My name is Miguel A. Buitrago. Welcome to my blog. If you want to know more about me visit my personal website. Thank you! Happy readings!!!

June 22, 2012

Bolivian Police Force Insurrects

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Since yesterday, thursday June 21, lower ranked officers of the National Bolivian Police have been rebelling against the Morales government. The central offices in each of the nine departments has been occupied; in some cases vandalized as in La Paz and in other cases they have just been occupied. Police officers have removed themselves from the streets (in some cases from prison buildings such as in La Paz) and gone to their respective offices to remain attentive to the latest developments.

The protest has been triggered by the passing of a law (Law 101) which would prevent officers to defend themselves in internal affairs, establishes rules for better control of personnel and prohibits officers to speak with the media.

For up to date information follow these links (Spanish):

Erbol, Página Siete and in Twitter #motinpolicial and #motínpolicial.

June 16, 2012

Bolivia's Economic Performance

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How reliable is the IMF in impartially observing the economies of countries in development? Some criticize the IMF controls rather than monitors the economies. However, the real question is whether the data, assessments and judgements are unbiased and therefore worth the ink they are printed on. Personally, I tend to rely on the data generated by the IMF for two reasons: a) the data is more or less current (at least in the case of Bolivia), with the caveat that most of the data is generated by the Bolivian government; and b) the IMF has an interest to generate the best data and judgements possible because it is its money it has to safeguard.

June 15, 2012

Can a Treaty Really Not Be Renegotiated?

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After the diplomatic fiasco of his government during and after the 42nd. OAS General Assembly, Evo Morales seems to be more than ever resolute on renegotiating the 1904 Peace and Friendship Treaty with Chile. The question is (at least for a non expert in International Relations like me) whether a treaty such as the one we are talking about can be modified or renegotiated.

Evo Morales and his government has began to make, what it looks to me, a somewhat decent argument on the necessity to renegotiate the treaty. First, and here are what I consider the weakest part of the argument, Morales, and his Foreign Affairs Minister Choquehuanca, argue that Chile has not met the conditions laid out in the treaty. For one, they argue, that the free transit of Bolivians to and from the sea is not given. Second, they argue that the treaty was signed 25 years after the war ended and that Bolivia signed under the threat of more violence from the part of Chile. In other words, Bolivia was forced to sign the treaty and did not sign it voluntarily. Third, the privatization of the port and its administration has been a major violation to the treaty, argue the Bolivian government.

June 06, 2012

The 42nd. OAS General Assembly in Bolivia

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Agencia Bolivia de Información

The 42nd. General Assembly of the OAS, held in Cochabamba, from the 3rd. to the 5th. of June, 2012, is over. From an observer's perspective, it was a truly Latin American affair, with the US and Canada (and some English speaking Caribbean islands) limiting themselves at more or less observing how the host country and its allies try to change the power structure within the organization. Of, course, publicly, that is, because behind the scenes, the US government (and its allies) was determined to demonstrate continuity in its approach to the region and was not willing to leave spaces without contestation.

June 04, 2012

The OAS in Bolivia

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Bolivia is hosting the 42nd OAS General Assembly in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The image left, is from the first Plenary Session and, along with other images and videos, is available from the OAS' flickr account free of charge.

The organization of such an event is very significant for Bolivia and the government of Evo Morales. Principally, because it attracts the attention of the world on the country, its problems and its achievements. Above all, the government is interested to showcase what it deems its achievements. At the same time, however, the country becomes the attention it wants and the kind of attention it doesn't want. So, it is a thin line to walk on.

So far, viewed from the outside, the government of Morales and therefore the country, has shown itself, on the one side, in good light, because it has proven itself capable to host such an event and, on the other side, self-secure and pugnacious, because it has not hesitated on attacking "the Empire" in its introductory speeches.