With the horror in Haiti, we could all use some good news that we will not hear in the mainstream media. On Thursday January 21, Aymara elders and Indigenous people from across Bolivia and the Americas will gather at the inauguration of Evo Morales as leader of Abya Yala, the Indigenous name meaning Our America. On the following day, he will be inaugurated as President of Bolivia for the second time. Up until Evo's regime, Bolivia was the second poorest country in the Americas after Haiti.
I heard about this from my friend Susan Harvie who lived in Bolivia for nine years and has close friends in the MAS, the political movement that Evo leads. "The Original Nations/Indigenous Peoples’ organizations have announced that on Thursday at the “real” inauguration in Tiawanaku, Evo will be named the “spiritual leader” of the Original Nations/Indigenous Peoples of Bolivia. Last time, he was named the “maximum authority”, essentially a political title, only. It would be hard to overstate the significance of adding the “spiritual leader” designation."
Indeed to be named spiritual leader at the same time as being elected political leader is something that to my knowledge has never happened before, anywhere. More than 500 years after the imposition of colonialism on the Indigenous peoples of the Americas. it is an event of such historic signifcance, it should be front page news around the world. What amazing hope for humanity, especially given what Bolvia has achieved under his leadership so far.
But Evo Morales believes that capitalism is at the root of many of the problems facing humanity. He is leading a peaceful social and political revolution rooted in Indigenous values and ideas and that is too big a threat to the powers that be for us to hear much about him.
So the only article I could find in English was a transcript from Radio Havana. I have written several times about Bolivia in my blog and in my book Transforming Power: From the Personal to the Political. You can keep track of developments in Bolivia at the blog Bolivia Rising. This video produced by Toronto Bolivia Solidarity will give you a good idea of the movements supporting Evo.
First Indigenous Inauguration in 2006
Martin Luther King was also a spiritual and political leader so it is particularly fitting that I received this news on his birthday, which has been declared a holiday in the United States. I have long felt that Bolivia represented the greatest hope for humanity. Today more than ever.
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