Sunday, January 31, 2010

Two Million Students Return to School, Educational Technology Revolution

More than two million Bolivian youths head back to classes this Monday in all nine of Bolivia’s states.

IMF Projects 4% for Bolivia in 2010

 The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted a 4% rise in Bolivia's GDP for 2010 largely thanks

Bolivian Director Wins 2 Sundance Awards

Bolivian Director Juan Carlos Valdivia won 2 awards at the Sundance Film Festival for his picture

"Zona Sur" yesterday in Park City, Utah.  "Zona Sur" is a commentary on the upper class of La Paz and the effects of political changes that they are feeling. "Zona Sur" won "Best International Drama" and "Best International Script".  The film's description from Sundance is below:

Nestled in the lush valley of La Paz, Bolivia, the upper-class suburb of Zona Sur has sheltered the country’s wealthy elite for many years. Here, in an adobe-tile-roofed castle, a statuesque matriarch reigns over her spoiled progeny and her Indigenous Aymaran butler. But all is not what it seems. As the mother fights with her oversexed son and clashes with her petulant daughter, her six-year-old son rambles the rooftops unnoticed. Decline hangs in the air, and the threat of aristocratic privileges changing hands signifies a new chapter of a prickly and ill-fated class war.

Juan Carlos Valdivia’s revolving camera poetically articulates the devolving drama while exposing the bubble of decadence in which the bourgeoisie exist. With the recent reelection of Bolivia’s first Aymaran president, the long-suppressed Indigenous people are rising up to reclaim their homeland, and Valdivia returns to Sundance (Jonah and the Pink Whale—Sundance Film Festival 1996) with a crystal vision of the change taking place in his native country. 

3 Brutal Killings near Cochabamba

Police responded to emergency calls  at 5:30AM in the Calvario de Quillacollo neighborhood on the

Saturday, January 30, 2010

New Mining Minister: We'll Respect Private Investments

Bolivia's new Mining Minister Pimental assured private companies that their capital is safe in Bolivia

Head on Bus Crash: 12 dead 91 injured. Drivers Union Rejects Penalties, Threatens Blockades

Twelve people were killed and a further 91 injured on January 30th when 2 buses crashed head-on at night

Morales Accuses NGOs of Spying

 In Tarija on January 29th Bolivian President Evo Morales criticized NGOs, saying that some "are the 5th

Mining Minister Resigns After 1 Week in Office

President Morales made it clear that he believes that Milton Gómez who he appointed as Minister of

Friday, January 29, 2010

72 Homes Destroyed in La Paz Landslide

At 4:30AM on January 28th 72 houses were slowly swept away in a landslide in the Huanu Huanuni area

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Police Bust "Cocaine MegaLab" in Santa Cruz

On January 27th the Bolivian equivalent of the DEA called the FELCN captured a large and

New Higher Lithium Reserves Estimate

On January 27th Bolivia's Director of Natural Evaporative Resources Saúl Villegas announced that he believes that Bolivia's actual lithium reserves are two times larger than

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bus Crash Kills 5, Driver Blind Drunk, 24, No License

A bus loaded with 50 people left from Santa Cruz broke almost every law regarding transportation safety and the trip ended in a horrific accident that left 5 dead and 43 injured. The driver, 24 year old

January: 80+ Die in Traffic Accidents

The month of Janaury proved a bloody one on Bolivia's roads, with several major bus crashes and

Santa Cruz Governor Seeks Collaboration with Evo

On March 26th the governor of Santa Cruz, Roly Aguilera told the press that he hoped that the new

9 Drowned in Floods, 22,614 Homeless

As numerous rivers overflow their banks nine people have drowned and over 22 thousand are homeless

Government Discusses Censorship, Denies "Gag" law

After President Morales made remarks on Monday to the effect that his government is considering a

Evo calls the US a "trashcan of deliquents"

Bolivian President Evo Morales accused the US of harboring wanted criminals and refusing to extradite

Monday, January 25, 2010

Israeli Tourist Murdered in La Paz

An Israeli, Amrit Arusi (24) tourist was stabbed to death in La Paz while trying to defend his girlfriend from some kind of attempted robbery or assualt. An investigation has been launched but is complicated because Bolivia cut all ties with Israel during Israel's invasion of Gaza last year. No further information was available on the incident.,7340,L-3839115,00.html

