Cocalero (2007)

The film Cocalero (2007) is a documentary film following Evo Morales on the road to becoming the first indigenous president of Bolivia.  His campaign style during the film was completely different from Goni’s campaign in the film “Our Brand is Crisis.”  To the people of Bolivia, Morales is more relatable.  He actually went out to the towns of Bolivia and met the people face and face.  Throughout the film, he developed more personal relationships and support from the people of Bolivia than probably any other candidate that has run for president.  He received the majority of the vote, about 54% compared to Goni who only received 22% during the 2002 election.  Many of Morales’ supporters were the coca plant farmers which we see in the film.  The farmers felt knew the previous presidents of Bolivia wanted to get rid of this plant which is the livelihood of most the population.  Because Morales was the first indigenous candidate to run in Bolivia, the population obviously felt he understand their concerns for the country.  From the film,  we can gather that Morales was more down to earth than Goni.  First, Morales met hand to hand with the citizens.  Second, Morales ran his own campaign, whereas Goni has a United States based marketing team to head up his campaign.  Third, Morales was an advocate for the people of Bolivia in their needs and wants.  The coca plant production is a passionate topic for the people because it’s their livelihood. Bolivia functions because of the coca plant and the farmers.  They did not want the United States interfering with their country’s source of income.  It was obvious from the film that Morales was determined to win the presidency.  He wanted to assure the people of Bolivia that he could do the best job for the country and he would maintain his promises while being president.  

    For many Latin American countries, the indigenous people don’t want interference from any foreign people and countries.  This is how people of Ecuador felt in the early 1990′s.  The indigenous Indian people decided to take a stand simple to how the people of Bolivia took a stand against Goni and his vice president.  In an article by Suzana Sawyer titled ‘The 1992 Indian Mobilization in Lowland Ecuador” she discusses the uproar caused by the indigenous population in Ecuador.  “The 1992 march, one of three pivotal indigenous mobilizations since 1990 to challenge the Ecuadorian state, was a crucial juncture in the process of indigenous nation building.  Indian leaders crafted a platform from which to voice their claims by weaving international concerns for tropical conservation and indigenous rights together with local understandings of identity and place” (Sawyer, 1).  She goes on to say, “Drawing momentum from the pan-Indian continental campaign to commemorate 1992 as marking ’500 Years of Resistance, the march revived dormant lowland-highland alliances and momentarily exposed the possibilities for transforming race and ethnic relations within Ecuadorian society” (Sawyer, 2).  From reading this article, the Ecuador people were ready take control of their country again and this march just justified their passionate motivation and determination.  In another article by Les Field “Ecuador’s Pan-Indian Uprising”, it further discusses the movement by the Ecuadorian people and why this was necessary for them.  “The takeover also marked an end-the end of hundreds of years of life on the political periphery for the 40% of Ecuador’s 10 million people who are Indians” (Field, 1).  This seems to be the case for the people of Bolivia as well.  They wanted and needed someone like Morales to come into the political view who truly understood and cared about Bolivia as a whole.  “Everywhere the demand was the same: give back the land that once belonged, and still rightfully belongs to indigenous communities.  ‘The indigenous peoples of this country will continue to struggle until we achieve out rights,’ CONAIE’s president Cristobal Tapuy declared in a press conference.  ‘We are tired of offers and promises, of being berated and looked down upon.  We are prepared now, with our ideas and our own criteria’” (Fields, 1).  Obviously the people of Bolivia can relate to the march of 1992 in Ecuador.  The people were tired of the government trying to take the coca farms and were ready for someone like Morales.   Bolivians needed support for their homeland from an indigenous supporter and leader like Morales.  The Ecuadorians, like the Bolivians, didn’t want anymore of their land to be used for something other than their country.