas, llega hasta donde esta Evo Morales, en la puerta de la gobernación de Cochabamba, cuando logra acercarse al presidente, lo agarra de la pierna y le pide que escuche a las personas con discapacidad, que ya estaban más de un mes en vigilia en la plaza 14 de Septiembre. Evo Morales, hace una seña a su guardaespaldas, que con fuerza quita del camino del presidente a la mujer y a su hijo en silla de ruedas. La mujer vuelve donde sus compañeros llorando. Ese 12 de Marzo del 2016, las personas con discapacidad deciden marchar hasta La Paz, protagonizando la protesta mas larga que se ha visto en Bolivia en las ultimas décadas. Las Personas con Discapacidad querían hablar con Evo Morales, para pedirle una renta mensual de 500 Bs. (70 USD), que no es ni un tercio del salario mínimo nacional y no llega ni al 0.1% del Teso ...
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Huffington Post article
Bolivia's Morales says he may run for fourth term despite referendum loss
Reuters.com - 2 months
LA PAZ, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Bolivian President Evo Morales said on Sunday he may run for a fourth consecutive term in elections in 2019 despite losing a referendum in February that would have reformed the country's constitution to allow him to run again.
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Reuters.com article
El arquero del Chapecoense y Evo Morales.
Huffington Post - 2 months
Jakson Follmann. Foto tomada de Twitter. "Prefiero la vida, a la pierna" dijo Jakson Follmann, el arquero del Chapecoense, uno de los seis sobrevivientes del avión que se estrello contra un cerro en Colombia. Hace unas semanas, le tuvieron que amputar tres centímetros más de su pierna derecha. Jakson, que había nacido en Río Grande del Sur, hace 24 años, nunca se imagino que su futuro estaba en las manos de un hombre, que ha mostrado desprecio hacia las personas con discapacidad, el presidente de Bolivia, Evo Morales. ¿Que tiene que ver Evo Morales con la tragedia de LaMia? Por cierto, el ser presidente, no significa que seas culpable de todo lo que pasa en tu país, pero este caso no es una excepción de la corrupción y nepotismo que se han comido a todas las instituciones de Bolivia, incluidas las que regulan el funcionamiento de los aviones; de eso Evo Morales y su gobierno son 100% culpables. LaMia, una empresa fundada en Venezuela el 2009, que en seis años, no logro l ...
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Huffington Post article
How to hate neoliberalism but love each other: a Latin American grassroots guide
Huffington Post - 3 months
Bolivia's rural Chaparé region has pushed back against neoliberal policies using democratic practice. Danilo Balderrama/Reuters Carolina Cepeda, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Worldwide, it has been a rough year for democracy. Citizens in the UK, the United States and Colombia made critical decisions about their nations' future, and - at least from the perspective of liberal values and social justice - they decided poorly. Beyond the clear persistence of racism, sexism and xenophobia in people's decision-making, scholars and pundits have argued that to understand the results of recent popular votes, we must reflect on neoliberalism. International capitalism, which has dominated the globe for the past three decades, has its winners and its losers. And, for many thinkers, the losers have spoken. Challenging neoliberalism There's something to the analysis that right-wing populism is a response to the failures of globalisation. But is it the only respons ...
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El Chapecoense y el Piloto Boliviano.
Huffington Post - 3 months
Foto Tomada de Facebook. "Es una satisfacción para nosotros que ellos (el Chapecoense) nos hayan elegido" decía sonriente Miguel Quiroga, el piloto que hablaba con emoción al decir que ellos podían personalizar su avión. En el exterior llevaban el logo de los Brasileros, con el #VamosChape, apoyando a que este pequeño equipo de fútbol se convierta en un gigante. En el último video que se hizo antes de despegar, a cargo del canal Gigavisión, las risas se apoderan de la imagen, se siente la alegría de todos los que iban en el vuelo 2933, desde Sissy Arias la joven co-piloto, hija del dueño de dicho canal que a último momento decidió subir en el vuelo, hasta el mismo equipo que tomaban al avión Avro RJ85 como un amuleto, y estaban contentos por el buen trato que ya habían recibido. Era un avión familiar, dentro un negocio familiar, en un país que todo funciona de una manera familiar...y parecía que nada podía salir mal. El martes, el mundo se despertó conmocionado, ante la no ...
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Huffington Post article
La Crisis del Agua y Las Personas Con Discapacidad
Huffington Post - 3 months
En Mayo del 2016, el gobierno boliviano reprimía con cañones de agua helada a las personas con discapacidad en La Paz, en Noviembre se acabo el agua en La Paz. ©VioletaAyala Bolivia se encuentra en Alerta Roja por la crisis de agua que ya afecta a seis regiones del país. "Bañarse es un lujo" cuenta una señora de Apaña, bien al sur de La Paz, "Aquí no llegan los cisternas y estamos recogiendo agua de un pozo" Las calles de La Paz, son un sube y baja, es una ciudad en el medio de las montañas, árida y dura ya de por si, cuesta hasta caminar cuando no estas acostumbrado a la altura. El tener que cargar baldes de agua es difícil para cualquiera, ahora imagínate si usas muletas o silla de ruedas. Si tienes paralasis cerebral, síndrome de down, si no tienes manos, o cualquier discapacidad que impida que te muevas, ¿cómo vas a recoger tu ración de agua de los cisternas? Agosto 2016, La Paz, Bolivia. ©DanFallshaw Los más vulnerables son siempre los primeros en pagar el ...
