[act-ma] 4/22 Evo Morales in Providence
cwelch at tecschange.org
Sun Apr 6 13:03:59 PDT 2008
Unfortunately he will NOT be coming to Boston. He is coming to the UN
and a quick side trip to Providence.
Evo Morales -- From the Andes: New Visions, New Voices
Tuesday, April 22, 2008 at 4:00 PM
/Stephen A. Ogden Jr. '60 Memorial Lecture
*"From the Andes: New Visions, New Voices,"* with Bolivian President Evo
Morales was born in October 1959 to a poor Aymara family in the town of
Orinoca in the Bolivian highlands. As a young boy he worked as an
agricultural laborer and llama herder. To pay for his studies, Morales
later worked as a brickmaker, baker, and musician.
Having left his formal studies at the Beltrán Ávila de Oruro high
school, Morales began his political career in 1983 when he was named
sports secretary for his union. Advancing rapidly, he was named
secretary general in 1985, executive secretary of the Confederation of
the Region in 1988, and president of the Coordinating Committee of Six
Federations of the Region of the Chapare in Cochabamba in 1996. Morales
was also active in political issues in Cochabamba, such as the
controversy over water privatization in the region, which threatened to
make water inaccessible to most of the poor population.
Morales became active in the national government in 1997, when he was
first elected as a representative to the National Assembly. In the late
1990s, Morales became leader of a left-leaning political party, which
won an astonishing 36 seats in congress in the 2002 elections. When
Morales ran for president in 2005, he won with 53 percent of the vote.
He has made redressing the effects of centuries of discrimination and
oppression experienced by Bolivia’s indigenous groups a top priority of
his presidency. Approximately 60 percent of Bolivia’s population is
The principle measures of his government have been the nationalization
of hydrocarbons, redistribution of land to indigenous peoples, and the
installation of the Constituent Assembly.
Like many in his country, Morales views the coca plant as an important
part of indigenous culture. In its natural form, coca is used by many
Bolivians for medicinal purposes and is considered sacred, but it can
also be refined to produce the powerfully addictive drug, cocaine.
Morales has been an outspoken critic of U.S. drug policy and of
U.S.-backed coca eradication programs, in favor of a drug policy that he
believes does not harm the livelihoods and cultural heritage of small
Directions to Watson Institute
Watson_Institute at Brown.edu <mailto:Watson_Institute at Brown.edu>
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