Our Brand is Crisis

Our Brand Is Crisis” is a 2002 documentary by Rachel Boynton about a presidential election in Bolivia for candidate Gonzalaz Sanchez de Lorenza, known as “Goni” of the MNR party.  The documentary displays the involvement of the Greenville Carville Shrum and how American politics shaped the election. Goni approaches the election using American tactics that were clearly not created for Bolivian politics.  One candidate in  particular, Manfred Reyes Villa, was targeted with accusations of corruption and attacks on his credibility.

There is a presence of revolt and violence and a focus on the problems and exploitation in Bolivia.  James Cypher’s article, The Slow Death of the Washington Consensus on Latin America, discusses this exploitation in depth.  He discusses how wages of common workers only increased by 19% while the per capita income increase by 49% for the 10 years between 1986 and 1996.    There were protests and a strong emphasis placed on the economic hardships of the common people of Bolivia by Evo Morales whose credibility and purpose was attacked by the American consultants.   The selling of natural gas, in the documentary was a huge focal point and one of the major problems.  Cypher points out the same findings within his article that natural resources were being tapped into and sold, but workers were continually being exploited for the hard labor that it took to produce these goods.  In “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man,” John Perkins gives a bit of insight on just how severe this exploitation was by referring to the corporate thieves of multi-national corporations as Economic Hitmen or EHMs.   He even refers to the group of men and women as an elite corporate group that only look to capitalize on the common peasants to create more wealth for themselves.  These men and women take control of certain industries using specific tactics so that they can control them and exploit these corporations.