Evo Morales
Name: Evo Morales
Occupation: Politician
Gender: Male
Birth Day: October 26, 1959
Age: 63
Birth Place: Orinoca, Bolivia
Zodiac Sign: Scorpio

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Evo Morales

Evo Morales was born on October 26, 1959 in Orinoca, Bolivia (63 years old). Evo Morales is a Politician, zodiac sign: Scorpio. Nationality: Bolivia. Approx. Net Worth: $500 Thousand.


He earned the nickname the World Hero of Mother Earth for his commitment to anti-imperialism and indigenous rights.

Net Worth 2020

$500 Thousand
Find out more about Evo Morales net worth here.


Height Weight Hair Colour Eye Colour Blood Type Tattoo(s)

Before Fame

He served for two years in the Special Troops of the Bolivian Army.


Biography Timeline


Morales was born in the small rural village of Isallawi in Orinoca Canton part of western Bolivia's Oruro Department, on 26 October 1959, to a family from the indigenous Aymara people. One of seven children born to Dionisio Morales Choque and his wife María Ayma Mamani, only he and two siblings, Esther and Hugo, survived past childhood. His mother almost died from a postpartum haemorrhage following his birth. In keeping with Aymara custom, his father buried the placenta produced after his birth in a place specially chosen for the occasion. His childhood home was a traditional adobe house, and he grew up speaking the Aymara language, although later commentators would remark that by the time he had become president he was no longer an entirely fluent speaker.


In El Chapare, Morales joined a trade union of cocaleros (coca growers), being appointed local Secretary of Sports. Organizing soccer tournaments, among union members he earned the nickname of "the young ball player" because of his tendency to organize matches during meeting recesses. Influenced in joining the union by wider events, in 1980 the far-right General Luis García Meza had seized power in a military coup, banning other political parties and declaring himself president; for Morales, a "foundational event in his relationship with politics" occurred in 1981, when a campesino (coca grower) was accused of cocaine trafficking by soldiers, beaten up, and burned to death. In 1982 the leftist Hernán Siles Zuazo and the Democratic and Popular Union (Unidad Democrática y Popular – UDP) took power in representative democratic elections, before implementing neoliberal capitalist reforms and privatizing much of the state sector with United States support; hyperinflation came under control, but unemployment rose to 25%. Becoming increasingly active in the union, from 1982 to 1983, Morales served as the General Secretary of his local San Francisco syndicate. In 1983, Morales's father Dionisio died, and although he missed the funeral he temporarily retreated from his union work to organize his father's affairs.


Following his military service, Morales returned to his family, who had escaped the agricultural devastation of 1980's El Niño storm cycle by relocating to the Tropics of Cochabamba in the eastern lowlands. Setting up home in the town of Villa 14 de Septiembre, El Chapare, using a loan from Morales's maternal uncle, the family cleared a plot of land in the forest to grow rice, oranges, grapefruit, papaya, bananas and later on coca. It was here that Morales learned to speak Quechua, the indigenous local language. The arrival of the Morales family was a part of a much wider migration to the region; in 1981 El Chapare's population was 40,000 but by 1988 it had risen to 215,000. Many Bolivians hoped to set up farms where they could earn a living growing coca, which was experiencing a steady rise in price and which could be cultivated up to four times a year; a traditional medicinal and ritual substance in Andean culture, it was also sold abroad as the key ingredient in cocaine. Morales joined the local soccer team, before founding his own team, New Horizon, which proved victorious at the August 2 Central Tournament. The El Chapare region remained special to Morales for many years to come; during his presidency he often talked of it in speeches and regularly visited.


From 1984 to 1985, Morales served as Secretary of Records for the movement, and in 1985 he became General Secretary of the August Second Headquarters. From 1984 to 1991, the sindicatos embarked on a series of protests against the forced eradication of coca by occupying local government offices, setting up roadblocks, going on hunger strike, and organizing mass marches and demonstrations. Morales was personally involved in this direct activism and in 1984 was present at a roadblock where 3 campesinos were killed. In 1988, Morales was elected to the position of Executive Secretary of the Federation of the Tropics. In 1989, he spoke at a one-year commemoratory event of the Villa Tunari massacre in which 11 coca farmers had been killed by agents of the Rural Area Mobile Patrol Unit (Unidad Móvil Policial para Áreas Rurales – UMOPAR). The following day, UMOPAR agents beat Morales up, leaving him in the mountains to die, but he was rescued by other union members. To combat this violence, Morales concluded that an armed cocalero militia could launch a guerrilla war against the government, but he soon chose to pursue an electoral path. In 1992, he made various international trips to champion the cocalero cause, speaking at a conference in Cuba, and also traveling to Canada, during which he learned of his mother's death.


Members of the sindicato social movement first suggested a move into the political arena in 1986. This was controversial, with many fearing that politicians would co-opt the movement for personal gain. Morales began supporting the formation of a political wing in 1989, although a consensus in favor of its formation only emerged in 1993. On March 27, 1995, at the 7th Congress of the Unique Confederation of Rural Laborers of Bolivia (Confederación Sindical Única de Trabajadores Campesinos de Bolivia – CSUTCB), a "political instrument" (a term employed over "political party") was formed, named the Assembly for the Sovereignty of the Peoples (Asamblea por la Sobernía de los Pueblos – ASP). At the ASP's 1st Congress, the CSUTCB participated alongside three other Bolivian unions, representing miners, peasants and indigenous peoples. In 1996, Morales was appointed chairman of the Committee of the Six Federations of the Tropics of Cochabamba, a position that he retained until 2006.


