Bolivia

June 18th, 2012  |  By Round Earth Media

Bolivian President Caught in the Middle

Highway construction of a road that would have cut through the Bolivian Amazon was halted after thousands protested | Photo by Libby Arnosti

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Bruce Gellerman: It’s Living on Earth, I’m Bruce Gellerman.

[SOUNDS OF PROTESTS IN BOLIVIA]

Gellerman: In Bolivia, the people spoke and the government listened. For three months, a thousand people marched across the Andes Mountains, closing roads, enduring police crackdown and arrest. They were protesting the government’s plan to build a highway through indigenous lands and Amazon forest. Bolivian President Evo Morales gave in to the protesters and scrapped the project. But while demonstrators may have won this round, the fight over how to develop Bolivia’s economy and protect its environmental future continues. Mary Stucky reports.

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December 7th, 2009  |  By Mary Stucky

Bolivia’s First Indigenous Prez Headed to Re-election

Not long ago, Bolivia appeared headed toward civil war. But in the elections just being counted, Evo Morales has achieved a lopsided victory with his opposition in disarray according to AP reports. Why?

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November 5th, 2009  |  By Round Earth Media

Mining in Potosi

Serafin

Miner Serafin Sallama Copa | All photos by Kate McDonald

Last year, mining companies in Bolivia doubled their profits, thanks to soaring price of minerals. Despite that, Bolivia is the poorest country in South America. That’s because most miners don’t work for big mining companies. In Bolivia, miners usually form themselves into what they call cooperatives and pick through what’s left after the big mining companies pull out. There is virtually no government oversight of this industry and miners work under appalling conditions that have hardly changed in 500 years. 50 thousand mostly men toil in the mines of Bolivia. This is the story of one of them.

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August 24th, 2008  |  By Mary Losure

Reporters Notebook: Straw Hat Ladies in Bolivia

strawhatladiesPHOTO

Juana Chambi Mejia lives in Cochabamba, Bolivia | Photo by Mary Stucky

Tourist brochures of Bolivia show women in bright traditional dress, often with the jaunty bowler hats worn in some regions of the country. Mary Losure recently returned from the city of Cochabamba in central Bolivia, and offers these thoughts about indigenous women’s fashions there, and the hard choices they represent.

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May 6th, 2008  |  By Round Earth Media

Bolivia Protects Potato Diversity

Papa Lisa in the market in Cochabamba, Bolivia

Papa Lisa in the market in Cochabamba, Bolivia | All photos by Don Losure

By Mary Stucky

Nowhere is the lowly potato more revered than in the Andes of South America. This is where potatoes originated. In just two countries — Peru and Bolivia — there some 10,000 different varieties of potatoes, in colors ranging from green to black to pink. Each has a unique taste and culinary purpose.

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August 8th, 2007  |  By Round Earth Media

From Bolivia There’s Aid, and Then There’s Free Aid

AidSign

A sign posted at an agricultural project supported by USAID near La Capinota, Bolivia. | All Photos by Mary Stucky

Around the world, the U.S. spends billions on development programs to improve the standard of living for poor people. Sounds good, right? Well not every country is buying. Take Bolivia, for example, which took a dramatic turn to the left one year ago with the election of Evo Morales. In Bolivia, critics of U.S. aid say it comes with strings attached. As Mary Stucky reports, U.S. money may be losing its influence.

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June 1st, 2007  |  By Round Earth Media

Evo’s Revolution

A hunger strike in the square in Santa Cruz to protest the policies of Bolivia's president Evo Morales.

A hunger strike in the square in Santa Cruz to protest the policies of Bolivia's president Evo Morales. | Photo by Kate McDonald

In President Evo Morales, Bolivia’s indigenous majority finally has one of its own in charge. And he’s brought change. But he’s also angered much of the country, which is threatening to secede.

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April 27th, 2007  |  By Round Earth Media

Bolivian Land Reform: From Rich to Poor

Bolivian farmers taking a break from harvesting carrots.

Bolivian farmers taking a break from harvesting carrots. | Photo by Mary Stucky

Bolivian President Evo Morales wants to give an area the size of Nebraska to his country’s indigenous people.

Bolivia has tried land reform before. This time it may happen. Morales has pledged to return Bolivia’s resources to its people, and to take land from the rich to give to the poor. That slogan won him plenty of votes in this, South America’s poorest nation.

Now, Morales want to give an area the size of Nebraska to Bolivia’s disadvantaged Indian majority.

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March 8th, 2007  |  By Round Earth Media

Bolivia Says Coca Yes, Cocaine No

Mary Stucky recording in Shinahota, Bolivia, now a quiet town but once a center of Bolivia's drug trade.  |  Photo by Katherine McDonald

Mary Stucky recording in Shinahota, Bolivia, now a quiet town but once a center of Bolivia's drug trade. | Photo by Katherine McDonald

In Bolivia the war on drugs has taken a sharp turn away from U.S. policy and it seems to be getting results. There it’s now legal to have a small plot of coca, the main ingredient in cocaine. Under this program, the small amount of coca grown in Bolivia has increased but much less than in Peru and Columbia, where the United States supports efforts to forcibly eradicate the plant. Mary Stucky reports that the Bolivian approach seems to be reducing the violence that has plagued anti drug efforts throughout Latin America.

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January 1st, 2007  |  By Round Earth Media

Bolivia, Land of Poverty and Hope

A woman washes clothes in an irrigation ditch like the one the village is hoping for.  |  All photos: Don Losure

A woman washes clothes in an irrigation ditch like the one the village is hoping for. | All photos by Don Losure

Ever since Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, took office a year ago, he has promised to raise the standard of living for people in the poorest country in South America.

Many Bolivians take that promise seriously; in a country with an indigenous majority, Morales is an Aymara Indian — the first indigenous president Bolivia has ever had. The landslide vote for the left-leaning Morales was widely seen as a call for change and a sign of the need to solve many of the country’s long-entrenched problems.

A look at everyday life in Bolivia shows how difficult that may be. It’s a place where things work differently, nothing is predictable and the future is up for grabs.

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