Cocalero is a film that outlines issues surrounding the coca-growing regions of Bolivia and the indigenous mobilization against an unfair state that resulted from the attempted eradication of the coca crops. The primary concern from the indigenous perspective was that the Bolivian government was trying to eradicate the livelihood of thousands of indigenous farmers for the greater good (elimination of the cocaine producing coca plant). However what the Bolivian government did not expect was the indigenous to form up a union headed by the Aymara Indian Evo Morales.
However what was not expected was Evo Morales putting up a bid for the presidency of Bolivia. He ran under the socialist platform and portrayed himself as an every-man. This led to mass appeal and easily helped him to garner support for his platform of redistribution of wealth, renationalization of industry, and legalization of coca. Overall he won by a huge margin. This can be attributed to his genuine concern for his people, we think back to Our brand is crisis from last week and we see that putting up a false front and calling for change when the candidate does not have the resources available to enact it is ultimately a waste of time and causes nothing but problems for everyone even remotely involved. In the case of Evo, he has lived with the problem at the base level, he knows what needs to be done and he knows how to go about doing it. This is one of the key aspects to being a successful leader. Many people were concerned about the socialist nature of his party, but what we as Americans need to realize is that sometimes socialism is what is needed for a country, each place can be led differently and what works for the United States may not work for Bolivia or Ecuador.
The concept of indigenous uprisings is not a new one, according to the Les Field article, a very similar situation happened in Ecuador, there were multiple uprisings because the indigenous people wanted the government to “give back the land that once belonged, and still rightfully belongs to the indigenous communities. The Sawyer article supports this, citing that the reasons for the indigenous mobilizations were not unreasonable and included such things as the reestablishment of their national identity, reassertion of their indigenous rights, opportunities to conserve the state of their native lands, maintaining social justice, and gaining greater autonomy.
We see that this is a fight that has gone on any time a foreign entity has come in and staked its claim on an area already colonized by its own race of indigenous people. Another prime example is the United States of America and the violence of the American Indian War and the legacy of the Trail of Tears. This is one of the unsuccessful stories that contrast with the success of Evo’s triumph for the Bolivian Indigenos. However had they successfully united between their tribes and risen up against the United States, the story could have been very different, this could be a country led by the people we once slaughtered so that we could live peaceably here.