domingo, 31 de octubre de 2010

Bolivia Will Mine Lithium Independently

Bolivia plans to mine lithium independently in the Uyuni Salt Flats as part of the sovereign development strategy promoted by the president, Vice President Alvaro Garcia affirmed.

The vice president made his comments at a public event on Wednesday at the salt flats in Potosi, which hold the largest lithium reserve in the world.

Lithium is essential to the new electric car industry and is used for lithium-ion batteries for electronic devices such as laptop computers, cell phones, and digital cameras.

At the request of President Evo Morales, Bolivian scientists, technicians and engineers independently designed a method for lithium mining after foreign companies refused to meet the government's requirements.

"The mineral of the 21st century exists in its raw form in the Uyuni Salt Flats, which is why many companies from around the world began making proposals" to the Bolivian government on mining, he said.

But the majority only wanted a presence in the salt marches and underestimated the production capacity of the Bolivian people, he said.

Before inspecting the mining site, Garcia praised the national specialists.

The President set down the sovereign strategy of processing lithium and "we are doing it alone," Garcia said.

sábado, 30 de octubre de 2010

Heightened tension in Bolivia as coca producers block roads

For eight days the coca growers federations of the Yungas region (northern La Paz, Bolivia) have blocked roads to the area to protest a new law that limits the amount of coca they can sell. The conflict appears to be getting more serious as truck drivers threaten to attempt to unblock the roads themselves, which could lead to violence.

Numerous trucks, buses and cars have been stuck behind the road blocks and many are losing their income as fruit, vegetables and other produce begin to rot. Meanwhile, passengers are running out of food and water and many have set up temporary tents to shelter them from the rain. There are numerous children involved.

The road leads to popular tourist destinations such as Coroico, Chulumani, Caranavi, and eventually, Rurrenabaque.

Yesterday coca sellers held a noise protest on Tejada Sorzano avenue in the Villa Fatima neighborhood of La Paz and warned they may mobilize daily in the city. For over a week it has been impossible to purchase coca in the legal markets to be taken to the mining centers of Sucre and Potosí and other southern regions.

Justino Mendoza, leader of the coca leaf sellers, asked Adepcoca (Departmental Association of Coca Growers of La Paz) protest leaders to allow them two hours to remove their belongings and products (coca) from the area because many of their coca leaves may expire.

Simultaneously, the Yungas truck drivers union is staging a counter blockade at the Urujara toll booth, along the road that enters the Yungas region, demanding the coca growers and the government resolve their conflict. The drivers complain of financial losses due to the road blocks.

The Yungas coca growers have rejected an agreement signed between the government and some of their leaders, Government Mnister Sacha Llorenty, and Rural Development Minister, Nemesia Achacoll, and have made the decision to continue the blockades, reported Ramiro Sánchez, president of Adepcoca.

The government has proposed preparing a new coca leaf sales regulation, requesting that in exchange the coca growers re-open the roads. Yesterday the coca growers held a mass march in which they carried their bags of coca. / ANF

Caranavi threatens to intervene

Bernardo Quispe, representative of Caranavi area settlers, also warned that his sector is evaluating the possibility of intervening to unblock the roads. As stated previously, truck drivers are of the same opinion, and as of Saturday, have not allowed food to be sent to the area of the conflict. In addition, Alto Beni settlers have begun to take legal action against the coca growers to demand they repay them for their losses.

Nicolás Chincha, an Adepcoca leader, reported yesterday that the sector continues to wait for the government to be willing to negotiate, adding that Adepcoca has no official knowledge of the statements made by the three sectors that now oppose them.

viernes, 29 de octubre de 2010

Bolivian silver mountain risks collapse

The mountain holding one of the world's greatest silver deposits is at risk of collapse after five centuries of exploitation, Bolivian officials say, calling for moves to save the historic site.

"It looks like an hour glass that is slowly sinking," said Celestino Condori, president of the civil committee of Potosi, an organization dedicated to enforcing sustainable procedures for the rampant mining that is hollowing out the mountain in a bid to reach its silver, lead, zinc and tin.