In August 1994, Morales was arrested; reporters present at the scene witnessed him being beaten and accosted with racial slurs by civil agents. Accused of sedition, in jail he began a dry hunger strike to protest his arrest. The following day, 3000 campesinos began a 360 mi (580 km) march from Villa Tunari to La Paz. Morales would be freed on 7 September 1994, and soon joined the march, which arrived at its destination on 19 September 1994, where they covered the city with political graffiti. He was again arrested in April 1995 during a sting operation that rounded up those at a meeting of the Andean Council of Coca Producers that he was chairing on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Accusing the group of plotting a coup with the aid of Colombia's FARC and Peru's Shining Path, a number of his comrades were tortured, although no evidence of a coup was brought forth and he was freed within a week. He proceeded to Argentina to attend a seminar on liberation struggles.

With a turnout of 84.5%, the election saw Morales gain 53.7% of the vote, while Quiroga came second with 28.6%; Morales's was the first victory with an absolute majority in Bolivia for 40 years. Given that he was the sixth self-described leftist president to be elected in Latin America since 1998, his victory was identified as part of the broader regional pink tide. Becoming president elect, Morales was widely described as Bolivia's first indigenous leader, at a time when around 62% of the population identified as indigenous; political analysts therefore drew comparisons with the election of Nelson Mandela to the South African Presidency in 1994. This resulted in widespread excitement among the indigenous people in the Americas, particularly those of Bolivia. His election caused concern among the country's wealthy and landowning classes, who feared state expropriation and nationalisation of their property, as well as far-right groups, who said it would spark a race war. He traveled to Cuba to spend time with Castro, before going to Venezuela, and then on tour to Europe, China, and South Africa; significantly, he avoided the U.S. In January 2006, Morales attended an indigenous spiritual ceremony at Tiwanaku where he was crowned Apu Mallku (Supreme Leader) of the Aymara, receiving gifts from indigenous peoples across Latin America. He thanked the goddess Pachamama for his victory and proclaimed that "With the unity of the people, we're going to end the colonial state and the neo-liberal model."


Rising electoral success was accompanied by factional in-fighting, with a leadership contest emerging in the ASP between the incumbent Alejo Véliz and Morales, who had the electoral backing of the social movement's bases. The conflict led to a schism, with Morales and his supporters splitting to form their own party, the Political Instrument for the Sovereignty of the Peoples (Instrumento Político por la Soberanía de los Pueblos – IPSP). The movement's bases defected en masse to the IPSP, leaving the ASP to crumble and Véliz to join the center-right New Republican Force (Nueva Fuerza Republicana – NFR), for which Morales denounced him as a traitor to the cocalero cause. Continuing his activism, in 1998 Morales led another cocalero march from El Chapare to la Paz, and came under increasing criticism from the government, who repeatedly accused him of being involved in the cocaine trade and mocked him for how he spoke and his lack of education.


In 2000, the Tunari Waters corporation doubled the price at which they sold water to Bolivian consumers, resulting in a backlash from leftist activist groups, including the cocaleros. Activists clashed with police and armed forces, in what was dubbed "the Water War", resulting in 6 dead and 175 wounded. Responding to the violence, the government removed the contract from Tunari and placed the utility under cooperative control. In ensuing years further violent protests broke out over a range of issues, resulting in more deaths both among activists and law enforcement. Much of this unrest was connected with the widespread opposition to economic liberalization across Bolivian society, with a common perception that it only benefited a small minority.


In August 2001, Banzer resigned due to terminal illness, and Jorge Quiroga took over as president. Under U.S. pressure, Quiroga sought to have Morales expelled from Congress by saying that Morales's inflammatory language had caused the deaths of two police officers in Sacaba near Cochabamba. He was unable to provide any evidence of Morales's culpability. 140 deputies voted for Morales's expulsion, which came about in 2002. Morales said that it "was a trial against Aymara and Quechas". MAS activists interpreted it as evidence of the pseudo-democratic credentials of the political class.

The woman was later identified as 19-year-old Noemí Meneses when a statement to police was leaked. In the statement she said she had been in a romantic relationship with Morales since May 2020, and had no previous relations with him. The Bolivian police subsequently placed her under house arrest from which she escaped and fled to Argentina with her parents. After arriving in Argentina, Meneses wrote a letter to the Bolivian Ombudsman saying that the police had kept her from eating for two days and threatened to prosecute her for sedition and terrorism unless she said that she had been in a relationship with Morales. She wrote that the police had "forced [her] to testify under pressure, without a lawyer". Alleged evidence to corroborate a long-term romantic relationship between Morales and Meneses was obtained and subsequently published by Bolivian and Spanish press, including excerpts from 101 pages of text conversations and phone records between the two, 90 photos of the pair in various locations (including the presidential palace, the presidential jet and in Buenos Aires) and travel receipts of three trips by Meneses to Mexico and Argentina since Morales' exile. Several sources note that Washington Post journalist, John Lee Anderson, mentions a young girl in Evo's company which was alluded to be Meneses. Evo and the girl exchanged glances and Anderson noted that "At some point, Morales interrupted our conversation to tell my photographer not to take photos of the woman". Anderson later affirmed the girl as being Meneses and stated that he chose the inclusion of her appearance in his article very carefully. 2020 MAS presidential candidate, Luis Arce Cacatora, confirms that he took a photo with Meneses during Morales exile in Buenos Aires, but denies knowing her identity. Meneses says she met Evo Morales when she was 16 years old during the 2015 carnival season. The declaration data indicates that she was born in 2001, implying that she was 14 years old when she met Morales. The circumstances of her arrest are further disputed as well as the use of a stolen government vehicle.


