October 18, 2006
On the indigenous frontline
'Whispering in the Giant's Ear' looks at Native challenge in Bolivia
It used to be referred to as Oblivia, a small landlocked country ruled by a typically corrupt elite. About three years ago, however, news from Bolivia started creeping toward the front pages of our press as large groups of Natives began to protest the longstanding discrimination against them. Since almost two-thirds of Bolivia’s population is composed of indigenous peoples, the largest of any country in the hemisphere, this movement is no small matter. Its main tactic was the nonviolent blockade of roads to and from the most important cities. It culminated in December of 2005 with the election of Evo Morales, the first indigenous head of state in Latin America.Comment: As usual, Gandhi and ML King knew best. Score another victory for nonviolent action.