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Marie Roué, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Paris,Douglas Nakashima, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), France,Igor Krupnik, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC
Several studies have shown that indigenous peoples are among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and attention has been drawn to indigenous knowledge as an important component of climate change adaptation strategies. This paper argues, however, that in order to take indigenous knowledge seriously, indigenous realities and understandings of climate change need to be taken seriously. This is because knowledge is not produced in an ontological void. Rather, knowledge is produced in relation to notions concerning the nature of reality and being. Moreover, in order not to make a mere instrumentalist use of Indigenous knowledge, this paper argues that the practical outcomes of Indigenous knowledge ought to be acknowledged, along with the ontological lifeworlds within which such knowledge is generated.
This paper is based on many years of ethnographic fieldwork with and among Aymara people in the Bolivian Andes and poses questions about how the partial connections between different ways of producing knowledge, of experiencing and explaining climate change, and of experiencing and generating realities are transformed into spaces of conflict, domination and resistance.
Chapter 13 focuses on sustainable development in contemporary Latin America and, more specifically, on the impact of neoextractivism–the exploitation of primary products–on the quality of life of the communities where this economic activity is based. It shows that, although neoextractivism has led to short-term economic growth, it has also created environmental damage that has been especially detrimental to indigenous peoples and the rural poor. It explores protests against neoextractivism through case studies of Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru, and shows that affected communities had some success in ameliorating the negative consequences of neoextractivism only in Bolivia. Finally, to explain the impact of protests it highlights several factors. Democratic institutions and decentralization create incentives for greater accountability at the local level. Moreover, in some cases, the mobilizational strength and political coordination of local communities leads to collective action. However, the impact of protests is reduced most critically because leaders across the political spectrum have been committed to neoextractivism and have co-opted the mechanism of prior consultation.
Chapter 7 focuses on political parties as agents of representation that channel citizen interests and values into the policy-making process in contemporary Latin America. It illustrates the flaws of democracy without representative parties through a discussion of Peru, and shows that many Latin American democracies have experienced crises of representation because citizens see many party leaders as cut off from common citizens. To explain the state of parties, it argues that crises of representation persist when neoliberalism is treated as inevitable. It also maintains, through an analysis of parties in Bolivia, Brazil, and Uruguay, that parties become agents of representation due to the work of skillful political leaders, committed activists, and vigorous social movements. It also highlights that a weak state undermines party building because it limits the possibility that elected officials can deliver public goods and engender popular support. It concludes that, although democracy has become the norm in Latin America, few democracies have parties that act as agents of representation, and that this lack of a deep, substantive sense of representation is a key problem of democracy.
The human rights to water and sanitation (HRtWS) have their genesis, history and interpretations. They are also subject to tension, controversy and dispute. A studied approach to these foundations is necessary in order to ensure a basis for their formulation, implementation, evaluation and monitoring. For the approach to the three dimensions that make up the analytical framework used in this book, an understanding of these aspects is not only desirable but necessary. Understanding the factors involved in the realization or violation of HRtWS, the ways in which the policies actually reach them, to a greater or lesser degree, and the population groups at particular risk, pre-supposes clarity regarding the different approaches for the rights and the elements that underlie each of these. In this context, the objective of this part of the book is to provide elements for the reader to get a closer view of these fundamentals, to get a more complete understanding of the topic and, from there, to have a theoretical-conceptual basis to address drivers, policies and people.
High commodity prices have led to the proliferation of informal gold mining in the Andes. Despite their limited financial capacity, informal gold miners have proved capable of influencing national-level policy outcomes. Why are they able to do so? This study puts forward a comparative study of Bolivia, where informal miners have been politically incorporated, and Peru, where they have been traditionally excluded. It shows how, despite the very different institutional contexts, informal miners are similarly capable of leveraging their contribution to the local economy and the fracture between the central state and its peripheral branches to form pressure groups with local authorities. Based on 120 interviews with politicians and leaders from the largest gold-mining communities in Bolivia and Peru, this study contributes to the scholarship on state-society relations, resource politics, and decentralization by outlining the conditions and mechanism through which informal groups contest exclusionary resource governance in fragmented states.
