September 06, 2007

Peace prize for Morales?

Morales campaigns with eye on NobelPresident Evo Morales is campaigning for the Nobel Peace Prize, reaching out to comrades of the international left in an effort that belies daily violence at home and a growing threat of civil war that has engulfed parts of Bolivia during his tenure.

As Bolivia's first elected South American Indian president, Mr. Morales has gained an international following for his efforts to nationalize industries and redistribute land in a bid to remake his nation as a socialist state.

To push his Nobel ambitions, he has spent a lot of time traveling, meeting with world leaders and addressing humanitarian forums in which he has proclaimed, "Bolivia renounces war."

Such pronouncements are sharply at odds with daily rioting and street battles that have forced a year-old constitutional convention to shut down, while prompting provinces from the eastern lowlands to talk of seceding.

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