The Evo Morales election victory: what does it mean for South America?

Last December’s landslide election victory of Evo Morales in Bolivia’s presidential elections sent ripples throughout Latin America. As the first indigenous-born leader of an overwhelmingly indigenous country, Morales’s inauguration brought indigenous groups from all over the Western Hemisphere to La Paz. Morales’ election also challenged issues such as privatisation, economic integration and the US position on coca eradication. How far will Morales be able to go in implementing his agenda for change, and what will it mean for other countries in Latin America in a year when most of them also have elections? And how will the United States respond? John Crabtree is a Research Associate at Oxford University’s Centre for Latin American Studies. He is the author of ‘Peru under Garcia: Opportunity Lost’ (Macmillan, 1992), ‘Fujimori’s Peru’ (ILAS, 1998), and ‘Patterns of Protest: Politics and Social Movements in Bolivia’ (Latin America Bureau, 2005). Venezuela Information Centre