The MAS gained increasing popularity as a protest party, relying largely on widespread dissatisfaction with the existing mainstream political parties among Bolivians living in rural and poor urban areas. Morales recognized this, and much of his discourse focused on differentiating the MAS from the traditional political class. Their campaign was successful, and in the 2002 presidential election the MAS gained 20.94% of the national vote, becoming Bolivia's second largest party, being only 1.5% behind the victorious MNR, whose candidate, Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, became president. They won 8 seats in the Senate and 27 in the Chamber of Deputies. Now the leader of the political opposition, Morales focused on criticising government policies rather than outlining alternatives. He had several unconstructive meetings with Lozada, but met with Venezuela's Hugo Chávez for the first time.

At Morales's election, Bolivia was South America's poorest nation. Morales's government did not initiate fundamental change to Bolivia's economic structure, and in their National Development Plan (PDN) for 2006–10, adhered largely to the country's previous liberal economic model. Bolivia's economy was based largely on the extraction of natural resources, with the nation having South America's second largest reserves of natural gas. As per his election pledge, Morales took increasing state control of this hydrocarbon industry with Supreme Decree 2870; previously, corporations paid 18% of their profits to the state, but Morales symbolically reversed this, so that 82% of profits went to the state and 18% to the companies. The oil companies threatened to take the case to the international courts or cease operating in Bolivia, but ultimately relented. Thus, where Bolivia had received $173 million from hydrocarbon extraction in 2002, by 2006 they received $1.3 billion. Although not technically a form of nationalization, Morales and his government referred to it as such, resulting in criticism from sectors of the Bolivian left. In June 2006, Morales announced his desire to nationalize mining, electricity, telephones, and railroads, and in February 2007 nationalized the Vinto metallurgy plant, refusing to compensate Glencore, which the government said had obtained the contract illegally. Although the FSTMB miners' federation called for the government to nationalize the mines, the government did not do so, instead stating that any transnational corporations operating in Bolivia legally would not be expropriated.


In 2003, the Bolivian gas conflict broke out as activists – including coca growers – protested against the privatization of the country's natural gas supply and its sale to U.S. companies below the market value. Activists blocked off the road into La Paz, resulting in clashes with police. 80 were killed and 411 injured, among them officers, activists, and civilians, including children. Morales did not take an active role in the conflict, instead traveling to Libya and Switzerland, there describing the uprising as a "peaceful revolution in progress". The government accused Morales and the MAS of using the protests to overthrow Bolivia's parliamentary democracy with the aid of organized crime, FARC, and the far-left governments of Venezuela, Cuba, and Libya.

From 2003 to 2011, the area used for growing coca illicitly increased year on year but declined to reach a 12 year low in 2015 at 20,400 hectares. In subsequent years, however, illicit coca productions continued to rise to 24,500 hectare in 2017. In 2017, Morales signed a law that increased the legal amount of land in Bolivia designated to coca farming from 12,000 hectares to 22,000 hectares, a figure which has since been exceeded. A 2014 study by the EU estimated only used 14,700 hectares for chewing and teas. Between 2018 and 2019, the area used for coca farming increased from 23,100 hectares to 25,500, an increase of 10.39%, prompting concern from the EU. The estimated tonnage of coca produced for commercial purposes increased from 19,334 tonnes in 2008 to 24,178 tonnes in 2018, an overall increase of 31.85%. A 2019 UN report said that 94% of coca production in the Chapare, the largest coca region of Bolivia, did not pass through the designated legal market in Sacaba. For Bolivia as a whole, 65% of coca trade was undocumented, accounting for 55,000 tonnes of dry coca leaves. The 2019 report by UNODC also reports increases in the area used for coca farming of up to 171% in five protected areas.


Morales led calls for President Sánchez de Lozada to step down over the death toll, gaining widespread support from the MAS, other activist groups, and the middle classes; with pressure building, Sánchez resigned and fled to Miami, Florida. He was replaced by Carlos Mesa, who tried to strike a balance between U.S. and cocalero demands, but whom Morales mistrusted. In November, Morales spent 24 hours with Cuban President Fidel Castro in Havana, and then met Argentinian President Nestor Kirchner. In the 2004 municipal election, the MAS became the country's largest national party, with 28.6% of all councilors in Bolivia. However, they failed to win the mayoralty in any big cities, reflecting their inability to gain widespread support among the urban middle-classes. In Bolivia's wealthy Santa Cruz region, a strong movement for autonomy had developed under the leadership of the Pro Santa Cruz Committee (Comite Pro Santa Cruz). Favorable to neoliberal economics and strongly critical of the cocaleros, they considered armed insurrection to secede from Bolivia should MAS take power.


