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Power to the People

From citywide protests to road blockades in a small town, it is not uncommon to expect travel delays or even a temporary shutdown in the city; Bolivia is a country not unfamiliar to citizens voicing their opinions loudly. However, it is another thing entirely when the entire country organizes an event, prompting business and school closures in all major cities so that its citizens can express their desires. On December 6, 2018, Bolivia did just that.

Bolivia’s newest constitution, implemented in 2009, restricts the term limit of the president to two five-year terms, not including elections held before the implementation. Current president Evo Morales, elected 2006 and re-elected 2009 and 2014, wishes to seek re-election for a fourth presidential term, his third re-election under the current constitution.

Bolivians on December 6 organized a nationwide protest to remind the government that “Bolivia dijo no”: Bolivia said no. In the constitutional referendum 21st of February in 2016, or known simply as 21F, Bolivians with a 51.3% majority voted against amending the Constitution to allow a president to run for a third re-election.

A country whose history is tainted with years of dictatorships and oppression by foreign powers, the Bolivisn people are not afraid to vouc3 their opinions, to fight for what they believe is right, and to fight those in power that seek to take away democracy from the people.

The power is in the people, and they exert it in the way they know how.