Luis Arce vs. Evo

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The former president wanted a quick return to power, but the president treats him like a political rival and is taking space from him in parliament, amid the crisis due to the demands of a national census

Luis Arce against Evo


Humberto Vacaflor GanamFrom La Paz, Bolivia

Luis Arce contra Evo

Luis Arce and Evo Morales (Reuters)

President Luis ArceIt is currently waging two difficult wars: it must defeat the civic movement that demands a national census for next year and it must retire Evo Morales, his political mentor, his godfather.

Two tough nuts to crack. 

The department of Santa CruzHe leads the national movement that demands the census in 2023 to prove that there are more voters than inhabitants in Bolivia, and forces the government to eliminate fraud, which benefited Arce himself in 2020.

A stoppage of activities throughout the country is announced for this week in support of the lawsuit that has its epicenter in Santa Cruz and mobilizes doctors and coca growers from La Paz.

In this war, Arce had to unexpectedly change, at dawn on November 1, the commanders of the armed forces, because the previous ones demanded written and signed orders to mobilize war tanks from the highlands to Santa Cruz. There are more than twenty soldiers, including generals, who are imprisoned for having obeyed orders that were not signed in 2019, when Evo Morales fled.

For his part, cocalero Morales wishes, and he even needs to return to the presidency that he abandoned in November 2019 fleeing a massive popular revolt.

But Arce treats him as a political rivaland it is taking away spaces in parliament, in addition to keeping ministers in his cabinet that Morales considers DEA agents, therefore his enemies.

Luis Arce against Evo


The supporters of President Arce defeated the Morales candidates in the Chamber of Deputies and denounced that the civic movement demanding the census in 2023 has coup purposes to provoke early elections.

But Morales He said from Buenos Aires, where he visits his friends from Peronism of the K line, that he does not believe in the existence of a coup movement against Arce, and that they are exaggerations.&nbsp ;

It was from Buenos Aires that Morales, in 2020, had arranged for Luis Arce to be the MAS candidate in the October elections of that year, given that he was banned for having been responsible for gross electoral fraud in 2019.

The whole idea for the appointment of a substitute candidate was very Peronist. Arce was to play the role that the dentist Héctor Cámpora had played in 1973, when Juan Domingo Perón was banned by the military.

He had to be a candidate, win, and then resign so that new elections could be held, with Perón already authorized to participate. And the dentist fulfilled his commitment, since he was barely 49 days in office and Perón returned to the presidency after eighteen years of military dictatorships.

In that Buenos Aires environment, Morales received the advice to elect someone from his party whom he fully trusted to open the way for him to new elections, for him to be a candidate.

Luis Arce Catacora was the man because he had been his Economy Minister for thirteen years. Morales trusted him and also because he knew he had kidney cancer, which was an additional guarantee.

Luis Arce against Evo


The election was made, Arce emerged triumphant and assumed the position of president. A few days later, cocalero Morales returned to Bolivia and began to rule, as if he were president, even changing the commanders of the Armed Forces that Arce had appointed a few days before.

Morales was anxious, hoping that Arce would fulfill his commitment out of honor or because his health would force him to leave office.

But Arce did not have his cancer treated by Cuban doctors, as he had done the late Hugo Chavez, but by Brazilian doctors at a famous clinic in Sao Paulo. The cancer was eliminated.

In view of this, the formal commitment remained to resign after 18 monthshaving assumed office, so that new elections are called. Morales had made the mistake of giving Arce too long a term compared to the one that Cámpora had served in Argentina.

And over the days, Arce was seduced by “that wonderful instrument that is power”, in the definition made by former president Víctor Paz Estenssoro (1952-1956, 1960-1964 and 1985-1989).

Now, the “luchistas” of the MAS believe that Arce must be re-elected in the 2025 elections, and that Morales must retire.

In addition to the “renovative” current that is struggling to retire Morales, the coca grower is threatened by the possibility that the justice of the United States requires him to try him for drug trafficking to that country.

He said that his political enemies are “planting evidence” about his complicity with drug trafficking, including his contacts with Venezuelan Chavistas who are now on trial in the United States.

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