Magazine article New Internationalist

Bolivia: Processes of Change

Magazine article New Internationalist

Bolivia: Processes of Change

Article excerpt

Bolivia: Processes of change

by John Crabtree and Ann Chaplin (Zed, ISBN 9781780323763)

Few countries have seen such ambitious - and inspiring - attempts at peaceful change as Bolivia under the presidency of former peasant leader Evo Morales. But since the heady days of his election in 2005, maintaining the pace - and making the transformation deep and real - has been quite a challenge.

There are important successes - oil and gas wealth has been used to reduce poverty via new social security benefits for children and elderly people, for example. A new 'plurinational' Constitution has removed many social, cultural and gender barriers and enabled a new, more participatory form of democracy. But new conflicts have also emerged - for example, between peasants and indigenous Amazonians with opposing views about the benefits of a controversial road-building programme. …

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