Programa ATB “Entre justos y pecadores” explora el sistema carcelario de Bolivia

La cadena Boliviana ATB transmitió un programa el miércoles 23 de Noviembre sobre el sistema carcelario de Bolivia, la criminalización de droga por la Ley 1008 y los costos humanitarios de políticas punitivas. A través de entrevistas con líderes de la sociedad civil (incluso Kathryn Ledebur de la RAI), el reportaje explora posibles reformas penales y de la ley de droga.

Véanse el programa aquí:

ATB Television Program Explores Bolivian Prison System

Bolivian television network ATB aired an hour special on Wednesday, November 23rd exploring Bolivia’s prison system, drug criminalization under Law 1008, and the humanitarian costs of punitive policies. Through interviews with civil society leaders (including AIN’s Kathryn Ledebur) and incarcerated individuals, the program presents important  criminal justice and drug policy reforms.

Watch below in Spanish.

Bolivia Prison Report: Marginal Progress and Unwieldly Challenges

AIN logoPrison reform: Marginal Progress and Unwieldly Challenges

by Linda Farthing for the Andean Information Network*

Chronic overcrowding, largely created by an overuse of preventive detention, is endemic in Bolivia’s prison system. Most Bolivians support locking up those accused of crimes until their trials take place, believing that it serves to reduce delinquency .[1] The U.S. imposed Drug Law 1008 further exacerbates the congested conditions.

Institutional weakness of the police and judiciary further violate the rights of incarcerated populations, especially the most vulnerable: indigenous peoples, women and juveniles. Efforts by the current government (MAS – Movimiento al Socialismo) at reform have led to declines in pre-trial detention, female incarceration, and drug-related sentences. Nonetheless, police and judicial corruption, insufficient funding, and continuing public opposition to alternatives to incarceration continue to impede any improvement.

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AIN Presents Video at CND Intersessional Meeting

Today, AIN presented a video message at the UN Commission on Narcotics Drugs (CND) Intersessional Civil Society Meeting: Alternative development; regional, interregional and international cooperation on development-oriented balanced drug control policy; addressing socio-economic issues.

Watch the video here:

Here is the full transcript of the video message:

Hello, I am Kathryn Ledebur of the Andean Information Network. I am here to talk about our efforts to implement Outcome Number 7 of the UNGASS Outcome Document.

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Informe de UNASUR Destaca Control Social de la Coca en Bolivia

Hoy día, el informe: “De la Guerra al Cuidado de las Personas: Políticas de Drogas en Suramérica Después de UNGASS” fue presentado en La Paz. Kathryn Ledebur de la RAI asistió a la presentación.

Este informe explora políticas de drogas desde un enfoque basado en los derechos humanos y la salud publica. En varios momentos el informe destaca la experiencia de Bolivia con el control social de coca como un ejemplo de una estrategia innovadora y comunitaria que ha reducido la cantidad de coca en el país y a la vez ha protegido derechos humanos.

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UNASUR Report Highlights Achievements of Bolivian Coca Control

Today, UNASUR’s report, “From War to Protection of People: Drug Policies in South America Post-UNGASS” was presented in La Paz. AIN’s Kathryn Ledebur attended the presentation.

The report outlines UNASUR’s commitment to human rights and public health-based drug policies on the continent. In numerous instances it draws on Bolivia’s experience with community coca control as an example of an innovative, collaborative strategy that has both reduced coca and upheld human rights.

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Case Study on Bolivia in UNDP Report: “Reflections On Drug Policy And Its Impact On Human Development: Innovative Approaches”

Protecting indigenous rights and promoting sustainable development: The story of Bolivia

“Bolivia is the world’s third largest producer of coca, the plant from which cocaine, as well as the secret ingredient in Coca-Cola, is derived. Coca leaves have been an essential part of Andean economic life and culture for thousands of years. In its natural form, coca is a mild stimulant that suppresses hunger, thirst, pain and fatigue, aids in digestion, provides vitamins and minerals lacking in local staples and has medicinal uses, including treating altitude sickness (Farthing and Kohl, 2014). Coca is an essential part of indigenous rituals and social interactions. Indigenous people have been chewing coca leaf for centuries, and millions of people in the Andean region of South America chew coca and drink coca tea daily.

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Indigenous Populations in Latin America / Poblaciones Indigenas en América Latina

In honor of the day of decolonization (celebrated in Bolivia) and the day of indigenous resistance (Venezuela, El Salvador) we celebrate the multitude of indigenous communities in today’s Latin America. According to 2011 UNDP figures, 62.2% of Bolivia’s population identify as indigenous. View the UNDP graph below for a look at the percentage of indigenous people out of the total population of different Latin American countries.

En el día de descolonización (celebrado en Bolivia) y el día de resistencia indígena (celebrado en Venezuela y El Salvador) nosotros festejamos la multitud de comunidades indigenas en America Latina. Según estadísticas de 2011 de la PNUD, 62.2% de la población Boliviana se identifica como indígena. Para conocer la población indígena respecto a la población total en diferentes países Latinoamericanos, vea el gráfico abajo.

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“When Indigenous Fashion Hits the Runway, Details Matter” by Jean Friedman-Rudovsky

Read the article below for an insightful exploration of the rise of “chola” fashion and identity both within and outside of Bolivia.

When Indigenous Fashion Hits the Runway, Details Matter

 By Jean Friedman-Rudovsky
All image credits: Yvette Paz Soldan

Fifteen years ago, Glenda Yañez put on the clothes of her ancestors. She had always admired how her grandmother dressed—her wide, layered skirt; a thick embroidered shawl; and a top hat leaning just so, two long and dark braids coming down her back. Yañez, who grew up in the bustling city of La Paz, Bolivia, had come of age in jeans and T-shirts.

That’s because her grandmother’s indigenous dress — known as the chola style — had for centuries been a target of acute discrimination. For most of Bolivia’s history, a Spanish-descended, white minority lorded over the country’s native majority in a system akin to apartheid. The chola wardrobe is a fashion distinctive to Bolivia’s second largest indigenous group, the Aymara people. And it’s one that has endured since the 1700s, even though it has brought with it heightened segregation.

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Original Text–Memorandum of Justification for U.S. “Decertification” of Bolivia

Below is the text of the White House’s Memorandum of Justification  for  Bolivia, used to justify the ninth consecutive “decertification” of Bolivia’s drug control efforts:



“During the past 12 months, the Bolivian government has failed demonstrably to make sufficient efforts to meet its obligations under applicable international counternarcotics agreements or uphold the counternarcotics measures set forth in Section 489 (a) (1) of the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) of 1961, as amended. Bolivia is the world’s third largest cultivator of coca leaf used for the production of cocaine and other illegal narcotics derivatives.

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