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From Exclusion to Inclusion: Bolivia's 2002 Elections

Author(s): Donna Lee Van Cott

Reviewed work(s):
Source: Journal of Latin American Studies, Vol. 35, No. 4 (Nov., 2003), pp. 751-775
Published by: Cambridge University Press
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? 2003 Cambridge University Press

J. Lat. Amer. Stud. 35, 751-775
DOI: io.iro7/Soozz222i6Xo3oo6977
Printed in the United Kingdom

75 I

From Exclusionto Inclusion:Bolivia's

2002 Elections*
Although we are a simple people, we are prudent like 'Amaru' and
'Katari',andwe raiseour sightsto the horizon full of hope that they will
once againunitethe oppressedpeople for the finalreconstructionof their
people.Thus,we will hoist the divinecoca leaf throughoutthe territoryof
Qullasuyuuntil the DAY of Kutipacha-Pachakuti.
Manifestoof the InstrumentoPoliticoparala
Soberaniade los Pueblos-Movimientoal Socialismo1
We are enteringhere- in the Congress- in orderto sit ourselvesdown
and see ourselvesface to face with our oppressors;this is going to be a
struggleof the mind, of the indigenousmind againstthe q'ara[white]
mind, and therewe aregoing to fight.
Abstract.In Bolivia's2ooz nationalelectionsindigenous-movement-based
partiescombinedto capture27 per cent of the vote, far surpassingtheir previous
performanceand constitutinga majorimprovementin the representationof the
country'sexcludedindigenousmajority.Using a social movement theory framework, I attributethis result to five interactingfactors: institutionalchanges that
opened the system; the collapse of two competitiveparties;the consolidationof
indigenouspeoples'socialmovementorganisations;the unpopularityof the BanzerQuirogagovernmentand the intense anti-governmentmobilisationsit provoked
in 2000;andthe abilityof the indigenouspartiesto capitaliseon growingnationalist,

Donna Lee Van Cott is AssistantProfessorin the Departmentof PoliticalScience,

of Tennessee,
* The authorwishesto thankWillemAssies,KevinHealy,JoseAntonioLuceroandthe
of thisjournalforcommentson a previousdraft,andto acknowlanonymous
of TennesseeCordellHullFundanda UT
edgethereceiptof fundingfromtheUniversity
in 2oo001
(LaPaz,2002), p. 88.
2 'Mallku:
La Paz,28 June
"Nuestrosministrosserainlos Mamaniy Yujra",'La Prensa,
2002, p. 8.

7 52


In Bolivia's30 June 2002 nationalelections two indigenouspeoples'3parties combined,the InstrumentoPolitico parala Soberaniade los Pueblos
(IPSP), running under the borrowed registrationof the Movimiento al
Socialismo(MAS),and the MovimientoIndigenaPachakutik(MIP),won
27 per cent of the vote (see Table i). Despite the fact that 62.05 per cent of
the population is indigenous, accordingto the 200oo census, this was a
revolutionaryresult for the politicallyunder-representedindigenous majority. In previous national elections, the best result for all indigenous
parties combined was 4.6 per cent (see Table 2). One of the indigenous
parties,the IPSP-MAS,finishedsecond in a fragmentedfield of i i presidential candidates,4less than two percentagepoints behind the winner,
former President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada (1993-1997). The IPSPMAS now holds the second majorityin both houses of congress and
approximatelyone-thirdof the seats in the 57-memberbody are occupied
by indigenousrepresentativeswith strong links to indigenousand peasant
organisations.Previously,no more than ten indigenouspersons had sat in
congress at one time, and most of these were accountableto traditional
political parties.5In order to accommodatethe unprecedentedlinguistic
3 Social scientists
disagreeon how to define 'indigenouspeoples'. For purposesof clarity,
I use the United Nations Sub-commissionon the Preventionof Discriminationand Protection of Minorities:'Indigenouscommunities,peoples and nations are those which,
havinga historicalcontinuitywith pre-invasionand pre-colonialsocieties that developed
on theirterritories,consideredthemselvesdistinctfrom other sectorsof the societiesnow
prevailingin those territories,or partsof them.They format presentnon-dominantsectors
of societyandaredeterminedto preserve,developandtransmitto futuregenerationstheir
ancestralterritories,and theirethnic identity,as the basis of their continuedexistenceas
peoples, in accordancewith their own culturalpatterns,social institutionsand legal systems'. StudyoftheProblem
UN Doc. E/Cn.4/
Sub.z/1986/7Add.4,para.379 (1986).
4 Boliviahas one of the most fragmentedpartysystemsin LatinAmerica,with an average
effectivenumberof partiesfor seats (ENPS) between 1979-1993 of 4. ENPS was 4.7 in
1993. See Scott Mainwaringand Timothy R. Scully (eds.), Building
in LatinAmerica(Stanford,1995),p. 30. ENPS was 5.07 in 1997 and 4.82 in
2002 (my calculationsbased on senate plus chamberof deputies).The effectivenumber
of partiesfor seatsis calculatedby squaringthe proportionof seatseachpartywins, adding
up all of the squares,and dividingone by that number.See MurkuuLaaksoand Rein
Taagepera,'EffectiveNumberof Parties.A MeasurewithApplicationto WesternEurope,'
Studies,12, I979, pp. 3-27.
5 CraigMauro,'Bolivia'sdowntroddenIndianmajoritygainspoliticalvoice, clout,' Associated Press, 15 Aug. 2002. Wigberto Rivero Pinto, former director of the Instituto
IndigenistaBoliviana,andvice ministerof campesinoandindigenousaffairsunderBanzerQuirogaalsoputs the currentindigenousdeputytotalat 50o,basedon the criteria(language
used in the 2001 Censo Nacionalde Poblaci6ny
spoken,customs,and self-identification)
Vivienda.He distributesthese amongthe partiesas: MAS (30), MIP (6),MIR (8),NFR (8),
and MNR (i). Rivero,'Indigenasy Campesinosen las elecciones:el poder de la Bolivia
emergente,' unpublished ms., 20zoo03,
p. z21. According to Natalia Wray, eight indigenous
legislators sat in the previous congress, representing various parties. 'Los cambios en las
relaciones politicas entre pueblos indigenas, los estados y las sociedades nacionales en las

FromExclusionto Inclusion:
2002Elections 753
Table i. Resultsof o June 2oo2BolivianElections





de la Izquierda
Revolucionaria 16.31
UnidadCivicade Solidaridad



Acci6n Democraitica Nacional


Libertad y Justicia

2.7 2

Partido Socialista
Movimiento Ciudadano para el Cambio


Movimiento al Socialismo (IPSP)









Source:La RaZdn,La Paz, on-line, 9 July



%Votes Senators Deputies Seats Seats




Los Tiempos,Cochabamba, on-line, 9 July

diversity of the 2002 congress, for the first time interpreters were hired
to provide translation in Aymara, Quechua and Guarani for several new
legislators, some of whom gave their first congressional speeches in an
indigenous language.6
What explains the stunning success of ethnic parties in Bolivia in 2002 ?
Why should this happen now, after over 20 years of attempts by indigenous
leaders to form successful political parties? I argue that a combination of
macro-level sociopolitical changes, shifts in the political opportunity structure, and conjunctural catalysts produced this unexpected outcome. The
most important sociopolitical change was the maturity and institutional
consolidation of indigenous and peasant social movement organisations
following twenty years of mobilisation that intensified in 2000. By the 2002
elections, these organisations had established deeply rooted organisational
networks and had successfully placed the issue of the exclusion of the
indigenous majority on the political agenda. As many other social movements grew moribund under the weight of dislocating economic reforms and
government inattention, or radicalised themselves into political insignificance, the peasant and indigenous movements surged as crucial articulators
of popular dissatisfaction.
Political opportunity structure (POS) variables also are relevant to this
analysis. According to the social movement literature, a POS comprises the

regi6nes amaz6nicas de Bolivia, Ecuador y Pern durante la ultima decada,' PueblosIndigenas

deAmericaLatina: retosparael nuevomilenio(Ford Foundation and Oxfam America, 2002).
Mauro, 'Bolivia's downtrodden'; Jan Rocha, 'Democracy Dawns for Bolivia's First
People,' The Guardian,London, 3 Aug. 2002, p. Ii.

