The Bolivia Reader: History, Culture, Politics
The Movement to Socialism (mas) government of Evo Morales has presented itself as offering a new “postneoliberal” project. Yet its development model, relying on the extraction and export of primary raw materials, bears resemblances to that of other governments in the past, whether oligarchic, nationalist, military, or neoliberal. Such a model seemed at odds with the government’s own innovative national and international legislative initiatives to “respect and defend Mother Earth.” While the MAS claimed to represent indigenous peoples politically at the national level, state plans for oil and gas exploitation and to build up transportation infrastructure for national and international commerce also generated friction with local indigenous communities claiming their own territorial rights, as seen in the conflict over the Isiboro-Sécure National Park and Indigenous Territory (tipnis).
In the following interview from La Jornada (Mexico) in February 2012, six years after the inauguration of Evo Morales, the vice president of the mas, Alvaro García Linera, provides a government perspective on issues of development, social movements, and national politics, as well as on the “creative tensions” in the “postneoliberal” period. García Linera is an intellectual of the left who cofounded, with Felipe Quispe and others, the short-lived Túpac Katari Guerrilla Army (egtk). After serving a prison term, from 1992 to 1997, for insurrection and terrorism, he became a well-known political analyst in the news media, and in 2004 Evo Morales selected him as his vice presidential running mate. He is the leading ideologue of the MAS and a skilled and articulate polemicist.