By LUIS HERNÁNDEZ NAVARRO / The Guardian
Bolivia's President Evo Morales 'did the opposite of what the Washington Consensus recommends'. Photo © Gaston Brito/Reuters®
LA PAZ, Bolivia .— Gabriela Oviedo is a fashion model and TV personality. She is a 28-year-old brunette, almost six feet tall. Born in the Bolivian province of Santa Cruz, she was elected as the national beauty queen in 2003. In 2004, Gabriela took part in the Miss Universe pageant. There she was asked to name one of the biggest misconceptions about her country. In awkward English, she answered:
"Um … unfortunately, people that don't know Bolivia very much think that we are all just Indian people from the west side of the country. It's La Paz, all the image that we reflect, is that poor people and very short people and Indian people ... I'm from the other side of the country, the east side, and it's not cold, it's very hot and we are tall and we are white people and we know English."Gabriela's answer, heavy with racism, raised such a wave of outrage in her country that she was forced to give up the contest. Two in every three Bolivians are indigenous people. Her answer, however, was not an isolated occurrence. It reflects the persistence of a white, deeply anti-indigenous Bolivia, which survives today even though deep changes have been introduced, including the approval of anti-racist legislation.
UNITEL Gabriela Oviedo | Presentadora de noticias. Photo © Gaston Brito/Reuters®
Source: THE GUARDIAN®