Sunday, February 7, 2010

Indigenous Groups Criticize Evo & Bureaucracy

Several different indigenous groups over the past week have denounced Evo Morales and the MAS government as overly bureaucratic and only representing the interests of large Andean indigenous groups. 

On Friday, February 5th, the representative of the Ethnic Peoples of Santa Cruz Coordinator (CPESC), Eneida Charupa denounced that President Morales did not respect their list of candidates to represent their five tribes in the upcoming April regional elections.  Charupa complained that the indigenous Guarayos, Guaranís, Chiquitos and Yuracaré Mojeños are being excluded from the regional elections and decried the Morales government for paralyzing indigenous groups to act outside of the strict Movement to Socialism party bureaucracy. 

Likewise, the Indigenous News Network interviewed Antonio Machaca, the former Mallku or spiritual leader of CONAMAQ the National Counsel of Qollasuyu Markas and Ayllus, who lambasted Morales as someone who "takes power rather than building power".  Machaca said that this attitude conflicts with ancestral Aymara philosophy of concesus building and shared power. Machaca said that indigenous people have little power in Bolivia and that despite Evo Morales' indigenous background, he still needs to creates more links with indigenous groups. 

Machaca said, "We indigenous authorities maintain an ancestral philosophy which is the construction of power, not the immediate taking of power, for them (the MAS government) they should have a constant process of political and ideological formation without forcing us to play certain roles. We have always questioned brother Evo Morales but we're also conscious that as an indigenous movement we must fight for change." 

Machaca softened his tone somewhat explained that the construction of power should come from the grassroots of each region.  He said, "We are living through an unprecedented transition because we were manipulated by the neoliberal governments that were very distanced from indigenous peoples, but this chapter of change will be very dificult, but we believe that through the social sectors this change will be possible." 

At the same gathering the President of CIDOB the Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Bolivia, Aldofo Chávez said that indigenous people from the Amazonian regions do not feel represented in the Plurinational State, nor are they a part of President Morales' cabinet or team.  Chávez said, "These people that serve as ministers of the President and all Bolivians have forgotten about reaching out to Eastern Bolivia, with the Chaco, with the Amazon, they are just seeing the West and trying to make little patches but I believe that here comes the reaction not only of the Guaraní People's Assembly but of other groups that have just spoken out." Chávez stopped short of denouncing the Morales government and said, "There is still the possibility to correct this. I believe that in practice, this multi-culturalism has to be corrected and we have to help re-direct these things." 

The only indigenous member of the Morales cabinet, Antonia Rodríguez is closely linked to union groups, not indigenous groups and the rest of the 20 member cabinet is considered non-indigenous by CIDOB.

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