In March 2005, Mesa resigned, citing the pressure of Morales and the cocalero road blocks and riots. Amid fears of civil war, Eduardo Rodríguez became President of a transitional government, preparing Bolivia for a general election in December 2005. Hiring the Peruvian Walter Chávez as its campaign manager, the MAS electoral campaign was based on Salvador Allende's successful campaign in the 1970 Chilean presidential election. Measures were implemented to institutionalize the party structure, giving it greater independence from the social movement; this was done to allow Morales and other MAS leaders to respond quickly to new developments without the lengthy process of consulting the bases, and to present a more moderate image away from the bases' radicalism. Although he had initially hoped for a female running mate, Morales eventually chose Marxist intellectual Álvaro García Linera as his vice presidential candidate, with some Bolivian press speculating as to a romantic relationship between the two. MAS' primary opponent was Jorge Quiroga and his center-right Social and Democratic Power, whose campaign was centered in Santa Cruz and which advocated continued neo-liberal reform; Quiroga accused Morales of promoting the legalization of cocaine and being a puppet for Venezuela.

Morales's administration sought strong links with the far-left governments of Cuba and Venezuela. In April 2005 Morales traveled to Havana for knee surgery, there meeting with the two nations' presidents, Castro and Chávez. In April 2006, Bolivia agreed to join Cuba and Venezuela in founding the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), with Morales attending ALBA's conference in May, at which they initiated with a Peoples' Trade Agreement (PTA). Meanwhile, his administration became "the least US-friendly government in Bolivian history". In September Morales visited the U.S. for the first time to attend the UN General Assembly, where he gave a speech condemning U.S. President George W. Bush as a terrorist for launching the War in Afghanistan and Iraq War, and called for the UN Headquarters to be moved out of the country. In the U.S., he met with former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and with Native American groups. Relations were further strained between the two nations when in December Morales issued a Supreme Decree requiring all U.S. citizens visiting Bolivia to have a visa. His government also refused to grant legal immunity to U.S. soldiers in Bolivia; hence the U.S. cut back their military support to the country by 96%.


In December 2006, he attended the first South-South conference in Abuja, Nigeria, there meeting Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, whose government had recently awarded Morales the Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights. Morales proceeded straight to Havana for a conference celebrating Castro's life, where he gave a speech arguing for stronger links between Latin America and the Middle East to combat U.S. imperialism. Under his administration, diplomatic relations were established with Iran, with Morales praising Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a revolutionary comrade. In April 2007 he attended the first South American Energy Summit in Venezuela, arguing with many allies over the issue of biofuel, which he opposed. He had a particularly fierce argument with Brazilian President Lula over Morales's desire to bring Bolivia's refineries – which were largely owned by Brazil's Petrobrás – under state control. In May, Bolivia purchased the refineries and transferred them to the Bolivian State Petroleum Company (YPFB).

The 2006 Bono Juancito Pinto program provided US$29 per year to parents who kept their children in public school with an attendance rate above 80%. 2008's Renta Dignidad initiative expanded the previous Bonosol social security for seniors program, increasing payments to $344 per year, and lowering the eligibility age from 65 to 60. 2009's Bono Juana Azurduy program expanded a previous public maternity insurance, giving cash to low-income mothers who proved that they and their baby had received pre- and post-natal medical care, and gave birth in an authorized medical facility. Conservative critics of Morales's government said that these measures were designed to buy off the poor and ensure continued support for the government, particularly the Bono Juancito Pinto which is distributed very close to election day.

During his presidential campaign, Morales had supported calls for regional autonomy for Bolivia's departments. As president, he changed his position, viewing the calls for autonomy – which came from Bolivia's four eastern departments of Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando, and Tarija – as an attempt by the wealthy bourgeoisie living in these regions to preserve their economic position. He nevertheless agreed to a referendum on regional autonomy, held in July 2006; the four eastern departments voted in favor of autonomy, but Bolivia as a whole voted against it by 57.6%. In September, autonomy activists launched strikes and blockades across eastern Bolivia, resulting in violent clashes with MAS activists. In January 2007, clashes in Cochabamba between activist groups led to fatalities, with Morales's government sending in troops to maintain the peace. The left-indigenous activists formed a Revolutionary Departmental Government, but Morales denounced it as illegal and continued to recognize the legitimacy of right-wing departmental head Manfred Reyes Villa.

In July 2006, an election to form a Constitutional Assembly was held, which saw the highest ever electoral turnout in the nation's history. MAS won 137 of its 255 seats, after which the Assembly was inaugurated in August. The Assembly was the first elected parliamentary body in Bolivia which features strong campesino and indigenous representation. In November, the Assembly approved a new constitution, which converted the Republic of Bolivia into the Plurinational State of Bolivia, describing it as a "plurinational communal and social unified state". The constitution emphasized Bolivian sovereignty of natural resources, separated church and state, forbade foreign military bases in the country, implemented a two-term limit for the presidency, and permitted limited regional autonomy. It also enshrined every Bolivians' right to water, food, free health care, education, and housing. In enshrining the concept of plurinationalism, one commentator noted that it suggested "a profound reconfiguration of the state itself" by recognising the rights to self-determination of various nations within a single state.


During Morales's first term, Bolivia broke free of the domination of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) which had characterized previous regimes by refusing their financial aid and connected regulations. In May 2007, it became the world's first country to withdraw from the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, with Morales stating that the institution had consistently favored multinational corporations in its judgments. Bolivia's lead was followed by other Latin American nations. Despite being encouraged to do so by the U.S., Bolivia refused to join the Free Trade Area of the Americas, deeming it a form of U.S. imperialism.

