In the wrestling ring at the Multipurpose Arena of El Alto, 1 Bolivia, indigenous Aymara women known as cholitas 2 fight women and men. In 2010, a cholita wearing her characteristic pollera (a full, layered skirt) with a matching bright
Bolivia is currently immersed in the Education Revolution, based on the implementation of a socio-community education system built upon a series of principles, among which intracultural, intercultural and pluri-lingual education is a fundamental pillar. I conducted ethnographic fieldwork from 2008 to 2010 in a school that put into practice some of these postulates. This article focuses on the articulation of curriculum content, practice and new education policies. The school claimed to carry out what the new law proposed in the context of intraculturalism, interculturalism and multilingualism. This study focused on the articulation of practice and curriculum in the school, regarding the tenets of the new law, and the consequences in relation to racism and essentialization of culture.
Daniel M. Goldstein, Gloria Achá, Eric Hinojosa, and Theo Roncken
Vigilante violence has become a common practice of creating 'security' in the marginal barrios that surround the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia. Surprisingly, this violence and the human rights violations it entails are appearing simultaneously with the expansion of civil society in Bolivia. This apparent contradiction, it is argued here, suggests that analysts must expand their definition of 'civil society' to include violent social groups and actors as well as peaceful ones. This article suggests that a fuller understanding of the nature of civil society in Bolivia and other Latin American countries requires us to broaden our understanding of what civil society includes, and so recognize that some acts originating in civil society may restrict rather than deepen and expand individual rights in neo-liberal democracies.
From Unruly Politics to Democratic Capacitación
The Bolivian non-governmental organization (NGO) JUNTOS 1 is holding a public conversatorio or model dialogue during the annual La Paz, Bolivia book fair. School children race around the stands, laughing and lunging at each other while staff
Rejecting a Fiscal Model of Reciprocity in Peri-urban Bolivia
Miranda Sheild Johansson
populations on lower incomes, many of whom self-identify as belonging to one of the indigenous language-speaking groups of highland Bolivia. Located not five minutes away is one of the city's national tax offices, Impuestos (Servicio de Impuestos Nacionales
Juxtaposing transnational and local features of Bolivia's crisis
This article argues that the current Bolivian political crisis is ‘made’ both internally and abroad. Yet it is much more than a simple adding up of the two constituent factors: external influences are always mediated by local actors. Local actors turn these influences into meaningful issues and demands in the Bolivian political context. These actors, in turn, are co-constituted by external forces, as is the case with the prominent indigenous movements in the country: their self- awareness and identity politics in part depend upon support and discourses of a transnational nature. The fact that these indigenous movements insist on sovereignty and self-determination with regard to the use of Bolivia’s natural resources is a case in point. This demand, at the same time, is articulated in a setting in which this sovereignty suffers from tightening margins due to the external obligation to restructure both the state and the economy.
Paaras Abbas and Into A. Goudsmit
Gill, Nick, and Anthony Good (eds) (2019), Asylum Determination in Europe: Ethnographic Perspectives (London: Palgrave Macmillan).
Ellison, Susan Helen (2018), Domesticating Democracy: The Politics of Conflict Resolution in Bolivia (Durham, NC: Duke University Press).
Domesticating Democracy: The Politics of Conflict Resolution in Bolivia Susan Helen Ellison. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018, ISBN: 9780822371083, 296 pp., Pb. $25.95.
Reviewed by Nico Tassi
Private Security in a Bolivian Marketplace
Daniel M. Goldstein
The appearance of effective security making—demonstrated through surveillance, visibility, and ongoing performance—is significant to contemporary sovereign authority in urban spaces characterized by quotidian violence and crime. This article examines La Cancha, Cochabamba, Bolivia’s enormous outdoor market, which is policed not by the state but by private security firms that operate as nonstate sovereign actors in the space of the market. The article provides an ethnographic account of one of these firms (the Men in Black), and documents the work of both municipal and national police—all of them distinguished by differently colored uniforms—in the management of crime, administration of justice, and establishment of public order in the market. Sovereignty here is derived through public performance, both violent and nonviolent, through which the Men in Black demonstrate and maintain their sovereign power.
Five or ten years from now, the performance of the allegedly leftist regimes in Latin America (particularly those of Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia and, to varying degrees, those of Argentina, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Chile, Uruguay, and Brazil) will be assessed in terms of the extent to which they were able to bring about a reduction of poverty, sustained rates of growth, and a measure of democratization in their countries, including less inequality and more inclusive policies, particularly toward ethnic minorities.