Bolivia leapt onto the front pages of the international news in October 2003, when the 'Gas Wars' protests caused the ousting of the country's President, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada.
Bolivia has a long history of social protest. In Cochabamba in 2000, the Water Wars saw tens of thousands of people from diverse backgrounds take to the streets against the privatisation of their water resources. Bolivian peoples' traditional distrust of foreign interference in their affairs has been heightened in recent years by US pressure to eradicate coca, the raw material for cocaine, as part of Washington's 'war on drugs'. Bolivians are also angry about the role played by the IMF, the World Bank and a variety of foreign donors in seeking to impose neo-liberal economics at the cost of jobs and living standards.
In Patterns of Protest, UK-based Andean expert John Crabtree explains the antecedents of a poor country's struggle against the predatory interests of global capitalism and the country's national elite. Crabtree outlinesthe influence of Quechua and Aymara identity in htis stringly indigenous nation, and analyses the unique way that circumstances have brought disparate populations together around the demand that the country's natural resources should benefit Bolivians first.
- From the back cover