Bolivia Weekly Episode 4 Podcast January 2010

NGO Profile: Pro Mujer

Microfinance, a practice that has gained recognition and popularity in the past decades, is a lending strategy that aims to alleviate poverty by providing individuals small loans and logistical support as

Government Defines Tuition Payment System

Facing the enactment of the of the “provision of educational services” proposed by the government to

Sunday, January 24, 2010

New Majors Emerge in Bolivian Universities

There are plenty of new high school students who choose traditional career paths like Law or

Evo's New Cabinet 50% Women, Sacks 3 Incumbents

President Evo Morales has made a surprising reshuffle of his government ministers, sacking several hard liners close to Vice-President Garcia Linera and installing more women and indigenous leaders.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bus Crash Kills 17 Chileans, 1 Bolivian; 31 injured

January 21st at 9:40PM, a Chilean bus from the Pullman Bus company smashed into an illegally parked logging truck on the Oruro-La Paz road.  The Bus carried 45 passengers and left from Arica, Chile. The

War of Words Bolivia-US Continues

 On Friday January 22nd Bolivia's Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca called remarks made by United States UN  deputy-ambassador Alejandro Wolff unacceptable. Choquehuanca stated, "These remarks are

2 Earthquakes Cause Panic, No Casualties

Two earthquakes of 5.3 and 5.2 on the Richter scale shook the Amazonian region of the Santa Cruz State

Evo Inaugurated as President

(Video in Spanish)  Evo Morales Aima was inaugurated on January 21st as the indigenous spiritual and social leader of Bolivia and on January 22nd as the President of the Pluri-National Republic of Bolivia from 2010-2015. Evo gave a
two hour speech in which he outlined his accomplishments, future plans and criticized the United States and then convened the Pluri-National Legislative Assembly. His main plans lay in implementing the new constitution that his Movement to Socialism party forced into effect without much of the opposition present. Leaders of state such as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Chile's Michelle Bachilet, Ecuador's Rafael Correa, Spain's Prince Felipe de Borbón, Paraguay's Fernando Lugo, the Colombian Vice President, the Cuban Vice-President, and the US Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis were present along with special guests such as Guatemalan indigenous rights campaigner Rigoberta Menchú.  President Cristina Fernandez of Argentina had been scheduled to come but had to bow out due to an ongoing banking crisis in Argentina. Peru sent a lowly ex-prime minister as an insult to President Morales who has an acrimonious relationship with Peruvian President Alan Garcia.  US Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis affirmed that Bolivia is living a historic moment and begins a new cycle of development. Solis signed an agreement to extend the ongoing bi-lateral talks between Washington and La Paz aimed at re-establishing high-level diplomatic relations. Solis expressed satisfaction at being in Bolivia and said that it's a land rich in history that made an important contribution to the Americas.

At the Indigenous inauguration in the ruins of Tihuanacu, Morales said to those assembled, "I want to work for five more years together with the people, under their orders, in order to promote development, unity and the integration of Bolivia."  Morales was re-elected in a landslide vote on December 6th, 2009 where he obtained 62.44% percent of the vote due widespread popularity among Bolivia's indigenous and poor and the failure of many opposition parties to unite. At his indigenous ceremony in Tihuanacu Evo's opening remarks were, "From Tihuanacu I want to say to you from La Paz, from Bolivia to all the people of the world, never submit to capitalism. This is a historic struggle, ongoing for thousands of years fought by our ancestors, however my sisters and brothers, we have passed four years of our government, and I work constantly with Ramos, with Alvaro Garcia Linera, and in four years we enacted this cosmic law of our ancestors; ama sulla, ama yulla, ama q'ella (thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not lie; thou shalt not be lazy). I want to thank, from this sacred place, our ancestors for having left the best inheritance for me and for all the peoples of the world which is don't rob, don't lie, and don't be lazy."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

US-UN Ambassor Rejects Evo's Haiti Remarks

Alejandro Wolff, the Deputy Permanent U.S. Representative to the United Nations struck back against

Rains, Landslides, Roadblocks Cut-Off Cochabamba

Heavey rains have damaged many roads in most of Bolivia's low-lying Amazonian areas, and the city of

