All posts by ukbolivia

Bolivia March 2015 Subnational Election Results in Perspective

Panel Discussion

Dr. John Crabtree

Research Associate, Latin American Centre, University of Oxford

Dr. Jeffery Webber

Senior Lecturer

School of Politics & International Relations, Queen Mary University of London

Alberto Souviron

Bolivian digital media specialist / journalist with social media background

Tuesday 28 April 18:30

Joint presentation with the

Institute of Latin American Studies

Senate House, Bedford Room G37, Malet Street, WC1E 7HU

Tickets: £10, students (with valid ID) and concessions £5

Glass of wine, refreshments and nibbles included.

Send email for booking at :anglobolivian@gmail.com 

Do Bolivia’s March subnational elections signal lasting developments in the political landscape or do the results reflect a temporary correction or protest vote by local community groups and organisations? The ruling Movement for Socialism (MAS) led by President Evo Morales, which secured a handsome 61% result in the October 2014 Presidential elections, remains dominant nationally, yet in these elections lost control of the regional government and municipality in the seat of government La Paz, and the adjoining Aymara Indian city of El Alto, its support bastion and scenario of the 2003 War on Gas. The opposition retained control in the Santa Cruz region, and secured city hall in Cochabamba, but May second-round elections in the Beni, Chuquisaca and Tarija regions, where the MAS was determined to win, may yield further upsets. The panel will analyse these developments, and identify risks and opportunities moving forward.

Katari and the Seacoast during the Bolivian Gas War

Sue Iamamoto

PhD Candidate, School of Politics and International Relations

Queen Mary University of London

Capes / Brazil

Thursday 19 March 18:30

Joint presentation with the

Institute of Latin American Studies

Torrington Room (104), First Floor

Senate House, Malet Street, WC1E 7HU

Glass of wine, refreshments and nibbles included

                       Send email for booking at anglobolivian@gmail.com                       

Eleven years ago, in September / October 2003, a powerful social mobilisation paralysed Bolivia to demand nationalisation of natural gas. The setting for this struggle was mainly the highland provinces of the department of La Paz and the city of El Alto, overlooking the seat of the government of La Paz. After more than 50 protestors were killed by the army, President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada resigned on 17 October 2003. This presentation will focus on the power of collective memories during these days, more specifically how the protestors incorporated narratives of two particular events: the anti-colonial rebellion of Tupac Katari in 1781 and the War of the Pacific in 1879-1880, in which Bolivia lost its seacoast. These collective memories were entangled with the protestors´ national and ethnic identities and were central to frame and make sense of new political projects for Bolivia’s future.

 

The Political Economy of Bolivia Since 2006

Dr. Jeffery Webber

Senior Lecturer

School of Politics and International Relations

Queen Mary University of London

Thursday 29 January 18:30

Joint presentation with the

Institute of Latin American Studies

Bedford Room (G37), Ground Floor

Senate House, Malet Street, WC1E 7HU

Tickets: £10 members, £12 non-members, £6 students

Glass of wine, refreshments and nibbles included.

Send email for booking. Email:anglobolivian@gmail.com              

In Bolivia extractive capitalism is being pursued and managed by the government of Evo Morales and his party the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS). In the midst of a commodities boom driven by China, aggregate economic growth has been steady under Morales, averaging 4.8 percent between 2006 and 2012. Gas exports constituted 52.8 percent of total exports in the first trimester of 2013, followed by industrial manufacturing (24.2), mining (17.2), and agriculture (4.5). In 2012, the country logged a record peak of foreign direct investment, again mostly in gas. In light of these developments, this paper does three things.

First, it explores the class dynamics and outcomes of accelerating extractive capitalism in Bolivia since Morales assumed office in 2006. Second, it then examines the (progressive) ideological framing of these developments in each of the National Development Plans under Morales since 2006, as well as in the prolific sociological writings of the Vice President Álvaro García Linera. One emphasis here will be on the deployment in these documents and writings of a certain idiom of indigenous liberation relatively separated from a critique of capitalism and class society. Thirdly, it discusses the extent to which this state ideology relates to actual changes in world of work, and the conditions of the rural and urban labouring classes under the new model of extractive accumulation.

How do Social media reflect Bolivia’s political process


Alberto Souviron

Digital media specialist with a strong background

in social media and online journalism.*

Thursday 11 December 18:00 for 18:30

Joint presentation with the

Institute of Latin American Studies

Bedford Room (G37), Ground Floor

Senate House, Malet Street, WC1E 7HU

Email: anglobolivian@gmail.com

Latin America is one of the most active regions in social media and Bolivia is a good example. Bolivians use social media for various purposes: personal, commercial and mostly political. They use social media to express their views and ideas, rationally and passionately. Political and social actors also know the power of social media and have extended their arguments and views to new platforms. The conversation and political debate is no longer in traditional media but in the social web.

*Alberto Souviron is currently working for Lloyd’s Register as its social media strategist. He was also Interactive and Social Media Editor for the BBC World Service, playing a proactive role in coordinating the editorial content for 26 Language Services to enable the BBC to offer a truly, global interactive output and strength in its social media presence in all languages.

