Bolivians head to the polls for general elections on October 20. President Evo Morales, who first won office in 2005, is bidding for his fourth consecutive term. Morales narrowly lost a 2016 referendum that would have permitted him to serve an additional term. But Bolivia’s Constitutional Court issued a controversial ruling in 2017 that struck down term limits, opening the way for Morales to run again. Carlos Mesa, who served as interim president in 2003-2005, is the closest challenger. If no candidate garners at least 50 percent of the vote, or gets 40 percent of the vote with a 10-point lead over the nearest competitor, a runoff election will be held on December 15.
Please join us to discuss the issues that have defined the electoral campaign, the potential voting scenarios, and the implications for Bolivia if Morales is voted out of office or retains the presidency for another five-year term.
Wednesday, October 2, 2019
3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Washington Office on Latin America
1666 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC, 20009
Director, Andean Information Network
Research Associate Professor, Center for Latin American & Latino Studies
Director for Drug Policy and the Andes, WOLA
Kathryn Ledebur is a researcher, advocate, and analyst of Bolivian politics, United States foreign policy, human rights issues, and drug control strategies, with over two decades of experience. She is the director of the Andean Information Network, a human rights and drug policy non-profit organization in Cochabamba, Bolivia. She is also a member of the International Drug Policy Consortium. Ledebur has published numerous articles, memos, and reports on U.S.-Bolivian relations, as well as human rights, drugs, and development policy in the Andean Region. In addition, she is a lead researcher in the AIN-University of Reading project on alternative livelihoods.
Robert Albro is Research Associate Professor at American University’s Center for Latin American & Latino Studies. He received his PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of Chicago, and has conducted ethnographic research and published widely on popular and indigenous politics along Bolivia’s urban periphery. Much of that work is presented in his book, Roosters at Midnight: Indigenous Signs and Stigma in Local Bolivian Politics (SAR Press, 2010). More recently his work has engaged diverse arenas of cultural policy, including intersections of culture with climate change, and has edited or co-edited four volumes, including most recently Church, Cosmovision, and the Environment: Religion and Social Conflict in Contemporary Latin America (Routledge, 2018) and Montañas y paisajes sagrados: Mundos religiosos, cambio climático y las implicaciones del retiro de los glaciares (UARM Press, 2019).