In 2002, Sanchez Lozada is reelected president and follows the
same neoliberal policy, supported by the IMF, which will lead to numerous
strikes (against the loss of wages for public officers, the increase of taxes, and
the exploitation of natural gases by a private company…).
This will ends with a general strike for many days in La Paz;
Sanchez Lozada quits in 2003. He is replaced by Carlos Mesa who will also quit
two years later. The political life in Bolivia becomes a true Chinese puzzle,
and elections are planned for 2005 (two years before the normal deadlines).
To the great surprise of most of the people, Evo Morales Ayma is
elected. Dissenting leader and representative of cocaleros during the 2003’s
manifestations, he represents the aspiration for an independence against the
United States and a real democratic alternative, going through the recognition
of indigenous cultures. He quickly nationalizes the oil industry, encourages
the bilingual education and convenes a Constitutional Assembly.
But the economic interests that are present are so important,
and social resistances are so strong that these policies cause an outcry from
the dominant elite of Santa Cruz, who block the constitutional process with
It is supported by the United States because Morales encourages culture
of coca, as a cultural element, which they obviously do not like. Moreover, strikes
and social confrontations are still present, against the agricultural reform
that is proposed, against numerous reforms that are seen as too week or too
much, between the different sectors of the society that are discussing the
Postponed in 2010, Evo Morales has to deal, more and more, with
double resistances, the one of the neoliberal and conservative elite, and the
one of the social contestations. It has been the case especially during the
judicial elections of October 2011; social progress or populist absurdity?