Remembering the Gas War
On Thursday, Bolivians commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Gas War revolt which arose after strong public opposition to selling natural gas through Chilean ports.
The concern over who had rights to Bolivia’s natural gas resulted in the resignation of the then-president and the rise to power of now-President Evo Morales, who nationalized Bolivia’s natural gas industry in 2006.
Industry analysts criticized Morales, saying his leftist policies drove away private investment that funded natural gas exploration. Supporters say Morales has protected the country’s indigenous groups and resource sovereignty.
Bolivia’s political trials left an unquestionable mark on politics in the Americas. Today, countries in both Central and South America continue to debate over the role of protecting natural resources and indigenous rights, with the Gas War not far away in memory.
Timeline: Gas War, from Reuters Archives http://reut.rs/jEZqyh
Photos by REUTERS/Gaston Brito