Civil society leaders develop relationships with officials and engage in contentious politics. Some resort to destructive tactics like arson and assault to target the officials they work with. Why do civil society leaders use destructive protest tactics? This article argues that leaders use destructive tactics when both they and officials need clear information and when leaders believe that officials will offer lucrative agreements to stop destructive protests. The research suggests that this dynamic is more likely in weakly institutionalized, highly politicized, and resource-strapped environments. The research supports the argument by process-tracing cases of peaceful and destructive protest by street vendor organizations and officials’ responses in El Alto, Bolivia. The argument and cases suggest that civil society leaders are more likely to target women and other minoritized people because leaders are more likely to underestimate minoritized officials, but that these officials are then more likely to punish the perpetrators.
The importance of opera and operatic practices to nineteenth-century Latin American culture has been widely acknowledged; opera was central to the construction of ideas about liberalism, Europeanism, cosmopolitanism and the all-encompassing notion of 'civilisation'. The centrality of opera and of opera houses in the region, however, often obscures the ways in which opera, and Italian opera in particular, were being read. Taking account of the multiplicity and heterogeneity of operatic experiences in the region, the chapter examines the experience of Italian opera singers in the southern Andes (Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador) during the 1840s, a period of major expansion of opera throughout Latin America. Often these singers were the first to perform opera in the region. How did they live the experience of being Italian and singing Italian opera in South America? Based on newspapers, archival documents and private letters, the chapter demonstrates how, for many of these singers, producing opera in Latin America was neither marked by a direct projection of their previous Italian experiences, nor was it seen as an exotic transatlantic adventure. Instead, it was something in between: a constant process of negotiation between their private and public identities.
This article explores the complexity of Indigenous citizenship in contemporary Bolivia through the analysis of a land dispute involving the Indigenous people of Coroma and a neighbouring Indigenous group. The Coromeños understand their rights as stemming from the colonial, republican and plurinational periods: their citizenship is thus described as ‘time-layered’. This study highlights the importance of the image of the state for practices of Indigenous citizenship in Bolivia, in contrast with an understanding based solely on rights of self-government. Furthermore, by comprehending these layers as social memories, the article underlines the importance of conceiving of citizenship as rooted in historical experiences and reproduced by practices of collective memory.
On 20 November 2016, residents of Gran Chaco Province in south-east Bolivia voted by popular referendum to approve a statute that established Gran Chaco as Bolivia's first autonomous region. This article examines regional autonomy in the Chaco as an example of how identities, territory and political power are being remapped at the intersection of an extractivist development model and competing visions of a plurinational state. I chart how regional autonomy, an elite-led project centred on demands for a fixed share of departmental gas royalties, has been institutionalised under the framework of plurinationalism and used to bolster central state power in this gas-rich region. The article considers the historical evolution of this regionalist project, its intersection with broader processes of state formation under the Movimiento al Socialismo (Movement towards Socialism, MAS) government and its implications for the Chaco's Indigenous peoples, who have achieved significant representation within the regional assembly while seeing their own visions of territorial autonomy sidelined by an extractivist development agenda.
Creating new parties is hard. It requires the development of permanent or at least semipermanent mechanisms of (1) horizontal coordination and (2) vertical interest aggregation. In Latin America, new “electoral vehicles” – organizations that do not meet one or more of the above criteria – are everywhere. Few of these electoral vehicles become political parties in the full sense of the term This chapter offers an account of one of Latin America’s rare party-building successes – the Bolivian MAS (Movement toward Socialism). It explains an under-theorized path to party-building, via autonomous social movements, and shows how movements can shape party organizational models. The analysis reveals that the MAS meets the two criteria for successful party building but retains strikingly fluid organizational attributes. In the absence of strong national and local party structures that can serve as “transmission belts,” it accomplishes horizontal coordination and vertical aggregation through predominantly informal channels, rather than through party structures. The chapter describes these informal channels and discusses their effects on broader issues related to democratic representation, responsiveness, and accountability.
To what extent can an ethnographic sensibility enhance comparison? We argue that approaching comparison with an ethnographic sensibility – that is, being sensitive to how informants make sense of their worlds and incorporating meaning into our analyses – can strengthen comparative qualitative research. Adopting an ethnographic sensibility would enhance the quality of scholarly arguments by incorporating the processes through which actors ascribe meanings to their lived experiences and the political processes in which they are enmeshed. Because social science arguments often involve accounts of individual actors’ interests, ideas, or impressions, it is imperative to place such cognitive arguments in a broader cultural context. Adopting an ethnographic sensibility requires attention not only to that context but also to the political and social meanings which make that context intelligible. We elaborate these arguments through the lens of two comparative ethnographic works: a study of political mobilization in Bolivia and Mexico and a study of vigilantism in two South African townships.
