出處:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-11220643

By Dave LeeBBC World Service

Jessica Anne Jordan Burton shakes the hand of an old lady while campaigning in BoliviaMs Jordan believes she is winning over those who thought she had no substance
"My mother saw that I was too much into sports, and I wasn't much of a girly girl, so she put me into some modelling classes - and I liked it!"

Jessica Anne Jordan Burton's background gave no indications that she would end up in politics.

Born in the Somerset town of Bath in England, the 26-year-old moved to Bolivia as a young girl with her mother after her parents divorced.

She was crowned Miss Bolivia in 2006. Four years later she is now responsible for development in Beni, north- east Bolivia.

It is an area which suffers serious poverty, caused in part by a lack of basic services and infrastructure. The cocaine trade dominates the local economy.

Ms Jordan says she spends her day-to-day life travelling the area, meeting people in ministries and making recommendations to the central government over how and where to invest money - important decisions which determine the allocation of a $700m development pot.

Her rapid journey into frontline politics began when she was preparing to enter Miss Universe and met Bolivian President, Evo Morales.

"I talked to him and I said I admired him for what he was achieving," she recalled.

"He was a man that suffered the real poverty in our country and now he is the president."

The discussion clearly left a lasting impression. Ms Jordan did not win the competition - Miss Japan took the prize - but she did win the backing of Mr Morales, who soon encouraged her to stand against Beni's elected governor, Ernesto Suarez.

"They knew it was going to be hard. I lost by 2,900 votes," says Ms Jordan.

"It was very, very close - and after the elections, after I lost, the president invited me to be director of development in my region.

"Obviously I accepted because I had 40% of votes."

Jessica Anne Jordan Burton wearing a 'Bolivia' sashMs Jordan met Bolivian President Evo Morales as she prepared to compete in Miss Universe

"My life is [at] risk, of course, but I think more in risk is my own region than my own life. I think that we have to work the best we can to leave something behind because we're not going to take anything with us. It doesn't really get into my mind."

However, it is a worry that concerns her family.

"My grandmother lives in England, and when she saw the news she said 'please take care'. She confessed to me that she was happy I didn't win [the election]."

Ms Jordan's grandmother may not be so happy in two and half years as her granddaughter plans to again stand against Mr Suárez as Beni goes to the polls again.

"I'm counting the actual governor's days because I'm working really hard," she says.

If Ms Jordan does succeed in her quest for elected office, she may face a fresh wave of criticism, particularly if she, and Mr Morales, opt not to appoint a replacement for her as director of development.

 

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