Evo Morales Orders a Policeman to Tie the President’s Shoes

By: Belén Marty - @belenmarty - Aug 26, 2015, 9:57 am

EspañolAmilcar Barral, a Bolivian opposition legislator, released a video on Monday, August 24, in which Bolivian President Evo Morales can be seen gesturing at his shoe to a presumed police escort.

In the video, the public servant then immediately kneels to tie the president’s shoes.

The video has sparked debate on social media and has evoked memories of colonial times, since it highlights the president’s arrogance. How far should the president’s authority go? Is this the equality sought after by socialists?

Latin Americans are accustomed to officials’ and senior politicians’ excesses. We tolerate their compulsive shopping in the high-end shops, their luxury watches, cars, and apartments.

But at what point do we say enough, when they won’t even tie their own shoes?

One might speculate lumbar pain or poor flexibility, but the leader hasn’t previously shown any signs of this.

His followers have spent time bringing the authenticity of the video to question, and one legislator, a member of the incumbent party, the Movement for Socialism (MAS), even went so far as to propose censorship in social networks.

Los chistes sobre la actitud del mandatario aparecieron inmediatamente. ()
Teasing on social media broke out immediately. (Javier Menchaca)

Meanwhile, opposition politicos have called it “shameful and colonialist.”

According to local newspaper Página Siete, legislator Wilson Santamaría said that the video had evoked “former colonial ways to garner personal services at the expense of public service. I’m not sure if he has some sort of problem with his fingers, seeing that he can’t stop for a few minutes to tie his own shoes.” He added that this is embarrassing for the police as a whole.

Meanwhile, opposition Senator Arturo Murillo warned that what Morales did was a “humiliating and discriminatory act” and an example of how “the president has lost his ways.”

“Regardless of whether this is his security detail, his driver, or a messenger, it is a humiliating act. I think he likely needs someone to advise him that these things are not okay. He must be down to earth. This not only harms his image, but it is harmful to the rest of Bolivians as well.”

Translated by Vanessa Arita.

Belén Marty Belén Marty

Belén Marty is the Libertarian Latina, a journalist based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has lived in Guatemala, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States and is a former candidate for local office with Argentina's Libertarian Party. Follow @BelenMarty.