[Marxism] Bolivian Indigenous Revolution

Ren modernity22 at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 30 21:38:35 MST 2004



Peasant Power in Bolivia

Indigenous people are a majority in the country, but
many feel that the government has failed them. So
they’re taking over.

By Héctor Tobar
Times Staff Writer

SORATA, Bolivia — The police won't return to this
village in the Andes unless the peasants promise not
to throw rocks at them.

The peasants rose up and chased the police out months
ago, along with the local representative of the
provincial government, the judges and even the army.
The authorities fled Sept. 20 in the face of a crowd
of Aymara Indians armed with little more than sticks
and stones, enraged by an insult uttered by an army
general hours earlier, and moved by centuries of
pent-up frustration.

Since the uprising, this corner of Bolivia — where the
dry Altiplano, a high plateau, around Lake Titicaca
meets lush tropical mountains — has become a kind of
an Indian liberated zone.

"Before, they were the bosses. They made us work, they
would run everything," said Felix Puña Mamani, a
resident of the neighboring village of Viacha,
referring to the people of European descent who have
dominated Bolivian society since the 16th century
Spanish conquest. "But people realize what's going on
now. It's not like it was before."

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