The Indigenous Movement is part of the culture of life. Interview with Evo Morales

The Indigenous Movement is part of the culture of life. Interview with Evo Morales

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By Fernando Bossi

To have a conversation with Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, is to receive a wealth of millenary experiences through the voice of our interlocutor. As he himself affirms, his honesty and principles brought him to the presidency.

To have a conversation with Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, is to receive a wealth of millenary experiences through the voice of our interlocutor. As he himself affirms, his honesty led him to the presidency, his principles learned in the ayllu from the hands of his parents and from a struggling, hard-working and supportive native community long before the word "solidarity" was one of the revolutionary commitments of our times. It is not surprising that our first question revolves around these values. Question in which Evo, speaking calmly, firmly and sometimes with an emotional tone lends himself to answer. Let's read.

Fernando Bossi: In a world in which the consumer model has made values ​​discredited, what are the reasons for affirming that the indigenous movement is the moral reserve of humanity.

Evo Morales: For many reasons, for many experiences, for many elements, the indigenous movement is the moral reserve of humanity. In principle, they live in community, therefore, in collectivity. Within the community in permanent solidarity, in permanent reciprocity, in complementarity, all complementary. In that community, there are no majorities or minorities, it is a community of consensus, because you raise and debate an issue, a problem, and the reasons for solving that problem must benefit the community. From that point of view, the indigenous movement therefore lives for life and for humanity. The indigenous movement not only lives in reciprocity or harmony with the human being, but also in harmony with Mother Earth. That mother earth, that life-giving nature, cannot be commercialized, it cannot be an instrument against life; therefore here, the indigenous movement is part of the culture of life.

FB: I would like you to abound in the latest. Why do you say it is culture of life?

EM: I will tell you a recent example of the culture of life of our native peoples: The events of the 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 of this month (January 2007) lived in Cochabamba. The Quechua and Aymara movement, from the countryside and the city, mobilized against a prefect who robs the people, who wants to divide the nation, who works with blackmail, threats; He intimidates the people, the municipal authorities. So, this movement mobilizes against the prefect of the Cochabamba city hall. He mobilizes by questioning that policy of maneuvering, that policy of theft, that policy of arrogance, and when he mobilizes peacefully against the prefect, that authority convinces about six thousand city dwellers, with lies, disparagingly saying that the "Quechuas", "Indians" They are going to loot our houses, they are going to take away our houses, they are going to burn our houses, they are going to rape our daughters, therefore we have to get them out of the city. That Cochabamba authority mobilizes five or six thousand city dwellers, makes them beat, makes them kill.

FB: How do the people react to this situation?

EM: The next day, more than 100,000 Quechuas, especially Aymara, mobilize, not to take revenge, because 100,000 would have devastated, finished with 5,000, 6,000 city dwellers. Again they ratify their position: They want the resignation of the prefect.

I spoke by phone with our people to remind them that we are the culture of life and not the culture of death; we are the culture of solidarity and not of revenge. I told them: You have mobilized against an authority, not against a people, not against people from the city. The indigenous movement is not vindictive, it is not spiteful. We give everything to defend life for everyone. If you are fighting against a prefect who steals, who divides, who wants to divide Bolivia, then he is also defending the people of the city. Later, the same people who beat, killed, beat up, attacked, realized that the enemy was the prefect, and the next day they left with food, soft drinks, bread, and fruits to support that mobilization, it was impressive. We are culture of life, we are not exclusive or vindictive.

I never tire of saying that our struggle for more than 500 years, for the mother earth that gives us life, is a continuous awakening of what we are, a path, a continuous process for an equitable society and solidarity.

FB: Definitely an example ...

EM: Yes, an example that we give to humanity. Also, the original peoples of Our America are the moral reserve because they do not have a thought, an ambition, to concentrate capital in few hands.

FB: There is no greed ...

EM: There is no interest in concentrating capital in a few hands because it thinks about equality, dignity, and living well. Live well, that there is no lack of education, that there is no lack of health, that there is no lack of employment, that basic services are of public service and not of private business, that natural resources belong to the State, under the control of the people and that benefits all the people with equality. There are too many years in which our peoples have been victims of the supposed neocolonial development and now they seek integration to live well, with dignity, without exploiting, stealing, or looting.

The original indigenous movement has not been characterized by subjugating others, discriminating, or exploiting our brothers, although for centuries we have suffered all kinds of abuse.

And furthermore, I am very surprised, especially in Bolivia, by the brothers, by those humble people from the neighborhood, from the countryside, especially Quechua, Aymara, Guarani, as well as other classes. When they don't find work in Bolivia, they go to Argentina, they go almost everywhere.

