David Choquehuanca

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David Choquehuanca
David Choquehuanca Céspedes 2.jpg
Official portrait, 2020
39th Vice President of Bolivia
Assumed office
8 November 2020
PresidentLuis Arce
Preceded byÁlvaro García Linera
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
22 January 2006 – 23 January 2017
PresidentEvo Morales
Preceded byArmando Loaiza
Succeeded byFernando Huanacuni Mamani
Secretary General of ALBA
In office
5 March 2017 – 15 November 2019
Preceded byBernardo Álvarez Herrera
Succeeded bySacha Llorenti
Personal details
David Choquehuanca Céspedes

(1961-05-07) 7 May 1961 (age 61)
Huarina, Omasuyos Province, Bolivia
Political partyMAS-IPSP
Spouse(s)Lidia Gutiérrez
OccupationPeasant union leader, politician

David Choquehuanca Céspedes (born 7 May 1961) is a Bolivian politician serving as the 39th Vice President of Bolivia since 8 November 2020. He served as the Foreign Minister of Bolivia from 23 January 2006[1] to 23 January 2017. He was designated the Secretary General of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) in March 2017, a position which he held until November 2019. On 19 January 2020, he was designated as the vice presidential candidate of the Movement for Socialism (MAS) in the 2020 Bolivian general election and was elected on 18 October.

Early life[edit]

Choquehuanca was born in Cota Cota Baja, a small village bordering Lake Titicaca near Huarina in the La Paz Department of Bolivia. Choquehuanca learned Aymara as his first language and later learned Spanish as well around age 7. In 1971, Choquehuanca moved to nearby Huarina to continue his secondary studies. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1980 from José Miguel Lanza General College.

Choquehuanca first met future president Evo Morales at a trade union congress in 1984.

In 1990, he completed a postgraduate degree in history and anthropology at the Higher University of San Andrés in La Paz.

Between 2001 and 2002, he completed a higher diploma in the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at Cordillera University.


Choquehuanca, who is of Aymara descent, is an activist in the Aymara indigenous and campesino movement. Starting in the 1980s, he worked in support of the Unified Syndical Confederation of Rural Workers of Bolivia, through various political actions, trainings, and congresses.[2] From 1998 to 2005, he worked as National Coordinator of the Programa Nina (meaning fire in Aymara), an NGO consortium that provides training to rural movement leaders.[2] He has worked with international agencies and has been an advisor to President Evo Morales, a fellow Aymara, since before Morales's election to the Presidency.[citation needed]

Foreign Minister (2006–2017)[edit]

As Chancellor (or Minister of Foreign Affairs), Choquehuanca was considered one of the most important ministers of Morales at the time.[3] He and Luis Arce, Minister of Economy and Finance, were the only people to serve in their cabinet posts for over a decade during Evo Morales's presidency. Observers have described Choquehuanca as the leader of a pachamamista or indigenista faction within the cabinet, counterpoised to the pragmatic developmentalism of Arce and Vice President Álvaro García Linera.[4]

Interaction with 2011 indigenous march[edit]

Choquehuanca visited the Eighth Grand National Indigenous March twice on behalf of the government. On September 14 and 15, he conveyed the message that "We cannot change what the president has already decided" at the beginning of a long but fruitless dialogue with leaders of the Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Bolivia (CIDOB) and the Subcentral TIPNIS. From September 15, the march was blockaded from advancing by a crowd of some 200 campesino and colonizers' union members at the San Lorenzo bridge of Yucumo. Between the two protests, police set up a their own blockade, preventing the march from advancing.[5]

On the morning of September 24, Choquehuanca returned to the indigenous march. Again negotiations with the march leadership were inconclusive. A group of female marchers grabbed Choquehuanca and led him marching down the highway in an effort to circumvent the police blockade.[6] At the police blockade, a tense standoff escalated into a brief confrontation, but the marchers succeeded in passing the police line.[7] Several government officials, including Minister of Interior Sacha Llorenti and Minister of Transparency Nardi Suxo, said that this was a "kidnapping" (secuestro), but Choquehuanca steadfastly refused to label it as such saying that "the sisters and [female] comrades grabbed me, surely they had thought that they would pass that police encirclement with the Chancellor; I was not insulted, nor mistreated, but yes, they obliged me to walk."[8] La Paz Prosecutor Patricia Santos, who was investigating the events, received Choquehuanca's testimony to this effect on 21 November.[9] In February 2012, the Prosecutor's Office subpoenaed twenty-six leaders of the indigenous movement and its allies to testify in an investigation of the incident as an alleged homicide.[10] Former human rights ombudsman Waldo Albarracín has described the charges of kidnapping and attempted homicide as without merit.[11]

