President Evo Morales (Aymara) of Bolivia was awarded an honorary doctorate by an Argentine university in mid-December for his work on indigenous rights, land distribution and eradication of illiteracy (UNESCO declared the country illiteracy-free in July of last year) among other things.
The National University of Entre Rios (NUER) gave Morales a Doctorate of Honoris Causa for his “work in defense of the human rights of the Bolivian people, his historic recognition of the different indigenous cultures of Bolivia integrated into the government, work in the eradication of illiteracy, distribution of land, nationalization of natural resources and tireless fighter for Latin American unity."
The School of Education faculty of NUER in Argentina voted to confer the degree on Morales who was also in the region to attend a summit of Mercosur, the Southern Common Market that includes the member countries of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela and associate countries of Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. (Observer countries are New Zealand and Mexico.)
At the event held at NUER on December 17, Morales said he felt "surprised by the affection of the people of the province of Entre Rios and it is a surprise to me to receive this doctorate from the Argentine Universities. This comes from the struggle of the Bolivian people, the indigenous, the country folk, the workers and teachers."
The governor of the province, Sergio Urribarri, commended the NUER community for recognizing Morales and his achievements and then expressed support for the Bolivian President.
"Sincerely, the people of Entre Rios, like the great majority of Argentines, we share your vision of the state. Also, your great Latin American heart that beats like the hearts of Argentines, Brazilians, Uruguayans and Venezuelans," Urribarri said.
The honorary doctorate from NUER is the eighth such honor that Morales has received since 2010; he was awarded that degree from two other universities in Argentina, two from Bolivia, one from Panama, one from the Dominican Republic and one from Venezuela.