Bolivian President Resigns, Opposition Condemns Pachamama

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by David Nussman  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  November 12, 2019   

President Evo Morales resigns amid allegations of rigged election

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LA PAZ, Bolivia (ChurchMilitant.com) - A Bolivian opposition leader is replacing "Pachamama" with the Bible as the country's president resigns.

Opposition leader Luis Fernando Camacho entered the Presidential Palace outside La Paz to request President Evo Morales' resignation on Sunday.

Morales agreed to step down. Earlier that day, an investigation of Bolivia's recent presidential election announced it uncovered singificant irregularities.

A photo from Camacho's visit to the president's residence shows him kneeling and placing a Bible on top of the Bolivian flag.

One of Camacho's supporters said during the Presidential Palace visit, "The Bible is returning to the Government Palace. Pachamama will never return. Today Christ is returning to the Government Palace. Bolivia is for Christ."

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There are widely-held suspicions that Bolivia's Oct. 20 election was rigged by Morales' administration. The Supreme Electoral Court stopped releasing data for almost 24 hours the day of the election. When it started publishing results again, it had Morales winning his fourth term in office by a sizable margin.

In the days that followed, millions of Bolivians turned out on the streets to protest.

The Bible is returning to the Government Palace. Pachamama will never return.

Morales, a socialist, claims to be Catholic. But he is also devoted to Pachamama, a Latin American "mother earth" fertility figure.

Statues of Pachamama were prominent during October's Pan-Amazonian Synod at the Vatican. Faithful Catholics were outraged, with one group of laity snatching the fertility idols and throwing them into the Tiber River.

A few weeks later, Church Militant got a video interview with the leader of the group who pitched the statues into the river.

The newly-ousted Bolivian president may have been involved, behind the scenes, in having the statues displayed at the Amazon Synod. Catholic journalist Edward Pentin stated on Twitter on Nov. 10, "Evo Morales, who's just resigned as Bolivia's President, had a devotion to the Pachamama, and reportedly was a key figure in reviving it and having it at the Amazon Synod."

Pentin drew attention to an Aug. 1 tweet from Molares that stated, "We start the month of the #Pachamama with an offering of thanksgiving."

When Morales met with Pope Francis in 2015, he gave the Supreme Pontiff a crucifix in the shape of a hammer and sickle — a symbol of socialism. 

Camacho announced his plans to demand Morales' resignation to a rally of supporters in Santa Cruz on Nov. 4. He declared, "I am not going with the weapons, I go with my faith and my hope; with a Bible in my right hand and his letter of resignation in my left hand."

He said of the pre-written resignation letter, "We will deliver this letter in unity. This letter is not from Santa Cruz; it is from all Bolivia and it will be approved by all Bolivians, because we all want to build a country with democracy and freedom."

A photo of that Nov. 4 rally by La Nacion shows Camacho holding a Bible over his head, while a man next to him holds a statue of Our Lady of Fatima.

Critics of the Bolivian opposition movement have accused it of having racist overtones since Morales was Bolivia's first indigenous president.

Some are characterizing Morales' resignation as the result of a "military coup," after army leader Gen. Williams Kaliman Romero called for the president to step down. However, the general claimed that the military would not intervene in the election dispute.

Discussing his resignation on Twitter Sunday, Morales accused Camacho and Carlos Mesa — Morales' main rival in October's election — of stoking violence. 

"I am renouncing," he stated, "so that Mesa and Camacho do not continue pursuing, kidnapping and mistreating my ministers, union leaders and their families, and so that they do not continue impacting vendors, trade unions, professionals and transport workers who have the right to work."

On Monday, Morales said on social media that he was going to Mexico, after the Mexican government offered him political asylum. The BBC reported Tuesday that Morales' airplane had touched down in Mexico.

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