7 54

DonnaLee VanCott

Table 2. Combined
for Indigenous

% of Vote









Indigenous Parties Competing

Movimiento Indio Tupaj Katari (MITKA), Movimiento Revolucionario
Tupak Katari (MRTK)*
MRTK, Movimiento Revolucionario Tupaj Katari de
Liberaci6n (MRTKL)
MRTKL, Frente de Unidad de Liberaci6n Katarista (FULKA)
Movimiento Katarista Nacional (MKN), Eje Pachakuti, MRTKL**
MRTKL, Asamblea de la Sobernia de los Pueblos (ASP)
ASP, Eje Pachakuti, MKN***
MRTKL, Katarismo Democritico Nacional (KDN)
(new name of MKN), ASP, ISPS-MAS (split from ASP)
MAS, Movimiento Indigena Pachakutik (MIP)

N: national election; M: municipal election. * MRTK results not included because it ran in
alliance with leftist parties. ** MRTKL ran with the MNR and separate voting results are not
available. *** MKN ran with ADN.
Sources:Diego Pacheco, El indianismoylos indioscontemporaneas
enBolivia(La Paz, 1992). Mario
Rol6n Anaya, Politicay Partidosen Bolivia, 3rd ed. (La Paz,
Salvador Romero Balliviain,
Geografiaelectoralde Bolivia (asi votan los bolivianos),znd ed. (La Paz, 1998). Luciano Tapia,
UkhamawaJakawisaxa(Asi es nuestravida).Autobiografiade un aymara(La Paz, 1995).

set of constraints on and incentives for collective political action presented

by the political environment to existing or potential social movements.
Typical POS variables include: shifts in elite alignments or the emergence
of intra-elite cleavages, the support of key allies, the relative openness of
political institutions, changes in government policies affecting social movements, international trends that shape domestic institutions, and the state's
capacity for repression.7The application of the POS framework to Bolivia's
new indigenous parties is particularlyapt, given their lack of formal political
party structure and their reliance, instead, on social movements for organisational, ideological and human resources.
The first POS variable consists of institutional changes undertaken in
Bolivia between 1994-1995 that enabled regionally strong indigenous organisations to compete in national elections. Of particularimportance were the
municipal decentralisation and the conversion of 68 seats in the chamber of
7 Joe Foweraker, TheoriZngSocial Movements(London, 1995), pp. 71-2; Doug McAdam,
'Conceptual origins, current problems, future directions,' in Doug McAdam et al. (eds.),
on SocialMovements(Cambridge, 1996), p. 27; Sidney Tarrow, Power
in Movement.SocialMovements
and Contentious
Politics,znd ed. (Cambridge, 1998), p. 8o; Donna
Lee Van Cott, 'Andean Indigenous Movements and Constitutional Transformation:
Venezuela in Comparative Perspective,' LatinAmericanPerspectives,
vol. 30, no. i, Jan. 2003,
pp. 50, 66, n. 3.

2002Elections 755
deputies from party-list to a uninominal (named candidate) districts system.
As POS theorists predict, a more open political system provided incentives for collective actors to engage in formal politics. Second, the political
party system lost two parties that had absorbed on average 35.22 per cent
of the vote in previous national elections since i989, and a third major
party experienced a more moderate decline. The loss of these parties
provoked a shift in elite alignments that favored the emergence of a new
Whereas these two POS variables - representing the cumulative impact
of a longer process of institutional and party system change - created a
more favourable political environment and, thus constitute necessary conditions, two additional catalysts of a more conjunctural nature tipped the
political balance decisively in favour of the two new indigenous parties.
enacted unpopular
First, the Banzer-Quiroga government (i997-2002)
policies that caused many former supporters of the traditionalparties to seek
alternatives. The government's actions provoked intense anti-government
mobilisations that increased the political popularity of the leaders of the two
indigenous parties successful in 2002. Second, indigenous political parties
capitalised on the growing nationalism generated by overt pressure from the
United States to eradicate coca crops, together with offensive statements
made by the US ambassador days before the elections. Widespread outrage
expanded the parties' support beyond their base to include protest votes
from middle class and even wealthy elites offended by the ambassador's
audacious statements. Each of these five arguments will be presented in
Bolivia has had one of the least stable political histories in Latin America,
with frequent coups interrupting brief periods of elected civilian rule since
independence in 1825. The most recent democratic period began in i982.
Today Bolivia has a presidential, unitary political system, with nine departments, divided into i22 provinces and 314 municipalities. Two recent institutional changes made it easier for indigenous political parties to form, to
contest elections, and to win those contests: the municipal decentralisation
of 1995, pursuant to the 1994 Law of Popular Participation (LPP), and the
creation in the 1994-5 constitutional reform of uninominal districts for
68 of the seats in the 13o-seat the chamber of deputies. Prior to these
reforms it was difficult for local, regional, or poorly funded movements
to compete in Bolivia's centralised, unitary system. Party lists for national
elections were constructed at the national level and, since I979, have had
to earn three per cent of the vote in order to maintain registration. Many

756 DonnaLee VanColt

fledgling indigenous parties lost their registration in the i98os because
they were unable to win sufficient votes or to pay fines imposed for this
failure.8 The national-level, proportional representation, party list system
for electing the legislature made it difficult for geographically concentrated
indigenous movements to win enough votes nationwide to gain national
Prior to 1994 only a few dozen municipal governments existed in the
country, mainly in urban areas. The 1994 LPP created 311 (later expanded to
314) municipalities, the majority in rural areas, many of them with majorityindigenous populations. In the first-ever nationwide direct municipal elections in 1995, candidates identifying themselves as peasant or indigenous
won 28.6 per cent of municipal council seats, constituting a majority in
73 of 311 municipalities.9 For the most part, they did so by allying with
non-indigenous traditional parties, particularly the Movimiento Nacional
Revolucionario (MNR) and the leftist, agrarian-orientedparty Movimiento
Bolivia Libre (MBL). As described below, the indigenous party Asamblea
de la Soberania de los Pueblos (ASP) was formed in 1995 and established
a foothold in these municipal elections that it would use to expand representation to the national level.
In addition, uninominal seats created for the first time for the 1997 elections enabled geographically concentrated movements to compete successfully in their geographic base. The ASP elected four national deputies in
1997 from the coca growing regions of Cochabamba. Coca growers leader,
Evo Morales, representing six of the seven coca growers' organisations,
won the highest percentage of the vote of any uninominal candidate in the
country - more than 6o per cent in a field of Io candidates.10
Bolivia returned to elected civilian rule in 1982 after a tumultuous four-year
transition that ended a period of military rule that had begun in 1964.11 The
only important political party to survive the military interregnum was the
MNR, the party that led the 1952 Bolivian Revolution. A variety of leftist
parties split off from the MNR, of which the centre-left Movimiento de la
Izquierda Revolucionaria (MIR) would become the most important. General
8 Luciano
9 DonnaLee VanCott, TheFriendly
in Latin
10 CliffordKrauss,'LaucaEne Journal:A BolivianLegislatorWhoJust Says"Yes" to Coca,'

13June1998,p. 4A.
n See LaurenceWhitehead,'Bolivia'sfaileddemocratization
1977-1980,' in Guillermo
O'Donnellet al.(eds.),Transitionsfrom

Elections 757
Table 3. Variationin Votesfor DominantPartiesandLeftistParties
in Bolivia,19g0-2002
MNR+ ADN+ MIR AddCondepa
+ UCS LeftistParties






















Leftist parties are Unidad Democraitica Popular, MIR until 1989, Movimiento Bolivia Libre,
Izquierda Unida, Partido Socialista-i, Partido Comunista de Bolivia, Partido Socialista.
N: national, M: municipal. Figures do not include uninominal ballot results for half chamber
of deputies, after 1997.
Sources:Data prior to 1993 is from Eduardo A. Gamarra and James M. Malloy, 'The

of partypoliticsin Bolivia',in ScottMainwaring


in LatinAmerica(Stanford,1995). For later
Geografiaelectoralde Bolivia (asi votanlos bolivianos),and ed. (La Paz, 1998); La Raodn, on-line,
9 July 2002.

