Morales sworn in as Bolivian president

TIWANAKU, Bolivia, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Evo Morales, an Aymara Indian and former head of the Bolivian coca growers union, was sworn in Sunday as president of Bolivia.

Morales promises to transform Bolivia and "end the colonial and neoliberal model," the New York Times reported.


He has said he would "depenalize" cultivation of coca, the prime ingredient for cocaine, and has pledged to inject the state in Bolivia's oil and natural gas industry.

While Morales has recently toned down some of his more strident language, the newspaper reported, political analysts say it is hard to tell exactly how Morales might rule.

In a ceremony attended by tens of thousands of Aymara and Quechua Indians on Saturday, Morales donned a replica of a 1,000-year-old tunic -- similar to those once used by Tiwanaku's wise men. He underwent an ancient purification ritual and accepted the symbolic leadership of the myriad indigenous groups of the Andes.

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