The De-Legitimation of Evo Morales
Haverford College. Department of Sociology
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In 2005, Bolivia elected its first indigenous president, Evo Morales, to office. Morales ran on a radical platform of socialist reform and indigenous empowerment, and in doing so became the first president to earn over 50% of Bolivia's popular vote. Over the course of his presidency, Morales succeeded in carrying out many of his campaign promises: significant improvements were made to Bolivia's infrastructure, economy, and public schools, and the country drastically reduced rates of illiteracy and poverty. Yet, nearly 15 years later, Morales was removed from power following mass protests and pressure from the Bolivian military. He fled the country along with many of his party's elected officials, leaving Jeanine Añez Chavez, a right-wing politician with an explicitly anti-indigenous agenda to serve as the interim president. This paper seeks to answer the question of why this transition of power took place, considering that many of Morales' policies were successful in actualizing many of his campaign promises which had mobilized revolutionary support less than 20 years ago—or more simply put, what caused such a dramatic shift in the values reflected by Bolivia's political leadership?