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The Growing Resistance to Megadams in Bolivia

By: 
Emily Achtenberg

Last November, representatives of 17 indigenous communities held a vigil at the site of two megadams—El Chepete and El Bala—that President Evo Morales plans to build in Bolivia’s Amazonian region. The protesters blocked access to the site by Geodata, the Italian firm hired by the government to study the dams’ feasibility. Twelve days later, Geodata’s engineers withdrew their equipment, announcing, “If there’s no [community] consensus, the conditions don’t exist for us to work.”

The Growing Resistance to Megadams in Bolivia

By: 
Emily Achtenberg

A growing resistance to the Chepete/ El Bala megadam is challenging President Evo Morales’s plan to convert Bolivia into South America’s leading energy powerhouse. 

Last November, representatives of 17 indigenous communities held a vigil at the site of two megadams—El Chepete and El Bala—that President Evo Morales plans to build in Bolivia’s Amazonian region. The protesters blocked access to the site by Geodata, the Italian firm hired by the government to study the dams’ feasibility. Twelve days later, Geodata’s engineers withdrew their equipment, announcing, “If there’s no [community] consensus, the conditions don’t exist for us to work.”

Some thoughts, self-criticisms and proposals concerning the process of change in Bolivia

By: 
Pablo Solon
What has happened? How did we come to this? What occurred in the process of change that more than 15 years ago won its first victory with the water war? Why is it that a conglomeration of movements that wanted to change Bolivia ended up trapped in a referendum to allow two persons to be re-elected in 2019?
To say that it’s all the work of the imperialist conspiracy is nonsensical. The idea of the referendum for re-election did not come from the White House but from the Palacio Quemado.[2] Now it is obvious that imperialism and the entire ultra-right are benefiting from this great error, the calling of a referendum to enable two persons to be re-elected.

What Happened to the Pink Tide?

By: 
Kyla Sankey

When the “pink tide” of left-leaning governments first rose to power on the back of anti-neoliberal protests across Latin America in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the initial reaction from the Left was euphoric. Striving to move beyond the “there is no alternative” mantra, many pinned their hopes on what seemed to be a new wave of actually existing alternatives to neoliberalism.

Amidst the revolutionary fervor of social forums, solidarity alliances, and peoples’ councils, it appeared an epochal shift was underway, which Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa optimistically dubbed “a genuine change in the times.”

But in retrospect, the 2005 political mobilizations that led to the defeat of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) may have been the high point of the pink tide project. Since then, the balance of power has slowly shifted back towards the Right, with the popularity and efficacy of left-wing governments rapidly diminishing.

Indigenous Autonomy in the Age of Extraction

By: 
Penelope Anthias

The 2011 TIPNIS conflict exposed the contradiction between the MAS government’s proclaimed commitment to indigenous rights and the environment, and its aggressive pursuit of an extractivist development model. International media images of Evo Morales in indigenous garb were replaced by more familiar images of indigenous peoples mobilizing to defend their territories against the incursions of a capitalist state.

Why Bolivian Workers Are Marching Against Evo Morales

By: 
Emily Achtenberg

The shutdown of Bolivia’s state-run textile company calls into question the alliance between President Evo Morales and the Bolivian Workers Central at a crucial political and economic juncture.

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