November 28, 2013

Deepening the Process of Change in Bolivia


The Morales government has been very busy deepening its so called Process of Change. Once they approved the 2009 constitution, the government and its legislative branch began the process of passing the necessary laws to implement such process. In a prior post I spoke about the main laws the government had wanted to pass to start the process. Now I am compiling the other necessary, but less important, laws to complete the process.

On January 2012, the government organized the Plurinational Encounter for the Deepening of the Process of Change in Cochabamba, Bolivia. This event, which was the second phase with the first taking place on December 12 to 15, 2011 in Cochabamba, gathered upwards of 6000 people representing somewhere in the order of 760 civil society organizations, of all types, primarily the government's bases of supporters. The conclusions resulted in the presentation of around 600 proposals of how the process should continue, i.e. the demands of the movements, and about 70 proposals for laws.

The proposed laws were divided into several large areas such as economic, financial, social, transparency, etc...
Below you find an incomplete list of those proposals:

Hydrocarbons Law
Electricity Law
Investment Law
Working Law (regulating everything about work life and working)
Unique Health System Law
Dignified Home and Habitat Law
Mother Earth Law
Amazonia Law (about the Amazone region)
Forests Law
Environment Law (should reform the existing law)
Medicines Law (regulating all medicinal drugs)
Sexual and Reproductive Rights Law
Traditional Medicine Law
Citizen Security Law
Territorial Units Law
Water and Water Resources Law
Local Government and Mancomunidades Law (an association of more than two municipalities)
Metropolitan Regions Law
Transition of Autonomous Municipal Governments
Public Service Law
Productive Development Fund Law
Rural Salaried Workers Law
Communications Law (about media)
Social Communicator Law (Journalist Law)
Labor and Life Insurance Law
Life Insurance for Press Workers Law
Treaties Law (regarding international treaties)
Witness and Whistle Blowers Protection Law
Social Control and Regulations Law
Transparency Law
Annulment of Vigilance Committees Law

Note: the proposals for the transparency work are somewhat alarming. Especially the law that pretends the elimination of the Vigilance Committees and the introduction of mechanisms for social control (on whom? on the government only?) and the proposals to create lists of people and companies that are said to have engaged in damaging conduct against the state to prevent them to run for office or exercise public office.

Lastly, at present time, the legislative is planning to finish this legislative period, which ends January 22, with the passing of some of the following laws:

Micro and Small Enterprises Law
Public Notary Law
Finance Law
Penal Procedure Code
Adolescent and Children Law
Plurinational Notary Law
Public Enterprise Law

Source: November 27, 2013 - Cambio, Nov. 29, 2013 - El Diario

As I find more laws I will be posting them here to make a comprehensive list. But, this list will give you an idea of what the process of change means for Bolivia and how the government is going about making the change a reality.

Final note: The names of laws are literal translations, for some of them I am not sure what they really mean and could not find any explanation.