<br /><div class="MsoNormal">Being an ally of other socialist leaders such as Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales has high criticism of United States policy. His biggest policy has been land reforms. Nevertheless, in the month of October 2009, he was awarded the title of <i>World Hero of the Mother Earth</i> by the United Nations. Evo Morales was the first of his kind. He ran for presidency of Bolivia in 2002 but lost to Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada by a single point. Then in 2005, Evo Morales once again ran for presidency. The film <i>Cocalero</i> is a 2007 documentary on the race for presidency of Bolivia as the first president of an indigenous background. Evo Morales promoted the cocalero movement. The cocalero movement represents a union formed by Bolivian coca farmers in opposition to the US-influenced eradication of coca crops. Movements to eradicate coca crops stem from U.S. policies during the decline of the Cold War (Lehman 132). Lehman states that Bolivia’s current problems cannot all be blamed on the United States; however, American influence has been problematic factor in Bolivian issues. Because of this, Morales stands in opposition to an American presence in Bolivia. </div><div class="MsoNormal">In the 1980s, Bolivia switched from a military regime to civilian rule due to their corruption from drugs (139). The declining Cold War allowed American focus to shift.<span>&nbsp; </span>The US congress agreed to terminate aid to any country out of line with US anti-drug policies. Bolivian leader Victor Paz then decided to eradicate coca beyond traditional use (133). However, the policy would soon evolve into “heavy state intervention” for coca farmers (133).<span>&nbsp; </span>The coca leaf has been essential to the Bolivian economy “since pre-colonial times” (132). For farmers, it was ideal to grow these leaves on the eastern foothills. Consequently by the 1980s, Bolivia’s economy revolved around the coca leaf. This industry provided jobs to a multitude of farmers, farmers from Chapare and Yungas receiving a decent living because of it. By the 1990s, Bolivia is a showdown between the poor indigenous farmers and the US- influenced government.</div><div class="MsoNormal">The drug policies were the primary campaign issue during the 1993 Bolivian election (134). Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada won the presidency. He was more concerned with putting Bolivia in Washington’s “good graces” (134). However, research proved that coca was still dominating half of Bolivia’s export revenues. In 1998, Goni’s successor, Hugo Banzer put into act “Plan Dignidad,” which sought to completely eradicate coca plants (136). The towns hit hardest were Chapare and Yungas. Banzer sent troops, funded by the US, into these already poor towns, to destroy coca plants, devastating the farmers. In 1978, future presidential candidate Evo Morales was ordered, as a member of the Bolivian army to shoot against coca growers during a march. He refused on the grounds that they were “the biggest defenders of democracy.” In the 2005 election, Evo Morales took presidency by a landslide. From Aymara descent, President Evo Morales became the leader of the cocalero movement in Bolivia.</div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='' alt='' /></div>