Bolivia, Why Do Your Indianistas, Indigenistas, Environmentalists, Feminists, Remain Silent Now?

Ollantay Itzamnáía Forest

Almost a year after the consummation of the coup d’état, and the establishment of the lethal dictatorial regime in Bolivia, we continue to ask ourselves where are the prolix indianists, indigenists, feminists, environmentalists… who harshly lashed out against the Indian dictator of Evo Morales?

Their inflammatory speeches promoted the coup d’état last November 10. But, once the “Indian President” was “defenestrated”, and Jeanine Áñez assumed de facto power, by the will of the US Government, Indianists, indigenists, environmentalists, and many feminists, kept and maintain a sepulchral silence.

They raged in the streets and in social-digital networks against Evo Morales for the death of birds in the fires of Chiquitania (which Morales exemplarily put out), but they denied the existence of the coup d’état. They said nothing about the two massacres of indigenous people who were resisting the de facto government. Much less, in the face of the persecution/criminalization/ imprisonment of indigenous defenders. The Bolivian Amazon continues to burn, and the drug planes are even taking off from state airports, but Solón, Cusicanqui, Portugal, Zibechi, Gutiérrez… and the army of oenegeros remain dead silent. Why?

The Bolivian dictatorship made a mockery of the country. Bolivia, now, in the international community is synonymous with corruption, narco-state, improvisation, indebtedness, nepotism, racism… But, nowhere do indianists, indigenous people, environmentalists, moralists… come forward to demand “safekeeping” from the political monster that they directly or indirectly created.

The feminists for the indigenous movements were uncomfortable with the micromachisms of Evo Morales. That is why they made him the materialization of the patriarchy in Bolivia, and overwhelmed him without mercy. But, the machismo of Camacho – Añez – Murillo, and of the military sabers, were and are too lethal even for them. Why are they silent now?

The Indians were offended by the fact that the leadership of the Morales government “monopolized” the Indians’ narrative, leaving them orphans of discourse, or at least of an audience. That is why they harshly lashed out at Morales as a “Pachamama” dictator, a “false Indian”. But the coup and the de facto government showed them what a dictatorship and an ethnophagic government is. Now, the Indians are called “human beasts” “savages” by the state institutions. Why do they put up with so much affront in silence?

To the indigenists, especially those working in the NGOs, it was a bitter pill that the Indian President, through public policies, has taken millions of Bolivians out of the situation of impoverishment towards the new middle class. This affected them because the country was no longer a priority for international financial cooperation. Indigenism subsists to the extent that there are pockets of indigenous folklorists in indigence. But, with the pandemic, the stream of financial cooperation dried up. Why do they remain silent, now, in times of hunger?

The environmentalists were angry that Morales refused to declare a “national emergency” in the face of the fires in the Chiquitanía. This was a declaration that allowed them to access international emergency cooperation. But Morales chose to put out the fire himself. This sector had already been annoyed with García Linera, who had been “mistreating” the environmental NGOs with his words. During the de facto government, the forest fires began once again, the transgenic seeds acquired a citizenship card. But, Solón Foundation, Jubilee Foundation, Lidema… all of them are silent. Why? Could it be because the crumbs that USAID is now distributing to them are alleviating their hunger?

Perhaps it is their feeling of guilt that forces them into the current stony silence. Perhaps it is the fear of the crowd that limits them from expressing an opinion about their own creation. Who knows?

The only thing that is certain is that the indigenous people, peasants, women, young people, especially those who survived the massacres and imprisonment, will not forget the damage they inflicted on us. And the repudiation against them and their bosses will not end on October 18.