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


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.

Our aim is to promote and encourage social, cultural and commercial relations between Bolivia and the United Kingdom.