Hugo Banzer, who had ruled during 1971-1978, renounced authoritarianism

and formed a center-right party, Acci6n Democritica Nacional (ADN).12
Between 1985 and I997 a party system developed around the competition
among these three major parties - the centre-right MNR and ADN, and the
centre-left MIR. These three attracted more than o50per cent of the vote in
all national elections during that period. In 1989 two populist parties joined
the system, Conciencia de Patria (Condepa) and Uni6n Civica Solidaridad
(UCS), which thereafter attracted a combined 22 per cent of the vote. Thus,
from the return to democracy in i982 through the 1997 national elections,
the five major parties received a majority of the votes (see Table 3). What
may be more important, during this period political parties established
themselves as Bolivia's most important political actors. Previously, parties
organised competition among the small middle class elite for access to
government jobs, but were only a secondary source of political power, which
was mainly wielded by corporate actors. The most important of these were
the militaryand the labour movement, particularlythe miners union. As both


Eduardo A. Gamarra and James M. Malloy, 'The Patrimonial Dynamics of Party Politics in
Bolivia' in Scott Mainwaring and Timothy R. Scully (eds.), BuildingDemocraticInstitutions:



Donna Lee Van Cott

of these actors declined in the 198os, political parties increased in importance

as vehicles for the pursuit of political power.
Most governments during this period were constructed from pacts
between two of the three main parties, while the third main competitor was
excluded from power.13Thus, Bolivia had an equilibrated party system with
the main axis of competition among the three largest parties, which formed
short-term patronage-based alliances with smaller parties. The fluidity of
these alliances has made Bolivian politics quite pragmatic. The cost has
been the increasing disaffection of the electorate, which time and again saw
its political leaders sell out their constituencies for government jobs. The
necessity of keeping alliance options open has robbed the parties of their
ability to make convincing ideological appeals. The needs of the poor, indigenous majority have received only rhetorical recognition, with no major
party delivering on the promise of political and economic inclusion since
the return to democracy in i982. The 2002 elections marked the end of that
system. The results of those elections are displayed in Table i, together with
a comparison of the 1997 and 2002 results for seats in congress. The com-

bined vote for the five major parties dropped to 48 per cent in 2002, with
the main three winning only 42.2 per cent. These results indicate that the
Bolivian party system, like many in South America in the 199os, is experiencing dealignment.
During the last electoral cycle new parties emerged to challenge the
dominance of the traditional parties.14During the 2002 election campaign
and post-mortem, press and political analysts referred to these as 'antisystem' parties. In 2002, for the first time, the three dominant parties MNR,
MIR, and ADN had to unite to prevent the election of an 'anti-systemic'
president.15Thus, the axis of competition has shifted from intra-elite competition to competition between the 'systemic' and 'anti-systemic' parties.16
Much of this shift can be explained by the severe decline of three dominant

From 1985-1989, the MNR and ADN governed;from 1989-1993, the MIR and ADN
the ADN,
governed; from 1993-1997, the MNR and UCS governed; from 1997-zooz02,
MIR,UCS, and Condepagoverned,with Condepaleavingthe allianceearlyin the term.
14 Another new party,Nueva Fuerza Revolucionaria,was formed in the mid-i99os. It is
mainlya Cochabambaregionalparty,althoughits leadermade a respectablebid for the
presidencyin 2002, finishingonly 0.02 per cent behindMorales.Althoughan interesting
phenomenonin its own right,a complete discussionof the NFR is beyond the scope of
this article.
15 Under Bolivia's
constitution,if no candidatewins an absolutemajority,the presidentis
chosen by the new congressfrom among the top two recipientsof votes.
16 Interview,Rene Antonio Mayorga,z25June 2002; Leopoldo Vegas R., 'Es el reflejode la
realidad,'El Deber,SantaCruz,6 July 2002, p. A 3; CarlosCordero,'El pais esta dividido
entredos fuerzaspoliticas,'El Deber6 July 2002:AI 3.


FromExclusionto Inclusion:
2002Elections 759
parties: Banzer's right-right ADN, and the populist parties Condepa and
UCS. All three parties suffered from the death of their founders, who had
been such dominant figures that their absence resulted in internal divisions
and a loss of public support.'
The collapse of Condepa - from 22 seats in congress in 1997 to none
in 2002 - was particularlyhelpful to the new indigenous parties. Condepa's
base was the poor, urban, mostly Aymara migrant population in the department of La Paz and, to a lesser extent, rural indigenous voters in the
highland departments of Oruro, La Paz, and Potosi and the migrant areas of
Cochabamba. The indigenous party IPSP-MAS won all four departments
in 2002. Moreover, Condepa and its leader Carlos Palenque had explicitly
identified with the ethnic subordination of its base, invoking symbols and
themes that resonated with them as an oppressed ethnic minority. It was the
first electorally successful Bolivian party to do so, inspiring similar,albeit less
successful, ethnic appeals by other parties. After the death of Palenque, the
party was riven by bitter internal rivalries. These public disputes, as well as
the cooptation of the party by the Banzer government - Condepa joined
Banzer's 'megacoalition' in 1997 - lost the party support among its base. By
the 2002 elections it had become essentially a patronage machine for the
urban Aymara counter-elite. Thus, the collapse of these parties, particularly
Condepa, opened space for new ones, especially those appealing directly to
the disenfranchised, poor indigenous majority.'8
Finally, the sharp decline in the vote share for leftist parties during the
1990s opened space on the left of the political spectrum. Whereas the combined vote share for the leftist Unidad DemocraiticaPopular (UDP) coalition
plus the Socialist Party (SP-I) was 47.4 per cent in 1982, the disastrous
economic performance of the UDP caused the enduring decline of the left,
thereafter associated in voters' minds with economic and political chaos. In
the 1985 elections, leftist parties' combined share of the vote fell to 14.3 per
cent. The economic austerity and structural adjustment policies imposed
by the MNR-ADN government (1985-1989) further weakened the left,
particularlythe once-dominant miners' union. After the MIR moved to the
right in 1989, the remainder of the left would not exceed io per cent of
the vote in the 1990s. Unified elite support of the neoliberal economic
model and the global decline of socialism robbed leftist parties, and the

Banzer died in May zooz of cancer, the diagnosis of which caused him to resign as
president in Aug. zooi. Condepa founder Carlos Palenque died of a heart attack in 1997,
shortly before the June presidential elections; UCS founder Max Fernaindezdied in a plane

crashin '995.

is Interviews, Maria Eugenia Choque, 20 June 2002; Rene Antonio Mayorga, zs June 2002;
SalvadorRomero Ballivian,GeograJfa
de Bolivia(as votanlos bolivianos),
znd ed.,
La Paz, 1998,pp. 237-45-

760 DonnaLeeVanCott
traditional,Marxist-orientedlabour movement as articulatedthrough the
CentralObreraBoliviana(COB),of a viableeconomic programmeto offer
the economicallydisenfranchised.
Theirradicaleconomicdemandswere not
politicallyfeasiblein the nationaland internationalpoliticalconjunctureof
the 990os,and theirmestizoleadersrepeatedlyfailedto articulatea discourse
that would appealto urbanand ruralpoor voters increasinglyinterestedin
politicalexpressionsof ethnic and culturalidentity.
As in most LatinAmericancountries,the indigenouspopulationin Boliviais
distinctin the highlandand lowlandregions.
culturallyand organisationally
In the denselypopulatedwesternhighlands,more acculturatedIndiansare
mainlysmall peasantfarmersbelongingeither to the Quechua(2,298,980)
or Aymara(i,549,320) languagegroups,which are also located across the
borderswith Peru, Chile, and Argentina.In the easternAmazonianlowlands groupsare more diverse:286,726 Indiansare dividedinto more than
30 distinct languagegroups19.Although for most of Bolivia'shistory the
indigenoushave been predominantlyrural,massiveurbanmigrationin the
1990S resultedin more than half of the indigenouspopulationresidingin
urbancentresby zoo200.20
Illiterates(mainlyIndians)received the vote after the I925 revolution,
almost 30 yearsearlierthan illiteratesin other centralAndeancountries.In
exchangefor protectionof theirlands and the rightto vote, they servedas
the dependableconservativeanchorof the MNR partyand a successionof
militarygovernmentsuntil the mid-i97os. By that time the militaryhad enacted a numberof economicpoliciesthat hurt smallfarmers.Aftergovernment troops killed 13 Quechua Indiansprotestingagriculturalpolicies in
1974(theTolataMassacre),an emergingclassof Aymaraintellectualsformed
independent peasant organisationsand political parties that challenged
the traditionaldominanceand manipulationof the politicalpartiesand the
military.Most took the nameof TupajKatari,an AymaraIndianrebelleader
of the late 18th centurywho, before his execution,vowed to return'made
into millions',and developeda 'Katarista'ideologythat combinedstruggles
againstethnicand classoppression.21

The largestlowland groups are the Guarani(75,500o),the Chiquitano(61,5zo), and the

Moxefio (38,500).See VAIPO, Desarrollo
(LaPaz, 1998), p. 35.
(LaPaz, zooi).
y originarios
XXV, 3 (Dec.

en Boli'Luchascampesinas
199i), pp. 18-i9; SilviaRiveraCusicanqui,

via: El movimientokatarista(197o-1980),'in Rene ZavaletaMercado(comp.),BoliviaHoy,

and ed. (Mexico,1987),pp. I44-6.

