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Bolivian President Evo Morales looks out of a plane window to survey forest fires Bolivian President Evo Morales looks out of a plane window to survey the damage from forest fires that raged in the Charagua province of Bolivia, Aug. 27, 2019 (AP pool photo by David Mercado).

Will Evo Morales Pay a Price for the Delayed Response to Bolivia’s Wildfires?

Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019

Hundreds of thousands of Bolivians marched Friday to protest President Evo Morales’ handling of forest fires that had been burning out of control for weeks. A similar situation in Brazil raised international pressure on that country’s controversial far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro. Morales has so far escaped international scrutiny over the issue, even as it has begun take on more prominence in the run-up to elections on Oct. 20.

The protests in Bolivia’s largest city, Santa Cruz, followed Morales’ appearance at the United Nations General Assembly in late September, where he assured his global counterparts that his government would fulfill its international commitments for forest conservation. That statement, too, drew immediate outrage from Bolivia’s environmentalists, who described it as being at odds with the Morales administration’s actions on the ground. ...

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