2008/09/18:Protesters Seek Privileged Status - Community Action on Latin America

Protesters Seek Privileged Status
Wisconsin State Journal :: OPINION :: A11
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Marc Becker, president, Community Action on Latin America, Madison

The photo and blurb concerning ongoing protests in Bolivia in Monday's paper ("Bolivians protest Morales") did a disservice to readers seeking to understand ongoing conflicts in this South American country.

The story failed to note that the "young opponents" of President Evo Morales are members of a violent gang called the Youth Union of La Cruz, which focuses attacks on indigenous people who form the basis of Morales' leftist government. Over the past several days, many Morales supporters have been killed.

Last week, Morales expelled U.S. Ambassador Phillip Goldberg because he was accused of encouraging those who are seeking to overthrow the popular and democratically-elected Morales. Morales is struggling to remake the country so that its wealth of natural resources benefit the entire country rather than a small, affluent elite. The anti-democratic protesters in this story are fighting to preserve their class privileges in an exclusionary society.