Sunday, January 24, 2010

Evo's New Cabinet 50% Women, Sacks 3 Incumbents

President Evo Morales has made a surprising reshuffle of his government ministers, sacking several hard liners close to Vice-President Garcia Linera and installing more women and indigenous leaders.
The oaths of office broke a centuries-old tradition as they were sworn over a copy of the new Constitution and not over the Catholic Bible and Cross of Jesus as had always occured in Bolivia previously.   Female ministers now include:  Elizabeth Arismendi Chumacero Minister of State Legal Defense,  Elba Viviana Caro Hinojosa as Minister of Planning and Development,  Antonia Rodríguez Medrano as Minister o Productive Development and Plural-Economy, Nilda Copa Condori as Minister of Justice, Carmen Trujillo Cárdenas as Labor Minister, Sonia Polo Andrade and Minister of Health and Sports,  María Esther Udaeta Velásquez as Environment and Water Minister, Nemesia Achacollo Tola as Minister of Rural Development and Lands, Nardi Suxo was re-appointed as Minister of Institutional Transparency and Zulma Yugar Párraga as Minister of Culture.

In a suprising move, Evo has named 3 ministers from the opposition state of Santa Cruz. Luis Fernando Vincenti Vargas was named as the powerful Minister of Hydrocarbons and Energy, seen as a token olive branch towards the opposition in oil-rich state like Santa Cruz. Carlos Romero from Santa Cruz was appointed as the Minister of Autonomies, and Cruceña Nemesia Achacollo Tola as Minister of Rural Development and Lands.

In another surprising reshuffle, Sacha Llorenti went from being Defender of Human Rights to Minister of Defense, replacing MAS party stalwart Walker San Miguel. The indigenous leader or mallku of CONAMAQ, the National Counsel of Ayllus and Markas del Qollasuyo, Rafael Quispe expressed frustration at the appointments saying, "This is not a pluri-national cabinet like was manifested in Tiwanaku and in his (Evo's) speech." ANF  Opposition was also expressed by the Movement to Socialism party leaders in Chuquisaca (Sucre) because their recommendations were not taken up by Morales.

Both supporters and critics of Morales' socialist agenda can agree that this new cabinet is a victory for women in Bolivia, a traditional society full of machismo where women are often excluded from high ranking positions. Evo announced as the swearing-in ceremony "This is for my mother, my sister and my daughter."


  1. Sacha Llorenti is not the new Minister of Defense, that's an error made by "El Día". Sacha Llorenti is now Minister of Government and he was, before, Vice-minister of Coordination with the Social Movements.

    The new Minister of Defense is Rubén Saavedra Soto, he was not a minister before.

  2. Thanks for the correction! Please, let us know anytime you encounter any errors. PS we're looking for people to cover specific areas like politics, sports, culture etc if you're interested in applying...

  3. Well, thank you very much. But I think I'll pass, I'm pretty busy with new projects now.

    However, if I'm able some time from now I'll be honored.