El resorte de la conflictividad en Bolivia: Dinámicas, riesgos y transformaciones, 2000-2008
Author: Cinthya Nicole Jordan Prudencio (Trinity Hall 2016)
Publisher: Vicepresidencia del Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia
Between 2000 and 2008 in Bolivia, numerous and violent social conflicts, with deep historical roots took over the national stage. People belonging to different sectors and socioeconomic backgrounds united their protests and redirected them to complain about the government’s performance and policies. They demanded more inclusion in decision-making processes regarding the management of natural resources and the distribution of revenues. There was a general sense of mistrust in public institutions and authorities, as well as an increasing discontent with the political party ruling the country at the time. The indigenous populations, who for centuries had remained at the margins of politics and at the bottom of the economic structure, were the ones who led the social upheavals. As a result, the President at the time was forced to abdicate. Emergency elections took place. For the first time in Bolivian history, an indigenous President was elected. It seemed like conflict had become the main motor of social change. But there was a very thin line between constructive and destructive change. Daily riots and confrontations fragmented a country already divided by its enduring colonial legacy. With the increase of ethnical, social, and political tensions, the words "civil war" appeared in the discourse of social leaders and in the chants of the angry population. For sporadic moments, it seemed like an armed conflict was inevitable. Despite the grim scenario, the conflicts where channelled through democratic mechanisms and negotiations, which restored peace to a restless and collapsing society. This book tries to understand the underlying structural, political, economic, and cultural factors behind three of the most critical conflicts of that period, and tries to answer the question: what prevented the outburst of an armed conflict in Bolivia?