The global health crisis due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and related containment measures have led to changes in daily life and, therefore, social and psychological impacts on the population.
To explore the psychological and social impact of COVID-19 in the general population of Bolivia.
Cross-sectional study was implemented using an anonymous and self-administered online questionnaire. Adult people were invited to participate through social networks between May to June 2020. The questionnaire included sociodemographic information, coping strategies, changes in income and working conditions and psychological distress (K10 Scale).
A total of 878 adults living in Bolivia answered the questionnaire. Most people considered COVID-19 as a quite/very serious health problem that affects the entire population, without distinction. 65% reported to accomplish lock down measure, however, one of the main reasons for non-compliance is the need to go out to work. Half of participants (50%) reduced worked hours and 18% modified their employment contract. However, 70% reduced household income. A considerable percentage (62%) reported psychological distress (46% with moderate or severe). It was higher in women, young people and among those with lower household income. In addition, social networks and watching series and movies were the main coping strategies reported.
The COVID-19 pandemic has a considerable impact on psychological and social level. The negative impact was greater in some population groups such as women, young people, and those with a lower socioeconomic level, which may further increase inequities.
International pressure to suppress cocaine trafficking sustained decades of harsh drug laws in Bolivia against cocaleros (coca producers), thus affecting coca production for traditional consumption and for manufacturing illicit cocaine. These harsh drug laws caused social unrest in cocalero communities outside traditional coca zones. President Evo Morales, leader of the Movimiento al Socialismo (Movement toward Socialism, MAS) party, implemented ‘Coca Yes, Cocaine No’ (CYCN), a harm-reduction strategy that authorised ‘non-traditional’ farmers to cultivate legal coca and self-police production. This article compares CYCN outcomes in Bolivia's traditional and non-traditional coca regions and finds that strong cocalero organisations were vital to CYCN success in non-traditional areas. In contrast, organised resistance in traditional zones restricted CYCN success and added to regime instability in the lead-up to Morales’ forced resignation in 2019. Hence, while Morales harnessed state power to change drug policy, he was constrained by the rural grassroots organisations that brought him to power.
Bolivia has disseminated several improved technologies in the rice sector, but the average rice productivity in the country is far below the average trend in Latin America in recent years. Although the economic literature has highlighted the role of agricultural technology adoption in increasing agricultural productivity, gaps remain in understanding how rice growers are deciding to adopt and benefit from available improved rice technologies. Most previous adoption studies have evaluated the uptake of individual technologies without paying attention to the complementarities that alternative improved rice technologies may offer to farmers who face multiple marketing and production needs. This study uses data from a nationally representative sample of Bolivian rice growers to analyze farmers' joint decisions in adopting complementary agricultural technologies controlling for potential correlations across these decisions, as well as the extent of adoption of these practices. Evidence suggests that the decisions on multiple technology adoption are closely related, with common factors affecting both adoption and the extent of adoption. Furthermore, there is a need to better target resource-poor farmers, improve information-diffusion channels on agricultural practices, and better use existing farmers' organizations to enhance rice technology adoption.
The attempt to classify Bolivia under Evo Morales has yielded a bewildering range of regime labels. While most scholars label it a democracy with adjectives, systematic appraisals of the regime have been scant. This article aims fill this gap by providing a more systematic evaluation, putting special emphasis on features of Bolivia’s electoral playing field. It evaluates the slope of key fields of competition (electoral, legislative, judicial, and mass media), finding abundant evidence that all four were substantively slanted in favor of the incumbent. During the MAS reign, political competition was genuine but fundamentally unfree and unfair, because the ruling party benefited from a truncated supply of electoral candidates; much greater access to finance; a partisan electoral management body; supermajorities in the legislature, used to dispense authoritarian legalism; a captured and weaponized judiciary; and a co-opted mass media ecosystem. Contrary to most extant characterizations, the regime is best categorized as competitive authoritarian.
Recent constitution-making episodes in countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia, Hungary, and Iceland have highlighted the important, varied roles that courts might play during constitution-making processes undertaken from a democratic starting point. This chapter develops a typology of the functions that courts have played during these processes. In some cases, courts have played a catalytic function, spurring constitution making that otherwise might not have occurred; in others, they have played a blocking function, stopping constitution making from taking place; and in a third set of cases, they have played a shaping function, neither catalyzing nor preventing constitution making, but instead impacting the nature of the process. These functions, in turn, tend to be tied to different theories of constitution making. What emerges from this survey is that there is no single best mode of judicial intervention during constitution making; the optimal response is contextual. A key descriptive goal is to understand how political context affects the ways in which courts act; a key normative goal is to improve the fit between the nature of judicial action and the needs of a given context.
