Bolivian beauty in ugly fracas

Bolivia's entrant in next week's Miss Universe pageant is facing calls to quit after she made what many thought was a 'racist' remark.

    Critics say contestants are mostly beauties without brains

    Gabriela Oviedo, 21, caused a furor when she described herself as tall, white woman and not a short Indian peasant.

    "Unfortunately, people that don't know Bolivia very much think that we are all just Indian people...poor people and very short people and Indian people," local media quoted her as saying in English in Ecuador, where the Miss Universe contest will be held on Tuesday.

    "I am from the other side of the country...and we are tall and we are white people and we know English," Oviedo said.

    Angry condemnation

    Bolivia's Vice-Minister of Culture Maria Isabel Alvarez Plata condemned Oviedo's remarks as 'racist' and the Eastern Confederation of Indian Peoples, a major peasant group, called for her resignation.

    Oviedo told local television she felt "very bad" about the interview and had not meant to offend anyone.

    Bolivia was engulfed by a violent Indian rebellion last year in which dozens of people died in protests that ousted President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Holding onto Hoxha: Guarding the last statue of communist Albania

    Holding onto Hoxha: Guarding the last statue of communist Albania

    In the basement of an old museum in a village in Albania, a 78-year-old woman protects the last remnant of a dictator.

    Still Here: A story of incarceration and gentrification in the US

    Still Here: A story of incarceration and gentrification in the US

    Many formerly imprisoned women of colour return to neighbourhoods transformed beyond recognition. What awaits them?

    The 'risky business' of tracking Rwandan fugitive Felicien Kabuga

    The 'risky business' of tracking Rwandan fugitive Felicien Kabuga

    The former chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda discusses the hunt for genocide suspects.