Monday, May 5, 2014

Big trouble in Bolivia

The Bolivian armed forces have recently been thrown into turmoil by mass involuntary retirements of noncommissioned officers on grounds of mutiny, insurrection and violating the dignity and honor of the armed forces. The gravamen of the problem is dissension in the ranks because of discrimination against indigenous Quechua and Aymara NCOs who are denied access to schools and otherwise prevented from rising above the rank of sergeant -- in contrast to personnel with European ancestry. Mass protests caused the high command to backtrack and nullify the retirements, but from press accounts here and here this looks like a serious problem that will not go away quickly.

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