Bolivia is a land-locked country in South America. Since 2006, its President has been Evo Morales, the first indigeneous person ever to be President of Bolivia.
Historically, the Spanish invaded and took over Bolivia in 1500 and stayed until the early 1800s, when Bolivia became independent. In modern times, the country has been the scene of numerous coups, military dictatorships, and general instability in its government. The population is only 15% "white" (Spanish descendents), but the whites own or control most of the land and resources, and wealth of the nation. The ownership of the resources of Bolivia had been sold off to foreign investors by governments before Evo Morales was elected.
When Evo Morales was elected, the 15% of the population that was white, which lives mostly concentrated in certain parts of the country, decided they would secede from the nation so Morales could not try to take any of their land or assets away from them. Morales' platforms included agrarian reform by which he promised to take "non-productive" land from the rich and redistribute it to the poor. 60% of the population of Bolivia lives in extreme poverty. Morales' platform also included taking back control of the gas from international ownership, and having more of the income from the gas go to the nation instead of going to foreign investors.
Evo Morales comes from a union background, and his support was from the indigenous majority of the country, as well as from various union groups, including the miners. Bolivia, under Morales, is one of the countries in South America which has begun to emerge from its neo-colonial status and to develop a politics of citizens' rights. Hopefully this trend will continue and spread throughout South America.
Filmmaker Rodrigo Vazquez spent three years following Evo Morales, from his presidential campaign through the years of bitter struggle for constitutional and economic reform in Bolivia. This documentary was shown on Al Jazeera - English TV.