The most importantcontemporaryhighlandindigenousorganisationis
the Confederaci6nSindicalUnica de TrabajadoresCampesinosde Bolivia
(CSUTCB),establishedat a I979 congressorganisedby the COB to unite
disparateindependentunionsthathad emergedin the late 1970s.Its Aymara
leadersinfused the class-basedMarxistanalysisof economic exploitation
derivedfrom associationswith leftist partieswith the developingKatarista
ideology. Thus, the CSUTCB'sagenda and discourse encompassedclass
and ethno-nationaldemandsthat emphasisedthe dual-basisof exploitation
of the highlandindigenouspopulation.The CSUTCBimmediatelystaged
massive demonstrationsthat forced the governmentto attend to peasant
As the politicaleffectivenessof the CSUTCBdeclined in the mid-late
1980s, a new force within the peasantsector emergedto fight the Bolivian
government'sincreasingeffortsto eradicatethe coca leaf. Most coca cultivation occurredin the lowlandtropicalregions of the Chaparein the departmentof Cochabambaand in the Yungasin the departmentof La Paz.
The growerswere mainlymigrantsfrom the highlandsdislocatedby the
MNR government'sfiringof state mineworkersand structuraladjustment
policies that hurt peasantagriculture.By the late 1990s therewere approximately300,000 mostly Quechuamigrantsin the Chapare,where they found
coca leaf to be the most profitablecrop.23Politicalmobilisationby coca
growersbegan shortlyafter the democratictransitionwith road blockades
in 1983. By 1984 coca growersbegan forming their own federations- as
opposedto the military'stop-downfederations- to presenttheiragricultural
demandsand to protest againstincreasedgovernmenteradicationefforts.24
Under US pressureto crackdown on coca growing- cocaine production
increasedin 1983-1984 - in 1986 thegovernmentannounced
a planto eradicateall coca leaf grownfor exportas coca pasteor cocaine.As
Patzi Paco observes,'Confrontedwith this plan, for the firsttime the coca
producersconsolidatedthemselvesas a class movement with possibilities
of convertingthemselvesinto a movement of masses, in that they began
organisingblockadeswith other socialactors'.25


CSUTCB,'El desafiode mantenerla unidad,'IV Congreso
1990); RiveraCusicanqui,'AymaraPast'; EstebanTicona, Organizaci6ny
197P9-996(La Paz, zooo).
Xavier Alb6, 'Diversidad Etnica, Cultural y Linguistica,' in Fernando Campero Prudencio
(La Paz, 1999), p. 476; Felix
(ed.), Boliviaen el sigloXX: Laformacidnde la Boliviacontemporainea

Patzi Paco, Insurgenda

y sumision:
(I983-i9A')(La Paz, I999),

p. 49; Esteban Ticona, Gonzalo Rojas and Xavier Alb6, Votosy IVphalas: campesinosy
(La Paz,
pp. 54-5.
orginariosen democradcia
Journal of Inter24 Kevin Healy, 'Coca, the State and the Peasantry in Bolivia, 1982-1988,'
americanStudiesand WorldAffairs,3o, 2 & 3 (summer/fall 1988), pp. Io0-26.
25 My translation, Patzi Paco, 'Insurgencia y sumisi6n,' p. 86.

762 DonnaLee VanCott

As the government crackdown intensified in the late 198os and 199os,
the coca growers became more organised and militant. By i 990 the Chapare
growers had formed I6o local unions 'under the umbrella of 30 subfederations (centrales)
which, in turn, are organised into 5 federations', while
in the Yungas another five federations had formed.26 In the absence of
local government in these areas, the coca growers' federations became the
most authoritative and legitimate public authority.27In 1988 the five Cochabamba federations formed a Coordinating Committee. The growers had
tripled the number of their delegates at the 1987 CSUTCB congress; in 1988
their Quechua leaders seized control of the organisation from the Aymara
intellectuals that had founded it. A new set of leaders emerged from the
coca growers movement. The most important was Evo Morales, who had
migrated to the Chapare with his Aymara father and Quechua mother.
While focused on securing the economic survival of their members, the
coca growers' federations assumed many features of ethno-cultural movements. Their members were primarilyAymara and Quechua migrants who
retained ties to traditional communities and experienced discrimination
based on their ethnic identity. They justified their resistance to government
eradication policies in light of the fact that coca growing is a long-standing
cultural and religious practice among the indigenous peoples of Bolivia and,
indeed, the Andes. This culturalist-nationalistdiscourse earned the movement the support of sympathetic social sectors - Cochabamba's elite-based
civic committee, human rights organisations, anthropologists, and journalists, notwithstanding the fact that most of the coca leaf grown in the Chapare
and Yungas was destined for export.28The coca growers' movement also
is an ethnic movement by dint of its membership - and leadership from
1987 - of the CSUTCB, the members of which are primarily Quechua and
Aymara Indians and which has always promoted a discourse of ethnic rights
along with its agrarianagenda. Moreover, as Gustafson observes, the urban
press and the government portraythe coca growers as an ethnic movement.29
By i992 the coca growers had seized control of the CSUTCB. They
sought to construct an independent political party in order to complement
their strategy of massive mobilisation and resistance to the eradication of
coca. Peasant leaders had become increasingly dissatisfied with alliances between the movement and traditional political parties, particularlythose on

Kevin Healy, 'Political Ascent of Bolivia's Peasant Coca Leaf Producers,' Journal of InteramericanStudiesand WorldAffairs,33, I, spring 199 , pp. 88-9.
'Political Ascent,'
p. 89.
28 Patzi Paco, Insut~genciay
sumisidn,p. 86; Healy, 'Political Ascent,' pp. 93-4.
29 Bret Gustafson, 'Indigenous Movements and State Processesin Bolivia: Racism, Regional
Politics, and the Paradoxes of Intercultural Reform,' in David Maybury-Lewis (ed.), Identities in Conflict:IndigenousPeoplesand the Statein Latin America(Cambridge, 2002).

FromExclusionto Inclusion:Bolivia's2002Elections 763

the left. Leftist partieshad increasedtheir interferencein peasantpolitics

since the electoraldeclineof the left in the mid-I98os in an attemptto regain
politicalinfluencethroughmanipulationof the moredynamicpeasantsector.
Discussionswithin the CSUTCBconcerningthe constructionof a peasant
'politicalinstrument'began in earnestat a 1992 meeting commemorating
the invasionof the Americasby Europeans.For a varietyof reasons,that
meetingwas a completefailure,but CSUTCBleadersagreedto takeup the
issue again at a 25-27 March I995 assembly.Participantsat that meeting
agreedto createthe Asambleade la Soberaniade los Pueblos(ASP)in order
to participateindependentlyin the December 1995 municipalelections.30
Thus, they took advantageof one of the two recent institutionalchanges
discussedabove- the municipaldecentralisation
of 1995.Among the most
enthusiasticproponentsof the projectwas Evo Morales,then leaderof the
Coordinadorade las Federacionesdel Tr6pico de Cochabamba,one of
the maincoca growersorganisations.
In its first electoralouting the ASP dominatedthe coca-growingdistrictsof the Chapare,nettingten mayors,49 municipalcouncillors,and six
in Cochabamba.It also won five councillorsin
other highlanddepartments.31
Accordingto peasantleaderRom'n Loayza,
who would representthe ASP in congress (1997-2002), the municipaldecentralisationenabledthe CSUTCBfinallyto form its first viable political
party.32In 1998, mirroringthe division within the peasant movement,
the partysplit over internaldivisionsbetweenEvo Moralesand Alejo VWliz
and presentedtwo lists for the 1999municipalelections.The rumpASP,led
by Veliz, won 28 municipalcouncillorsand five mayorsin Cochabamba;
the splinterInstrumentoPoliticoparala Soberaniade los Pueblos(ISPS),led
by Morales,won 79 municipalcouncillorsin seven of the country'snine
departments(mainlyin Cochabamba[40] and La Paz [18], the other main
locationfor coca growing).33
At the nationallevel, as noted above, the ASP
won four uninominalseats in the 1997 congressionalelections.In the proportionalvote, which determinesthe occupancyof the other 62 seatsin the
chamberof deputies,ASP won 17.5 per cent of the vote in Cochabamba,
3.7 per cent nationwide.
Problemswith their registrationrequiredthat the ASP and IPSP adopt
the legalregistrationof defunctleftistparties.In 1995and 1997ASP used the
registrationof the IzquierdaUnida(IU).In 1999it borrowedthe registration
of the PartidoComunistade Bolivia (PCB). In 1999 and z002 the IPSP
used the registrationof the Movimientoal Socialismo(MAS).Accordingto
30 CSUTCB, 'El desafio,' pp. I
Patzi Paco, Insurgencday
sumisidn,pp. I16-19.

