Sanar a Bolivia

BUENOS AIRES – Desde el siglo 19, América Latina ha sufrido menos guerras entre estados y en ella se han creado menos estados que en cualquier otra región del mundo. El continente ha sido una periferia relativamente tranquila, ya que sus países no tienden a luchar entre si ni a fragmentarse. Sin embargo, puede que Bolivia termine siendo la excepción a esta última tendencia.

Un referendo sobre autonomía, que fue aprobado en la provincia oriental de Santa Cruz, ha generado temores acerca de una posible secesión de la región. Esta provincia, que es relativamente rica, está controlada por la oposición, posee diversidad étnica y es más conservadora, además de disfrutar de fértiles llanuras e hidrocarburos, votó por la autonomía por amplio margen. Las fuerzas antigubernamentales más entusiastas de Santa Cruz se ven impacientes por que se produzca la división. Y los referendos recientes en las provincias amazónicas de Beni y Pando parecen haber exacerbado esta sensación de potencial fractura de la nación.

Un ingrediente clave de este bullente conflicto es el factor étnico, cuya prominencia se hizo evidente incluso antes de la elección del Presidente Evo Morales en 2005. La combinación de grupos indígenas vociferantes y altamente organizados (los amerindios, ubicados en gran parte en las planicies occidentales de Bolivia, representan un 55% de la población) y la decreciente influencia de las elites tradicionales en una época de deterioro socioeconómico, ha creado una sociedad en la que hay más perdedores que ganadores. El referendo marcó una confluencia crítica de las divisiones sociales, regionales y políticas de Bolivia.

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