ON 22ND JANUARY 2006, Evo Morales was sworn in as Bolivia’s first-ever indigenous president. He focused his two-hour inaugural address on bringing justice to the country’s indigenous majority. Morales spoke of the years of discrimination against Indians and compared Bolivia to apartheid-era South Africa. He also reaffirmed his pledge to nationalise the country’s vast natural gas reserves and asked wealthy nations to write off Bolivia’s $3.4 billion foreign debt.

Forty-six-year-old Morales won the presidency with more popular support than any Bolivian president in decades. His rise to power began ...


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