September 01, 2005

Presidential Candidates' Profiles

MABB © ®

Thanks to La Razon, we can take a peek at the candidates' private lives. Following I translate small bios published by La Razon this week.

Jorge "Tuto" Quiroga

He was born on May 5, 1960, in Cochabamba. Jorge Quiroga Ramirez, the first president of Bolivia in the new millenium. He is the second of five brothers. In his childhood he was a very delicate boy who got constantly sick. He moved around a lot, within Cochabamba, and visited several schools like the Mariknoll, Loyola and San Agustín. His life in Cochabamba was spent between the pages of Julio Verne's books and chessboards. He never had a pet, because his parents did not allow it. Due to his father's job as an engineer in an oil company, Tuto and his family moved to Santa Cruz. He was enrolled in La Salle school and it was there he discovered his agility in sports. His mother, Sonia Ramirez, remembers him like a great basquetball player. Another one of his passions was climbing. He was a shy boy who never took a girlfriend home to meet his mother. However, now he is married to Virginia Gillum, whom he met while living and studying in Houston, Texas. He has four children, Vanesa, Cristina, Adriana and Cristian. Two significant loses made a deep impression in his life. The death of his best friend Luis Eduardo de la Reza, who died while Tuto was in school. The Second blow happened while he was president. His brother, Mauricio Quiroga died along with his wife and one of his daughters in a car accident. Tuto is Industrial engineer graduated from Texas University A&M. He also has a Masters in Administration.

Evo Morales Aima

Evo Morales was born on October 26, 1959 in Eucaliptus, Oruro. The strongest memory he has of his childhood is that Orange infusion smell, which his mother used to prepare for breakfast every morning. She used whatever orange peels Evo collected along the Cochabamba-La Paz highway. Proudly he remembers how he used to herd his family's llamas. He also assures he was a talented soccer player. But, the memory that fills his heart with warm thoughts is when, once a year, his father used to take Evo and his brothers to Oruro city to buy shoes and pants. His adolescence was marked by his fascination with music. He was a tumpet player in a band, which even got to record several long plays with the Lauro record company. According to Evo, he was specialist in playing most well-known morenadas and caporales (traditional music) of the time. He also remembers with some pain how while he was doing his military service he was ordered to take part on the repression of coca growers' demonstrations. Because of the extreme poverty he and his family lived in, they moved to Chapare, Cochabamba. There he became the leader of the soccer association. Then he became the leader of the coca growers' union of Chapare. This last post was the spring board which propelled him to become the leader of MAS, a political accronym given to him as a gift. In 1997, he participated in the elections with the United Left (IU). He became congressmen only to lose his seat later on. In the general elections 2002, with MAS, he was the second political force in Congress, obtaining 27 deputies and eight senators.

Samuel Doria Medina

Samuel was born December 4, 1958 in La Paz, Bolivia. He is the youngest and only male of seven siblings. He spent his childhood in Oruro studying in the German school. He finished his high schools in the San Calixto school in La Paz. He used to drive to school and smoke. He studied economics in Catholic University of La Paz, where he met his wife, Nidia Monje. He has an specialization in Public Finances from the London School of Economics and Politics. He has five children. He took over Soboce (cement company) while it was heading to bankrupcy and he turned it around to transform it into the second largest industry in the country. He is know as the "cement king". He is also know as the Burger King, because he owns the Burger King franchise in Bolivia. In November 1, 1995, he was kidnapped by the terrorist organization Revolutionary Movement Tupak Amaru (MRTA). After 45 days in captivity he was rescued safe and sound. Ten years later, January 21, 2005, he came out also untouched from a plane crash. In 1991 he was minister of planning and in 1997, vice-presidential candidate under MIR.

Rene Joaquino

Rene was born in 1966, in the town of Asiento, Potosi, one of the poorest regions in Potosi. Due to the extreme poverty in which he and his family lived, Rene could never study because he had to work. Up until he was eight, he herded his family's llamas and sheep. He was never embaressed to be a sheperd. He then worked as lamp-boy in the Chorolque mines along with his uncle. His life in the mine was not easy. The local school children did not let him join their games because he did not use shoes. However, this did not inhibit his dreams. While he was young he used to write notes just to sign them, "Rene Joaquino, future president". One hard blow he experienced was the suicide of his older brother. As a young men he worked in various profesions, such as baker (when he burned half of his body) and construction worker. While he was working he studied law in the Tomas Frias University of Potosi. He worked as adobe maker and in his brakes he went to class. So his fellow students did not notice the mud that sometimes got stuck on his hair, he used a baseball cap. His construction pay was not enough to help his mother who divorced his father and was still raising her other sons, Rene sold food in the markets. While he was the doorman in a kindergarten, he campaigned for councilman. In 1997, he became Mayor of Potosi due to the resignation of Mr Ore. In 1999, he got 61 percent of the votes. In 2004 he won by a landslide.

Next post, Hormando Vaca Diez, Michiaki Nagatani and Alvaro Garcia Linera.