Felipe Quispe, the indigenous leader who wanted to be president of Bolivia, dies

Felipe Quispe, the indigenous leader who wanted to be president of Bolivia, dies

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File photo dated 25 August 2017 shows Bolivian Aymara leader Felipe Quispe (c) as he participates in a protest blocking the road to Peru, in Santa Ana, Bolivia.

La Paz – The indigenous leader Felipe Quispe, nicknamed “Mallku”, a condor in Aymara, died this Tuesday at the age of 78, after a life with many facets that included his time as a guerrilla and candidate for the Presidency of Bolivia to the leader of a soccer team with the Indianist foundations that he always defended.

The death of the politician, who recently ran as a candidate for the Governor of La Paz, was due to a “cardiac arrest” and “it was not due to covid” indicates a publication on social networks that is attributed to his family, although several of his Relatives assured that his death was due to complications from the new coronavirus.

Quispe “did not say” that he really had covid “, but great was the surprise that” indeed he was afflicted with that disease, “former union leader Roberto de la Cruz told Efe, who claimed to have spoken with” Mallku “in the morning to talk about “the political issue” of your candidacy.
De la Cruz said that in that talk “the breakdown” of their voice was notorious despite following treatments with drugs and traditional medicine and regretted that Quispe “could not access a medical center” because several of them are collapsed.
“His brother died today (Tuesday) afternoon, we have confirmed it with his advisor, with close relatives and close followers, he has died with covid,” former civic leader Elsner Larrazabal, from the Omasuyos province, told Efe. the political stronghold of Quispe in the Altiplano of La Paz.

Felipe Quispe’s political life has many stages, such as the one that began in the late 1970s to become a deputy for the department of La Paz.
In the following years, Quispe’s methods were radicalized against the state, which he considered to be defending only whites and mestizos.
“El Mallku” founded the “Ayllus” or red communities in the Altiplano to later form the Tupac Katari Guerrilla Army (EGTK) of indigenous ideas, of which the former vice president of Bolivia Álvaro García Linera was also part.

Already in the 1990s, in prison as a result of his subversive postulates, he graduated as a historian and ran again without success for the national legislature.
In an interview with the renowned journalist Amalia Pando, Quispe coined the phrase “because I don’t like my daughter being your (domestic) employee”, justifying her armed struggle.

In another dialogue with former president and historian Carlos Mesa, the leader spoke of the “two Bolivias,” that of the city and that of the rural area.
During the first years of the new millennium, he assumed as the maximum leader of the country’s peasants, leading road blocks to obtain orders from his sector before the governments of Hugo Banzer (1997-2001), Jorge Quiroga (2001-2002) and Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada (2002-2003) mainly.
De la Cruz defined him as a “legendary indigenous icon” who sought the country’s Presidency in the 2002 and 2005 elections with the Pachakuti Indigenous Movement (MIP), with which he managed to enter the national Legislature.
He was also a leader and founded the Deportivo Pachakuti team, made up of young people from the Bolivian Altiplano, with whom he dreamed of reaching the country’s first division.

Quispe’s death provoked the lament of several Bolivian political personalities of different ideological lines who highlighted the perseverance of his ideas.
“We express our deep regret for the death of the indigenous peasant leader and historian Felipe Quispe Huanca, ‘El Mallku’,” Bolivian President Luis Arce wrote on Twitter.

While former president Evo Morales mentioned on Twitter that “his struggle and leadership have been an important contribution to the liberation of indigenous peoples” and lamented that “Bolivia loses a consistent leader.”
“He was a very important figure in our recent history, an emblem of the struggle for inclusion, equality and full recognition of the rights of the indigenous people of Bolivia. May he rest in peace,” said Carlos Mesa.

While ex-president Jorge “Tuto” Quiroga highlighted Quispe as “the most relevant Aymara leader of the last decades” who “defended his ideas with uncompromising firmness, dialogued and fulfilled assumed commitments.”
There are several personalities who consider that the struggles started by Quispe paved the way for the subsequent electoral victory of Evo Morales and the Movement for Socialism (MAS), even though both were not part of the same party and most of the political goals were pursued. times separately.

Ben Oakley
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