Adopting a policy known as "Coca Yes, Cocaine No", Morales's administration ensured the legality of coca growing, and introduced measures to regulate the production and trade of the crop. In 2007, they announced that they would permit the growing of 50,000 acres of coca in the country, primarily for the purposes of domestic consumption, with each family being restricted to the growing of one cato (1600 meters squared) of coca.

Morales's government also introduced measures to tackle Bolivia's endemic corruption; in 2007, Morales issued a presidential decree to create the Ministry of Institutional Transparency and Fight Against Corruption. Critics said that MAS members were rarely prosecuted for the crime, the main exception being YPFB head Santos Ramírez, who was sentenced to twelve years imprisonment for corruption in 2008. A 2009 law that permitted the retroactive prosecution for corruption led to legal cases being brought against a number of opposition politicians for alleged corruption in the pre-Morales period and many fled abroad to avoid standing trial.


In May 2008, the eastern departments pushed for greater autonomy, but Morales's government rejected the legitimacy of their position. They called for a referendum on recalling Morales, which saw an 83% turnout and in which Morales was ratified with 67.4% of the vote. Unified as the National Council for Democracy (CONALDE), these groups – financed by the wealthy agro-industrialist, petroleum, and financial elite – embarked on a series of destabilisation campaigns to unseat Morales's government. Unrest then broke out across eastern Bolivia, as radicalized autonomist activists established blockades, occupied airports, clashing with pro-government demonstrations, police, and armed forces. Some formed paramilitaries, bombing state companies, indigenous NGOs, and human rights organisations, also launching armed racist attacks on indigenous communities, culminating in the Pando Massacre of MAS activists. The autonomists gained support from some high-ranking politicians; Santa Cruz Governor Rubén Costas lambasted Morales and his supporters with racist epithets, accusing the president of being an Aymara fundamentalist and a totalitarian dictator responsible for state terrorism. Amid the unrest, foreign commentators began speculating on the possibility of civil war.

After it was revealed that USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives had supplied $4.5 million to the pro-autonomist departmental governments of the eastern provinces, in September 2008 Morales accused the U.S. ambassador to Bolivia, Philip Goldberg, of "conspiring against democracy" and encouraging the civil unrest, ordering him to leave the country. The U.S. government responded by expelling Bolivian ambassador to the U.S., Gustavo Guzman. Bolivia subsequently expelled the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from the country, while the U.S. responded by withdrawing their Peace Corps. Chávez stood in solidarity with Bolivia by ordering the U.S. ambassador Patrick Duddy out of his country and withdrawing the Venezuelan ambassador to the U.S. The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) convened a special meeting to discuss the Bolivian situation, expressing full support for Morales's government.

Following the victories of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, relations between Bolivia and the U.S. improved slightly, and in November 2009 the countries entered negotiations to restore diplomatic relations. After the U.S. backed the 2011 military intervention in Libya by NATO forces, Morales condemned Obama, calling for his Nobel Peace Prize to be revoked. The two nations restored diplomatic relations in November 2011, although Morales refused to allow the DEA back into the country.

In 2008, Morales stated that he would not stand for re-election in the 2014 general election. The 2009 Bolivian constitution places a term limit of two consecutive presidential terms. However, a 2013 ruling by the Plurinational Constitutional Court held that Morales' first term did not count towards the term limit, because it had taken place prior to the ratification of the 2009 constitution. The court ruling, which was criticized by opposition politicians, allowed Morales to run for a third term as president. After standing for re-election and proclaiming victory, Morales declared it "a triumph of the anti-colonialists and anti-imperialists" and dedicated his win to both Castro and Chávez.

Morales has faced criticism concerning his links with the coca farming in Bolivia and alleged links with the illegal cocaine trafficking market. These range from Morales "closing his eyes to a drug-trafficking problem that is only getting worse" to open accusations that he is facilitating a narco-state. In 2008, two years into his first term as president, he expelled the DEA from the country. Between them, Colombia, Bolivia and Peru produce almost all of the world's cocaine. The coca growers unions are allegedly the main drug suppliers for the international market.


Morales announced that one of the top priorities of his government was to eliminate racism against the country's indigenous population. To do this, he announced that all civil servants were required to learn one of Bolivia's three indigenous languages, Quechua, Aymara, or Guaraní, within two years. His government encouraged the development of indigenous cultural projects, and sought to encourage more indigenous people to attend university; by 2008, it was estimated that half of the students enrolled in Bolivia's 11 public universities were indigenous, while three indigenous-specific universities had been established, offering subsidized education. In 2009, a Vice Ministry for Decolonization was established, which proceeded to pass the 2010 Law against Racism and Discrimination banning the espousal of racist views in private or public institutions. Various commentators noted that there was a renewed sense of pride among the country's indigenous population following Morales's election. Conversely, the opposition accused Morales's administration of aggravating racial tensions between indigenous, white, and mestizo populations, and of using the Racism and Discrimination law to attack freedom of the press.

On International Workers' Day 2006, Morales issued a presidential decree undoing aspects of the informalization of labor which had been implemented by previous neoliberal governments; this was seen as a highly symbolic act for labor rights in Bolivia. In 2009 his government put forward suggested reforms to the 1939 labor laws, although lengthy discussions with trade unions hampered the reforms' progress. Morales's government increased the legal minimum wage by 50%, and reduced the pension age from 65 to 60, and then in 2010 reduced it again to 58.