Look, this time I'm going to give you an example of what it is to be a moral reserve in honesty. Once I was in Argentina, a little place in the morning is concentrated and they come to look for workers, and I was standing there. I meet coca growers, ex-coca growers, ex-miners and I tell them: What are you doing here? We have come to look for work. And what are they doing here? No, businessmen are coming to take us. Some Chinese just arrive and say: Boliviano, Boliviano. And Quechua Bolivians appear, even undocumented. Some Peruvians want to impersonate Bolivia to get a job. And I wondered why, and the businessman tells me, the Bolivian - who is generally Quechua, Aymara or Guaraní - is honest and hard-working. I repeated the phrase to myself several times: Honest and hardworking… I was surprised.

I was also in Barcelona and spoke with some Catalan businessmen. I asked them: Why do you always look for the Bolivian? The Bolivian is honest and hard-working, and therefore Latin American, they tell me. This is how people from the countryside are looking for work in other countries. So, that is a part of Latin American society, the indigenous movement, which among its virtues highlights honesty, but also wants its rights to be respected.

FB: Rounding out the Evo theme, the native peoples preserve some virtues and attributes, which our society has forgotten, such as honesty, work, the common good, and so on. I wonder what the goal of the movement is.

EM: The indigenous movement has been the most vilified sector in Bolivian history during all times, in the colonial era, in the 181 years of the life of the republic, within the 20 years of neoliberalism. He has had to face hatred, contempt and marginalization.

Time to change that. I think we are making good progress, I am convinced and working for them, therefore, for the Bolivians. As I have said before, we are opening a gap not only to free ourselves, the Bolivian natives, but also to walk alongside other peoples and free them because we are in solidarity and believe in the good of all. That is our goal, everyone's: Justice and solidarity. The native peoples for their centuries-old struggle, for their example of coexistence, are the real alternative to the neoliberal accumulation model. They are an example of resistance.

FB: And this is what you have called going from resistance to power?

EM: Yes, we have resisted peacefully with marches, with mobilizations, with massive concentrations. We said, from the protest to the proposal. We are at that stage. And now sometimes I bring answers, sometimes I pick up proposals, later to give answers, from this measure I gradually resolve. In the cities, in the countryside, we will continue. The native peoples decided to go from resistance to power, from union to electoral struggle.

FB: You are ruling with the social movement. You can see that there is a permanent consultation with the social movement and that characterizes your government.

EM: On the fourth, fifth and sixth of this month of January in Cochabamba, we met with the ministers and vice ministers to render accounts, report the activities of a year to 44 national organizations and some regional ones.

FB: To render an account ...

EM: To render an account and listen to their criticisms and their proposals. First time in history. It is the true people. Three days, ministers, vice ministers, sitting, listening, responding, clarifying and did not reject the structural or social transformations. They did observe that there are problems with the bureaucracy, we have to face that; but they congratulated us for all the work we are doing. The old governments were characterized by their policy of exclusion and discrimination. They kept the people away from the instances of power. We couldn't decide our fate. It is one of the visions that we have changed. That is why the importance of being accountable and listening to the people, to the organizations.

As a humorous note I tell you that in a recommendation a colleague said: Evo, let him sleep ...

FB: Get some sleep ... (laughs)

EM: He told us… Evo today is president for life. God knows…

FB: They want to take care of you ...

EM: It's awesome isn't it? I want to express that I am very grateful because I come from them. That makes me remember my childhood, an example of the hard life of our brothers, something that I never told ... when I was five to six years old, my older sister was about eight or nine years old, we stayed in the hut, the hut is the livestock area and our livestock area. My parents had to return to sleep with us on the shores of Lake Pop, south of the shores of Lake Pop. Each hut was at least ... to see ... every thousand meters. Much more.

Every two kilometers a hut. And neither the father nor the mother arrived. It was the first time we were alone there in the hut. And we were afraid ... such a pampas, banks, two children abandoned there, and my sister did not want to stay to sleep in the house and Esther, my sister told me: I avoid, we are going to sleep with the sheep, with the lambs, in the stable , in the ranchón.

We grabbed the beds and went to the barn to sleep together with the sheep, out of fear.

FB: To feel accompanied, right?

EM: I was not afraid because there was an older sister ... and my sister I think she cried all night, cried with fear and did not sleep.

And once, like me, I had to sleep alone, I must have been six or seven years old. I was with the sheep, the same hut, my mother had to return, she got lost, my mother did not come! Since it got dark, we had no light, we had no dog ... people always made tales of the damned, the damned ... and when it got dark, I didn't want to go to sleep with the sheep, but there.

FB: Did you stay in the hut?

EM: There I stayed and I had to cover myself with the whole bed, I almost drowned, and I cried and cried at least I cried until three or four in the morning, yes I had fallen asleep at dawn ... I got tired crying.

FB: Out of fear ... of course ...

