Things That Matter

Now That Evo Morales Is In Mexico, Here Is What Bolivia’s Interim President Has Planned

The past few months have been a political and social turmoil in Bolivia. The South American nation has seen power shift from the leftist Evo Morales, who was reelected but then was forced to resigned due to electoral irregularities, to a self-proclaimed female president, Jeanine Áñez, who has made it clear that her political compass moves to the right. She even proclaimed that the Bible was back after the ousted Evo left for Mexico. The separation of Church and State that has permeated Bolivian politics during the Evo Morales 13-year administration was factually erased when Jeanine Áñez took power. 

Violence has escalated since Evo Morales went into exile in Mexico.

Credit: KaosEnLaRed

Bolivia has experiences gruelling scenes since Evo left, as security forces, many of which have stated an ultra-conservative and anti-indigenous stance, have cracked down on protestors. As Postmedia Breaking News reports, this week saw heartbreaking events that have resulted in deaths and the further segregation of pro-Morales indigenous communities: “Supporters of ousted Bolivian leader Evo Morales marched into the capital La Paz on Thursday carrying coffins of people killed in clashes with the military and police, drawing attention to the human cost of the crisis gripping the South American nation.”

This scene reminds us of other places where state forces use fatal force against protestors, such as the Palestinian territories. International bodies are alarmed at the escalation of violence. As CE Noticias Financieras reports, José Miguel Vivanco, Director for the Americas at Human Rights Watch, has stated: “We are deeply concerned about the measures taken by the Bolivian authorities, which seem to prioritize the brutal repression of opponents and critics and give the military a blank check to commit abuses, rather than focusing on restoring the rule of law in the country.”

All eyes are on Jeanine Áñez, the now president who has said that indigenous costumes are “satanic” and do not belong in the capital city of La Paz. 

Jeanine Áñez has now sent a project to Congress to hold elections, but so has MAS, Morales’ party.

Credit: Eduard Ibanez / Getty

In the past month, 32 people have died after Morales’ departure has triggered social unrest and deep divisions in an already polarized nation. To curb violence, Congress, also known as The Plurinational Legislative Assembly,  is considering two projects: one of the provisional government of Jeanine Añez and another from Movement to Socialism (MAS), Morales’ political party. The chairman of the commission expressed the urgency of holding elections as soon as possible, as the bloodshed could intensify As CE Noticias Financieras reports, he said that the confrontational political climate in the country is intensifying, and that they have to solve “this demand for elections in the shortest possible time, with a new electoral court with reliable men and women”. The sitting and self-proclaimed president has been vocal in the need for elections, blaming the crisis on the alleged fraud committed by Morales: “This bill can be perfected and serve as a basis for consensus. The electoral fraud caused the convulsion that the country is experiencing”.  

But would Morales run for the presidency again? Unlikely.

Credit: Gulf News

The big elephant in the room is of course whether Morales can run again. As CE Noticias Financieras reports, “Senators and deputies should agree on election dates and decide whether Morales can stand for election”. The MAS, however, has hinted that they would choose someone else to run for president. As the Associated Press reported: “While some Morales supporters want him to return from exile and he has described himself as “president-elect,” some leading lawmakers in his party are taking a more nuanced position”. 

However, Evo Morales could return and play a different political role.

Credit: Latino USA

The now ex-president Evo Morales has been a fierce critic of State repression during his stay in Mexico, and has said that he is more than willing to return to Bolivia. But Bolivia is now basically split between pro and anti-Evo groups, so under this climate of polarization his return could trigger more violence.

However, indigenous voices are being shut down and they need a line of political defense. As Matthew Peter Casey wrote in The Conversation in relation of the worries many original owners of the land now known as Bolivia have in regards to their place in today’s sociopolitical climate : “Many say they fear repression from the military under the interim government. They worry that the political violence that has gripped Bolivia since its Oct. 20 election will turn into a racialized, religious violence targeting indigenous people”. This polarization is also taking religious connotations, as Catholic hegemony is being sought in government, while indigenous groups seek to preserve their customs and beliefs.