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Huffington Post article
La Guerra por el Agua
Huffington Post - 3 months
No hay agua potable desde hace 3 semanas en La Paz, Bolivia, Noviembre 2016. ©MateoRomaySalinas "¡No te saltes la cola! ¡Yo fui el primero en la fila, vete!" - Grita un hombre que lleva un balde vacío "Tengo tres hijos, estaba esperando en otro lugar, pero cuando la cisterna llegó no hubo suficiente para todos. No tenemos agua ni para tomar" responde una mujer a punto de llorar agarrando un balde azul y una pequeña niña cargando una olla más grande que ella. El oficial que está supervisando la distribución de agua, se dirige a la gente que se ha reunido para obtener su ración "Aquellos que tengan su factura de agua pagada, pueden recibir cuatro baldes". El agua está siendo distribuida en cisternas, que usualmente son usadas para llevar derivados del petróleo, y las escasas porciones que recibe la gente hace que se peleen por algo que parece más orina que agua. Vecina de Irpavi, Natascha Donoso, recibio esta agua de las cisternas en La Paz, Bolivia. ©NataschaDonoso ...
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Huffington Post article
World Leaders React To Fidel Castro’s Death
Huffington Post - 3 months
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Heads of state from around the world are reacting to Fidel Castro’s death. Allies praised the global impact and legacy of Cuba’s former president, who died aged 90 on Friday. His opponents remembered him for heading a communist regime with a poor human rights record. President Barack Obama said that “at this time of Fidel Castro’s passing, we extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people,” while President-elect Donald Trump simply confirmed the news. ...
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El Evo y El Trump
Huffington Post - 3 months
Evo Morales en campaña del referéndum para su reelección que perdió en Febrero 2016. © Violeta Ayala En más de diez años de discurso político antiimperialista que el Gobierno de Bolivia ha repetido cada ocasión posible ¿Por qué ahora desde el partido oficialista le mandan cartas al nuevo presidente Donald Trump para chismear lo que pasa en la embajada estadounidense en Bolivia? Edgar Montaño, jefe de la bancada de MAS de Santa Cruz, se tomó la molestia de escribir una carta para hacer conocer al nuevo gobernante electo de Estados Unidos, que en La Paz el pasado 8 de noviembre, su embajada adelantaba los festejos por Hillary Clinton, quejándose de que diputados de la oposición como Unidad Demócrata (UD) estaban participando y haciendo campaña por Clinton. Posteriormente el presidente Evo Morales, pidió que Estados Unidos designe un nuevo embajador en Bolivia, ya que el último, Philip Goldberg, fue expulsado del país en 2008. Ahora manifestó sus deseos de trabajar con este nuevo Go ...
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Democracia
Huffington Post - 4 months
Protesta en Standing Rock en North Dakota, Estados Unidos, 6 de Noviembre, 2016. ©JoshFox Gas pimienta, balines, cañones de agua, golpes, represión son las mejores herramientas de las fuerza del orden en el mundo, para acallar lo que el pueblo le pide a sus autoridades. ¿Es la libertad de expresión realmente un derecho fundamental de la democracia? Más parece que la palabra 'democracia' es una muletilla para mantener a los ciudadanos tranquilos, porque supuestamente nosotros tenemos, derecho a manifestarnos si las decisiones políticas que toman nuestros gobernantes, no son favorables para nuestra comunidad. En la teoría es así, en la práctica parece que no tanto. Miles de personas hacen vigilia en Standing Rock, en Dakota del Norte en Estados Unidos esperando que las autoridades hagan caso a su pedido, no quieren que un gaseoducto pase por debajo de su río, temen que cualquier desperfecto pueda contaminar su agua. La principal razón es hasta tan básica, que es increíble que ...
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Huffington Post article
¿Y si las mujeres matamos a 2 hombres cada semana?
Huffington Post - 4 months
#NiUnaMenos en Cochabamba, Bolivia. ©Andrea Monasterios Mientras miles de mujeres marchábamos en contra la violencia machista, en una de las protestas mas grandes que se ha visto en Latinoamérica en los últimos tiempos, unidas bajo la consigna de #NiUnaMenos, a Yoselin Hurtado Sánchez, una chica de 22 años, su novio la golpeaba brutalmente hasta matarla en Santa Cruz, Bolivia, el país con el segundo índice mas alto de feminicidios del continente. Yoselin, tenia planeado ir donde su abuelita al día siguiente, quería contarle un secreto ¿Qué era?, no lo sabremos nunca. Yoseline dejó a una bebe de un año en la orfandad. "Pero a pesar de todo quiero seguir adelante seguir trabajando y esforzándome por mis amorcitos necesito más fuerzas y valor para aguantar por todo lo que estoy pasando" es lo último que Juana Lilian Arteaga Montenegro de 32 años, compartió en su cuenta de Facebook el 15 de noviembre de 2013, la profesora querida del Hogar Teresa de los Andes se hacía cargo de ni ...
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Huffington Post article
Bolivia le pide a USA que erradique las uvas
Huffington Post - 4 months
Pisando uvas para hacer vino en California, USA. Uno de los aciertos más grandes del gobierno de Evo Morales, fue el de expulsar a la DEA de Bolivia y acabar con la creciente violencia que causaba la Guerra contra las drogas en el país. Como muchos bolivianos, he crecido siendo testigo de los enfrentamientos entre cocaleros y policías, en la que las muertes se volvieron cotidianas. Nuestras vidas en la Guerra contra las drogas son las desechables. Las Naciones Unidas en la convención de 1961, declara un sistema de control global a las drogas, pero las reglas para controlar a los trabajadores de estas drogas, son completamente irracionales. Se prohíbe el cultivo de tres plantas: opio, coca y cannabis, plantas milenarias, que en su mayoría crecen en el Sur del mundo: África, Asia y América Latina. Siendo otras las reglas para las drogas que provenían de precursores farmacéuticos, cuya producción está controlada por los países del Norte. Desde su concepción la Guerra contra l ...
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Evo Morales
    FIFTIES
  • 2016
    Age 56
    On February 21, 2016, a referendum was held on the question of whether Morales should be allowed to run for a fourth term when his third term would expire in 2020 which he narrowly lost.