Although unable to quell the autonomist violence, Morales' government refused to declare a state of emergency, believing that the autonomists were attempting to provoke them into doing so. Instead, they decided to compromise, entering into talks with the parliamentary opposition. As a result, 100 of the 411 elements of the Constitution were changed, with both sides compromising on certain issues. Nevertheless, the governors of the eastern provinces rejected the changes, believing it gave them insufficient autonomy, while various Indianist and leftist members of MAS felt that the amendments conceded too much to the political right. The constitution was put to a referendum in January 2009, in which it was approved by 61.4% of voters.

Following the approval of the new Constitution, the 2009 general election was called. The opposition sought to delay the election by demanding a new biometric registry system, hoping that it would give them time to form a united front against MAS. Many MAS activists reacted violently against the demands, and attempting to prevent this. Morales went on a five-day hunger strike in April 2009 to push the opposition to rescind their demands. He also agreed to allow for the introduction of a new voter registry, but said that it was rushed through so as not to delay the election. Morales and the MAS won with a landslide majority, polling 64.2%, while voter participation had reached an all-time high of 90%. His primary opponent, Reyes Villa, gained 27% of the vote. The MAS won a two-thirds majority in both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. Morales notably increased his support in the east of the country, with MAS gaining a majority in Tarija. In response to his victory, Morales proclaimed that he was "obligated to accelerate the pace of change and deepen socialism" in Bolivia, seeing his re-election as a mandate to further his reforms.

In December 2009, Morales attended the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he blamed climate change on capitalism and called for a financial transactions tax to fund climate change mitigation. Ultimately deeming the conference to have been a failure, he oversaw the World's People Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth outside of Cochabamba in April 2010.


While policies were brought in to improve the living conditions of the working classes, conversely many middle-class Bolivians felt that they had seen their social standing decline, with Morales personally mistrusting the middle-classes, deeming them fickle. A 2006 law reallocated state-owned lands, with this agrarian reform entailing distributing land to traditional communities rather than individuals. In 2010, a law was introduced permitting the formation of recognized indigenous territories, although the implementation of this was hampered by bureaucracy and contesting claims over ownership. Morales's government also sought to improve women's rights in Bolivia. In 2010, it founded a Unit of Depatriarchalization to oversee this process. Further seeking to provide legal recognition and support to LGBT rights, it declared June 28 to be Sexual Minority Rights Day in the country, and encouraged the establishment of a gay-themed television show on the state channel.

During his second term, Morales began to speak openly of "communitarian socialism" as the ideology that he desired for Bolivia's future. He assembled a new cabinet which was 50% female, a first for Bolivia, although by 2012, that had dropped to a third. One of the main tasks that faced his government during this term was the aim of introducing legislation that would cement the extension of rights featured in the new constitution. In April 2010, the departmental elections saw further gains for MAS. In 2013, the government passed a law to combat domestic violence against women.

Morales's second term was heavily affected by infighting and dissent from within his support base, as indigenous and leftist activists rejected several government reforms. In May 2010, his government announced a 5% rise in the minimum wage. The Bolivian Workers' Central (COB) felt this insufficient given the rising cost of living, calling a general strike, while protesters clashed with police. The government refused to increase the rise, accusing protesters of being pawns of the right. In August 2010, violent protests broke out in southern Potosí over widespread unemployment and a lack of infrastructure investment. In December 2010, the government cut subsidies for gasoline and diesel fuels, which raised fuel prices and transport costs. Protests led Morales to nullify the decree, responding that he "ruled by obeying". In June 2012, Bolivia's police launched protests against anti-corruption reforms to the police service; they burned disciplinary case records and demanded salary increases. Morales's government relented, canceling many of the proposed reforms and agreeing to the wage rise.


In 2011, the government announced it had signed a contract with a Brazilian company to construct a highway connecting Beni to Cochabamba, which would pass through the Isiboro Sécure National Park and Indigenous Territory (TIPNIS). This would better integrate the Beni and Pando departments with the rest of Bolivia and facilitate hydrocarbons exploration. The plan brought condemnation from environmentalists and indigenous communities living in the TIPNIS, who said that it would encourage deforestation and illegal settlement and that it violated the constitution and United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The issue became an international cause célèbre and cast doubt on the government's environmentalist and indigenous rights credentials. In August, 800 protesters embarked on a protest march from Trinidad to La Paz; many were injured in clashes with police and supporters of the road. Two government ministers and other high-ranking officials resigned in protest and Morales's government relented, announcing suspension of the road. In October 2011, he passed Law 180, prohibiting further road construction, although the government proceeded with a consultation, eventually gaining the consent of 55 of the 65 communities in TIPNIS to allow the highway to be built, albeit with a variety of concessions; construction was scheduled to take place after the 2014 general election. In May 2013, the government announced that it would permit hydrocarbon exploration in Bolivia's 22 national parks, to widespread condemnation from environmentalists.


These industrialization measures proved largely unsuccessful given that coca remained illegal in most nations outside Bolivia, thus depriving the growers of an international market. Campaigning against this, in 2012 Bolivia withdrew from the UN 1961 Convention which had called for global criminalisation of coca, and in 2013 successfully convinced the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs to declassify coca as a narcotic. The U.S. State Department criticized Bolivia, saying that it was regressing in its counter-narcotics efforts, and dramatically reduced aid to Bolivia to $34 million to fight the narcotics trade in 2007. Nevertheless, the number of cocaine seizures in Bolivia increased under Morales's government, as they sought to encourage coca growers to report and oppose cocaine producers and traffickers. High levels of police corruption surrounding the illicit trade in cocaine remained a continuing problem for Bolivia.

