It seems that I got to La Paz at an important political moment for Bolivia. Though when I read and learn about Bolivian history (particularly all along the 20th century and particularly after 1952), it seems that politics and social movements have been fundamental in order to implement structural social change in one of the poorest and unequal countries in Latin America.
The political moment is quite interesting because a new presidential election will happen in October and all seems to indicate that Evo Morales (leading MAS – Movimiento al Socialismo), who was elected for the first time in 2006, will be re-elected.
It seems that the changes implemented after he was elected are so important that there is no way back. Though the results may have not been as impressive ‘as expected’, the changes implemented are relevant in all fronts. Though the country is improving, there are several important questions about the relation between the Nation (being Bolivian) within a Pluri-national state, the meaning of the State, the identity of social movements and the relevance of the campesino and indigenous groups.
I had visited Bolivia twice in 2002, when the big disputes against the World Bank happened because of the charges imposed by the foreign debt on society. After eleven years, after Evo Morales/MAS was elected and the hydrocarbons were nationalised, I can see in La Paz an impressive investment in infrastructure, buses and an impressive cable-car network linking important parts of a mountainous city. The sport fields here in La Paz and all over the country) seem to be good.
Two days ago it was launched the La Paz Fair Venue, and though it is not as big as the one in Santa Cruz or the one in Cochabamba, it is quite impressive and will be useful for all the businesses related with the to the non-stopping migration of Bolivians from all over the country.