EM: Out of fear ... he was very small ... Another anecdote I wanted to tell you is about when he was a muleteer, for example when he crossed the Cochabamba-Oruro, Oruro-Cochabamba highway with the flames, the passengers from the windows of the buses threw orange peels , bananas ... I would pick them up and eat them. I would collect those peels and eat the banana peels behind the flames, and as I said before, my great wish was one day to travel on those buses to throw away orange and banana peels ... (Laughter)

After I have been a deputy and a leader ... through those places where I have walked for weeks eating orange and banana peels, well, every week I passed two and three times by plane. Now that I am president, I spend almost two or three days by plane, plane and helicopter in those places ... how it has changed.

When I was in the Independencia Valley, we were going to look for corn, from muleteers, to take to the highlands, –when I arrived in the valley I was already 12 or 13 years old–, in '71.

My father left me in the flames in the highlands, in the mountains, and went down to look for corn to take it to Orinoca. You walk ... let's see ... a week, two, three weeks.

FB: Three weeks?

EM: Yes, from Orinoca to Independencia and back for three weeks as well. And once my dad hasn't returned ... I alone ...

FB: Did you stay alone?

EM: Yes, on such a mountain ... I already had a dog ... his name was Clover.

When my dad hadn't come back from exchanging the corn, I fell asleep alone but I couldn't sleep either because there were little tigers that ate llamas ... at night they would come, take the llama and the next day a llama had died, they had eaten it ... I slept with my dog, he wanted to leave, nothing, I had to tie him up. It was about 50 llamas. And already at twelve, one in the morning, the flames were scared away. I had to let go of the dog and the dog left with the flames.

From that moment, from that moment I started crying until six in the morning. The dog had returned, after dawn, I already put on my poncho and a hat. There was drizzle. So, to look for the flames. I found, through the traces of the flames, how the lion's little tiger carried her away in the night. I found a dead flame. The tiger had hunted her by flame. The little tiger was gone but a fox was eating it. He wanted to chase the fox because he was eating so much meat, he couldn't escape ...

FB: I was fat ...

EM: Yes, fat ... (Laughter) I was chasing him with stones, a fight with the fox. I wanted the dog to help me hunt that fox, take revenge on the fox and my dog ​​had gone to eat the llama. (Laughs) That was around 10 in the morning, without breakfast. I gathered the flames, went down to the hut and my dad had arrived. I was cooking, preparing breakfast, lunch, and I informed my dad what happened. After eating, at twelve, one, around there, we already went up a little to look for the meat of the llama. He couldn't understand that situation. How in life I have walked ...

FB: That life lasts ...

EM: It lasts ...

FB: I remember why to the motto “don't be a liar, don't be a thief, don't be lazy”, you have added the “don't be servile”.

EM: It is a cosmic law that our ancestors left us. He loves sua, loves llulla, he loves quella. Don't steal, don't lie, or be lazy. But in Western culture you find, I find servility, the "llunqo". In this new generation we increase the "love llunqo", "not be servile." They are principles that allow us to dignify Bolivia, to dignify humanity. Really, I remember, for example, my father closed his house in the community for months without a padlock and nothing was lost.

FB: Nobody stole.

EM: Because the whole community cared and that is part of reciprocity and when a family leaves, the same. Months without a lock, it can even be open and nothing is lost. Last time, for example, I went to Orinoca with the Juancito Pinto song, in November, where I was sleeping. His key, his badge had gone bad, but I found my house without a key and there were the beds, there were the carafes, there was what we had.

FB: And for how long?

EM: Well, I've been going for a long time. Not 15 years old. But my sisters, my brothers go every year, at least. And if we talk to see about not being a liar, maneuver. I condemn when some say: Evo, you must read Machiavelli. And what is Machiavelli? No, to lead Bolivia, to be a political leader and be a bit of a maneuver. That is being a liar. I prefer not to read Machiavelli. I do not want to know of Machiavelli to be a maneuver or Machiavellian, therefore, nor a liar. I have information, at the Law School, at least in Bolivia, when you enter, the first thing they do read is Machiavelli.

FB: "The Prince" ...

EM: To be a handyman, a handful, why study to be a handy man. The other issue of not being lazy, in principle, we must work with dignity and how the communities strive to live well and with dignity. But in this western culture in a hypocritical way they praise a person in exchange for getting something. That to me is very ugly. If you have to recognize a job or a person, you have to recognize it, but nothing has changed. That is why he loves sua, loves llulla, loves quella, loves llunqo ...

* Evo Nobel

Video: Washington Bullets: Race, Capitalism and Resistance in America by Vijay Prashad (June 2022).


  1. Atlas

    The matchless message, is pleasant to me :)

  2. Aladdin

    In it something is. Earlier I thought differently, many thanks for the information.

  3. Mikarr


  4. Akinoshicage

    And how to paraphrase it?

  5. Prospero

    Excuse me for what I'm here to interfere… recently. But they are very close to the theme. They can help with the answer.

  6. Faulmaran

    Not wasting superfluous words.

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