In October 2012, the government passed a Law of Mother Earth that banned genetically modified organisms (GMOs) being grown in Bolivia. This was praised by environmentalists and criticized by the nation's soya growers, who said that it would make them less competitive on the global market.

Observers alleged that corruption among political figures and low-level criminal activity associated with the cocaine trade is normal with researcher Diego Ayo from the Vicente Pazos Kanki Foundation considering the power structure of the Bolivian State similar to that of a drug cartel. In 2012, the Brazilian magazine Veja accused Evo Morales and his then minister Juan Ramón Quintana, of providing raw material for the production of drugs that were destined for Brazil. That same year senator Roger Pinto asked Brazil for political asylum for fear of an attack on his personal security and for having "evidence of corruption and links with drug trafficking at the highest levels of the government of President Evo Morales". In October 2020, the FELCN (the Bolivian anti-narcotics police force) and the interim government announced seizures of over 12 tons of cocaine and 436 tons of marijuana in the last year. The FELCN also destroyed 806 factories and 26 cocaine laboratories and confiscated 453 vehicles, 111 buildings and 20 light aircraft and cash.

Based on interviews conducted among Bolivians in 2012, John Crabtree and Ann Chaplin described the previous years of Morales's rule with the observation that: "for many—perhaps most—Bolivians, this was a period when ordinary people felt the benefits of policy in ways that had not been the case for decades, if ever." Crabtree and Chaplin added that Morales's administration had made "important changes... that will probably be difficult to reverse", including poverty reduction, the removal of some regional inequalities, and side-lining of some previously dominant political actors in favor of others who had been encouraged and enabled by his government.


In July 2013, Morales attended a summit in Moscow where he said he was open to offering political asylum to Edward Snowden, who was staying in the Moscow airport at the time. On 2 July 2013, while travelling back to Bolivia from the summit, his presidential plane was forced to land in Austria when Portuguese, French, Spanish and Italian authorities denied it access to their airspace. Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca said the European states had acted on "unfounded suspicions that Mr. Snowden was on the plane". The Organisation of American States condemned "actions that violate the basic rules and principles of international law such as the inviolability of Heads of State", and demanded that the European governments explain their actions and apologise. An emergency meeting of the Union of South American Nations denounced "the flagrant violation of international treaties" by European powers. Latin American leaders describe the incident as a "stunning violation of national sovereignty and disrespect for the region". Morales himself described the incident as a "hostage" situation. France apologised for the incident the next day. Snowden said that the forced grounding of Morales plane may have prompted Russia to allow him to leave the Moscow airport.


In 2014, Morales became the oldest active professional soccer player in the world after signing a contract for $200 a month with Sport Boys Warnes.

On July 31, 2014, Morales condemned the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict and declared Israel a "terrorist state".

Despite Morales' declaration in 2014 that he would not attempt to alter the constitution so that he could serve a fourth term, in 2015 Morales began exploring legal efforts to make a fourth term possible.


On the basis of this victory, the Financial Times remarked that Morales was "one of the world's most popular leaders". On October 17, 2015, Morales surpassed Andrés de Santa Cruz's nine years, eight months, and twenty-four days in office and became Bolivia's longest serving president. Writing in The Guardian, Ellie Mae O'Hagan attributes his enduring popularity not to anti-imperialist rhetoric but his "extraordinary socio-economic reforms," which resulted in poverty and extreme poverty declining by 25% and 43% respectively.

Morales' party, the Movement for Socialism (MAS), sponsored an effort to amend the constitution by national vote. A referendum was authorized by a combined session of the Plurinational Legislative Assembly on September 26, 2015, by a vote of 112 to 41. On February 21, 2016 the referendum was held on a constitutional amendment to allow presidents to serve three consecutive terms, which would have allowed Morales to run for a fourth term (third under the new constitution). The proposed constitutional amendment narrowly lost.


Despite the referendum loss and Morales' earlier statement that he would not seek a fourth term if he lost the referendum, in December 2016 MAS nominated Morales as their candidate for the 2019 presidential election, stating that they would seek various avenues to ensure the legality of Morales' candidacy. In September 2017, MAS petitioned the Plurinational Constitutional Court to abolish term limits, based on the reasoning that term limits are a human rights violations under the American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR), a binding multilateral treaty. In November, the Court accepted the grounds of the petition. The ruling enabled Morales to submit his application as a presidential candidate to the Bolivian Electoral Tribunal, who then accepted his application and approved his candidacy.


Controversy arose when a new $34 million presidential skyscraper residence, the Casa Grande del Pueblo, was constructed in the historical Plaza Murillo. The proposal was initially declined due to municipal height restrictions in the historical district, though Morales' parliamentary majority in the Plurinational Legislative Assembly overrode the ban, permitting the tower's construction. The Casa Grande del Pueblo was inaugurated by Morales on August 9, 2018.

On July 4, 2018, Morales underwent emergency surgery at a private clinic in La Paz in order to remove a tumor.


