Inside the scramble to fill the power vacuum and name a leader to guide the country out of political chaos.
LA PAZ, Bolivia — A day after the downfall of Bolivia’s longest-serving president, Evo Morales, the country was in chaos: Soldiers and protesters were out in the streets, looters terrorized the suburbs and no one was in charge.
Catholic church leaders called an urgent meeting of the country’s main political forces on that Monday, Nov. 11, to decide who should take the reins. The line of succession leading out of the power vacuum traced to Jeanine Añez, a senator from a remote tropical region who had sat out October’s elections and was about to retire.
“Who was Jeanine? No one knew,” said Jorge Quiroga, a former president of Bolivia and a conservative statesman who helped organize its political transition this month. “But we knew that she was the only constitutional thread that we had.”
In two days, Ms. Añez rose from political obscurity to supplant Mr. Morales, the country’s first Indigenous leader and a leftist who led with a single-minded pursuit of his vision for 14 years.
The story behind Ms. Añez’s rise, told by five people in the meetings that decided the country’s future, is a story of stunted political parties and a bitterly divided society, which continue to convulse this South American nation.
Much was at stake. As looting and violence escalated, Bolivia’s civilian leaders became increasingly worried that generals might take control to restore order, returning the country to its dark history of military dictatorships.
“The probability of this was growing by the hour,” said Samuel Doria, a Bolivian cement magnate and conservative politician involved in the transition talks.
Mr. Morales’s fall began when he decided to run for an unprecedented fourth term, disregarding term limits that he himself had approved. He declared victory after the elections in late October, but the results were widely contested and the country exploded in protests.
The demonstrations spread for weeks, reaching a climax on Nov. 8, when police officers joined the protesters and the military refused to support Mr. Morales.
Abandoned by allies, he denounced “a civic, military and police coup” against him and fled the administrative capital, La Paz, on Nov. 10 for his stronghold in the coca farming region in central Bolivia where he began his political career. From his hide-out on a farm deep in tropical foothills pocketed with coca plots, Mr. Morales took to Twitter to denounce his opponents as “racists” and mobilize allies.
He posted on Twitter on Nov. 11 that his supporters “have never abandoned me; I will never abandon them.”
Credit…Federico Rios for The New York Times
Ms. Añez was an unlikely successor to Mr. Morales. Her role as the second vice president of the Bolivian Senate was a largely ceremonial one.
Even that ceremonial title was about to expire. Ms. Añez was set to retire in January after deciding not to run in last month’s elections. Her small regional party got only 4 percent of the vote.Her prospects changed with Mr. Morales’s resignation. As he stepped down, senior officials from his party, including congressional leaders, also resigned in droves.
The resignations suddenly made Ms. Añez the first in line to assume the interim presidency under the Constitution. From her constituency in the sparsely populated province of Beni, she announced late on Nov. 10 that the presidency belonged to her.
Despite losing the presidency, Mr. Morales’s party, Movement to Socialism, remained the country’s most potent political force, with a two-thirds majority in the Bolivian Congress and the final word over any official appointments.
- he changed the Constitution to fit his personal needs, so he pushed the 2nd and 3rd terms.
- for the 4th he called for a Referendum, 2016, so he could run again and lost!
- he pushed for re-re-re re-election and on 10/20/2019 and his electoral fraud was so evident, that even the OAS’ audit reflected that humongous fraud.
- he fled to Mexico and continued to exacerbate his hordes, so blockades were now on his side and even there is an audio, where he is instructing to stop food supply to the cities.
- Before this, he managed to kill our diplomatic wfforts towards getting a sea coast, given the Chilean invasion that landlocked Bolivia.
- He wasted over $160 billion dollars, from the best economic times ever in our history. International prices of all our exports were so high that he showed that as his doing.
- Over 90 people died violently during his government. Poor handling and management of critical issues resulted in those deaths. He said he would retire if there was going to be a single person dying because of him … he is a man of no honor, no word … like when he said it was his last election on the 2nd, then same lie on the 3rd and also offered that on the 4th.
- Over 700 Bolivians had to abandon our country out of political persecution.
The following pictures are just a few that captured this events, after he stopped releasing the vote counting, the night of 10/20/2019:
While MAS and Morales were making up racism, Bolivina people became to get united again. Our millennials took the lead and started a pacific blockade that lasted in Santa Cruz 21 days and in Potosi were over 35 days, until the autocrat fled the country.
Bolivians all around the world, also expressed their disdain towards egomaniac Morales. He made fun of the way the pacific blockade was been handled and offered workshops … his kind thrive in conflict, with hatred, that is the way socialists of the 21st century have been brain washing people all over Latin America.
Huge crowds gathered countrywide, following the example of Santa Cruz population. No one forced their participation, while Morales crowds were forced, blackmailed with their jobs and by the time he fled to Mexico, numerous photos and videos exist that show payments to those “supporters.”
Our millennials decided it was enough and continued with the pacific blockade that ultimately made police support this pacific blockade and the army decided not to intervene at all. Let’s remember that only when Morales called for his hordes to vandalize the cities, that joint police-military forces had to prevent an escalation in terrorism. Hordes were very close to explode the Senkata oil/gas deposits that could have resulted in thousands of deaths in the surrounding neighborhoods in El Alto city.
I’m forgetting the snipers attack to buses with university students and miners, from Sucre and Potosi, towards La Paz. The use of guns and dynamite by Morales hordes were the cause for calling the joint forces to step in, and protect Bolivian people. This was the first time ever, that a political party, declared war to the whole population in Bolivia. A despicable act that not even The New York Times dares to report!
As Bolivia started to rebuild our sense of brotherhood, among all social classes and regions, police joined us in our quest, while Morales pushed for violence and turmoil, as that was the recipe those socialists in Cuba and Venezuela used all along decades.
As time went by, our determination grew in numbers and strength. We all knew it had to be this way, pacific and not giving Morales snipers, foreign military and anti-revolt advisors to implement their warfare.
This photo reveals how people gathered on thei own, in front of the vote-counting on 10/21/2019 … then we all decided it was time to fight for our vote, our vote was stolen on the Referendum of 2/21/2016, no more!
Once the coward autocrat fled to Mexico, he continue victimizing himself, accusing the others as racists, while his violent orders were resulting in deaths, some of them were shot with guns that neither the police nor the army had … so, you analyze and realize who Morales really is.
Of course, we mourn our death, they were Bolivians like us, we are grieving. We were in the 7th day of pacific protest, no deaths. the MAS starts in Montero and in less than four hours, two people got assassinated. To date, the council woman from the MAS and her brother are still missing, while other people is already under arrest, as they were the brains and put the money and resources for those heinous acts.