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Impasse in Bolivia: Neoliberal Hegemony and Popular Resistance Paperback – May 1, 2006
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From 1998 to the year 2007, I've lived in Bolivia. In a particular place called THE RED ZONE in the Chapare, Amazon basin of Bolivia (between Santa Cruz de la Sierra and Cochabamba), was very dangerous and considered as a "do not travel through it" area, in every travel guide brochure. Here I sadly discovered that the indigenous children were undergoing a LOT of deprivations due to the US WAR ON DRUGS program.
We were there to fight the WAR on poverty, in a remote area of Bolivia in a place where Bolivian soldiers, trained by the Americans, were sent to eradicate the coca production. Unfortunately, this was the only livelihood of the uneducated jungle dwellers. The soldiers did nothing to retrain the native people, leaving behind famine and desperation.
They've succeed and the USAID, after the eradication of their cash crop (coca leaves), have substitute it for bananas (alternative program). These indigenous population of the CHAPARE REGION had no education, no money, no means of transporting this produce to the nearest city and thus, ended up with very little money for daily survival. We are talking about the RAIN FOREST, mud slides and confrontation with political parties and US trained UMOPAR (military) squads.
My heart goes out to the Bolivian people. I wish I could go back.
A BOLIVIAN at heart. Read this book and you will understand what I am refering to.