Franz Flores Castro is a professor at the Universidad San Francisco Xavier de Chuquisaca.
This translation has been automatically generated and has not been verified for accuracy.
Bolivia has a weak state. It has problems imposing its authority, and this makes social tensions recurrent, to the point that, according to a CERES study, over the last 40 years Bolivia has registered one conflict per day. These conflicts often spill over, become complicated, become “all-encompassing” —in the sense that they involve the whole territory— and this brings the country to the brink of the precipice, of chaos. However, when we are on the verge of falling irremediably into the abyss, when we are about to become what the bad political scientists say we are, a failed state, it is when Bolivians (perhaps in panic or a sudden attack of rationality) reach an agreement, agree on a democratic solution to the political crisis and save ourselves.
When Bolivian democracy was taking its first steps in the 1980s, President Hernán Siles, beset by hyperinflation, with the miners on permanent strike, abandoned by his vice-president Jaime Paz and with no support in Parliament, chose to shorten his mandate and make new elections viable. This was a decision that speaks volumes for Siles’ greatness, but also for the political parties, which agreed on a political solution to the crisis.
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