February 26, 2009

Carlos Mesa: Article in El Pais (Spain)

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Here is an article, in El Pais, from Carlos Mesa on the new constitution.

El a la nueva Constitución expresado en el voto por el 61% de los bolivianos nos ha dejado algunos mensajes inequívocos y algunos equívocos en el mensaje.

Thank you Detlef!

February 20, 2009

Bolivia, its Millenium Account and its Scores

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(Click on the image to see a bigger version)

Bolivia has been excluded from the Millenium Challenge scheme the US government uses to distribute foreign aid. The MCC is in charge of giving aid to those selected countries that achieve good scores in a complex score system developed by the MCC. Above you can see the score card for 2009 on Bolivia. The main reason why Bolivia has been excluded is the deteriorating political conditions.

For FYI only.

February 17, 2009

About Latin American Constitutions

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This is an article the Post published on Latin American constitutions. It points to the alleged role some Spanish scholars have had in the writing of the Venezuelan, Ecuadorian and Bolivian constitutions. The question is, how much influence (if any) have these academics had on the texts?

Latin America's Document-Driven Revolutions

Team of Spanish Scholars Helped Recast Constitutions in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador

Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, February 17, 2009; Page A01

LA PAZ, Bolivia -- Once a product of armed rebellion, the revolution in Latin America today is taking place on paper in the form of new constitutions, a mostly peaceful process influenced by the work of European legal scholars who have played a behind-the-scenes role in drafting the populist documents.

Venezuela's referendum Sunday on whether to amend a constitution less than a decade old to allow President Hugo Chávez to run for office indefinitely is just the latest example. Two other South American countries have embarked in the past decade on rewriting their societies' fundamental rules, creating enormous new charters that vastly expand the social and economic rights granted to citizens, particularly the poor.

In all three cases, from the Venezuelan charter in 1999 to the new constitutions in Ecuador last year and Bolivia last month, a team of Spanish legal scholars influenced the conception, drafting or implementation of the documents, which have stirred domestic class tensions and harmed relations with the U.S. government. The leader is Roberto Viciano Pastor, an author and constitutional law professor at the University of Valencia whose technical, and some say ideological, assistance in writing the constitutions is generating new scrutiny across South America.

(Continue reading in Washington Post)

Sorry, I would like to post the whole article but I cannot, copyright!!!!!

February 09, 2009

The Bolivian Constitution and its Reforms

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There is always some useful information about Bolivia to be found in the website of the electoral court (CNE). In their efforts to educate the citizens about the democratic process, they bring out different publications. For example, the brought out this brochure explaining what the vote in January 25 means. In it one can find the above graph listing all 16 constitutions in Bolivia's history. Very useful little graph.

Here are the texts of the current constitution (1967) and the "new" constitution (2008).

In addition, they explain what kind of reforms were those in 1994 and 2004.

The reforms in 1994 included:

  1. The state was denominated "multi-cultural and multi-ethnic"
  2. Created the Consejo de la Judicatura (Judicial Council, the entity in charge of overseeing the Judicial branch
  3. Created the Constitutional Tribunal (Constitutional Court)
  4. Created the Defensor del Pueblo (Ombudsman)
  5. Introduced the Diputados Uninominales (single district Deputees)

The reforms in 2004 included:

  1. Introduced the referendum
  2. Introduced the citizen legislative initiative
  3. Introduced the constitutional assembly
  4. Introduced the possibility that agrupaciones ciudadanas (citizens' groups) and pueblos indigenas (indigenous groups) could participate in elections
Also, one can find a brief historical overview of the constitutions, the constitutional assembly and the use of referendum in Bolivia.

Here is a list of links for the corresponding constitutional reform laws.


Law Nr. 3089 (July 6, 2005)


Law Nr. 2631 (February 20, 2004


Law Nr. 1615 (February 6, 1995) in accordance with Congress


Law Nr. 1585 (August 12, 1994)


Law Nr. 2410 (August 8, 2002) necessity for reform


Law Nr. 1473 (April 1, 1993) necessity for reform

One question remains: were the 2002 reforms carried out or not? I found conflicting information on it.

February 08, 2009

Morales' New Cabinet

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Evo Morales has redesigned the Executive branch and has created 20 ministries.

Red Erbol reports the new cabinet as follows:

Ministro de La Presidencia - Juan Ramón Quintana (Ministry of the Presidency)
Ministro de Planificación - Noel Aguirre (Planning Ministry)
Ministro de Medio Ambiente- Ernesto Orellana (Environment Ministry)
Ministra de Desarrollo Rural - Julia Ramos (Rural Development Ministry)
Ministro de Obras Públicas – Walter Delgadillo (Ministry of Public Works)
Ministra de Producción Y Microempresa - Susana Rivero (Ministry of Production and Microenterprise)
Ministro de Gobierno - Alfredo Rada (Government Ministry)
Ministro de Defensa - Walker San Miguel (Defense Ministry)
Ministra de Justicia - Celima Torrico (Justice Ministry)
Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores - David Choquehuanca (International Relations Ministry)
Ministro de Educación - Roberto Aguilar (Education Ministry)
Ministro de Empleo - Alberto Chipana (Employment Minstry)
Ministro de Salud - Ramiro Tapia (Health Ministry)
Ministro de Defensa del Estado- Héctor Arce (Defense of the State Ministry)
Ministro de Autonomías - Carlos Romero (Ministry of Autonomy)
Ministro de Culturas - Pablo Groux (Culture(s) Minstry)
Ministra de Transparencia - Nardy Suxo (Ministry of Transparency)
Ministro de Economía y Finanzas - Luís Arce Catacora (Finance and Economy Ministry)
Ministro de Hidrocarburos – Oscar Coca (Hydrocarbons Ministry)
Ministro de Minería – Luis Alberto Echazú (Ministry of Mining)

Of the 20 names above, David Choquehuanca, Luis Alberto Echazú, Roberto Aguilar, Juan Ramón Quintana, Susana Rivero, Alfredo Rada, Walker San Miguel, Celima Torrico, Ramiro Tapia, and Héctor Arce have been ratified in their posts.

February 07, 2009

The New Political Constitution of the Bolivian State (NCPE)

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President Morales proclaimed today the New Political Constitution of the Bolivian State (NCPE), in Spanish Nueva Constitución Política del Estado, in El Alto, La Paz at 12:54 p.m. (16:54 GMT). The ceremony took place in a corner of La Paz's International Airport, John F. Kennedy.

Morales spoke of the end of oppression for the indigenous people, a new Bolivia and unity. The latter at a time when Bolivia seems to be even more divided than before (video of the speech in Erbol).

His Vice President, as he was receiving the official results from the electoral court, agreed that this constitution had major contradictions. For the first time since he is in office, he pointed to the American Constitution's amendments and said that was the way constitutions would be refined.

This link from Fides shows the text of the old and new constitutions with the corrections and additions.

Below, find some pictures of the ceremony. Thanks to the ABI.

February 03, 2009

Official Results - Referendum January 2009

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This is the official result from the referendum to approve the new Bolivian Oruro constitution. The electoral agency has counted 100% of the votes.

This graph is La Razon's reporting of the national and departmental results. We can see that only four departments rejected the constitution, while five others, including Sucre and Cochabamba, voted YES.

The results on the land tenure questions are reported as well.

Inscritos Habilitados3,891,316
Votos Computados3,511,699
Participación computada

One result deserving attention is the participation rate of 90.26%. This is got to be some kind of record!