    More Details Hide Details His approval rating had been damaged by the allegations concerning his relationship with Gabriela Zapata Montaño. That is what provokes uprisings like our own, a rebellion against a system, against a neo-liberal model, which is the representation of a savage capitalism. Figures in the Morales government have described the President's approach to politics as "Evoism" or "Evismo". From 2009, Morales has advocated "communitarian socialism", while political scientist Sven Harten characterized Morales's ideology as "eclectic", drawing ideas from "various ideological currents". Harten noted that whilst Morales uses fierce anti-imperialist and leftist rhetoric, he is neither "a hardcore anti-globalist nor a Marxist," not having argued for the violent and absolute overthrow of capitalism or U.S. involvement in Latin America. Economically, Morales' policies have sometimes been termed "Evonomics" and have focused on creating a mixed economy. Morales' presidential discourse has revolved around distinguishing between "the people", of whom he sees himself as a representative, and the oppressive socio-economic elite and the old political class, whom he believes have mistreated "the people" for centuries. Morales sought to make Bolivia's representative democracy more direct and communitarian, through the introduction of referendums and a citizen-led legislative initiative. George Philip and Francisco Panizza claimed that like his allies Correa and Chávez, Morales should be categorized as a populist, because he appealed "directly to the people against their countries' political and economic order, divided the social field into antagonistic camps and promised redistribution and recognition in a newly founded political order."
    In early February 2016 there were rumors that Morales had had a child with a woman, Gabriela Zapata Montaño, and had granted favors to the Chinese company for which she worked.
    More Details Hide Details Morales admitted that they had had a son (who had died in infancy), but denied vehemently any granting of favors and said he had not been in contact with Zapata Montaño since 2007.
  • 2015
    Age 55
    On October 17, 2015, Morales surpassed Andrés de Santa Cruz's nine years, eight months, and twenty-four days in office and became Bolivia's longest serving president.
    More Details Hide Details Writing in The Guardian, Ellie Mae O'Hagan attributes his enduring popularity not to anti-imperialist rhetoric but his "extraordinary socio-economic reforms," which resulted in poverty and extreme poverty declining by 25% and 43% respectively.
  • 2014
    Age 54
    On 31 July 2014, Morales condemned the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict and declared Israel a "terrorist state".
    More Details Hide Details Morales' second term was heavily affected by infighting and dissent from within his own support base, as indigenous and leftist activists came to oppose a number of the governments' reforms. In May 2010, Morales' government announced a 5% rise in the minimum wage. The Bolivian Workers' Central (COB) felt this insufficient given the rise in the cost of living, and called a general strike. Protesters clashed with police, although the government refused to increase the rise, accusing protesters of being pawns of the right. In August 2010, violent protests then broke out in southern Potosí over widespread unemployment and a lack of investment in infrastructure. In December 2010, the government then decreed that it would cut government subsidies for gasoline and diesel fuels, which had proved to be a major area of social spending; this resulted in a hike in prices of fuel and transport costs. Protests broke out across the country, and Morales soon agreed to nullify the decree, stating that he "ruled by obeying".
    In 2014, Morales became the oldest active professional soccer player in the world after signing a contract for 200 dollars a month with Sport Boys Warnes.
    More Details Hide Details
    After becoming the world's oldest professional footballer by signing to a Bolivian team, he was again reelected in the 2014 general election.
    More Details Hide Details Morales is a controversial world figure, lauded by his supporters as a champion of indigenous rights, anti-imperialism, and environmentalism. Praised for seriously reducing poverty and illiteracy in Bolivia, he has been internationally decorated with various awards. He has been criticised from many perspectives on the political spectrum: right-wing opponents have labelled his administration as authoritarian and radical, while leftist, indigenous, and environmentalist critics have accused him of failing to live up to many of his espoused values.
  • 2013
    Age 53
    On 2 July 2013, Bolivia's foreign minister said that the diversion of Morales's presidential plane (FAB-001, a Dassault Falcon 900EX), when Portuguese, French, Spanish and Italian authorities denied access to their airspace due to suspicions that Edward Snowden was on board the aircraft, had put the president's life at risk.
    More Details Hide Details Latin American leaders describe the incident as a "stunning violation of national sovereignty and disrespect for the region". Morales himself described the incident as a "hostage" situation. France apologized for the incident the next day. The presidents of Argentina, Ecuador, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela, Morales's political allies in the region, gathered to demand an explanation of the incident.
  • 2011
    Age 51
    The two nations restored diplomatic relations in November 2011, although Morales refused to allow the DEA back into the country.
    More Details Hide Details In October 2012, the government passed a Law of Mother Earth that banned genetically modified organisms (GMOs) being grown in Bolivia; although praised by environmentalists, it was criticised by the nation's soya growers, who claimed that it would make them less competitive on the global market.
    After the U.S. backed the 2011 military intervention in Libya by NATO forces, Morales condemned Obama, calling for his Nobel Peace Prize to be revoked.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2010
    Age 50
    Ultimately deeming the conference to have been a failure, he oversaw the World's People Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth outside of Cochabamba in April 2010. Following the victory of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, relations between Bolivia and the U.S. improved slightly, and in November 2009 the countries entered negotiations to restore diplomatic relations.
    More Details Hide Details
  • FORTIES
  • 2009
    Age 49
    In December 2009, Morales attended the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he blamed climate change on capitalism and called for a financial transactions tax to fund climate change mitigation.
    More Details Hide Details
    Many MAS activists reacted violently against the demands, and attempting to prevent this, Morales went on a five-day hunger strike in April 2009 to push the opposition to rescind their demands.
    More Details Hide Details He also agreed to allow for the introduction of a new voter registry, but insisted that it was rushed through so as not to delay the election. Morales and the MAS won with a landslide majority, polling 64.2%, while voter participation had reached an all-time high of 90%. His primary opponent, Reyes Villa, gained 27% of the vote. The MAS won a two-thirds majority in both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. Morales notably increased his support in the east of the country, with MAS gaining a majority in Tarija. In response to his victory, Morales proclaimed that he was "obligated to accelerate the pace of change and deepen socialism" in Bolivia, seeing his re-election as a mandate to further his reforms. During his second term, Morales began to speak openly of "communitarian socialism" as the ideology that he desired for Bolivia's future. He assembled a new cabinet which was 50% female, a first for Bolivia, although by 2012, that had dropped to a third. In April 2010, the departmental elections saw further gains for MAS. In 2013, the government passed a law to combat domestic violence against women.
