Fires raging in the eastern part of Bolivia take precedence over all other local news at the moment, which means most of the headlines you’ll come across today involving the South American country will revolve around news of President Evo Morales’s acquiring of a SuperTanker plane to the fight the Amazonian blaze. But prior to this demonstration of benevolence, Morales has long been criticized for misuse of public funds, targeting of journalists and most recently – ignoring the results of a referendum initiated on his account, which showed that the vast majority of citizens do not want him to stick around for a fourth term.
According to Al Jazeera, hundreds of people took to the streets to block roads and protest Morales’s way of leading on Wednesday. “We believe that we must continue fighting to win back the democracy that we had,” opposition spokesman Rolando Villena said, “and not the kind that we have now, which is controlled and persecuted.” Reports show the protests have been all but peaceful thus far, but will be unrelenting unless the president agrees to abide by the rules and regulations the country has in place to assure due process.
Rather than be content with his long run, and take his small bag of wins (which include increased rights for Indigenous people and assistance for the poor), Morales is entering dangerous waters, shooting for a 19-year run whilst belittling democracy and refusing to respect the procedures put in place to ensure its longevity.
“The only thing we ask for,” a protester told Bolivia Prensa, “is for the elections to be transparent come October.”