Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Rise of Militant Religious Right in Latin America

fascism politics violence military police corruption coup Bolivia fundamentalism religion

The recent coup d’état in Bolivia that overthrew President Evo Morales was not merely a standard right-wing putsch aided and abetted by the US Central Intelligence Agency but also placed into power politicians affiliated with a rising fundamentalist Protestant movement in Latin America that can be termed “Christo-fascist.” Many of the far-right and out-of-the-mainstream Protestant sects that have gained power in Guatemala, Colombia, Brazil, and, now, Bolivia have decried traditional Roman Catholicism in Latin America as heretical to their religious ideology and even pro-Communist. As for mainstream Protestant religions, the fundamentalist sects view them as hopelessly liberal, as well as heretical.

The recent military coup in Bolivia that ousted democratically-elected President Evo Morales from office involved senior active duty and retired high-ranking officers of the Bolivian armed forces, some of whom were trained and indoctrinated at the infamous US “School of the Americas,” known since 2001 as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), located in Fort Benning, Georgia. One of the School of the Americas trainees is General Williams Kaliman, the now-former commander of the Bolivian armed forces who ordered Morales to step down as president. Kaliman’s service to the coup was not very appreciated by its ringmasters, the fundamentalist Christians, among whom is the current acting president of Bolivia, Jeanine Áñez Chávez. One of Áñez’s first moves after she seized power was to dismiss Kaliman as the head of the armed forces and replace him by General Carlos Orellana. Áñez was the Second Vice President of the Senate and assumed the Bolivian presidency after Morales and the senior members of the line of succession in the governing Movement for Socialism (MAS) party were forced to resign by the military.

In keeping with the tenets of Christo-fascism in Latin America, Áñez not only rejects Roman Catholicism but also the traditional beliefs of the indigenous Aymara people of Bolivia as “satanic.”  (more...)

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