On Saturday, January 23, Bolivian President Evo Morales kicked off his second term as leader of the country by announcing the appointment of his new Cabinet. Morales has replaced more than half of the ministers from his previous administration, and brought gender parity to his new team by apportioning exactly half of the ministerial positions to women.
The announcement of the new Cabinet took place during a ceremony one day after Morales was sworn in on Friday.
Bolivia’s new executive branch will be composed of ten male and ten female Cabinet members. Morales has decided to carry over seven ministers from his previous administration. He will be bringing in 13 new faces.
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Among the dismissed officials, Morales let go of some of the “strongmen” of his first term, like the now former Minister of the Presidency Juan Ramón Quintana, the ex-Minister of Government Alfredo Rada and Wálker San Miguel, former defense minister.
The new government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia will witness the return of David Choquehuanca as minister of international relations, Luis Arce as minister of finance and economy, Carlos Romero as minister of autonomy, Wálter Delgadillo as minister of public works and Roberto Alguilar as minister of education.
Nardi Suxo and Óscar Coca will also remain part of Evo’s executive team, as minister of transparency and anti-corruption and minister of the presidency, respectively. Coca will be switching roles this term; previously he was Morales’s minister of hydrocarbons.
New faces in the cabinet include: Rubén Saavedra (defense), Sacha Llorenti (ministry of the government), Antonia Rodríguez (ministry of production and microenterprise), the young Carmen Trujillo (employment), Elba Viviana Caro (ministry of planning) and Luis Fernando Vicenti (ministry of hydrocarbons).
Also joining the team will be Gobierno Milton Gómez (ministry of mining), Hilda Copa Condori (justice ministry), Sonia Polo (health), Esther Udaeta (environment) and Nemesia Achacollo (rural development ministry).
One of the special appointments is the well-known Bolivian singer Zulma Yugar, who will serve as Bolivia’s new minister of culture.
Translation: Ryan Croken.
Ryan Croken is a freelance writer and editor based in Chicago. His essays and book reviews have appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Z Magazine and ReligionDispatches.org. He can be reached at [email protected].