January 12, 2007
At least two people died in Cochabamba after supporters of President Evo Morales (mostly peasants) launched fierce protests to demand the resignation of Governor Gov. Manfred Reyes Villa. Gov. Reyes is a former mayor of the city and was a right-wing candidate for president under the "New Republican Force" in 2005. This represents an escalation in the mortal showdown between Morales and the poltical establishment in Bolivia, which currently wields power primarily at the provincial level. See CNN.com. The separatist movements that began in Santa Cruz last year spread to other provinces last month, and Morales has decided to unleash his mobs to fight back and attain complete contro of the country. At issue is widespread resistance to the proposed constitutional revision, which Morales justifies in terms of giving power back to the Indian people, but which would remove almost all restraints on power wielded by the central government in La Paz. In other words, it is the same thing Hugo Chavez is trying to do in Venezuela. According to bolivia.com (in Spanish), the roadblocks put up by the demonstrators have been removed. This situation resembles what has been happening in Oaxaca, Mexico for the past eight months, as leftist demonstrators try to force the incumbent governor to resign.
I have upgraded the functionality of the Latin America 2006 archives page by creating separate annual archive pages for each country. [This new archive retrieval system] picks blog posts based on the occurrence of the name near the top of each blog post, so it will omit posts in which the country was mentioned toward the latter part of the blog post. [In fact, for some smaller countries, there may be zero posts for the entire year!] Still, it's a good way to quickly find out the most important things that happened in each country on a year-by-year basis. Country archive pages for 2005 will be coming soon.