The President of Bolivia, Luis Arce, announced this Tuesday (5) the change of five ministers. According to the executive secretary of the country’s central union maikor, the Central Obrera Boliviana (COB), Juan Carlos Huarachi, the changes were made after requests from social organizations.

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Political scientist and professor at the Catholic University of La Paz Marcelo Arequipa tells Brazil in fact that the exchanges were made partly due to pressure from movements, but also as a way of accommodating groups supporting the president in the government, already aiming the dispute against the group of former president Evo Morales.

The new Minister of Rural Development will be Santos Condori Nina, a member of the Single Union Confederation of Peasant Workers of Bolivia (Csutcb). The group supports the president in the internal dispute between the Movement to Socialism (MAS) party and Evo’s supporters. In October 2023, Arce even stated that Csutcb was alert to defend democracy in the face of “threats from groups that propose division and destabilization”.

The new minister is close to Vice President David Choquehuanca, who has great influence in the northern highland region.

Another change was in the Ministry of Mines and Metallurgy. Alejandro Santos Laura takes on the role, having under his belt the direction of the National Federation of Mining Cooperatives of Bolivia (Fencomin). The organization is also part of Luis Arce’s support base and has always shown support for the president during roadblocks by peasant movements.

The Ministry of Cultures will have under its command Esperanza Guevara, member of the Single Women’s Union Federation Bartolina Sisa. The group is also supported by President Luis Arce.

In Education, Omar Véliz Ramos took over from Édgar Pary. The new Minister of the Environment will be Humberto Alan Lisperguer Rosales, who fills the vacancy left by Rubén Méndez.

The internal dispute between supporters of Evo Morales and Luis Arce began when Evo returned to Bolivia in 2020, after spending a year in exile in Argentina due to the coup d’état that led to the overthrow of his government in 2019. The former president began to criticize some decisions made by Arce and his supporters.

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The trigger in the race for the leadership of MAS came in October 2023, when Morales organized a congress in Lauca Eñe, in the district of Cochabamba. The region is the political birthplace and electoral stronghold of the former president. At the event, he called Luis Arce’s supporters “traitors”.

Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho


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