  • 2008
    Age 48
    After it was revealed that USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives had supplied $4.5 million to the pro-autonomist departmental governments of the eastern provinces, in September 2008 Morales accused the U.S. ambassador to Bolivia, Philip Goldberg, of "conspiring against democracy" and encouraging the civil unrest, ordering him to leave the country.
    More Details Hide Details The U.S. government responded by expelling Bolivian ambassador to the U.S., Gustavo Guzman. Bolivia subsequently expelled the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from the country, while the U.S. responded by withdrawing their Peace Corps. Chávez stood in solidarity with Bolivia by ordering the U.S. ambassador Patrick Duddy out of his country and withdrawing the Venezuelan ambassador to the U.S. The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) convened a special meeting to discuss the Bolivian situation, expressing full support for Morales' government. Although unable to quell the autonomist violence, Morales' government refused to declare a state of emergency, believing that the autonomists were attempting to provoke them into doing so. Instead, they decided to compromise, entering into talks with the parliamentary opposition. As a result, 100 of the 411 elements of the Constitution were changed, with both sides compromising on certain issues. Nevertheless, the governors of the eastern provinces rejected the changes, believing it gave them insufficient autonomy, while various Indianist and leftist members of MAS felt that the amendments conceded too much to the political right. The constitution was put to a referendum in January 2009, in which it was approved by 61.4% of voters.
    In May 2008, the eastern departments pushed for greater autonomy, but Morales' government rejected the legitimacy of their position.
    More Details Hide Details They called for a referendum on recalling Morales, which saw an 83% turnout and in which Morales was ratified with 67.4% of the vote. Unified as the National Council for Democracy (CONALDE), these groups – financed by the wealthy agro-industrialist, petroleum, and financial elite – embarked on a series of destabalisation campaigns to unseat Morales' government. Unrest then broke out across eastern Bolivia, as radicalized autonomist activists established blockades, occupied airports, clashing with pro-government demonstrations, police, and armed forces. Some formed paramilitaries, bombing state companies, indigenous NGOs, and human rights organisations, also launching armed racist attacks on indigenous communities, culminating in the Pando Massacre of MAS activists. The autonomists gained support from some high-ranking politicians; Santa Cruz Governor Rubén Costas lambasted Morales and his supporters with racist epithets, accusing the president of being an Aymara fundamentalist and a totalitarian dictator responsible for state terrorism. Amid the unrest, foreign commentators began speculating on the possibility of civil war.
    Winning a recall referendum in 2008, he instituted a new constitution that established Bolivia as a plurinational state and was re-elected in 2009.
    More Details Hide Details His second term witnessed the continuation of leftist policies and Bolivia's joining of the Bank of the South and Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.
  • 2007
    Age 47
    In January 2007, clashes in Cochabamba between activist groups led to fatalities, with Morales' government sending in troops to maintain the peace.
    More Details Hide Details The left-indigenous activists formed a Revolutionary Departmental Government, but Morales denounced it as illegal and continued to recognise the legitimacy of right-wing departmental head Manfred Reyes Villa. In July 2006, an election to form a Constitutional Assembly was held, which saw the highest ever electoral turnout in the nation's history. MAS won 137 of its 255 seats, after which the Assembly was inaugurated in August. In November, the Assembly approved a new constitution, which converted the Republic of Bolivia into the Plurinational State of Bolivia, describing it as a "plurinational communal and social unified state". The constitution emphasized Bolivian sovereignty of natural resources, separated church and state, forbade foreign military bases in the country, implemented a two-term limit for the presidency, and permitted limited regional autonomy. It also enshrined every Bolivians' right to water, food, free health care, education, and housing. In enshrining the concept of plurinationalism, one commentator noted that it suggested "a profound reconfiguration of the state itself" by recognising the rights to self-determination of various nations within a single state.
    Morales' government also introduced measures to tackle Bolivia's endemic corruption; in 2007, he used a presidential decree to create the Ministry of Institutional Transparency and Fight Against Corruption. However, critics highlighted that MAS members were rarely prosecuted for the crime, the main exception being YPFB head Santos Ramírez, who was sentenced to twelve years imprisonment for corruption in 2008. Conversely, a 2009 law that permitted the retroactive prosecution for corruption led to legal cases being brought against a number of opposition politicians for alleged corruption in the pre-Morales period; many fled abroad to avoid standing trial.
    More Details Hide Details
    Under Morales, Bolivia experienced unprecedented macroeconomic strength, resulting in the increase in value of its currency, the boliviano. His first year in office ended with no fiscal deficit; the first time this had happened in Bolivia for 30 years, while during the global financial crisis of 2007–08 it maintained some of the world's highest levels of economic growth.
    More Details Hide Details Such economic strength led to a nationwide boom in construction, and allowed the state to both build up strong financial reserves. Although the levels of social spending were increased, they remained relatively conservative, with a major priority being placed on constructing paved roads, as well as community spaces such as soccer fields and union buildings. In particular, the government focused on rural infrastructure improvement, to bring roads, running water, and electricity to areas that lacked them. Their stated intention was to reduce Bolivia's most acute poverty levels from 35% to 27% of the population, and moderate poverty levels from 58.9% to 49% over five years. Welfare provision was expanded, as characterized by the introduction of non-contributory old-age pensions and payments to mothers provided their babies are taken for health checks and that their children attend school. Hundreds of free tractors were also handed out. The prices of gas and many foodstuffs were controlled, and local food producers were made to sell in the local market rather than export. A new state-owned body was also set up to distribute food at subsidized prices. All these measures helped to curb inflation, while the economy (partly because of rising public spending) grew strongly, accompanied by stronger public finances which brought economic stability.
