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Introducing the world's least threatening sounding militia

Bolivia's Red Ponchos.

"Bolivia’s President Evo Morales is facing mounting pressure to disarm indigenous communities who have been given weapons to deter groups in the east of the country who want increased autonomy. Morales encouraged indigenous communities to unitewith the country’s armed forcesfor this purpose, giving the so-called “Red Ponchos” military status and frequently referring to them as an army in their own right.... But it hasnot been an easy task. It is estimatedthat some 100,000 menwere armed in the initial campaignthroughout the country."

So, not quite so comical after all. The autonomy movement is in response to much of Bolivia's natural resources being in the west, whereas the population is tilted to the centre. Equally, eastern / central Bolivians are largely mestizo or Guarani, with the westerners different ethnic group and less than happy about the province's natural resources not benefiting them to what they consider a commensurate degree.

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