Potosi, once South America's wealthiest city due to the silver mine within the conical mountain which looms above it, is now even more treacherous for miners than usual, because of regular landslides prompted by some 90 kilometers (55 miles) of tunnels within the hulking Cerro Rico, or "rich hill".
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Around 12,000 workers enter the mines each day, including many children from poverty-stricken homes who lie about their age in order to earn a daily wage of just over one dollar.

The vast wealth hidden within the hill was once said to be enough to build a bridge of silver from this town all the way to Spain -- thousands of kilometers (miles) away across the South American continent and the Atlantic Ocean.

The process sees some 4,300 tons of mountain -- earth and precious minerals -- removed every day. After five centuries of continuous operation, there are now 619 open pit mines, including 120 that are currently in use, and an extensive tunnel network.

Landslides, tunnel collapses, falling rocks and the unpredictable release of toxic gases have led to 20 miner deaths since early 2009, according to the Federation of Mining Cooperatives.

On Tuesday a 17-year-old miner died after inhaling a lethal dose of carbon monoxide while retrieving zinc deep in the Cerro Rico hillside.

The deaths have left Fedecomin head Julio Quinones wondering: "What is the national government doing" to help?

The demand for better safety regulations and to prevent further deterioration of Cerro Rico kicked off a 19-day civic strike in Potosi in August, prompting the government to launch a study on how to save the mountain.

The dismay of local residents and officials alike at the reticence of President Evo Morales to uphold stricter regulations has only sharpened, however, since the triumphant rescue this month of 33 trapped miners in neighboring Chile.

Morales gave Carlos Mamani, the 23-year-old Bolivian miner who was trapped with his Chilean comrades for a record 69 days, a hero's welcome this week at the Quemado presidential palace in La Paz.

"What bothers us," Quinones told AFP, "is that the president can mobilize immediately to get involved (in the Chilean saga), but when such accidents occur in Potosi or elsewhere in Bolivia, which sees collapses with tragic results, (Morales) never gets involved."

Mining generates billions of US dollars in revenue for mineral-rich Bolivia, and the government has taken an especially hands-off approach to this historic symbol of wealth, in operation since 1545.

First exploited by the Incas, it was taken over by Spanish colonists and their tens of thousands of indigenous and African slaves, then the Bolivian government and now by private firms.

Despite the centuries of mining, authorities however estimate vast riches still remain to be found.

Arnulfo Gutierrez, secretary of mines for the Potosi department, told AFP the exploitation has "exposed eight levels of the mountain," each measuring some 30 meters (98 feet) deep within the structure, yet there are still "10 levels more" containing the precious minerals.

"The mountain is huge, and its wealth is incalculable," he said.

jueves, 28 de octubre de 2010

MMAyA working with local mayors on Chaco drought

Bolivia's environment and water (MMAyA) minister Maria Esther Udaeta has met with the mayors of 14 cities in the Chaco region to discuss solutions to the ongoing drought in the area.

The mayors presented alternatives to mitigate the effects of the ongoing drought, which the ministry will incorporate into a long-term plan to deal with the water shortage in the region, MMAyA reported on its website.

The ministry will also provide technical assistance for the initiative and expects to have an action plan ready within two months, Udaeta said.

Chaco includes the eastern departments of Tarija, Santa Cruz and Chuquisaca, which straddle the Gran Chaco marshlands bordering Paraguay.

The government declared a state of emergency in 16 municipalities in June due to the drought, BNamericas reported previously.

Bolivian cops detain woman who tried to mail mummy.

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Bolivian police said they've detained a woman who tried to mail a mummy to France. Police Col. Adolfo Cardenas said Tuesday a Peruvian woman tried to send the human remains from a post office in the town of Desaguadero along the Peruvian border. The destination was in the French city of Compiegne.

The mummy was discovered in a routine check of the package.

Cardenas said he doesn't know how old the mummy is, but says it was well-preserved and may have been from the Inca culture.

viernes, 15 de octubre de 2010

Media Begin Self-Censuring

Now that the new Law Against Racism and All Forms of Discrimination has been passed in Bolivia, the media have begun to implement self-censuring mechanisms to avoid violations of the law and possible sanctions.

"Be careful with your comments, Professor," was the recommendation made by Unitel TV presenter María Delgado to José Luis Álvarez, an education leader, when he began to use adjectives in his opinions of the government. "I took the initiative and it was also a recommendation made by the channel," Delgado confirmed to La Razón newspaper.