  • 2006
    Age 46
    On International Workers' Day 2006, Morales issued a presidential decree undoing aspects of the informalization of labor which had been implemented by previous neoliberal governments; this was seen as a highly symbolic act for labor rights in Bolivia.
    More Details Hide Details In 2009 his government put forward suggested reforms to the 1939 labor laws, although lengthy discussions with trade unions hampered the reforms' progress. Morales' government increased the legal minimum wage by 50%, and reduced the pension age from 65 to 60, and then in 2010 reduced it again to 58. While policies were brought in to improve the living conditions of the working classes, conversely many middle-class Bolivians felt that they had seen their social standing decline, with Morales personally mistrusting the middle-classes, deeming them fickle. A 2006 law reallocated state-owned lands, with this agrarian reform entailing distributing land to traditional communities rather than individuals. In 2010, a law was introduced permitting the formation of recognised indigenous territories, although the implementation of this was hampered by bureaucracy and contesting claims over ownership. Morales' regime also sought to improve women's rights in Bolivia. In 2010, it founded a Unit of Depatriarchalization to oversee this provess. Further seeking to provide legal recognition and support to LGBT rights, it declared June 28 to be Sexual Minority Rights Day in the country, and encouraged the establishment of a gay-themed television show on the state channel.
    In December 2006, he attended the first South-South conference in Abuja, Nigeria, there meeting Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, whose government had recently awarded Morales the Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights.
    More Details Hide Details Morales proceeded straight to Havana for a conference celebrating Castro's life, where he gave a speech arguing for stronger links between Latin America and the Middle East to combat U.S. imperialism. Under his administration, diplomatic relations were established with Iran, with Morales praising Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a revolutionary comrade. In April 2007 he attended the first South American Energy Summit in Venezuela, arguing with many allies over the issue of biofuel, which he opposed. He had a particularly fierce argument with Brazilian President Lula over Morales' desire to bring Bolivia's refineries – which were largely owned by Brazil's Petrobrás – under state control. In May, Bolivia purchased the refineries and transferred them to the Bolivian State Petroleum Company (YPFB). Morales' government sought to encourage a model of development based upon the premise of vivir bien, or "living well". This entailed seeking social harmony, consensus, the elimination of discrimination, and wealth redistribution; in doing so, it was rooted in communal rather than individual values and owed more to indigenous Andean forms of social organization than Western ones.
    He nevertheless agreed to a referendum on regional autonomy, held in July 2006; the four eastern departments voted in favor of autonomy, but Bolivia as a whole voted against it by 57.6%.
    More Details Hide Details In September, autonomy activists launched strikes and blockades across eastern Bolivia, resulting in violent clashes with MAS activists.
    However, in June 2006, Morales announced his desire to nationalize mining, electricity, telephones, and railroads, and in February 2007 nationalized the Vinto metallurgy plant, refusing to compensate Glencore, whom the government asserted had obtained the contract illegally.
    More Details Hide Details Although the FSTMB miners' federation called for the government to nationalise the mines, the government did not do so, instead stating that any transnational corporations operating in Bolivia legally would not be expropriated.
    Upon his election to the presidency, Bolivia was South America's poorest nation. Morales' government did not initiate any fundamental change in Bolivia's economic structure, and in their National Development Plan (PDN) for 2006–10, they adhered largely to the country's previous liberal economic model.
    More Details Hide Details Bolivia's economy was based largely on the extraction of natural resources, with the nation having South America's second largest reserves of natural gas. As per his election pledge, Morales took increasing state control of this hydrocarbon industry with Supreme Decree 2870; previously, corporations paid 18% of their profits to the state, but Morales symbolically reversed this, so that 82% of profits went to the state and 18% to the companies. The oil companies threatened to take the case to the international courts or cease operating in Bolivia, but ultimately relented. Thus, where Bolivia had received $173 million from hydrocarbon extraction in 2002, by 2006 they received $1.3 billion. Although not technically a form of nationalization, Morales and his government referred to it as such, resulting in criticism from sectors of the Bolivian left.
    In April 2006, Bolivia agreed to join Cuba and Venezuela in founding the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), with Morales attending ALBA's conference in May, at which they initiated with a Peoples' Trade Agreement (PTA).
    More Details Hide Details Meanwhile, his administration became "the least US-friendly government in Bolivian history". In September Morales visited the U.S. for the first time to attend the UN General Assembly, where he gave a speech condemning U.S. President George W. Bush as a terrorist for launching the War in Afghanistan and Iraq War, and called for the UN Headquarters to be moved out of the country. In the U.S., he met with former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and with Native American groups. Relations were further strained between the two nations when in December Morales issued a Supreme Decree requiring all U.S. citizens visiting Bolivia to have a compulsory visa. His government also refused to grant legal immunity to U.S. soldiers in Bolivia; hence the U.S. cut back their military support to the country by 96%.
    He traveled to Cuba to spend time with Castro, before going to Venezuela, and then on tour to Europe, China and South Africa; he significantly avoided the U.S. In January 2006, Morales attended an indigenous spiritual ceremony at Tiwanaku where he was crowned Apu Mallku (Supreme Leader) of the Aymara, receiving gifts from indigenous peoples across Latin America.
    More Details Hide Details He thanked the goddess Pachamama for his victory and proclaimed that "With the unity of the people, we're going to end the colonial state and the neo-liberal model." Morales' inauguration took place on January 22 in La Paz. It was attended by various heads of state, including Kirchner, Chávez, Brazil's Lula da Silva, and Chile's Ricardo Lagos. Morales wore an Andeanized suit designed by fashion designer Beatriz Canedo Patiño, and gave a speech that included a minute silence in memory of cocaleros and indigenous activists killed in the struggle. He condemned Bolivia's former "colonial" regimes, likening them to South Africa under apartheid and stating that the MAS' election would lead to a "refoundation" of the country, a term that the MAS consistently used over "revolution". Morales repeated these views in his convocation of the Constituent Assembly. In taking office, Morales emphasized nationalism, anti-imperialism, and anti-neoliberalism, although did not initially refer to his administration as socialist. In what was widely termed a populist act, he immediately reduced both his own presidential wage and that of his ministers by 57% to $1,875 a month, also urging members of Congress to do the same. Morales gathered together a largely inexperienced cabinet made up of indigenous activists and leftist intellectuals, although over the first three years of government there was a rapid turnover in the cabinet as Morales replaced many of the indigenous members with trained middle-class leftist politicians.
