Was the 2019 political crisis in Bolivia that left 37 dead a coup riot or a popular rebellion against electoral fraud? The controversy landed in schools with a school textbook that speaks of a coup d’état and that has unleashed the rejection of teachers and opponents.
“We are not here to indoctrinate or ideologize,” said the public teachers who threatened to return to the streets this week to reject “the new curriculum imposed by the Ministry of Education,” according to the union’s leader, José Luis Álvarez.
“It is not an indoctrination, it is part of our history and the teacher must be prepared to share with his students a critical analysis of reality,” replied the Vice Minister of Education, Bartolomé Puma.
The National Council for the Defense of Democracy (CONADE) -which brings together opposition citizen organizations- has added another lawsuit against the government of President Luis Arce and has rejected the attempt to install in the classroom “a false coup theory in favor of Evo Morales”, the former president and head of the ruling party.
The 2019 elections were denounced as fraudulent by the observer mission of the Organization of American States (OAS). Morales, who was seeking a fourth consecutive term, resigned due to social outbreak across the country and the right-wing opposition senator Jeanine Áñez assumed the government and a year later called for elections that were won by Arce, Morales’s political heir.
With the return to government of the Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS), Morales’s party, more than a hundred political and social leaders who encouraged the protests were brought to trial, starting with Áñez, who is serving a 10-year sentence for those episodes. and face other trials. The opposition has denounced a political persecution with the support of judges affiliated with the government and assures that there are political persecutors in the country. The pro-government supporters allege that they seek to do justice to the promoters of the coup.
The issue keeps the country strongly polarized, especially since the Prosecutor’s Office acquitted Morales and his former collaborators of any investigation. According to analysts, it is the problem that causes the most instability.
The text in question will be taught this year in the last secondary year and says: “an army officer places the presidential sash on the self-proclaimed Áñez in a clear symbolic display of the coup d’état that was taking place.”
The Ministry of Education said on Monday that the new textbooks will be distributed this week to schools.