The documentary Cocalero, directed by Alejandro Landes in 2007, follows presidential candidate Evo Morales as he fights for the rights of the coca farmers. In the documentary, Evo Morales is portrayed as the candidate that is running for the good of the people. He is an indigenous citizen, and a cocalero farmer, just like a lot of the people of Bolivia. It seems that in Bolivia the main issue, as far as their economy goes, revolves around cocaine and its eradication. It seems that by eradicating cocaine Bolivia would be able to fund their country… or so they thought.
In Kenneth Lehman’s article “U.S. Policy and Political Disarray in Bolivia, 1985-2006,” he points out the backwards emphasis that Bolivia put on the “3-D’s” in order to receive the maximum funding from the U.S. and U.N. He states that:
  “while officials identified the “3-D’s” in order - democracy, development, and drug control - actual policies reversed those prorities. Drug control almost always came first, development assistance was made conditional on effective drug control measures, and too often the advancement of democracy - beyond the technical matter of holding regular elections- received little more than lip service” (Lehman 132).
This quotation sums up the entirety of Lehman’s article. The Bolivian government was ultimately forced to eradicate coca farms because that was where they were able to receive monetary support from other countries. unfortunately for Bolivia, that means that they were putting the most important aspect on the back burner. That aspect was democracy. The U.S. promised that they would replace coca farms with another crop, but again there was an issue. No other crops fit the soil as well as the coca did, and no other crops were as profitable as coca. This is where Evo Morales gets a lot of his support in the film, from the coca farmers. Lehman states “Bolivia has one of its few comparative advantages in the production of coca and has been an important supplier of the leaf since pre-colonial times” (Lehman 132). The question seemed to be, how is Bolivia supposed to develop itself when its most valuable crop is not replaced with anything sufficient to bring in revenue?
Bolivia was putting the most important aspect on the back burner. That aspect was democracy. This was easily illustrated in last weeks film Our Brand is Crisis. It is easy to see how a country can be at war with its government when only twenty-three percent of the country approved of Goni being there. At the time of coca eradication, Bolivia was essentially being run by whoever was funding the Bolivian government. Lehman states that “the U.S. Embassy, the IMF, and the World Bank became central policymaking actors in Bolivia” (Lehman 140). Bolivia was eradicating coca left and right in order to continue receiving aid from the U.S. and other sources. Even though they eradicated many of their illegal crop lands, funding started to go elsewhere. Which left Bolivia without funding and without coca. The people who voiced their opinions were the cocaleros. Evo Morales, while in the armed forces, said “I saw that the biggest defenders of democracy were the cocaleros” (qt. in Lehman 142). The cocaleros would be one of the main groups that help to get Morales elected, as seen in the documentary.
It is also important to note that Evo Morales is the first indigenous president to win in Bolivia. Similarly, in Ecuador Macas’ presidency helped to recognize what indigenous people had been struggling for quite sometime. They wanted to take control of the government and have a say in their future. In Suzana Sawyer’s article “The 1992 Indian Mobilization in Lowland Ecuador,” she states that his presidency (Macas)
  “reaffirmed a growing recognition of Indians as political actors in Ecuador… Indians who had once been barred from official political practice were now transforming public space and becoming a formidable presence in Ecuadorian politics and society” (Sawyer 67).
This can be seen in the documentary as well. There are many occasions where the indigenous are either protesting or trying to take part in the governmental activities. (ie. voting)
The situation in Bolivia seemed to be a “catch 22.” The government needed money, but in order to get money they had to eradicate all their coca. The coca was their source of money, and once eradicated they stopped receiving financial support which left the country without money yet again.