.- Constitutional, political and social analysts noted recently that the President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, violated the constitution he himself signed into existence by celebrating a pre-Colombian âancestral blessingâ rite. Boliviaâs constitution states in article four that the State shall be secular and âindependent of any religion.â
Carlos Cordero, an expert in languages, explained that if Bolivia defines itself as a secular country, âThe correct thing would be for the President not to show support for any particular religion,â instead of wanting to âerase from Bolivian memory the symbols and important figures who were part of our history.â
Other experts interviewed by the media said the celebration of this âancestral blessingâ was motivated by the governmentâs desire to replace the religious ceremonies that were carried out by previous administrations.
Jorge Lazarte, also an expert in languages, explained that while the rite appears to violate the constitution, the constitution promulgated in February of 2009 contains actual contradictions. In one place it notes âthe state shall have no official religion, and later in another series of articles it supports the revival of practices inspired by the indigenous worldview.â
Although government officials said the ceremony with Morales was an expression of the freedom of religion, other experts pointed out that it was in contradiction with the governmentâs policy, as the armed forces cannot hold Catholic ceremonies, but participate in ones such as that attended by Morales.