Bolivia Human Rights

Human Rights Concerns: Poverty, Corporate accountability, Right to organize

In 1985, Bolivia radically changed its economic policy by adopting the free trade model in an orthodox manner. Politically, in the year 2000, voices started to be heard both against the economic system and against the traditional system of political parties. The criticism against the economic model was based on the fact that promises of modernity and of a drastic reduction in poverty were never fulfilled. The loss of prestige in the political power was based on the feeling that all politicians had lost their role as representatives of the nation, and alternately focused themselves on trying to accumulate even more power.

This critical process reached its climax in the year 2003 when, following the decision of exporting gas to the United States of America through a Chilean harbor, the loss of prestige in the political class grew even further, because it was thought that politicians were selling the country's natural resources to foreigners to the total detriment of the energetic needs of Bolivian people.

Two months of protest, and around 81 deaths made President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada leave power in his second presidential term and flee to the United States of America. After Sánchez de Lozada resigned, vise-president Carlos Mesa assumed power. Mesa, despite having began his temporary presidential term with a high support from the people, resigned in July, 2005, after the impossibility of governing due to the continuous protests. After this situation, Eduardo Rodríguez Veltze, President of the Supreme Court, assumed power, and the Congress announced the anticipation of the presidential and parliamentary elections.

The elections have been set on the 4th of December; the main candidates are former President Jorge Quiroga, Samuel Doria Medina, businessman and former militant in the Left Wing Revolutionary Movement (MIR) and Evo Morales, native leader and cocalero leader.