As the Inca Empire expanded across the South American Andes during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries AD, Lake Titicaca became its mythical place of origin and the location of a pilgrimage complex on the Island of the Sun. This complex included an underwater reef where stone boxes containing miniature figurines of gold, silver and shell were submerged as ritual offerings. This article reports a newly discovered stone offering box from a reef close to the lake's north-eastern shore. The location, content and broader socio-cultural context of Inca sacrifices are examined to illuminate the religious and social meaning of underwater ritual offerings at Lake Titicaca.
This article investigates the use of coca by the Bolivian Army during the Chaco War of 1932–35. I present research that reveals the surprising extent to which the Bolivian Army provisioned coca to its soldiers as a substitute for adequate nutrition; as a morale booster; as a stimulant; and as a medicine. The article explores the social and cultural implications of mass coca consumption by Bolivian soldiers, many of whom were mestizos who had never before chewed the leaf. Ultimately, I argue that the pervasiveness of coca within the traumatic popular experience of the Chaco War sowed the seeds of a historic transformation of the politics of coca in Bolivia. The Chaco War initiated a process by which coca in Bolivia was transformed from a neo-colonial marker of the Indian caste to a material and symbolic element of an emergent interethnic working class. Through a comparative analysis of the Bolivian army's use of coca in the Chaco War with the German army's use of methamphetamine during World War II, this article concludes with a consideration of the ways in which the present case study expands our understanding of the crucial but under-studied historical relationship between drugs and warfare.
Cystic echinococcosis (CE) is a zoonotic disease caused by a complex of species known as Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato. CE is endemic in Argentina, Chile, Peru, Uruguay and the South part of Brazil. In contrast, little is known regarding the presence of CE in Bolivia. In this study, 35 cysts isolated from livestock (mostly from the Department of La Paz) and 3 from humans (La Paz, Oruro and Potosi) were genetically characterized analysing the sequence of the cox1 gene (1609 bp). In total, 30 cysts (from La Paz, Cochabamba and Beni) were characterized as E. granulosus sensu stricto (3 fertile and 4 non-fertile cysts from sheep, 8 fertile and 12 non-fertile cysts from cattle and 3 fertile cysts from humans). A detailed analysis of the cox1 haplotypes of E. granulosus s.s. is included. Echinococcus ortleppi (G5) was found in 5 fertile cysts from cattle (from La Paz and Cochabamba). Echinococcus intermedius (G7) was identified in 3 fertile cysts from pigs (from Santa Cruz). Additionally, E. granulosus s.s. was detected in 4 dog faecal samples, while E. ortleppi was present in other two dog faecal samples. The implications of these preliminary results in the future implementation of control measures are discussed.
To estimate the prevalence of malnutrition (undernutrition and excess BMI) among children under the age of 5 years and women of reproductive age in Bolivia considering three socioeconomic indicators: wealth, education and ethnicity.
We used the 2008 nationally representative Bolivian Demographic and Health Survey (DHS). Malnutrition’s prevalence was estimated by wealth, ethnicity and educational level. Wealth index was measured based on the DHS methodology and nutritional status by using WHO standards and indicators. Education level (EL) was categorized by years of formal education.
In total, 5·903 children <5 years, 3·345 adolescent women (15–19 years) and 12·297 women (20–49 years) with available information on anthropometric measurements·
A disproportionate prevalence of malnutrition was observed among different wealth groups: lower wealth tertiles show the higher prevalence of stunting (>30 %) and anaemia (>40 %) in all ages· The prevalence of overweight and obesity tends to rise with age from childhood (10·02–11·60) to adolescence (27·9–31·03), reaching highest levels in women of reproductive age (56·02–57·76). According to wealth tertiles, higher prevalence of overweight and obesity was found in children of high tertile (12·23), adolescent women of low (32·56) and adult women of medium tertile (63·08).
The present study shows that currently Bolivia is in a transitional stage, faces not only the problem of undernutrition but also those of overnutrition, showing strong inequalities according to socioeconomic and education status. This study calls for state-specific policies keeping in view of the nature of inequality in malnutrition in the country and its differential characteristics across wealth status.