Vice-presidential candidate (2020)[edit]

Following the 2019 Bolivian political crisis which saw the resignation of President Evo Morales and his government, new election were called by Interim President Jeanine Áñez. On 19 January 2020, Morales announced that after eight hours of meetings in Argentina, Luis Arce and former Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca had been chosen to be the candidates of the Movement for Socialism (MAS) in the 2020 elections.[12] The presidential election, originally scheduled for May 3, was postponed twice due to the Covid19 pandemic. and rescheduled to be held in October 2020.[13]

On 19 October 2020, he and Luis Arce were announced as the winners in the elections by the interim president Jeanine Añez,[14] and on the 28 October 2020, they were confirmed as the winners by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.[15]

Vice President (2020–present)[edit]

Choquehuanca and Arce were inaugurated on 8 November 2020. At his swearing in, Choquehuanca gave a conciliatory speech and emphasised balance between the left and right. On 13 December 2020, President Luis Arce, who in 2017 had travelled to Brazil to undergo surgery for kidney cancer, announced he would return to Brazil to undergo a routine medical examination. Choquehuanca was made acting president for three days until 15 December.[16]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chileans Rule Out Sea Access Talks with Bolivia Archived 2007-03-11 at the Wayback Machine Angus Reid Consultants
  2. ^ a b "Estaba presente en los bloqueos de caminos, huelgas de hambre, movilizaciones sociales, talleres de capacitación, ampliados y congresos de las organizaciones del movimiento popular."Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores. "DAVID CHOQUEHUANCA CÉSPEDES". Archived from the original on 15 April 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  3. ^ "A new political map in Bolivia" (in Spanish). Brecha. 15 March 2013.
  4. ^ Tedesqui V., Marcelo (24 January 2017). "Sale del gabinete David Choquehuanca, posible 'presidenciable'". EL DEBER. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  5. ^ Fundación Tierra (2012). Marcha indígena por el TIPNIS: La lucha en defensa de los territorios. La Paz, Bolivia: Fundación Tierra. p. 46.
  6. ^ "Bolivian protesters use official as shield – Americas". Al Jazeera English. 25 September 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  7. ^ Fundación Tierra (2012). Marcha indígena por el TIPNIS: La lucha en defensa de los territorios. La Paz, Bolivia: Fundación Tierra. pp. 109–110.
  8. ^ "Las hermanas y compañeras me agarraron, seguramente han pensado que pasarían con el canciller ese cerco policial, no he recibido insultos, no me maltratan pero si me obligan a caminar." "CIDOB advierte enfrentamiento si no expulsan a cocaleros del TIPNIS". La Jornada. 18 November 2011. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  9. ^ "Choquehuanca ratifica que no fue secuestrado". El Deber. 22 November 2011. Archived from the original on 26 November 2011. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  10. ^ "TIPNIS: Indígenas califican como "cacería de brujas" a las citaciones por presunto secuestro al Canciller". Agencia de Noticias Fides. 24 February 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  11. ^ "Abogado descalifica figura de tentativa de homicidio". www.eldiario.net. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  12. ^ Abdalla, Jihan. "Bolivia: Morales names MAS party candidates for May election". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
  13. ^ "Bolivian elections postponed again due to Covid-19, this time until October". France 24. 23 July 2020. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
  14. ^ "Bolivia election: Evo Morales' ally Luis Arce set for win". BBC News. 19 October 2020. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
  15. ^ Bolivia, Opinión. "TSE entrega credenciales a Luis Arce y David Choquehuanca como presidente y vicepresidente electos". Opinión Bolivia (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  16. ^ "David Choquehuanca asume la presidencia hasta mañana". www.paginasiete.bo (in Spanish). Retrieved 15 December 2020.

Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Title last held by
Álvaro García Linera
Vice President of Bolivia
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by Secretary General of ALBA
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by
Álvaro García Linera
Movement for Socialism nominee for Vice President of Bolivia
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