In three dramatic weeks in October and November 2019, the fourteen years of progressive change that Evo Morales’ pink tide government had worked to implement in Bolivia and beyond came to a screeching halt. President Morales was forced to resign after protests against his re-election to a fourth term in allegedly fraudulent elections erupted among the urban middle classes, anti-indigenous racists, and prominent conservative politicians. The country’s far right used the ensuing crisis to orchestrate a successful coup, with military and police backing, paving the way for a repressive “transition” government led by Jeanine Áñez to take power. The Áñez government quelled popular protests with lethal force, shut down critical media outlets, and targeted members of Morales’ political party, the Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS). Despite postponing elections three times, the Áñez government was eventually forced to call elections in October 2020. The MAS swept back into power, winning elections with 55% of the vote and returning democracy to the country.
This book tells the story of this year of upheaval in Bolivia, providing a critical analysis of the 14 years of the MAS government that preceded it as well as the MAS return to power in 2020. It includes personal stories and commentary from women and men on the streets, leaders in social movements, members of the MAS party and government, survivors of Áñez’s abuses, and intellectuals.
"Future historians will look back at the reversal of Bolivia's 2019 coup as an event equal in importance to Fidel Castro's defeat of the U.S.-organized invasion at the Bay of Pigs. Linda Farthing and Thomas Becker have provided us with an dispensable analysis to the sources of the conflict and how the forces of hope triumphed." —Greg Grandin