P o s t s c r i P t
We Will Be People No More
There can be no doubt that Evo Morales’s elec-
tion to the presidency and his reelection with an
even greater proportion of the popular vote in December
2009 offers hope to people like those in Wila Kjarka. On a
practical level indigenous people—men and women—are
heading ministries and running the country, and the new
constitution guarantees their representation in congress. It
is hard to imagine Bolivia ever returning to the status quo
ante, when creoles led all the major parties and politicians
took indigenous people’s votes for granted.
The lot of indigenous people has not changed overnight,
of course, but something that is palpable in Wila Kjarka
and in similar communities is that tomorrow just might,
just might, be better than today. In the past, people simply
knew that it would stay the same if they were lucky and
would probably get worse. People are sanguine about what
Evo Morales and his government can achieve, but there
is a guarded optimism that I have never observed before.
People in Wila Kjarka are overwhelmingly in favor of Mo-
rales, whom they clearly recognize as jaqi and as someone
who will look out for the interests of jaqi like them. It is a
testament to Morales’s political skills that he transformed
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