  • 2005
    Age 45
    Morales' romantic relationship with Ernesto's mother Gabriela Zapata Montaño, from 2005 to 2007, remained unknown publicly until 2016.
    More Details Hide Details Morales has commented that he is only a Roman Catholic in order "to go to weddings", and when asked if he believed in God, responded that "I believe in the land. In my father and my mother. And in Cuchi-Cuchi." Morales is also an association football enthusiast and plays the game frequently, often with local teams. Morales's unorthodox behavior contrasts with the usual manners of dignitaries and other political leaders in Latin America. During speeches he made use of personal stories and anecdotes, and used coca as "a potent political symbol", wearing a coca leaf garland around his neck and a hat with coca leaves in it when speaking to crowds of supporters. Following his election, he wore striped jumpers rather than the suits typically worn by politicians. It became a symbol of Morales, with copies of it selling widely in Bolivia.
    Morales' administration sought to build strong links with the hard left governments of Cuba and Venezuela. In April 2005 Morales traveled to Havana for knee surgery, there meeting with the two nations' presidents, Castro and Chávez.
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    In March 2005, Mesa resigned, citing the pressure of Morales and the cocalero road blocks and riots. Amid fears of civil war, Eduardo Rodríguez became President of a transitional government, preparing Bolivia for a general election in December 2005. Hiring the Peruvian Walter Chávez as its campaign manager, the MAS electoral campaign was based on Salvador Allende's successful campaign in the Chilean presidential election, 1970.
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    Once elected in 2005, Morales increased taxation on the hydrocarbon industry to bolster social spending, emphasising projects to combat illiteracy, poverty, racism, and sexism.
    More Details Hide Details Vocally criticizing neoliberalism and reducing dependence on the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, his administration oversaw strong economic growth while following a policy termed "Evonomics" which sought to move from a liberal economic approach to a mixed economy. Scaling back U.S. influence in the country, he built relationships with leftist governments in the Latin American pink tide and signed Bolivia into the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas. Attempting to moderate the left-indigenous activist community, his administration also opposed the right-wing autonomist demands of Bolivia's eastern provinces.
  • 2002
    Age 42
    Their campaign was successful, and in the 2002 presidential election the MAS gained 20.94% of the national vote, becoming Bolivia's second largest party, being only 1.5% behind the victorious MNR, whose candidate, Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, became President.
    More Details Hide Details They won 8 seats in the Senate and 27 in the Chamber of Deputies. Now the leader of the political opposition, Morales focused on criticising government policies rather than outlining alternatives. He had several unconstructive meetings with Lozada, but also met with Venezuela's democratic socialist President Hugo Chávez for the first time. Bolivia's U.S. embassy had become publicly highly critical of Morales; just prior to the election, the U.S. ambassador to Bolivia Manuel Rocha issued a statement declaring that U.S. aid to Bolivia would be cut if MAS won the election. However, exit polls revealed that Rocha's comments had served to increase support for Morales. Following the election, the U.S. embassy maintained this critical stance, characterising Morales as a criminal and encouraging Bolivia's traditional parties to sign a broad agreement to oppose the MAS; Morales himself began alleging that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency was plotting to assassinate him.
    To do so, he claimed that Morales' inflammatory language had caused the deaths of two police officers in Sacaba near Cochabamba, however was unable to provide any evidence of Morales' culpability. 140 deputies voted for Morales' expulsion, which came about in 2002.
    More Details Hide Details Morales asserted that "This was a trial against Aymara and Quechas", while MAS activists interpreted it as evidence of the pseudo-democratic credentials of the political class. The MAS gained increasing popularity as a protest party, relying largely on widespread dissatisfaction with the existing mainstream political parties among Bolivians living in rural and poor urban areas. Morales recognized this, and much of his discourse focused on differentiating the MAS from the traditional political class.
    In 2002 he was expelled from Congress for encouraging protesters, although he came second in that year's presidential election.
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  • 2001
    Age 41
    In August 2001, Banzer resigned due to terminal illness, and Jorge Quiroga took over as President.
    More Details Hide Details Under U.S. pressure, Quiroga sought to have Morales expelled from Congress.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1999
    Age 39
    In the December 1999 municipal elections, the MAS secured 79 municipal council seats and 10 mayoral positions, gaining 3.27% of the national vote, although 70% of the vote in Cochabamba.
    More Details Hide Details In 2000, the Tunari Waters corporation doubled the price at which they sold water to Bolivian consumers, resulting in a backlash from leftist activist groups, including the cocaleros. Activists clashed with police and armed forces, in what was dubbed "the Water War", resulting in 6 dead and 175 wounded. Responding to the violence, the government removed the contract from Tunari and placed the utility under cooperative control. In ensuing years further violent protests broke out over a range of issues, resulting in more deaths both among activists and law enforcement. Much of this unrest was connected with the widespread opposition to economic liberalization across Bolivian society, with a common perception that it only benefited a small minority. In the Andean High Plateau, a cocalero group launched a guerrilla uprising under the leadership of Felipe Quispe; an ethnic separatist, he and Morales disliked each other, with Quispe considering Morales to be a traitor and an opportunist for his willingness to cooperate with White Bolivians. Morales had not taken a leading role in these protests, but did use them to get across his message that the MAS was not a single-issue party, and that rather than simply fighting for the rights of the cocalero it was arguing for structural change to the political system and a redefinition of citizenship in Bolivia.
  • 1998
    Age 38
    Continuing his activism, in 1998 Morales led another cocalero march from El Chapare to la Paz, and came under increasing criticism from the government, who repeatedly accused him of being involved in the cocaine trade and mocked him for how he spoke and his lack of education.
