Contributor's Note: In Bolivia the indigenous people also known as "the redskins" are seeing white regions such as Vera Cruz acting to become autonomous. Whites have had enough of negoiations based on what is mine is mine and what is yours is negociable. The eastern part of Bolivia known for its goodlooking people is white; the rest of the country known for its out of control demographics is indigenous people. So much for diversity in Bolivia.
In his native Montana, Ronald Larsen's current legal straits might be the stuff of an old-fashioned Western movie: A cattle rancher who believes the government and its allies are unfairly trying to seize his land, and picks up a rifle to signal his displeasure. But in contemporary Bolivia, where Larsen makes his home, his recent clash with the authorities is but another instance of rising tension over land-ownership between, on the one hand, left-wing President Evo Morales and his supporters among Bolivia's indigenous population, and on the other, political opponents backed by the country's wealthy eastern elite.
"A small group of ranchers is preventing us from carrying out rightful land reform in the eastern region of Santa Cruz," says Bolivia's Vice Minister of Land, Alejandro Almaraz, who accuses Larsen of attacking his convoy this spring. "U.S.-born Ronald Larsen is leading this violent resistance." But critics counter that Morales is hyping the case to build support ahead of Sunday's referendum in Santa Cruz, where opposition parties are pressing for autonomy from the central government — and ahead of a constitutional referendum later this year on changes that include capping the amount of land that can be owned by a single individual in Bolivia.