Donna Lee Van Cott, 'InstitutionalChangeand Ethnic Partiesin South America,'Latin

AmericanPoliticsand Socidety,
45, 2, summer zoo3, pp. 1-39.
Interview, La Paz, 21 June 1997.
Van Cott, 'Institutional Change'.


Donna Lee Van Cott

Morales,the MASis in the processof addingthe words 'communitarian'or

'pachakuti'34to the name MAS in order to convey more of its cultural
message, while maintaininga name with high public identification.35 In
contrast,Quispehadno difficultyregisteringhis partyfor the 200z elections,
even though he fell 1o,ooo signaturesshort of the numberrequired.Analysts and MAS militantsallege that the traditionalparties pressuredthe
nationalelectoralcourt to registerhim anywayin orderto split the indigenous vote and preventa MAS-MIPalliance,which might have occurredhad
Quispe been barredfrom running.36MAS militantswere incensed by the
differentialtreatment,since their registrationhad been rejectedfour times
for more minorinfractions.37
In 2002 the much-diminishedrumpASP did
not run a separatelist; its most prominentmilitantswere absorbedby the
populistpartyNueva FuerzaRepublicana(NFR). The
in the departmentsof Cochabamba,La Paz, Oruro,
and Potosi, winning8 senatorsand 27 deputies.38
These experiencesfarsurpassearliereffortsby Indiansto form successful
parties.When the militaryheld electionsin 1978 to restorethe democratic
order, tiny new indigenouspartiescompeted. Strugglingagainsttheir lack
of resources,the requirementof distributingtheir own ballots, and fines
imposedon partiesnot earningthreeper cent of the nationalvote, theycompetedagainin 1979and 1980, as militaryleadersrepeatedlyannulledelections
won by the left. In 1982, the 1980 resultswere allowedto stand and independent indigenousleadersenteredcongress for the first time.39Between
Pachakutiis a Quechua word with multiple meanings. Literallymeaning turning or
returning(kuti) of the earth(pacha),it is translatedalternativelyas 'new beginning','reawakening','revolution',or 'renovation'.See Andrew Canessa,'ContestingHybridity:
vol. 32,
Evangelistasand Kataristasin HighlandBolivia,'JournalofLatinAmerican
no. i, Feb. 2ooo,p. I 26; CSUTCB,VII Congreso
1996),p. 66; Rivera,'AymaraPast,' pp. 19-23. It has replacedTupajKatarias the key
symbol of indigenousresistancein the Andes, as demonstratedby its use in indigenous
politicalparties'namesin Ecuador(MovimientoUnido Pluricultural
(PartidoInka Pachactiteq),as well as Felipe Quispe's MovimientoIndigenaPachakutik.
Pachakutiis also the nameof a prominent 5th-centuryIncaleaderwho ruledduringa time
of territorialexpansion(personalcommunication,Josn Antonio Lucero,4 Dec. 20oo2).
35 Ben Backwell,'A Rural Fight. Ben BackwellTalks to Bolivian Peasant Leader Evo
Star,25 Oct. 2002, p. io. On-line throughLexisNexisdatabase.
36 3o dias,La Paz, Oct. zoo : 90.
37 'La clasepoliticale dio la siglaa Felipeparaevitarque se una a Evo,' PulsoSemanario,
June 2oo2,p. 13.
38 departmenthas threesenators:two fromthe partyfinishingfirstin
the jointpresidential-congressional
balloting;one from the partyfinishingsecond.
39 The MovimientoIndio TupajKatari(MITKA)won o.6 per cent of the votes in 1978 and
1.6 per cent of the votes in 1979 (entitlingit to a seat in congress).The MITKA divided
before the 1980 elections,with MITKAwinningi per cent andMITKA-Iwinningi.I per
cent of the vote. The MovimientoRevolucionarioTupajKatari(MRTK)competedas part
of the leftist UDP coalitionin 1978.In 1979 the MRTKdividedinto three parties.The

1985 and 1995 two lineages of indigenouspartiescompeted in elections.
One lineagederivedfrom the MovimientoIndio TupakKatari(MITKA),
which representeda more radical,ethno-nationalstrainof Katarism,sometimescalledindianismo.
Althoughdominantat the time of the firstdemocratic
elections,it virtuallydisappearedas a politicalforce after 1985. The more
radicalstrainwould emergeagainin 2000 led by one of its originalleaders,
Felipe Quispe. The Movimiento RevolucionarioTupak Katari (MRTK),
which representeda more moderatestrainof Katarismthat soughtto work
with non-indigenoussocial sectors, generated the second lineage. Both
lineages fragmentedthroughoutthe I98os until there were approximately
ten tiny splinterpartieswith Katarista-sounding
names. One of these, the
MovimientoRevolucionarioTupakKataride Liberaci6n(MRTKL),an offshoot of the MRTK,gained momentumin the late 198os and early 1990s
led by VictorHugo Cirdenas,who madehistoryby allyingthe MRTKLwith
the MNR for the 1993presidentialelections.On the strengthof Cardenas'
supportin the indigenoushighlands,the MNR-MRTKLcoalitionwon 35.6
per cent of the vote, the most decisivepresidentialvictorysince the leftist
UDP coalition'svictory in 198o (38.7 per cent).40However, the MRKTL
fadedinto electoraloblivionthereafter,joiningthe MITKAandits descendants (see Table 2).41
Parallelto these developmentsin the highlands,a lowland movement
emergedduringthe democratictransition(1978-1982) to demandterritorial
rights and to protect indigenous tribes from extractiveactivitiesin their
traditionalterritories.In 1982 the Guarani,Ayoreo,Chiquitano,andGuarayo
formed the Confederaci6nIndigenadel Oriente Boliviano (CIDOB). By
1989 CIDOB had expandedto encompassmost indigenousorganisationsin
the lowlands.Throughspectacularmarchesand successfulnegotiationswith
the governmentthey enjoyeda numberof achievementsduringthe 1990s.
By the mid-I990s,CIDOB had createda six-tieredorganisationalstructure

fractionretainingthe MRTKname ran with the MNR; anotherfractionjoined the UDP

coalition; the third did not participate, instructing its militants to vote for the left. See,
Ricardo Calla, 'Hallu Hayllisa huto. Identificaci6n etnica y procesos politicos en Bolivia,' in
Carlos Ivin Degregori (ed.), Democracia,etnicidad
y violenciapoliticaen lospaisesandinos(Lima,
sumision,p. 40; Felipe Quispe Huanca, El indioen escena
1993), p. 68; Patzi Paco, Insurgeniday
(La Paz, 1999); Jan Rocha, 'Democracy dawns,' pp. 254-8; Mario Rol6n Anaya, Politicay
Partidosen Bolivia, 3rd ed. (La Paz, 1999); Luciano Tapia, UkhamawaJakawisaxa.
40 Gamarra and
Malloy, 'The Patrimonial Dynamics,' p. 432.
41 Among the reasons for the MRTKL's demise are Cirdenas' failure to institutionalise the
party by sharing power with other leaders and the loss of support among indigenous
voters he encountered when he 'sold out' the party to ally with the neoliberal MNR
government. Patzi Paco, Insurgenciday
sumisidn,pp. 41-42; Van Cott, 'Institutional Change
and Ethnic Parties'; interviews, Ivin Arias, Ramiro Molina, Esteban Ticona, La Paz, '1997,


Donna Lee Van Cott

that encompassed four regional organisations - the Central de Pueblos

Indigenas del Beni (CPIB), the Central Indigena de la Regi6n Amaz6nica
Boliviana (CIRABO), uniting indigenous communities in Pando and northern Beni, the Consejo Yuqui, and the Coordinadora Etnica de Santa Cruz
(CESC). The latter was created between


at the insistence


CPIB, which objected to CIDOB playing the dual role of national coordinator of the indigenous movement and representative of the indigenous
peoples of the department of Santa Cruz (CIDOB 1995: 44-46). The CESC
later added the word 'Pueblos'(Peoples) to its name, becoming CPESC. As
CIDOB underwent deterioration as an organisation between 1997 and 2002,
because of internal rivalries and a rift between its moderate and radical factions, CPESC became the more dynamic organisation. The lowland organisations discussed forming their own political instrument in the 990osbut
could not reach consensus on this course of action. Some lower-level organisations and individuals decided to support the ASP and, later, the MAS.
CPESC president Jose Bailaba won a seat in congress representing the MAS
in 2002. For the most part, however, lowland Indians entered formal politics
by allying with traditional political parties, and these alliances fractured the
organisation in 1997 and 2002.42
The political mobilisation of the nation's indigenous majority and the
success of the new indigenous parties in 1997 and 1999 convinced traditional
parties - particularlythe MNR and MIR - to offer candidaciesin 2002 to more
indigenous and campesino leaders than ever before.43 Many of these were
elected. For example, the MIR successfully ran Elsa Guevara, a Quechua
peasant leader who was subsequently named head of the MIR congressional