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AOC Gets Under Ted Cruz’s Skin With Crack About His Mexican Getaway After He Accuses Her Of Pushing For ‘open borders’

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AOC Gets Under Ted Cruz’s Skin With Crack About His Mexican Getaway After He Accuses Her Of Pushing For ‘open borders’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ted Cruz are at it again on Twitter. This time it’s about immigration policy. After recently traveling to the US-Mexican border to underline the recent rise in immigration, Cruz accused AOC of pushing for a “full open borders” policy.

And of course, AOC got him with some solid zingers.

AOC in turn hit back at Cruz for recently fleeing his home state of Texas during its power grid collapse to vacation in Cancún.

In response to Cruz’s attack, AOC suggested Mexico avoid allowing Cruz in the next time he attempts to vacation there. She also called on him to resign from office for his attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

“Ted, this is pretty rich coming from someone who fled their own home (and responsibilities) during an environmental crisis to cross the border and seek refuge in Mexico,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Also you funded cages, expanded cages, and yet you’re complaining about cages. You have no policy, just puff.”

Ocasio-Cortez accused Republicans of hypocritically attacking the current administration’s detention of migrant children at the border after they supported President Donald Trump’s policy of separating migrant parents from their children.

Currently, Democrats like AOC are calling on Biden to impliment more liberal immigration policies.

Republicans have strongly expressed their dislike for the recent rise in migrants which has come as a result of Biden’s reversal of Trump’s most rigid border policies.

AOC is currently a co-sponsor of the Roadmap to Freedom resolution. The resolution calls on the Federal Government to develop and implement a Roadmap to Freedom “in order to overhaul the outdated immigration system in the United States that has gone without significant reform for decades, and to relieve the great human impact an unjust system bears on communities around the country.”

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An Alleged Rapist Is Running For Governor In Mexico And Still Has The Support Of President AMLO

Things That Matter

An Alleged Rapist Is Running For Governor In Mexico And Still Has The Support Of President AMLO

For years, Mexicans have been taking to the streets to denounce violence against women and to demand accountability from their leaders. However, much of that messaging doesn’t seem to have reached the very top as President Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) continues to support a candidate for governor facing multiple allegations of sexual assault.

A candidate for governor faces multiple sexual assault allegations and still enjoys widespread support.

Félix Salgado Macedonio, a federal senator (currently on leave) is accused of sexually assaulting five women and yet is still in the running for governor of Guerrero.

Despite the accusations he faces, 64-year-old Salgado, has maintained the support of President AMLO, who has claimed that the allegations are politically motivated, and other high-ranking party officials including national party president Mario Delgado. He was considered the frontrunner in the election for governor.

AMLO came to the candidates defense, calling on people to stop politicking and avoid “media lynchings” and asserting that people should trust the party process that was used to select Salgado as candidate.

“We have to have confidence in the people, it’s the people who decide. If polls are taken and and the people say ‘I agree with this colleague [being candidate],’ I think that must be respected. Politics is a matter for everyone, not just the elites,” López Obrador said.

The MORENA party has committed to reselecting its candidate for governor but Salgado is still in the running.

Officials from the MORENA party announced that they would conduct a new selection process to find a contender for the June 6 election. The party’s honesty and justice commission said its members had voted unanimously to order a repeat of the selection process.

While the honesty and justice commission has ordered a new candidate selection process, Salgado was not precluded from participating in it. He indicated in a social media post on Friday night that he planned to seek the party’s backing for a second time.

“Cheer up colleagues! There is [still fight in the] bull,” Salgado wrote on Facebook.

Activists continue to fight back against his candidacy and the president’s support for an alleged rapist.

Women have protested in Mexico City and Guerrero state capital Chilpancingo and the hashtag #NingúnVioladorSeráGobernador (No Rapist Will be Governor) has been used countless times on Twitter.

Yolitzin Jaimes, a member of the feminist collective Las Revueltas, said the withdrawal of Salgado’s candidacy is a positive first step but urged the authorities to continue investigating the rape allegations.

“… He has to go to jail, … he mustn’t return to the Senate and he mustn’t be nominated [for governor] by any political party because … it’s very probable that he’s seeking to go to the Labor Party [a Morena ally],” she said.

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