The decision to limit live opinion surveys among the public on television and radio is another preventive action being taken. In addition, printed media that have websites will begin suspending the publication of reader's opinions online.

Yery Guiteras, Press Chief for Red Uno television, admitted that "during surveys, or when interviewees express very strong opinions or statements, we're having to censure them directly". He added that the news will be "controlled in great detail".

Eduardo Pérez, director of Grupo Fides (Fides, Laser 98, Mar and Top radio stations) sent a note to all broadcasters and journalists to take precautions. In addition, on the opinion forums attached to news stories have been suspended. Other printed media such as La Prensa of La Paz, Opinión and Los Tiempos of Cochabamba, have decided to do the same. Notices were put up for website visitors informing them of the decision made.

In the case of a religious media group, Red Cristo Viene, Ricardo Claure indicated that in order to not transgress the Law Against Racism and to avoid accusations of slander regarding any sermons, the network (radio, television and internet) "has changed its programming, has forbidden broadcasting news and documentaries on Biblical prophecies; there will be only worship and praise."

In other media, the measure is sufficiently clear, "We've cut off all spaces in which citizens can give their opinions until the regulations of the new law are clear," said John Arandia, news chief for Cadena A television.

Programs open to the public, such as "Proteste ya" (Protest now), on the Gente radio station, are the most farsighted. Director Johnny Plata reported that prior to beginning programming listeners are being asked to "please not fall into the temptation of issuing opinions or criteria that could be used by those in power to shut down the radio station or imprison the program conductor".

In La Paz, press organizations have collected 15,000 signatures in six days to annul article 16 and modify article 23 of the new Anti-Racism law. Signatures were collected at the Association of Journalists of La Paz (Avenida 6 de Agosto), Plaza del Bicentenario, Calle 21 in Calacoto, Red Uno television station, El Diario newspaper building, Pérez Velazco plaza, and the Salesiana University.

The Inter American Press Association wants to meet with the President, the Church and the Assembly of Representatives of the Inter American Press Association and will arrive on Monday to meet with congress members, the Church, and other press organizations. It has not dismissed the possibility of an encounter with President Evo Morales, indicated Marco Dipp, president of the National Press Association (ANP, in Spanish). Dipp stated that the objective of this international mission is to take steps to request the annulment of article 16 and modifications to article 23.

Actions taken by the media

NEWSPAPERS are limiting the opinions of their readers. Newspapers will filter messages sent in by readers on their websites. In some cases, the possibility for readers to send in their opinions has been deleted altogether. In Santa Cruz, El Deber newspaper announced it would be hiring a legal representative.

RADIO STATIONS are asking listeners to not express any insults and have decided to limit survey taking and the opinions of listeners on the air. Directors are instructing broadcasters and journalists to be more careful during direct interviews, to avoid infractions.

TELEVISION STATIONS are editing or avoiding opinion surveys. On the news press chiefs supervise content and are also avoiding opinion polls. Instructions have been defined for anchors on how to control the course of interviews.

jueves, 14 de octubre de 2010

Millionaire Incomes on Hydrocarbon Taxes

The state-owned petrol company of Bolivia (YPFB) confirmed today that until last September state revenues amounted to 1,052 million dollars in royalty payments and direct taxes on hydrocarbons (IDH).

According to Carlos Villegas, YPFB director, that money is the result of the nationalization of the sector in 2006.

Villegas said that through the appropriate bodies those incomes will be used for the benefit of the population.

In the first 10 months of the current year YPFB company paid 670 million dollars in IDH.

He said that in royalty payments YPFB deposited almost 382 million dollars in the accounts of the General Treasury of the Nation, the producing departments and the regions of Beni and Pando.

The increase in tax revenues from the hydrocarbons sector are driven by increased demand for natural gas from Argentina and Brazil in the winter period.

The largest amount of departmental allocation of royalties came from the oil department of Tarija (south), with 160.7 million dollars.

miércoles, 13 de octubre de 2010

Press Seeks 1 Million Signatures for Referendum

Bolivian journalists announced today that they will begin a campaign to collect one million signatures in support of their efforts to request a referendum regarding the two articles of the new anti-racism law they believe violate freedom of expression.