Morales attended the swearing-in ceremony of Venezuela's president Nicolás Maduro for his second term on January 10, 2019. In April 2019, Morales condemned the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

In response to the decision by the Plurinational Constitutional Court, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, stated that the clause in the American Convention on Human Rights cited by the Court "does not mean the right to perpetual power". In 2019, Almagro publicly supported Morales' participation in the 2019 election, saying that "presidents [in other countries]...have taken part in electoral processes on the grounds of a court ruling". Opposition leader Samuel Doria Medina called the decision "a blow to the constitution". The court of the ACHR in 2018 reviewed and upheld the legality of term limits, automatically triggering reinstatement of Bolivian term limit laws. The Bolivian Electoral Tribunal had already accepted Morales' application and declined to void his candidacy.

A general election was held on October 20, 2019. From October 21, 2019 until late November, mass street protests and counterprotests occurred in Bolivia in response to claims of electoral fraud. The claims of fraud were made after the suspension of the preliminary vote count, in which incumbent Evo Morales was not leading by a large enough margin (10%) to avoid a runoff, and the subsequent publication of the official count, in which Morales won by just over 10%. The final count released on October 25, 2019 gave Morales 47.08% of the votes, with 36.51% for runner-up Carlos Mesa. A margin under 10% would have automatically triggered a runoff election between the top two candidates.

Morales resigned as president on November 10, 2019 calling his removal "forced" and a "coup" but also saying that he wanted to stop the bloodshed. He made the announcement from El Chapare, a coca-growing rural area of Cochabamba where he had sought refuge. Mexico immediately offered him political asylum as "his life and safety are at risk" in Bolivia. Armed intruders broke into Morales’ home in Cochabamba and he accused "coup plotters" of an arson attack on his sister's home and of putting a price of $50,000 (£38,000) on his head. He said his fellow socialist leaders were being "harassed, persecuted and threatened". He thanked the Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, whom he credited with saving his life.

In December 2019, Morales moved from Mexico to Argentina, where he was also granted political asylum. Later that month, an arrest warrant was issued for Morales by Bolivian prosecutors for alleged sedition and terrorism. The interim government alleged that Morales promoted violent clashes in the country before and after he left office. In February 2020, Morales announced that he would run for a seat in the Plurinational Legislative Assembly in the 2020 Bolivian general election. On February 20, however, the national electoral tribunal ruled that Morales was ineligible to run for Senate. In September 2020, Human Rights Watch reported that it had found no evidence that Morales committed acts of terrorism and described the charges against him as politically motivated. In October 2020, the charges were dropped and the arrest warrant dismissed when a court in La Paz found Morales' rights had been violated and judicial procedures breached.


On 9 November 2020, Morales returned to Bolivia by crossing the La Quiaca River at the Horacio Guzmán International Bridge in the Argentina–Bolivia border from the border town of La Quiaca to the border town of Villazón escorted by the Argentinian president Alberto Fernández, after 11 months in exile and one day after the new Bolivian President Luis Arce was sworn in to office.

In June 2020, a group of independent researchers in the United States published a report which stated that the OAS's conclusion about the voting trend indicating election fraud was false and based on statistical errors and incorrect data. The researchers, made up of a group of political scientists and experts on Latin American politics, concluded that there was "no statistical evidence of fraud" during the 2019 elections. The New York Times subsequently publicized these findings. This study was criticized by the Bolivian government, the OEA itself, and by independent press as a campaign of fake news against the transitional government as a way to exonerate ex-President Morales of any responsibility for the events.

On October 15, 2020, a study by Gary A. Hoover from the University of Oklahoma and Diego Escobari from the University of Texas found that there was evidence of a "statistically significant electoral case of fraud" that increased the votes of MAS and reduced the votes of the opposition. In a survey conducted in June 2020 by the company IPSOS, for the Unión Nacional de Instituciones para el Trabajo de Acción Social (UNITAS), 73% of respondents agreed with the statement that there had been fraud in the October 2019 elections.

On August 7, 2020, several photographs of former president Evo Morales with a minor came to light and began circulating on social networks. Journalist Alejandro Entreambasaguas and Bolivian authorities said that Morales had been in a relationship with the minor since the age of 14. Several news organisations relate the current accusations with comments that Morales had twice previously on retiring with a quinceañera (15-year-old) when he was no longer president. In 2018, Bolivian feminist and journalist, Maria Galindo, criticised the then president, saying "The president (Morales) confesses that he uses his public acts to sexually hook the minors who attend those acts. But you have to ask yourself, why does he say it publicly, on a television channel, without any pressure?".

The Ministry of Government subsequently informed the Spanish newspaper Okdiario that it had opened a statutory rape investigation to determine whether a romantic and sexual relationship existed between the young woman and Morales while he was president of Bolivia. Morales refused to comment on the case during a telephone interview with the Spanish newspaper. On August 19, 2020, the Bolivian Prosecutor's Office began a formal investigation.

On August 21, 2020, an unrelated complaint of a second statutory rape case was filed against Morales. In this complaint, it is claimed that Morales had a child with a 15 year old and that he is named as the father on the birth certificate.

Morales is not married and upon becoming president selected his older sister, Esther Morales Ayma, to adopt the role of First Lady of Bolivia. He has two children from different mothers. They are his daughter Eva Liz Morales Alvarado and son Álvaro Morales Paredes. Politician Juan del Granado is Eva Liz's godfather. His children left Bolivia and traveled to Buenos Aires in late November 2019 . Esther Morales died on August 16, 2020, after contracting the novel coronavirus.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Evo Morales is 63 years, 3 months and 4 days old. Evo Morales will celebrate 64th birthday on a Thursday 26th of October 2023.

Find out about Evo Morales birthday activities in timeline view here.

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