The latest importantindigenousmovement to emerge has been promoted by Aymara

historiansand anthropologiststo reconstitutethe traditionalayllus- the pre-colombian
form of Aymaraand Quechuapolitical,social, and economic organisation- and to organise them into federations.See MariaEugenia Choque and CarlosMamani,'Reconstituci6ndel aylluy derechosde los pueblosindigenas:El movimientoindio en los Andes
de Bolivia,'Journal
vol. 6, no. I, zooi, p. 207.As the highland
peasantmovementdeclinedin the late i980s and I99os, traditionalaylluauthoritiesbegan
to challengeand even to replacethe peasantunions as the most legitimateform of local
authority.As key proponentsof the movementexplain,'The returnof our own authority
constitutesan act of self-determination,of restoringto the communityits own government,' while rejectingimposed 'foreign' authoritystructures.Choqueand Mamani,'Reconstituci6ndel ayllu,'p. 212. In 1997an umbrellaorganisationwas establishedto unitethe
movement(Consejode Ayllusy Markasdel Qullasuyu,CONAMAQ).This movementwas
too new to participatecoherentlyin the 2002 elections. Based on the location of the
organisation'sbase in La Paz, Oruro,and Potosi - all dominatedby the IPSP-MASand
MIP in zooz - we can conclude that many of its members voted for the two indigenous

43 Interviews, La Paz, Bertha Beatriz Acarapi, 29 June 200oo2;Elena Argirakis, 19 June 2002zooz;
Maria Eugenia Choque, 20zo
June 2002zooz;
June zoo2002.
Jorge Lema, 20zo

partyNFR incorporatedthe
delegation.The populist, Cochabamba-based
split from Evo Moralesin 1998,
Alejo Veliz.
The key obstacleto politicaladvancementfor the peasantmovementon
the eve of the 2002 electionswas a seriousdivisionthathad emergedwithin
the CSUTCBbetween Evo Moralesand Alejo Veliz at its 1998 Congress.
When the organisationcould not decidebetweenVeliz and Morales,Felipe
The decisionrevived
Quispewas chosen as a compromisesecretary-general.
the moribundpoliticalcareerof the radicalAymaranationalist,who had
been involvedin the MITKAin the earlyi98os, before leavingto build an
armedmovement (the Ejercito GuerrilleroTupaj Katari).Quispe was arrested in 1992 and releasedfrom prison in 1997. He attendedthe 1998
CSUTCB congress in order to generatepolitical support for his defence
againstfurthercriminalchargesrelatedto his guerrillaactivities."Afterbeing
elected secretary-general
Quispe assumedthe title of Mallku,a high-ranking
institutionalplatform,over the next threeyears
violent, mobilisationsagainstthe BanzerQuispe
Quirogagovernment.His starwould rise quicklyduring2000 when he led
massive roadblocksin the highlandsthat forced concessions on agrarian
policy.UnlikeMoralesandVliz, who talkedmainlyof the economicexploitation of Bolivia'speasants by the Bolivian governmentand its 'puppet
master', the United States, Quispe provoked the ire of even sympathetic
elites with his fieryethno-nationalistrhetoric.He articulatedan opposition
between the European,light-skinnedBolivia, and the darkerskinned,indigenousmajorityandcalledfor the constructionof a separateAymarastate.
In response to derogatoryracialepithets directedat Quispe, his rhetoric
The lesson of this experienceis that the ethnic partiesthat succeeded
most in Boliviawere not the personalisticvehicles of individualindigenous
leaders,as had been the practicein the 1980sand early1990s. Instead,successful ethnicpartiesconstitutethe politicalarmsof establishedindigenous
social movement organisationsand were constructedwith significantsupport from and participationof their membership.Notwithstandingthe
severesplitwithinthe CSUTCBafter1998,QuispeandMoraleswere ableto
draw on the financialand logisticalresourcesof long-established,locally
legitimateCSUTCB affiliates.Even in the lowlands,where the umbrella
indigenousorganisationCIDOB was in disarraypriorto the zooz elections,
y sumisin, pp. 77-83, i21i-; interviews, Victor Hugo Cirdenas,
44 Patzi Paco, Insutgencia
Esteban Ticona, La Paz, zool.
and the media,' paper prepared
45 Willem Assies, 'Uncommon citizens, their usosy costumbres,
for the Third European Congress of Latin-Americanists, Amsterdam, 2-6 July zooz, p. I6;
Gustafson, 'Indigenous Movements,' p. 269.

768 DonnaLee Van Cott

Table 4. Spending
for 2oo2 PresidentialCampaigns
Secondsof TV US$Provided TotalUS$Spent TotalUS$Spending
on Propaganda DeclaredbyParty
by CNE2
























No response


No response


No response
No response


'Lospartidosgastaron$us 20 milloness61oen Tv', La Ra.zn(LaPaz),29June

B6-7); 'Desde camioneshastahelic6pteros en campafia', La Razdn (La Paz), 2z5June

p. B5.

1 Incitiesof LaPaz,Cochabamba,
andSantaCruz.2 Funding
to partiesbasedon
resultsin previouselections.Thisrepresents
halfthe totalmoneyawarded
secondhalfis delivered
aftertheelections,providedthepartycomplieswithcertainrequirements.Article115 of theConstitution
provides272 secondsof TVtimedailyto eachpolitical
partyfor 55days,or 14,998foreachparty.
the IPSP-MAS formed an alliance with the main indigenous organisation of
Santa Cruz, CPESC, and the organisation secured the party 9.6 per cent of
the vote in that department.46 Ties to these well-rooted, highly mobilised organisations provided the resources that the two financiallyweak parties needed to beat better financed traditional parties - surmounting the
hurdle that had tripped up so many Kataristaparties in the 1980s. As shown
in Table 4, the two indigenous parties IPSP-MAS and MIP spent far less on
their campaigns than did the traditional parties. The IPSP-MAS drew on
its share of state resources for parties that had previously earned seats in
congress, as well as a US$ 5o,ooo human rights prize Morales recently had
won. It also benefited from labour, expertise, and materials donated by
sympathetic university professors. But the main source of funds and labour
for both indigenous parties was the membership of affiliated communities
and organisations.47
Thus, by the 2002 national elections, the indigenous movement had
become one of the most dynamic and consolidated social movements in the
country. It was anchored in permanent social movement organisations that

Interviews, Leonardo Tumburini, Hugo Salvatierra,Santa Cruz, 3 July 2002.

47 'Sin estrategia de campafia,' La Prensa,La Paz, 22 June 2002, p. 9; 'Desde camiones hasta
helic6pteros en campaiia,' La Razdn (La Paz) 25 June 2002; Gustavo Guzmlin and Victor
Orduna, 'Evo Morales y Felipe Quispe: Los votos inesperados,' PulsoSemanario,7-13 June

p. 12.

were 15-20 years old, and headed by leaders with decades of political
experience.These organisationsprovidedthe humanand materialresources
for the IPSP-MASand MIP to compete againstbetter-financedparties.
Throughout 2000 confrontationincreased between the Banzer-Quiroga
government(1997-2002) and social movementsfuelledby the weaknessof
the government- a disintegrating'mega-coalition' resting precariously
on Banzer's20 per cent of the votes won in 1997- its misguidedpoliciesand
an inabilityto generatepopularsupport.Relationsworsened as economic
conditionsdeclined,hurtingthe already-suffering
urbanand ruralpoor. The
controlledthe political
separating wealthyminority,
was excluded,became
more apparent,due in partto the economic hardshipcausedby the loss of
coca earnings.Under Banzeran estimated80-90 per cent of the coca crop
was destroyed,'deprivingruralcommunitiesof around US$ 5o00million,
equivalentto 6 per cent of GDP', while only approximatelyUS$ 80 million
was distributedto provideagricultural
Incomeshave stagnated
sincethe returnto democracyandthe rapidimpositionof neoliberalpolicies,
leaving63 per cent of Boliviansin poverty.49In 2002, unemploymentsoared
while the severe economic crisis in Argentinadeprivedthe countryof remittancesfrom an estimated . 5 millionmigrantworkers,as well as markets
for Boliviangoods.50
Frustrationwith the non-responsive, non-representativestate boiled
over into massivesocialmobilisationsin Apriland September2000 andcontinueduntilthe elections.The catalystwas the government'sdecision,under
pressurefrom the WorldBank,51to privatisewaterservicesin Cochabamba.
The Americancompanythat bought the waterconcession (Bechtel)raised
water prices 35 per cent, beyond the reach of much of the population.
The enragedpopulace- peasants,urbanunions, middle class groups- led
by the Coordinadorade Agua, took to the streets,declaringa 'waterwar'
with the nationalgovernmentthat persistedfor months. The government
respondedwith a state of siege and the detention, injury,and killing of
The Cochabambinosstood their ground and won,
48 QuestEconomicsDatabase,'Bolivia:
(z3 Sept.
zooz), p. i; see also Linda Farthingand Ben Kohl, 'Shock to the System:A growing
indigenousand people's movement in Bolivia,' In TheseTimes,16Sept. Z002, p. 7, via
49 Rocha,'DemocracyDawns,' p.I I.
50 Quest EconomicsDatabase,'Bolivia:Review';Farthingand Kohl,'Shock to the System,'
51 The WorldBankthreatenednot to renewa US$ 2z millionloan.
52 Backwell,'A ruralfight'; Farthingand Kohl, 'Shock to the System,'p. 7.


