Cocalero, much like Our Brand is Crisis covers a presidential campaign in Bolivia but instead of following an American who was from Bolivia like Goni it follows Evo Morales who was an indigenous Bolivian and was part of the MAS party which was the movement towards socialism party. Morales’ campaign had the feel of what Americans would call a “grassroots” movement. It involved many people within the country and was not run by any political firm like GCS. Morales’ campaign members were other MAS members and were not professionals but instead union leaders and ordinary Bolivian citizens. The MAS movement was focused more on helping the citizens of Bolivia and specifically the underrepresented indigenous population of Coca leaf growers which are demonized in many countries as the purveyors of cocaine.
The article titled The 1992 Indian Mobilization in Lowland Ecuador by Suzanne Sawyer talks about “indigenous nation building” in South America. It begins by talking about Ecuador but this building is what the MAS party was working for in Cocalero. It is also mentioned in this article that this indigenous movement began in the 1960s under JFK’s “Alliance for progress” to try and stop anymore “Cubas” from being formed, this was still during the Cold War so it makes sense from a US policy standpoint. The article also discusses the exploitation of natural resources in Ecuador and this is also directly seen in Cocalero because the people still want to make more money off their natural gas that is sold to the USA. The USA was making the bulk of the profit and the indigenous population felt they were entitled to more of those profits. A line from this article that can be applied to many Indians of indigenous movements that want to be successful, whether they are Ecuadorian, Bolivian or another nationality is that they are”Commonly depicted as marginal, lowland Indians articulated their demands with global concerns and challenged state perceptions of themselves” (Sawyer 78) and this is how they won power and began having a voice in how their country was run.
Ecuador’s Pan-Indian Uprising by Les Fields discusses the Ecuadorian movement for Indigenous people to gain rights. One thing that was seen in Cocalero that is also seen in this article was that on the march to the capital the Ecuadorian people blocked the Pan-American highway and other roadways with boulders, trees and anything they could find. This was also seen in Bolivia and would effectively stop goods from moving too much and as such make the government do something to stop the roadblocks. In some cases there is military or police used and in other cases there is an agreement or deal to appease the people. In Ecuador the government first used force and killed some of the movements leaders but they eventually met with them, this is very similar to what happened in Bolivia. Another similarity found within this article is that the Ecuadorian people began organizations of indigenous groups to try and gain political power. (Fields 43) This is how the MAS party gained much of their power, by allying themselves with the Coca growers, miners and other groups. These small organizations which make up a large part of their population are what would eventually get the MAS party elected into power.