First Jewish Member of Parliament in the History of Bolivia

As a result of Bolivia’s recent elections, a Jewish legislator, Jose Brecher, has for the first time become a member of the Chamber of Deputies, the World Jewish Congress reported.

The election of the Jewish Parliamentarian coincides with a political event here unprecedented in the last quarter of a century: an elected government transmitted its rule to another democratically established government, and a new parliament was peacefully inaugurated.

According to the Latin American branch of the WJC, the 31-year-old Brecher, whose father is a Holocaust survivor, was elected with non-Jewish votes in the city of Cochabamba. In all of Bolivia the Jewish population does not exceed 1,000 persons, and there are small communities in La Paz, Cochabamba, and Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

Brecher is not merely known as a Jew, but he has publicly taken positions in favor of Israeli causes. He chaired the Keren Kayemet in Cochabamba and initiated the planting of a Bolivia forest in Israel.

The highly respected MP belongs to the Accion Democratica Nacionalista, which, according to observers, tends to the right wing of Bolivia’s political spectrum. He has been one of the main supporters of the consolidation of democratic institutions and the rule of law in Bolivia, and is a passionate supporter of the neo-liberal economic model. In the Chamber of Deputies, his party has given him a seat on the important Foreign Relations Commission.

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