After reading the article ''Morales' wealthy opponents win election in Bolivia'' [Vol. 28, Iss. 6], by Rick Kearns, I was compelled to write you concerning what I feel to be two important main points. Let me preface my points by saying that I have knowledge of this information because I know people living in Bolivia who send me regular updates and tell me things that are not reported by American media.
The article highlighted violence by the anti-Morales side, but did not mention that this was the latter of the two sides to take up arms and resort to violence. I did not see it reported that last year, a pro-Morales rioting mob raided both a civilian apartment complex and a Bolivian government building in Cochabamba looking for a political opponent of Morales. When they did not find him, they found his son, one day shy of 16 years old. They dragged him into the streets, publicly castrated him and then hung him by the neck from a tree until he died. This was basically the beginning of the violence.
Evo Morales is instituting change, but not in the right way. Some of the change that he is bringing about is good change, but he is doing so illegally, in the fashion of a dictator. There are laws set up to protect the country and its people from exactly these problems, but they are being disregarded and trampled.
I say to President Morales: You have a heart for your people that would institute change to help them if you would drop your role models of Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro and Adolf Hitler. Rise above that and be the Tecumseh of your people.
- Laralyn RiverWind
Murphy, N.C.Rick Kearns responds: There has been pro-Morales violence but if we were to compare it, and track it back to origins, the violence perpetrated by anti-Morales groups would far outweigh it.The writer has sufficient cause for concern regarding how change is being instituted, but the charges of illegality are mostly specious. Morales has made some real mistakes, and some of his followers have probably broken the law, but his worst error is underestimating the ferocity of the opposition.