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5 years after 21-F

Today marks five years of the referendum to consult Bolivians if they accepted that Evo Morales and Álvaro García Linera once again become candidates for the country’s Presidency and Vice-presidency. In that consultation, Bolivia said that it did not agree. The difference was not huge, but a majority of the citizens rejected Morales’ desire for extension.

Five years ago a turning point was marked in the country’s history. On the one hand, Morales and García Linera’s desire to perpetuate themselves marked the beginning of their downfall. On the other hand, it was the beginning of a citizen awakening to be part and decide on the political life of the country, after a long lethargy.

The result of 21-F was not respected by the MAS and quickly its lawyers (accustomed to « fixing the decisions of the president ») sought the chicana to impose re-election; For this they used nothing more and nothing less than the Plurinational Constitutional Court, whose members lent themselves and were later « awarded » with sticks or embassies.

What the MAS did not calculate was that Bolivians were already tired of so much abuse and manipulation. It was 2017 when the self-convocation of marches and protests made the emergence of young people, women and the population in general see the emergence, assuming the defense of democracy with the cry that demanded the vote of popular respect.

What has been described shows a process that began in February 2016 and that on November 10, 2020 led to the resignation of Evo Morales, after evidence of the crude manipulation of the electoral system (certified by the Organization of American States and the European Union ). Far from having learned the lesson, the MAS intended to once again violate the popular will and ignore the vote.

Now the MAS seeks to erase that part of history, recounting its vision of the events. A painful attitude that only sows the path of disappointment in those who believed that another Bolivia: without manipulation or abusive exercise of power it was possible.

Between 2019 and 2021 there was a year, that of the pandemic, which hurt the economy, highlighted Bolivia’s health weakness, and was led by a government that did not know how to embody what the people were waiting for; on the contrary, it damaged the faith with a very serious act of corruption, because the desperation of the people was used to enrich some revived.

Bolivia went to the polls and gave the victory to Luis Arce Catacora, who won with 55% of the votes, a legitimacy that would allow him to unite the country, demonstrate that it is possible to govern with respect for all; But unfortunately so far it has been demonstrating by leaps and bounds that it repeats the experience of the abuse of power by wanting to impose a vision that does not include all Bolivians, a recentralization and a desire not to accept, but to crush, dissident voices. Withdrawing the national coat of arms and passing a health emergency law that denies science and autonomies are proof of that.

At the head there is a party opposition that does not measure up and that does not manage to generate an institutional or discursive brake on the efforts of imposition.

It is there where the value of citizen leadership is revived, since Bolivians know that they have the power to achieve important changes and make the voice of the people the only valid voice in the complex construction of this suffering Bolivia.

Five years after 21-F, it remains to be known if what has been experienced in a five-year period remains a jenecherú (fire that never goes out) or if the story of the “coup d’état”, which denies the manipulation of the elections, is imposed on the community. The conscience of the citizen is fundamental in this stage of history.

Today marks five years of the referendum to consult Bolivians if they accepted that Evo Morales and Álvaro García Linera once again become candidates for the country’s Presidency and Vice-presidency. In that consultation, Bolivia said that it did not agree. The difference was not abysmal, but a majority of the citizens rejected Morales’ desire for extension.

Five years ago a turning point was marked in the history of the country. On the one hand, Morales and García Linera’s desire to perpetuate themselves marked the beginning of their downfall. On the other hand, it was the beginning of a citizen awakening to be part and decide on the political life of the country, after a long lethargy.

The result of 21-F was not respected by the MAS and quickly its lawyers (accustomed to « fixing the president’s determinations ») sought the chicana to impose re-election; For this they used nothing more and nothing less than the Plurinational Constitutional Court, whose members lent themselves and then were « awarded » with sticks or embassies.

What the MAS did not calculate was that Bolivians were already tired of so much abuse and manipulation. It was 2017 when the self-convocation of marches and protests showed the emergence of young people, women and the population in general, assuming the defense of democracy with the cry that demanded the vote of popular respect.

What has been described shows a process that began in February 2016 and that on November 10, 2020 led to the resignation of Evo Morales, after evidence of the crude manipulation of the electoral system (certified by the Organization of American States and the European Union ). Far from having learned the lesson, the MAS intended to once again violate the popular will and ignore the vote.

Now the MAS seeks to erase that part of history, recounting its vision of the events. A painful attitude that only sows the path of disappointment in those who believed that another Bolivia: without manipulation or abusive exercise of power it was possible.

Between 2019 and 2021 there was a year, that of the pandemic, which hurt the economy, highlighted Bolivia’s health weakness, and was led by a government that did not know how to embody what the people were waiting for; on the contrary, he damaged the faith with a very serious act of corruption, because the desperation of the people was used to enrich some revived.

Bolivia went to the polls and gave the victory to Luis Arce Catacora, who won with 55% of the votes, a legitimacy that would allow him to unite the country, demonstrate that it is possible to govern with respect for all; but unfortunately so far it has been demonstrating by leaps and bounds that it repeats the experience of the abuse of power by wanting to impose a vision that does not include all Bolivians, a recentralization and a desire not to accept, but to crush, dissident voices. Withdrawing the national coat of arms and passing a health emergency law that denies science and autonomies are proof of that.

At the head there is a party opposition that does not measure up and that does not manage to generate an institutional or discursive brake on the efforts of imposition.

It is there where the value of citizen leadership is revived, since Bolivians know that they have the power to achieve important changes and make the voice of the people the only valid voice in the complex construction of this suffering Bolivia.

Five years after 21-F, it remains to be seen if what has been lived in a five-year period remains like a jenecherú (fire that never goes out) or if the story of the “coup”, which denies the manipulation of the elections, is imposed on the community. The conscience of the citizen is fundamental in this stage of history.

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