OCTOBER 26, 1959


Born in Isallavi, Bolivia, by 1988, Evo headed a coca growers’ federation. In the mid-1990s, he helped found the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party and, in 1997, was elected to the House of Deputies.  His 2002 presidential bid failed, but in 2005, he became Bolivia’s 1st Indigenous president.  He focused on Indian poverty, helping coca farmers, nationalizing energy, redistributing wealth, and constitutional reforms, including allowing presidents to serve 2 consecutive terms.  In 2009, his reforms went through and he won reelection. In 2013, Bolivia’s high court allowed him to run in 2014 and he won again.  Despite a corruption scandal involving a huge no-bid contract to a former lover & an economic slump that tarnished his image, in 2019, the court removed all term limits. In the October elections, oddly-delayed results helped him avoid an expected runoff. Protests shut down Bolivia and the Organization of American States sought to annul the election. Morales resigned at the behest of the military.

Source:  “Evo Morales: President of Bolivia,” Encyclopedia Britannica.  Retrieved 7/30/2020, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Evo-Morales
Photo:  Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores from Perú, 9/1/2017.  Permissive Use. 

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