Bolivia: Protesters Win Highway Battle


Bolivian President Evo Morales agreed on Oct. 21 to scrap plans for a controversial highway that would have cut through the ancestral homeland of thousands of indigenous Amazon residents.

Indigenous protesters had blocked roads and scores camped out in front of the governmental palace in La Paz for two months to demonstrate against the construction of the proposed roadway that was planned to be built through the Isiboro-Secure Indigenous Territory National Park, or TIPNIS.

Morales agreed to veto the law that approved the 177-kilometer (110-mile) highway’s construction and declared the area off-limits to any similar projects.

“I think the government finally understood that it cannot destroy a national park,” said Fernando Vargas, an indigenous leader. “I don’t know if it was because it understood, or because of the pressure from the march and because the Bolivian people stood up.”

More than 60 indigenous communities from three ethnicities had participated in the march, which the police had tried to violently break up in mid-September, a major blow to Morales, who was elected the nation’s first indigenous leader, largely with the backing of Bolivia’s native communities, six years ago.

Latinamerica Press

Latinamerica Press is a product of Comunicaciones Aliadas, a non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Lima, Peru, specializing in the production of information and analysis about events across Latin America and the Caribbean with a focus on rights, while strengthening the communications skills of local social leaders.

3 thoughts on “Bolivia: Protesters Win Highway Battle

  • October 29, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Let us wait and see what actually happens over the next few months or even years!
    The coca growers are already protesting that 1 month is insufficient time to pack up and leave (they want to harvest their current crop).
    The hydrocarbon industry can apply very heavy pressure as do other heavily vested interests in the TIPNIS area.

  • November 7, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    That is my Russia are slowly willing to help Hugo get the bomb, it is the same strategy as being used in the Middle East, with Iran and Syria. It is a set play, accompanied by the Kremlin two step, one step forward, two steps back or schizophrenic as Gates put it.

    If we all go electric Russia are in trouble, in the Mid East Iran is locked out of certain markets, like Nabucco, plus tension keeps the price high. Sure they get the bomb, but they are further locked out, look the DPRK another Soviet protectorate and it goes on for a long time.

  • November 7, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    that should be why, not my.


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