Category Archives: Press Monitoring

Bolivia: Marcela Sanchez Misses the Mark on Morales

Marcela Sanchez’ article, “Ambition’s Costs — The Ongoing Evolution of Bolivia’s Evo Morales,” published in the Latin American Herald Tribune comments on U.S. decertification of Bolivian drug control efforts, the draft anti-racism law, and ex-president’s Jorge Quiroga’s defamation sentence.  Sanchez tries to connect these disparate issues with loose analysis and apparently little research.

In less than 800 words, Sanchez manages to misconstrue the dynamics of the drug trade, Morales’ alleged manipulation of the legal system and the potential impact of anti- racism legislation on freedom of the press in Bolivia.

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Schipani Dramatizes Bolivian Drug Control Efforts and MAS Official’s Role

Andres Schipani’s article, “Jessica Anne Jordan Burton: beauty queen defies cartel beasts in Bolivia’s war on cocaine,” presents an inaccurate, hyperbolic, and sexist account, which projects narrow-minded generalizations and grossly distorts the current reality of Bolivian drug policy.  Unfortunately, this erroneous portrayal has been widely reprinted and quoted in the English-speaking press.

Inaccurate or incomplete information appears in almost every line. The misrepresentation of Jordan loosely camouflages an improvised dramatization of the dynamics of drug trafficking in Bolivia.

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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 confusing the timeline of key incidents.  Wright claims, “After President George W. Bush placed Bolivia and Venezuela on a blacklist, saying that neither country was doing enough to combat drug trafficking, Morales and Chavez expelled their respective ambassadors.”  Morales actually expelled Ambassador Goldberg and Chávez followed suit on September 11 four days before the U.S. “decertification” of Bolivia’s antinarcotics initiatives.  Both assertions could have been easily verified by fact-checkers.

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