The executive secretary of the Confederation of Press Workers of Bolivia, Pablo Zenteno, reported to the media that the initiative seeks to 'decisively' surpass the number of signatures needed to present a 'popular legislative initiative' proposal to demand a referendum on the two polemic articles.

Article 16 establishes economic sanctions and even the closure of media that publish what the Government may considere to be 'racist and discriminatory ideas' while article 23 states that journalists and media owners accused of racism may not seek immunity of any kind if prosecuted.

President Evo Morales passed the law last Friday amidst protests by associations of newspapers and audiovisual media, unions, and journalism schools who rejected these articles as they believe they impede freedom of the press and limit democracy.

Zenteno told Panamericana Radio that the signatures already collected in various cities throughout the country in ledgers exhibited by journalists show the population's support, but explained that collecting signatures would have to begin anew in compliance with certain legal requirements.

The objective is to have at least 1 million signatures, equivalent to 10% of the country's population.

At least 17 people, mainly journalists, are on hunger strike in the city of Santa Cruz in rejection of these articles.

On Sunday, the executive director of Bolivian newspaper El Deber, Pedro Rivero Jordán, joined this initiative, and declared that with the articles in question the Government intends to "begin open persecution against the independent media and journalists to 'muzzle' them."

Morales has affirmed over the past few days that freedom is guaranteed, but also declared that it is his obligation to 'eradicate racists who are owners of the media' and indicated he is in favor of handing the frequencies of closed audiovisual media over to their employees.

Protests in Cochabamba

Journalists from television channels, the press, and radio stations returned to the streets of Cochabamba to demand freedom of expression and eliminate the two polemic articles (16 and 23) from the Law Against Racism and All Forms of Discrimination.

The unusual march today grouped journalists from the mainstream media of Cochabamba at Plaza 14 de Septiembre, where they held a symbolic funeral for Freedom of Expression, by carrying a coffin with cameras, recorders and video cameras on their shoulders.

lunes, 11 de octubre de 2010

Press protests bill with blank front pages.

Most major Bolivian newspapers are protesting a government-backed racism bill with front pages that are blank except for the words: "There is no democracy without freedom of expression." The papers say they are worried that officials will misuse a law that could shut down newspapers guilty of propagating or justifying racism.
Among the papers participating in the protest are El Deber of Santa Cruz, La Prensa and El Diario of La Paz, Los Tiempos of Cochabamba and Correo del Sur of Sucre.

domingo, 10 de octubre de 2010

Cosas que faltan

Natural Gas

Today a searched for sugar but it was too overpriced to even think about getting it.

i hope to get a camera for some "things that look too bad"

Natural gas shortage

Well there is not too much natural gas, mean less cement les cement no concrete no concrete makes me sad.

Today i didn't find any sugar anywhere.

a link but in spanish sorry.
la razon

sábado, 9 de octubre de 2010

2 million dollars free

For the Bolivian National Tv, for make such an awesome administration and been so close to banckrupt.

viernes, 8 de octubre de 2010

jueves, 7 de octubre de 2010

We lost

Venezuela 3 Bolivia 1 on a friendly match

Senator expelled

The senator Eduardo Maldonado was the leader in the anti-racism law has been expelled, this has never happend in almost 28 year of democracy.

The coca business

The coca leaf business has grown  1600% since 2006 generating 700 million dollars a year income.

Hunger Strike

Journalist on 8 of 9 capital citys  on the first 24 hours of hunger strike.

martes, 5 de octubre de 2010

Journalists Strike

Journalists in 7 of Bolivia’s 9 departments were today due to mobilize in opposition to articles 16 and 23 of the new anti-racism law. Union representatives from every department except La Paz and Cochabamba announced a day of marches and strikes, with the national leadership declaring that they were not against the spirit of the law, but against the attempt to control freedom of expression. The articles which have provoked the ire of journalists across the country, provide for economic sanctions as well as the suspension of licence to be levied against any media outlet which publishes racist and discriminatory ideas, and denies media owners and workers the right to claim any immunity from prosecution.

Anti-racism law aproved

Yesterday was aproved with great polemy the new anti-racism law.

News networks across the country are against the art.16 and 23 because they believe the law violates freedom of expression.

pd: i corrected the numbers of the articles