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How an Unknown Female Senator Came to Replace the Bolivian Strongman Evo Morales

How An Unknown Female Senator Came To Replace The Bolivian Strongman Evo Morales

Evo Morales, the former president of Bolivia, during a visit to The New York Times bureau in Mexico City.Credit…Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

Inside the scramble to fill the power vacuum and name a leader to guide the country out of political chaos.

By Anatoly Kurmanaev and

LA PAZ, Bolivia — A day after the downfall of Bolivia’s longest-serving president, Evo Morales, the country was in chaos: Soldiers and protesters were out in the streets, looters terrorized the suburbs and no one was in charge.

Catholic church leaders called an urgent meeting of the country’s main political forces on that Monday, Nov. 11, to decide who should take the reins. The line of succession leading out of the power vacuum traced to Jeanine Añez, a senator from a remote tropical region who had sat out October’s elections and was about to retire.

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