Category Archives: Land

Distortion on the Andes: Right-wing foreign policy advocates showcase non-representative Indigenous “leaders” from Bolivia

In 2011, the newly elected House of Representatives will likely move U.S. foreign policy in Latin America toward intervention. Right-wing politicians in the U.S. maintain close ties with Latin American elite. In recent years, many of these opposition leaders have appealed to U.S. conservative interests in their region, expressing concern about their loss of power at the ballot box in […]

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Wright on Bolivian Lithium: Interesting, but Not Quite Right

It’s not the first time a respected, established journalist has presented a selective view of events in Bolivia.  In general, Lawrence Wright’s New Yorker article “Lithium Dreams” covers a great deal of territory, but lacks objectivity and thorough research in some areas. Some errors are simple and avoidable, such as misspelling Pablo Solón, Bolivian ambassador to the U.N.’s name, or […]

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Social Housing in Bolivia: Challenges & Contradictions

The Social Housing Program: PVSS The MAS' ambitious $90M Program for Social & Solidarity Housing (PVSS) was launched with significant fanfare in April 2007, promising to provide at least 14,500 new units by the end of the year. Bolivia's 300,000 unit "quantitative" housing deficit (unlivable or overcrowded units) would be reduced by 5%, and totally eliminated in 10-20 years. The […]

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The United States Should Support Land Reform in Bolivia

For over fifty years international development experts have advocated land reform, small farm development, environmental sustainability, and food security. Land reform has also been promoted as the key to democratization and liberation of peoples trapped in systems of entrenched racial and ethnic inequality. As Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria pointed out in a recent column, United States-supported land reform led […]

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Bolivia’s Regional Tensions: A History of Conflict

The long-standing power struggle between Bolivia’s central government and regions reflects the country’s persistent regional divisions. Even today Bolivia is considered one of the least integrated countries in Latin America (US State Department 2004) with a diverse population concentrated along the western Andean plateau, distinct from the population scattered throughout the eastern lowlands.   The original creation of Bolivia as […]

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NYT Article Raises Anxiety and Spreads Misinformation on Land Reform

The article paints a poignant picture of Mennonite colonies in Bolivia (it even compares one colony to “a tropical version of Ohio or Pennsylvania”) in an effort to appeal to American readers. This questionable comparison is far from the only skewed information.   The article rightly asserts that farmers without legal title to their land could face penalties orexpropriation.  After all, […]

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Bolivian Congress Passes Agrarian Reform During Tension

During his campaign Morales promised to redistribute 23 million hectares within five years. The new law stipulates that land that is not currently serving an economic or social function may be allocated to indigenous or campesino communities with insufficient or no land.  The legislation follows the basic land tenure principles specified in the existing Bolivian constitution, which does not legally recognize […]

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