Donna Lee Van Cott

neoliberalpolicies and contributedto a wave of parallel,independent protests by tropical coca growers and indigenous peasants,who repeatedly
blocked nationalhighwaysin 2000 and zooI'.53Those demonstrationsincreasedthe nationalpresence and popularityof their leaders:Morales,by
far the most importantcoca growers'leader,and Quispe, secretary-general
of the CSUTCB.54
As Tarrowobserves, state repression- intended to stop social mobilisation- maybackfireand fuel a sense of outragethatradicalisesor galvanises
socialmovements,or even engenders'revolutionary
This was
the case in Bolivia as the repressionof the Cochabambaprotestorsled to
waves of protest throughoutthe country.That repressionincreasedthe
violencealreadyused by the governmentagainstthe coca growers.As Assies
reports, since 1997, state-cocagrower confrontations'claimed over fifty
lives and 500 wounded,while about 400 people were detainedunder Law
ioo8 of 1988 on coca and controlledsubstances,a law that is absolutelyat
odds with the human rights regime'.56 During the 2000 clashes 20 people
died, 'hundreds were injured and dozens illegally detained'.57 Repression
was particularlyintense in late zooi. The death toll just a few months after
President Quiroga replaced Banzer in August 2001 exceeded the death
toll from four years of Banzer (14 killed under Banzer, compared to 17
under Quiroga).58In November 2001 Quiroga issued two decrees further
restricting the production and sale of coca and violently dislodged the
roadblocks constructed by protestors in the coca zones.59
In October 2000 Quispe capitalised on his growing stature as an Aymara
leader by announcing he was founding his own political party,the Movimiento

Farthing and Kohl, 'Shock to the System,' p. 7.

54 Willem Assies, 'David Fights Goliath in Cochabamba: Water Rights, Neoliberalism and

the Revival of Social Protest in Bolivia,' Latin AmericanPerspectives,

vol. 30, no. 3, May 2003,
pp. 14-36; Diego Ayo Saucedo, 'Indios violentos':discursos,
y miedosde las movilapercepciones
cionesde abrily septiembre
de2000(La Paz, 200) ; Alvaro Garcia Linera, et al., Tiemposde rebelion
(La Paz, zooi); Julio Mantilla Cuellar, et al., 'La ChampaGuerra':del TINKU de la guerraal
TINKU del amor,abril rojo,septiembre
negro(La Paz, 2zoo). See Bret Gustafson, 'Indigenous
Movements,' pp. 284-91, for a concise account of the 2000ooo
55 Tarrow, Powerin Movement,
pp. 8o, 149.
56 Assies, 'Uncommon citizens,' p. 18. See also Amnesty International, 'Bolivia: ChapareHuman Rights cannot be eradicated along with the coca leaf,' Amnesty International Press
Release, z5 Oct. 2001. Available at 8o0iozooi.
57 Jose Antonio Aruquipa, 'Indigenous groups enter politics,' LatinamericaPress, vol. 33,
no. 14, 23 April 2001, p. 4.
58 Assies, 'Uncommon citizens,' p. 12; Jose Antonio Aruquipa, 'Protests over Lawmaker's
Ouster,' LatinamericaPress,vol. 34, no. 3,
Feb. 2002zooz,
p. 3. Quiroga's excessive use of
force prompted a response from Amnesty International, which issued a press release on
Oct. zoo2001expressing 'deep concern at the killing of two people and the wounding of at
least four' during clashes between coca growers and Bolivian authorities. Amnesty International, 'Bolivia: Chapare-Human rights'.
59 Assies, 'Uncommon citizens,' p. 19.

Elections 771
FromExclusionto Inclusion:
Indigena Pachakutik. At the founding ceremony - held at the site of the
execution ofTupaj Katarion the 219th anniversaryof that event - he declared
that it was time to 'reclaim the Aymara nation, oppressed for 500 years by
white people',60 and promised to seek the reconstruction of the pre-colonial
forms of government.61Quispe's discourse contributed an ethno-nationalist
element to political discourse in the early zooos, an element that had not
been promoted with any effectiveness since the decline of the MITKA in
the early i98os. For example, in a zoo200interview, Quispe explained:
Thus, we continuedemandingour rights;althoughwe are not speakingyet about
in that we have to still
we are in the thirdtrial(ensayo),
preparethe rankand file. Laterwe are going to propose the self-determinationof
the Aymaranation,as well as of the Quechua,and the othersthatarein the country,
and this is going to be the struggleof the nationalitiesand not as it is now, which is
a class struggle.62
Due to his narrow appeal, targeted mainly to the Aymara, political analysts
gave him little chance of electoral success. Indeed, by summer 200ooihe had
done nothing to formally register the party or to create an institutionalised
apparatus.63Thus, it was a great surprise when Quispe's new party won 6.1
per cent of the votes in 2002, enough to obtain six seats in the chamber of
deputies, including one for Quispe.
The poor response of traditionalparties to the demands raised by a broad
array of disaffected social groups led many voters to seek an alternative in
the 2002 elections. The mobilisations transformed Evo Morales and Felipe
Quispe into national symbols of defiance against the Bolivian government
and the United States. They also developed an image of incorruptibility
through their refusal to be coopted by the government or to enter into
agreements with traditionalparties in exchange for comfortable jobs or other
financialbenefits. As Morales said in an October zooz interview, 'In the 2002
campaign, lots of middle class people - and even upper class people - told
me: "Evo, you are not prepared to be in the government, but at least you
are honest." And many of them even voted for me.'64 True to their words,
both refused to engage in the post-election horse-trading that characterises
Bolivian politics, declining offers that might have brought Morales's party
into the government. This behaviour was in marked contrast to the actions
of the Katarista parties, whose leaders were criticised for selling out their

Reuters, 'Bolivian Indians Form Their Own Political Party,'15 Nov.

61La Ran, 13 Nov. o2000.




via internet.

Quispe quotedin SergioC. Caceres,'Felipe Quispe: "Al 21060ohay que enterrarlojunto

con Victor Paz",' EIJugueteRabioso,vol. z, no. 36, I5-28 July 2zoo01,p. 8.
Interview, Jorge Lazarte, July 20oo1.

64 Backwell,

'A rural fight,' p. io.