    More Details Hide Details Morales came to an agreement with David Añez Pedraza, the leader of a defunct yet still registered party named the Movement for Socialism (MAS); under this agreement, Morales and the Six Federaciónes could take over the party name, with Pendraza stipulating the condition that they must maintain its own acronym, name and colors. Thus the defunct right wing MAS became the flourishing left wing vehicle for the coca activist movement known as the Movement for Socialism – Political Instrument for the Sovereignty of the Peoples. The MAS would come to be described as "an indigenous-based political party that calls for the nationalization of industry, legalization of the coca leaf... and fairer distribution of national resources." The party lacked the finance available to the mainstream parties, and so relied largely on the work of volunteers in order to operate. It was not structured like other political parties, instead operating as the political wing of the social movement, with all tiers in the movement involved in decision making; this form of organisation would continue until 2004.
  • 1996
    Age 36
    In 1996, Morales was appointed chairman of the Committee of the Six Federations of the Tropics of Cochabamba, a position that he retained until 2006.
    More Details Hide Details Bolivia's National Electoral Court (Corte Nacional Electoral – CNE) refused to recognize the ASP, citing minor procedural infringements. The coca activists circumvented this problem by running under the banner of the United Left (IU), a coalition of leftist parties headed by the Communist Party of Bolivia (Partido Comunista Boliviano – PCB). They won landslide victories in those areas which were local strongholds of the movement, producing 11 mayors and 49 municipal councilors. Morales was elected to the National Congress as a representative for El Chapare, having secured 70.1% of the local vote. In the national elections of 1997, the IU/ASP gained four seats in Congress, obtaining 3.7% of the national vote, with this rising to 17.5% in the department of Cochabamba. The election resulted in the establishment of a coalition government led by the right-wing Nationalist Democratic Action (Acción Democrática Nacionalista – ADN), with Hugo Banzer as President; Morales lambasted him as "the worst politician in Bolivian history".
  • 1995
    Age 35
    He was again arrested in April 1995 during a sting operation that rounded up those at a meeting of the Andean Council of Coca Producers that he was chairing on the shores of Lake Titicaca.
    More Details Hide Details Accusing the group of plotting a coup with the aid of Colombia's FARC and Peru's Shining Path, a number of his comrades were tortured, although no evidence of a coup was brought forth and he was freed within a week. He proceeded to Argentina to attend a seminar on liberation struggles. Members of the sindicato social movement first suggested a move into the political arena in 1986. This was controversial, with many fearing that politicians would co-opt the movement for personal gain. Morales began supporting the formation of a political wing in 1989, although a consensus in favor of its formation only emerged in 1993. On March 27, 1995, at the 7th Congress of the Unique Confederation of Rural Laborers of Bolivia (Confederación Sindical Única de Trabajadores Campesinos de Bolivia – CSUTCB), a "political instrument" (a term employed over "political party") was formed, named the Assembly for the Sovereignty of the Peoples (Asamblea por la Sobernía de los Pueblos – ASP). At the ASP's 1st Congress, the CSUTCB participated alongside three other Bolivian unions, representing miners, peasants and indigenous peoples.
    Morales entered electoral politics in 1995, became the leader of the MAS and was elected to Congress.
    More Details Hide Details His campaign focused on issues affecting indigenous and poor communities. He advocates land reform and redistribution of gas wealth and gained increased visibility through the Cochabamba protests and gas conflict.
  • 1994
    Age 34
    Becoming president elect, Morales was widely described as Bolivia's first indigenous leader, at a time when around 62% of the population identified as indigenous; political analysts therefore drew comparisons with the election of Nelson Mandela to the South African Presidency in 1994.
    More Details Hide Details This resulted in widespread excitement among the approximately 40 million indigenous people in the Americas, particularly those of Bolivia. However, his election caused concern among the country's wealthy and landowning classes, who feared state expropriation and nationalisation of their property, as well as far-right groups, who claimed it would spark a race war.
    In August 1994 Morales was arrested; reporters present at the scene witnessed him being beaten and accosted with racial slurs by civil agents.
    More Details Hide Details Accused of sedition, in jail he began a dry hunger strike to protest his arrest. The following day, 3000 campesinos began a march from Villa Tunari to La Paz. Morales would be freed on September 7, and soon joined the march, which arrived at its destination on 19 September, where they covered the city with political graffiti.
  • 1992
    Age 32
    In 1992, he made various international trips to champion the cocalero cause, speaking at a conference in Cuba, and also traveling to Canada, during which he learned of his mother's death.
    More Details Hide Details In his speeches, Morales presented the coca leaf as a symbol of Andean culture that was under threat from the imperialist oppression of the U.S. In his view, the U.S. should deal with their domestic cocaine abuse problems without interfering in Bolivia, arguing that they had no right trying to eliminate coca, a legitimate product with many uses which played a rich role in Andean culture. In a speech on this issue, Morales told reporters "I am not a drug trafficker. I am a coca grower. I cultivate coca leaf, which is a natural product. I do not refine (it into) cocaine, and neither cocaine nor drugs have ever been part of the Andean culture." On another, he asserted that "We produce our coca, we bring it to the main markets, we sell it and that's where our responsibility ends."
  • TWENTIES
  • 1989
    Age 29
    In 1989 he spoke at a one-year commemoratory event of the Villa Tunari massacre in which 11 coca farmers had been killed by agents of the Rural Area Mobile Patrol Unit (Unidad Móvil Policial para Áreas Rurales – UMOPAR).
    More Details Hide Details The following day, UMOPAR agents beat Morales up, leaving him in the mountains to die, but he was rescued by other union members. To combat this violence, Morales concluded that an armed cocalero militia could launch a guerrilla war against the government, but he was soon persuaded on an electoral path to change instead.
  • 1988
    Age 28
    In 1988, Morales was elected to the position of Executive Secretary of the Federation of the Tropics.
