October 02, 2006

ICG Assessment on Bolivia`s Plight

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The International Crisis Group published its October Crisis Watch report. The report speculates on the Bolivian situation and concludes things are deteriorating.
Potential for significant unrest as President Morales’ reforms hit stumbling blocks and rifts emerged in Constituent Assembly. Santa Cruz and regional allies walked out of Assembly 1 September after Morales’ MAS party imposed simple majority instead of two-thirds vote as threshold for making changes. Further evidence of regional divide 22 September: farmers and trade unionists in Santa Cruz, angered by opposition to land reform program, blocked roads. VP Garcia raised stakes in speech to country’s peasants that included veritable call to arms in defense of “revolutionary government”. Full nationalisation of hydrocarbons industry continued to stall: minister in charge resigned after crisis in relations with Brazil prompted by granting state-owned YPFB control over 2 refineries owned by Brazilian gas giant Petrobras; new minister expected to take more conciliatory tone.
Although informative, it lacks a bit of insight on the situation. But, you can get more details from the links it provides at the bottom of the paragraph. It is not surprising though, since ICG has taken up a daunting task on monitoring and, I would assume, providing information about crises all over the world. As usual, this is FYI!