772 DonnaLeeVanCott

Thus, the two indigenous leaders competed for the presidency just
months after the most intensivephase of what social movement scholars
callthe 'protestcycle',when socialmobilisationhadreacheda peakthroughout the country.As Fowerakerexplains,the protest cycle 'createsits own
"environment"'so that 'groups which emerge on the crest of a wave of
protestmayprofitfromthe generalatmosphereof discontentcreatedby the
effortsof others'.65

Muchof the Bolivianpublicsympathisedwith plightof the coca growers
and was angeredby overt US interferencein Bolivian domestic policies.
Anti-US sentimentincreasedwhen the congress expelled Evo Moralesin
January 2002 for inciting violence in the Chapareagainst government
eradicationforces- an expulsionmany(includingMorales)attributedto US
pressure."6A significantnumberof Bolivianswere outragedby the expulsion, both becauseit appearedto be orchestratedby the US government,and
because the victim was the country'smost prominentindigenousleader.67
As politicalscientistRene Antonio Mayorgaarguedone week prior to the
election,based on pollingresultsshowingMoralesin fourthplace,
If thishadnothappened,
asin 1997.Thisis theproductof thebadpolicyof thegovernment,
Rocha,whichhasbeena disaster.... WithoutUSpolicy,
policyof [US]Ambassador
Evo Moraleswouldnot exist.68
As Iturriobserved,Morales'expulsion 'was interpretedas an act of submission before the [US]Embassyand manyBoliviansexpressedwith their
vote their disagreementwith the anti-drugpolicy'.69Lowlandindigenous
movementadvisorHugo Salvatierra
concurred:'How could such a corrupt
Congressdare to expel the most-voteddeputyof the Congress?This provoked a reaction,a raisingof the consciousness,or acceleratedthe process
thathad begunearlier'.7oPerhapsthe most importof consciousness-raising
ant impact of the expulsionwas the universalrejectionit inspiredamong
the fracturedpeasantmovement,which closed ranksaroundMoralesand
organisedroadblocks,hunger strikes and demonstrationsto demand his
65 Foweraker,Theoriing
p. 72, citingSidneyTarrow.
Of the 130 membersof the Chamber
of Deputies,104 votedto expel Morales.Victor

'La participaci6ncampesino-indigena,'La Ragzn,

I July 2002, p. A28;
Hugo Catrdenas,
JaimeIturriS. 'Todos trabajaronparaEvo,' La68
i July zooz, p. Az6.
67 Assies, 'Uncommon citizens,'pp.
Interview,z25June zoo2002.
paraEvo,' p. Az6. 70 Interview,SantaCruz,3 July 2002zooz.
69 Iturri,'Todos trabajaron
71 Assies, 'Uncommon citizens,'p. I9.

FromExclusionto Inclusion:Bolivia's2o002Elections 77 3

The kettle of Bolivian nationalism boiled over five days before the
national elections when US Ambassador Manuel Rocha travelled to the
Chapare and announced: 'I want to remind the Bolivian electorate that if
they vote for those who want Bolivia to return to exporting cocaine, that will
seriously jeopardise any future aid to Bolivia from the United States'.72This
threat, coupled with Rocha's longstanding satanisation of Evo Morales,
who the United States regarded as a terrorist and compared to Osama bin
Laden, probably gave the IPSP-MAS a sufficient boost to take second place
from the NFR, which finished in the official results only 0.02 percentage
points behind it. Although it is impossible to measure the boost resulting
from Rocha's statements, Morales himself thanked the Ambassador for
the help.73 Given the fact that Morales was polling around 14 per cent, in
fourth place, prior to the statements, after fluctuating between 9 and 12
per cent during June, analysts estimate the size of the boost to have been
around 5 per cent,74although others note that urban-based polling probably
did not accurately measure Morales' - or Felipe Quispe'ss - strong support
in rural areas.75
Morales' approval rating was only three per cent at the start of his
campaign in January zooz, a few weeks following his expulsion from Congress. As Juan Forero reports, that soon changed: 'His blistering words,
filled with Yankee-bashing invective - including a recent claim that the
American embassy was trying to assassinate him - captivated a broadening
base of supporters among Bolivians frustrated by a deepening three-year
Morales capitalised on an image as the enemy and principal
the US embassy. He even refused to debate other presidential
candidates, arguing that his only true opponent was Ambassador Rocha,
whom he would be delighted to debate. As he explained in a September 2002
It is in this context that I have become enemyNo. I of the neoliberalsystemand
the US embassy.The latterhas a blacklistof leadersof social movementswhich it
sees as dangerousfor theirpolitics,and on this list I'm on the very top. In January,
the five big political parties decided under pressure from the US embassy to
72 Quest Economics

Database,'Bolivia:Review,'p. i.

73 BBCMonitoringLatinAmerica,'Bolivia:Furtherreporton Evo Morales'sresponseto US

ambassador'sstatements,'28 June 2002,on-line throughLexisNexisdatabase.

74 Farthingand Kohl, 'Shock to the System,'p. 7; RobertoLaserna,'Evo se fortaleceray
habri reaccionesde rebeli6n,'La RaZdn,27 June zooz, p. B5; 'Se lo imagina?'Tiempo
28 June 2002, pp. 8-9.
75 'Sorpresas que provocaron errores,' La
I July zo2002,p. A3; 'Las encuestas electorales perdieron en las inforas,' La RazonRaz6n,
(i July 2002), p. A33; Iturri, 'Todos trabajaron,'
p. Az6.
76 Juan Forero,'Ballot-boxRevolutionin the Making,'Toronto
Star 14 July 2002zooz,
p. Bo4.

774 DonnaLee VanCott

takeEvo Moralesout of parliament.... They wantedto finishoff the coca farmers'
union and put me in prison.It's not least becauseof this that we triumphedin the
None of the five variables discussed above alone can explain the stunning
results of the 2002 elections. Without the institutional consolidation of coordinated peasant and indigenous social movements, the two indigenous
parties would have lacked the resources necessary to compete against betterfinanced elite parties, as well as the political and organisational experience
to launch a successful national campaign. Without the institutional changes
discussed, these movements could not have developed a local and regional
foothold in the political system from which to enter the national political arena. Without the decline of three competitive parties - particularly
Condepa - there would not have been as many voters without allegiances
to existing parties available for recruitment by Morales and Quispe. These
factors alone might have produced a modest increase over the 1997 results
for the new indigenous parties, but they do not fully explain the actual size
of the increase. That may be attributed to the reaction provoked by the
Banzer-Quiroga government during the 18 months prior to the elections and
to the surge in anti-government and anti-US sentiment among the poor
majority, and a good part of the elite, in reaction to US Ambassador Rocha's
overt attempts to manipulate Bolivian politics.
The 2002 elections enabled the confrontation between the two Bolivias the included minority and the excluded majority- to be shifted from outside the state to within the new legislature. While taking the battle to the
heart of the formal political system, social movement leaders have vowed to
continue their extra-systemic struggles should their efforts not achieve their
goals. As Felipe Quispe said after the elections, with one hand he will play
the game of democracy, with the other he will hide a stone under his
poncho.78 Morales concurred that if the movement's congressional activities
were not effective he would lead massive social mobilisations.79
The unprecedented success of indigenous parties is part of a regional
trend in Latin American politics, particularlywithin the Andean region. In
Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela indigenous peoples' parties formed
in 1990, 1995, and I997 respectively, competed successfully in elections. In

Yvonne Zimmerman, 'Takingit from the Streets,'In TheseTimes,16 Sept. 2002,


sernnlos Mamani
y Yujra"'.


p. 8, via

79 'El MAS plantea dejar sin efecto la erradicaci6n de coca en el pais,' Los Tiempos,

Cochabamba,7 July


'Evo Peleari en el parlamentoprimero y luego en las

LaPaz,IJuly2002, p. Az6.

FromExclusionto Inclusion:
Elections 775
Colombia indigenous parties won the governorship of a department in 2000ooo,
after winning an increasing number of mayors, departmental deputies, and
even national deputies and senators since 1991i.80 In Ecuador, the indigenous movement-based party Movimiento Unido Plurinacional Pachakutik
(MUPP) won some io per cent of the seats in congress in 1996 and 1998; in
Z002 it formed an alliance with a populist retired military officer and won
the presidency, as well as 14 seats in the i 2z-seat congress alone or in alliance
with smaller parties."1 In Venezuela in 2ooo a new regional indigenous party
won a state governorship and a seat in the national congress in coalition with
leftist parties.82Peru's weaker indigenous movement was inspired by the
Morales and Quispe victories; the largest peasant federation, the mostly
Quechua Confederaci6n Campesina de Peri, is planning to launch a new
political party before national elections scheduled for 2005.83
The dramatic increase in the self-representation of the indigenous population in Bolivia and elsewhere is a salutarydevelopment in a region where
ethnic minorities traditionallyhave been excluded, and where this exclusion
and the inequality it perpetuates has reduced the quality of democracy. Are
ethnic parties - which elsewhere in the world tend to promote extremism as
ethnic elites outbid each other for control of their base - likely to polarise
and fragment Latin America's alreadyweak party systems while intensifying
ethnic and racial animosities? There is no question that Bolivian politics
has become more confrontational since the new congress was seated in
August 2002, but is the confrontation by the subordinate majority of the
ruling minority on its once-privileged turf necessarily a bad thing for Bolivian
democracy? The answers to these questions will become clearer as indigenous party leaders work out their new ambiguous role as outsiders within the
political system.





Van Cott, 'Institutional Change'.

ScottH. BeckandKennethJ. Mijeski,


Studies,i, Sept. zoor. Van Cott, 'Institutional
Change';El Universo
on-line, 25 Nov. 2ooz.
Van Cott, 'Andean Indigenous Movements'.

Interview,WilderSanchez,Lima,Peru, i 2 July 2002.