Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bolivia Opening Seville Consulate

On February 14th Bolivia's ambassador to Spain Carmen Almendra announced to Red Erbol that next week Bolivia will be opening a consulate in Seville largely to attend to the needs numerous Bolivian ex-patriots working there.  Up until 2007 Bolivia only had 2 consulates in Spain but after a foreign service reform law it now has 5 and is set to open its 6th. Currently the consulates are in Madrid, Murcia, Barcelona, Bilbao and Santiago de Compostela. In areas without consulates Bolivian nationals are often fooled by fake lawyers claiming to be able to help with their documentation process. 

As of the end of 2009 there were 300,000 documented Bolivians living in Spain with many thousands more speculated to be there without proper documentation compared with just 30,000 in 2003.  This mass migration and tenfold rise in the Spanish-Bolivian population came about largely because of severe political and economic turmoil in Bolivia and an overheated Spainish construction economy. On top of the economic and political factors, Spain needed cheap labor and was offering Bolivians visa-free access to Spain which shares the Spanish langauge with most Bolivians. Currently some 3%-4% of Bolivians reside and work in Spain and have extensive needs for consular and embassy services.

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