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

VP Linera Calls US-Haiti Aid Disgraceful, Demands Withdrawal

Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera traveled to Haiti for several hours on the 19th to deliver humanitarian aid from Bolivia. According to the Bolivian Government's news agency, at a press conference he demanded the withdrawal of US troops from Haiti, saying, "They (Americans) are taking terrible disgraceful advantage of our brothers, the people of Haiti, in order to install a permanent military presence and this is a strategy for militarization and

Tension in MAS Alliance

The governing Movement to Socialism  (MAS) party is engaged in a spat with the allied MSM party that led President Morales today to call MSM's leader Juan Del Granado a "garbage collector". This recent conflict arose

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Ana María Romero de Campero was elected the first female President of the Bolivian Senate in the nation's history today by an absolute majority. Campero had previously been the Public Defender before joining the senate and

Monday, January 18, 2010

Chile Elects Right Wing President - Bolivia Relations May Worsen

In our Opinion Section this week we look ahead at the implications of Chile electing right-wing billionaire President Sebastian Pinera on relations with Bolivia's Evo Morales.President Evo Morales and outgoing center-left-wing Chilean President Michelle Bachilet had rather

Bolivia Weekly Episode - January 2010 Week 3

Non-Profit Profile: Volunteer Bolivia

Volunteer Bolivia
Organizations that arrange and support volunteer experiences paired with language immersion and travel—often called voluntourism—have become increasingly popular in the past two decades, inciting

Education Ministry offers 50 Indigenous Student Scholarships

The Bolivian Ministry of Education plans to provide fifty scholarships to enable indigenous Bolivian youth to attend private universities.  The scholarships, which will be awarded as a single grant to the

New Military Service Law for Youth

A recent change in Bolivia’s Mandatory Military Service Law allows youth to complete their military
service through domestic social service. The deputy minister of defense, Jose Luis Prudencio, explained

Potosí forms new Cultural Group

In Potosí a meeting on the 15th was held to create the Federation for the Defense of Potosí's Culture and

Bolivia Buying 6 Chinese Fighter Jets for $57.8 Million

Bolivia has announced that it is buying six Chinese K-8 light fighter jet aircraft for 57.8 million dollars to fight quote, "The mafia of drug traffickers" according to Defense Minister Walker San Miguel. In

Bolivian Bank Reserves Grow to $8.7 Billion

On January 13th the President of the Bolivian Central Bank Luis Loza announced that Bolivia's national

Jungle Communities ask for Air Force Help

The President of the Beni Civic Committee Felcy Guzmán has officially asked the Commandant of the 72nd air force group stationed nearby to fly to the aid of several jungle communities cut off by rising

Social Security Payments to use Biometric Registry

The Minister of Defense Walker San Miguel informed the press that his ministry has signed an accord with the National Electoral Court to use their much lauded biometric registry for the social security

Another Ex-Governor Flees the Country!

Bolivian Immigration has confirmed that José Luis Paredes, the ex-governor of the La Paz state and leader of the Plan Progreso political party that opposes Evo Morales' government has fled the country on January 4th from the Santa Cruz airport on a flight to Argentina. Federal Prosecutor Fernando Ganam

Santa Cruz Opposition Forms Pact

A pact formed to oppose Evo Morales' Movement to Socialism Party in Santa Cruz on Friday for the April elections of state governors across Bolivia.  This brings former Santa Cruz State Governor Ruben Costas

UN Human Rights Commissioner Speaks on Bolivia

The UN High Commission for Human Rights representative Denis Racicot told the Indigenous News Agency in La Paz that Bolivia needs to implement the new protections for indigenous peoples enshrined in the

Evo's Inauguration to cost $1,000,000

President Evo Morales' Inauguration on January 21-22 is estimated to cost Bolivia 1 Million US Dollars according to Pablo Groux from the Ministry of Culture.  This money will go towards paying for extra security,

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Beauty Queen, 25, Runs for Governor

On January 7th, the former Miss Bolivia beauty queen Jessica Jordan was presented by Evo Morales’ Movement to Socialism party as their candidate for the governor’s seat of the state of Beni along with running

