The Grayzone traveled to rural Bolivia to meet Patricia Arce, a former mayor who was publicly tortured during a US-backed coup in November 2019, and is now a senator-elect from the indigenous-led Movement Toward Socialism party, which won in a historic landslide election on October 18. By Max Blumenthal Video and translation by Ben Norton
MAX BLUMENTHAL: Just a few days after the dramatic landslide victory on October 18 of the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party founded by Evo Morales, I traveled 3.5 hours from the Bolivian city of Cochabamba, with The Grazyone team of Ben Norton and Anya Parampil, to Chimoré, here in the tropical region of Cochabamba, that’s a base of support for the MAS party.
We attended a gathering of regional party leadership, including the mayor of Chimoré; Senator-elect Leonardo Loza, who is filling the role of Evo Morales in the Senate; and Senator-elect Patricia Arce, who has become a symbol both of the terror and cruelty of the (Jeanine) Áñez coup regime and of the dramatic revitalization of her MAS party.
LEONARDO LOZA: Here we put our luck on the line, mainly the most humble people, the poorest people, the most humiliated, marginalized people, not only today, but for a long time.
And we, these people, we have won. Not with 10%, we have won with more than 25%.
The humble, the poor, the natives of this land, we are the majority.
Sister Patricia knows how we have suffered, in Cochabamba primarily. Every time I spoke, the next day I had a new criminal charge. And I never stopped speaking. I never went silent.
MAX BLUMENTHAL: Senator-elect Patricia Arce, thanks a lot for this opportunity to talk to you here in the tropic of Cochabamba. Before we get into the October 18 landslide victory of the MAS party that you represent, I think that it’s important to talk about the events of last November, of the coup, in which you were assaulted in the streets of Cochabamba. Can you tell us what happened there?
PATRICIA ARCE: The 6th of November,