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  • 1984
    Age 24
    Morales was personally involved in this direct activism and in 1984 was present at a roadblock where 3 campesinos were killed.
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    From 1984 to 1985 Morales served as Secretary of Records for the movement, and in 1985 he became General Secretary of the August Second Headquarters. From 1984 to 1991 the sindicatos embarked on a series of protests against the forced eradication of coca by occupying local government offices, setting up roadblocks, going on hunger strike, and organizing mass marches and demonstrations.
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  • 1983
    Age 23
    However, in 1983, Morales's father Dionisio died, and although he missed the funeral he temporarily retreated from his union work to organize his father's affairs.
    More Details Hide Details Fighting their War on Drugs, the U.S. government hoped to stem the cocaine trade by preventing the production of coca; they pressured the Bolivian government to eradicate it, sending troops to Bolivia to aid the operation. Bolivian troops would burn coca crops and in many cases beat up coca growers who challenged them. Angered by this, Evo returned to cocalero campaigning; like many comrades, he refused the US$2,500 compensation offered by the government for each acre of coca he eradicated. Deeply embedded in Bolivian culture, the campesinos had an ancestral relationship with coca and did not want to lose their most profitable means of subsistence. For them, it was an issue of national sovereignty, with the U.S. viewed as imperalists; activists regularly proclaimed "Long live coca! Death to the Yankees!" ("Causachun coca! Wañuchun yanquis!").
  • 1982
    Age 22
    Becoming increasingly active in the union, from 1982 to 1983, Morales served as the General Secretary of his local San Francisco syndicate.
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  • 1981
    Age 21
    The arrival of the Morales family was a part of a much wider migration to the region; in 1981 El Chapare's population was 40,000 but by 1988 it had risen to 215,000.
    More Details Hide Details Many Bolivians hoped to set up farms where they could earn a living growing coca, which was experiencing a steady rise in price and which could be cultivated up to four times a year; a traditional medicinal and ritual substance in Andean culture, it was also sold abroad as the key ingredient in cocaine. Evo joined the local soccer team, before founding his own team, New Horizon, which proved victorious at the August 2nd Central Tournament. The El Chapare region remained special to Morales for many years to come; during his presidency he often talked of it in speeches and regularly visited. In El Chapare, Morales joined a trade union of cocaleros (coca growers), being appointed local Secretary of Sports. Organizing soccer tournaments, among union members he earned the nickname of "the young ball player" because of his tendency to organize matches during meeting recesses. Influenced in joining the union by wider events, in 1980 the far-right General Luis García Meza had seized power in a military coup, banning other political parties and declaring himself president; for Morales, a "foundational event in his relationship with politics" occurred in 1981, when a campesino (coca grower) was accused of cocaine trafficking by soldiers, beaten up, and burned to death. In 1982 the leftist Hernán Siles Zuazo and the Democratic and Popular Union (Unidad Democrática y Popular – UDP) took power in representative democratic elections, before implementing neoliberal capitalist reforms and privatizing much of the state sector with US support; hyperinflation came under control, but unemployment rose to 25%.
  • 1980
    Age 20
    Following his military service, Evo returned to his family, who had escaped the agricultural devastation of 1980's El Niño storm cycle by relocating to the Tropics of Cochabamba in the eastern lowlands.
    More Details Hide Details Setting up home in the town of Villa 14 de Septiembre, El Chapare, using a loan from Evo's maternal uncle, the family cleared a plot of land in the forest to grow rice, oranges, grapefruit, papaya, bananas and later on coca. It was here that Morales learned to speak Quechua, the indigenous local language.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1977
    Age 17
    Morales served his mandatory military service in the Bolivian army from 1977 to 1978.
    More Details Hide Details Initially signed up at the Centre for Instruction of Special Troops (CITE) in Cochabamba, he was sent into the Fourth Ingavi Cavalry Regiment and stationed at the army headquarters in the Bolivian capital La Paz. These two years were one of Bolivia's politically most unstable periods, with five presidents and two military coups, led by General Juan Pereda and General David Padilla respectively; under the latter's regime, Morales was stationed as a guard at the Palacio Quemado (Presidential Palace).
    After finishing primary education, Morales attended the Agrarian Humanistic Technical Institute of Orinoca (ITAHO), completing all but the final year. His parents then sent him to study for a degree in Oruro; although he did poorly academically, he finished all of his courses and exams by 1977, earning money on the side as a brick-maker, day labourer, baker and a trumpet player for the Royal Imperial Band.
    More Details Hide Details The latter position allowed him to travel across Bolivia. At the end of his higher education he failed to collect his degree certificate. Although interested in studying journalism, he did not pursue it as a profession.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1959
    Born
    Morales was born in the small rural village of Isallawi in Orinoca Canton, part of western Bolivia's Oruro Department, on 26 October 1959.
    More Details Hide Details One of seven children born to Dionisio Morales Choque and Maria Ayma, only he and two siblings, Esther and Hugo, survived past childhood. His mother almost died from a postpartum haemorrhage following his birth. Ethnically identifying as a member of the indigenous Aymara people, in keeping with Aymara custom, his father buried the placenta produced after his birth in a place specially chosen for the occasion. His childhood home was a traditional adobe house, and he grew up speaking the Aymara language, although later commentators would remark that by the time he had become president he was no longer an entirely fluent speaker. Morales's family were farmers; from an early age, he helped them to plant and harvest crops and guard their herd of llamas and sheep, taking a homemade soccer ball to amuse himself. As a toddler, he briefly attended Orinoca's preparatory school, and at five began schooling at the single-room primary school in Isallawi. Aged 6, he spent six months in northern Argentina with his sister and father. There, Dionisio harvested sugar cane while Evo sold ice cream and briefly attended a Spanish-language school. As a child, he regularly traveled on foot to Arani province in Cochabamba with his father and their llamas, a journey lasting up to two weeks, in order to exchange salt and potatoes for maize and coca. A big fan of soccer, at age 13 he organised a community soccer team with himself as team captain.
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