SUCRE: A New International Currency

A new currency will go into use at the end of January among the left-leaning members of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) at the end of January 2010. The first transactions will be

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Medicinal Forgers Exposed, Tainted Drugs Widespread

The pharmaceutical importar ESKE SRL’s license has been suspended and all their imported drugs have been recalled from pharmacies across Bolivia. Their license was revoked on December 20th when Bolivia’s Registro

Chilean Road Block Ends

A blockade by Chilean customs workers on the Bolivian border with Chile ended Friday after long lines of trucks lay motionaless for four days. The Bolivian Chamber of Exporters estimated that twenty million dollars

Inflation Just 0.26% in 2009

Inflation in Bolivia for 2009 was just 0.26% the lowest in South America according to the National Statistics Institute (INE). In a press conference, Planning Minister Noel Aguirre affirmed that this was Bolivia’s lowest

New Agency Fights Illegal Logging

The new Investigative Authority for Social Control of Forests and Land or ABT for short has confiscated 1,034,895 board feet of illegally harvested timber in its 8 months of operations. This timber comes mostly from

Bus Tragedy Kills 22

A tradgic bus accident on the road between Cochabamba and La Paz has left between 22 and 24 people dead and 28 injured in the Pongo K’asa sector on kilometer 98 from the Challuma bridge. The accident

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Banco de Credito Cited in Scandal

On Tuesday the 5th prosecutor Franz Contreras cited several Banco de Credito employees in a plot to help accused embezzler Dante Escobar Plata. Plata is incarcerated without charges in the San Pedro prison to

Exports Fall 22% in 2009

Bolivian exports declined 22% in 2009 with respect to 2008 from 6.5 billion dollars in 2008 to 5 billion in 2009 according to a report by the The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Carribean. This

Spain Prince & Tihuanacu Indigenous Inauguration

Spain’s Bolivian embassy announced that it will be sending the Prince of Asturias, Felipe de Borbón to attend Evo Morales’ re-election ceremony in La Paz this January 22nd. According the Bolivian government already

Only Female Governor not Running for Re-Election

Monday, January 4th Savina Cuellar, the first indigenous female governor in Bolivia, announced that she will not stand for re-election in her home state of Chuquisaca (also known as Sucre). Cuellar, a native

Bolivia VP Condemns USA

Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera said Monday the 4th in an interview with Radio Erbol that Bolivia wants to improve relations with the US but without converting itself into a slave to the country he

Monday, January 4, 2010

Emergency Relief Ready

The head of Civil Defense for Bolivia announced in a press conference that his agency stands ready to respond to floods with 98 trucks loaded with food and fresh water supplies for the victims. Bolivia has numerous flood

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Bolivia Weekly - AUDIO 1st Week January

UN: 25-30% of Chapare Coca for Drugs

A study recently published jointly by the United Nations and the Bolivian Government shows that between 25 and 30 percent of the coca production in the Chaparé cloudforest region of the state of Cochabamba goes

Bolivia to Open New Embassies

President Evo Morales announced that Bolivia will install 2 new embassies in 2010 in addition to the 34 embassies it maintains throughout the world. The new embassies will be in Iran and South Africa. Bolivia has

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Curriculum

The Ministry of Education announced on December 28th that it will implement new school curriculum designed to integrate indigenous wisdom and customs into mainstream Bolivian education.

Tourism Up 10% in 2009

The Bolivian government believes that the tourism sector grew 10% in 2009 despite the global financial crisis and the H1N1 flu pandemic. Vice-minister of tourism and industry Iván Cahuaya declared that tourism revenues

Flooding Kills 3 and 2200+ Homeless

Torrential rainfall over the past few weeks has left three people dead, 2 missing and at least 2225 families affected said Ministry of Defense director for Emergencies and Rescue Rafael Uría. The three deaths occurred in

Friday, January 1, 2010

Ex-Presidential Candidate Manfred Flees Bolivia

Manfred Reyes Villa, one of Evo’s main political opponents has gone into hiding and has not been seen in public for a matter of weeks and speculation rages around his whereabouts. The government claims that

Evo Denounces Obama for APTDEA Lapse

Bolivian President Evo Morales lashed out against President Obama at a press conference on Thursday, December 31st in reference to Washington’s refusal to re-instate a preferential trade agreement called