The making of “Boquerón: the story that must be told”

Tonchy Antezana

(recorded interview and presentation)

Bolivian scriptwriter and film maker

Joint presentation with the Institute of Latin American Studies

Thursday 30 October at 19:00

Room G34, Senate House, Malet Street, WC1E 7H

Boquerón was the first major battle of the Chaco war fought between Bolivia and Paraguay from 7 to 29 September 1932 at a fort where 600 Bolivian soldiers held back the Paraguayan advance of over 2,000 troops.
“Boquerón, the story that must be told” the film currently being completed by scriptwriter and director Tonchy Antezana, who previously made “Evo Pueblo” and “Cementerio de Elefantes”, is the first Bolivian motion picture about the Chaco War (1932 – 1935), the bloodiest conflict fought in South America between Bolivia and Paraguay two of the poorest landlocked countries in the continent.
The film captures behind-the-scenes human aspects of the war following the lives of four soldiers from different backgrounds and parts of Bolivia. The presentation of the “making of” the film by the Anglo-Bolivian Society includes a recent exclusive filmed interview with Tonchy Antezana, an unreleased “making of” presentation, film teasers and photographs.

The Road to Where? The Struggle for the Future of the Isiboro Secure National Park & Indigenous Territory (TIPNIS)

Jessica Hope, Postgraduate Researcher

Institute of Development, Policy and Management (IDPM), University of Manchester

Joint presentation with the Institute of Latin American Studies

Thursday 25 September at 18:00 for 18:30

The building of a new highway, planned to cut through the Isiboro Secure Indigenous Territory and National Park (TIPNIS), in lowland Bolivia, has tested the limits of the new MAS state and their plans for extraction, indigenous rights and conservation. The dispute is testing Bolivia’s new constitution, commitments to buen vivir (living well) and its environmentalist stance.  More widely, it raises questions about post-neoliberalism, the power of extractive industry, and the role of conservation in this politics.  This talk is based on data gathered in nine months of fieldwork, primarily interviewing those opposing the road.  In her talk, Jessica Hope will explore how those resisting the road are mobilising their indigenous identity to control the rate and pace of development in the park.

“Fiesta Boliviana” Summer Picnic in Regents Park on Marylebone Green

All ABS members, friends, families, children are cordially invited. Please bring drinks, refreshments, juices, salads, pasta, quinoa, salteñas – Bolivian specialities most welcome — sandwiches, cake, nibbles and fruit to share.

Don’t forget balloons, blankets, sunglasses, funny hats, umbrellas, sun cream. Bring sweets, biscuits, energy bars to fill the piñata. We will have lots of fun playing Bolivian games and listening to Bolivian music. Everybody welcome.

Marylebone Green is in Regents Park, close to Regents Park tube. Turn left as you leave the station, walk along Marylebone Road. Turn right into Park Square West and at the end of this street cross the Outer Circle and enter the park. There is a coffee bar on the left and a children’s playground on the right. Beyond the playground is a wooded area where you will spot us.

¿En defensa de la hoja de coca? The anti-drugs policies of Evo Morales and the Movimiento al Socialismo

Stacey Dunlea

Postgraduate Researcher

University of Sheffield

Joint presentation with the Institute of Latin American Studies

Friday 9 May at 18:00 for18:30

This paper explores recent developments relating to coca leaf cultivation and cocaine production in Bolivia, and in particular counter-narcotics measures under the MAS administration.

The 2005 election of the Movimiento al Socialismo’s  Evo Morales, a former coca farmer and leader of a coca growers’ trade union, as president of Bolivia led to some speculation that the country would break completely with a US-backed coca eradication programme. Despite the fact that the coca leaf, which plays a significant part in autochthonous Andean culture, is not the same as the synthetic drug cocaine, some commentators greeted Morales’s promises to defend the coca leaf and its growers as a sign that cocaine production in Bolivia would increase.

This paper explores counter-narcotics measures employed by Morales and the MAS, and the extent to which they have altered the controversial forced eradication policies pursued by previous governments. The paper asks if the actions of the MAS administration can truly be considered a challenge to the ‘War on Drugs’, and a part of the alternative strategies emerging elsewhere in Latin American, such as Uruguay’s recent decision to legalise the limited sale of marijuana. The paper is a longer version of one that will be presented at SLAS 2014, the Society for Latin American Studies’ annual conference. The version presented at SLAS 2014 will be kindly sponsored by the Anglo-Bolivian Society.

The making of a transnational community: Bolivian ex-miners’ migration strategies

Dr. Tanja Bastia
Lecturer in Urban Development
University of Manchester
Wednesday 26 March at 18:00
Joint presentation with the
Institute of Latin American Studies
Senate House, Malet Street, WC1E 7HU

The history of Bolivian geographic mobility represents a fascinating case study from which to better understand global processes of migration and the consequences that migration has for migrants and their communities of origin. This talk will present findings from a group of Bolivian ex-miners, who migrated within Bolivia from the mining town to Cochabamba and from there to Buenos Aires and various cities in Spain. Spanning at least two decades, the life stories and survey data collected for this research project also tells the story of the making (and the un-making) of a transnational community. Of particular interest are the findings related to gender relations and the extent to which these have changed through these processes of internal, regional and global migration.
* Image: Bolivian immigrants in Plaza Kantuta in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from the documentary “Un día más: ¿Cuánto esperarías antes de volver?”, directed by Sergio Estrada, Donald Ranvaud and Leonardo de la Torre Ávila.