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CrisisWatch Database

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117 results found
Items 51 - 100 of 117 First   Previous   Next   Last

Bolivia

  |  1 May 2009

Unchanged

Following 5-day hunger strike by President Morales, Congress 14 Apr approved new electoral law, set general elections for 6 Dec; opposition agreed to support law after govt announced will fund new electoral register, reduce number of designated indigenous seats in Congress from 36 to 7. Police 14 Apr killed 3, including 2 foreigners, accused of plotting to kill Morales and VP García.

Bolivia

  |  1 Apr 2009

Unchanged

Opposition prefects 4 March asked for President Morales to be charged over promoting corruption in state oil and gas company. Mob 9 March attacked indigenous opposition presidential candidate Víctor Hugo Cárdenas’s house, accused of being “traitor to his race”. Senate yet to approve new electoral law, opposition claims gives unfair advantages to ruling MAS party; MAS supporters in 31 March La Paz demonstration demanded passing.

Bolivia

  |  1 Mar 2009

Unchanged

New constitution officially enacted 7 Feb; President Morales announced new cabinet, number of ministers increased from 17 to 20. Morales 1 Feb dismissed head of state oil and gas company and close ally Santos Ramírez after he was accused of corruption.

Bolivia

  |  1 Feb 2009

Unchanged

New constitution approved with 60% of vote in 25 Jan referendum, but political polarisation remains after clear majority voted against in 4 opposition departments. President Morales hailed vote as “new beginning”; new charter strengthens indigenous rights, but critics say text contradictory, difficult to implement. Campaign passed relatively peacefully. Morales 12 Jan threatened to enact constitution by decree if opposition in Congress interferes in passing.

Bolivia

  |  5 Jan 2009

Unchanged

Constitutional referendum to be held 25 Jan after National Electoral Council appointment 20 Dec ensured quorum. Tensions increased ahead of vote: state prosecutor 2 Dec arrested several opposition officials accused of instigating Sept violent demonstrations; opposition prefects said will “renew protests” against govt. 3 Dec Unasur report called Sept Pando department killing of 20 mainly pro-govt supporters a “massacre”; opposition criticised report as politically motivated.

Bolivia

  |  1 Dec 2008

Unchanged

Govt 23 Nov ended martial law in Pando department, imposed after dozens killed in Sept demonstrations; prefect Leopoldo Fernandez still detained, awaiting trial. National electoral court (CNE) early month warned Jan constitutional referendum would be suspended if martial law not lifted. President Morales 1 Nov suspended U.S. DEA activity in Bolivia, accused of espionage and “funding criminal groups”; 20 Nov said hopeful of improving relations with incoming Obama administration.

Bolivia

  |  1 Nov 2008

Improved

Agreement on constitutional referendum offers hope of resolving protracted political crisis that left dozens dead in Sept clashes. Govt-opposition talks failed early month, but compromise over new constitution text eventually reached. Congress 20 Oct passed law with two thirds of vote, setting referendum for 25 Jan 2009, new general elections Dec 2009. Almost 100 articles modified in new charter, including increasing regional autonomy. President Morales accepted will stand for re-election only in 2009, renounced possible 2014 third term.

Bolivia

  |  1 Oct 2008

Deteriorated Risk Alert Resolution Opportunity

Violent demonstrations over constitutional referendum intensified, but late month govt-opposition talks present opportunity to ease political crisis. At least 30 killed in Pando department clashes early month; govt deployed troops, 12 Sept imposed martial law in Pando, 16 Sept arrested prefect Leopoldo Fernández. Anti-govt protesters in opposition departments occupied govt buildings, natural gas fields, continued blockade of transport routes throughout month. UNASUR heads of state 15 Sept declared support for President Morales, called for dialogue. OAS-, UN-observed govt-opposition talks from 17 Sept prompted lull in violence; negotiations opened over modifications to new constitution, departmental autonomy, tax revenues. Both sides 29 Sept agreed to postpone further talks until 5 Oct. Morales 11 Sept expelled US ambassador, accused of supporting opposition. Venezuela President Chávez 11 Sept said will intervene if Morales “toppled or killed”.

Bolivia

  |  1 Sep 2008

Deteriorated

Mandate of President Morales confirmed in 10 Aug recall referendum, but political deadlock continued and violence grew end-month. Morales received 67.4% of recall vote; 3 of 9 prefects, 2 from opposition, recalled. 14 Aug attempt by Morales to broach dialogue with opposition failed. Sporadic violence at pro- and anti-govt demonstrations through month: 2 miners killed 6 Aug in clashes with police. Violent demonstrations erupted in Santa Cruz 29 Aug after govt issued decree on 7 Dec constitutional approval referendum. Opposition prefects said would not carry it out in their departments; Chuquisaca prefect 30 Aug announced 30 Nov departmental autonomy referendum. VP García denounced formation of “terrorist group” in Santa Cruz. General strike in 5 opposition departments 19 Aug to protest govt use of gas revenue for pension scheme; opposition in eastern lowlands organised blockades from 25 Aug of key transport routes to Argentina, Paraguay.

Bolivia

  |  1 Aug 2008

Unchanged

Confusion ahead of 10 Aug recall referendum for president, VP, departmental prefects: constitutional court 23 July ordered national electoral court (CNE) to suspend poll pending decision on constitutionality; CNE 24 July refused, said to go ahead as planned. 6 of 9 departmental electoral courts (CDE) 30 July also asked CNE to suspend. Earlier, opposition prefects said would accept referendum, had threatened boycott June.

Bolivia

  |  1 Jul 2008

Unchanged

Massive pro-autonomy votes in Beni, Pando departmental referendums 1 June, Tarija 22 June (all over 80%). Prefects of these departments, plus Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, 23 June said would boycott 10 Aug recall referendum unless complies with autonomy statutes, instead seek early general elections. Opposition candidate Savina Cuéllar won 29 June Chuquisaca departmental elections, promised autonomy referendum. U.S. relations further deteriorated with 9 June violent protests at La Paz embassy, late-June ousting of USAID from Chapare region. Protests followed confirmation that U.S. last year granted asylum to former defence minister Berzaín, accused of ordering 2003 crackdown on protesters.

Bolivia

  |  1 Jun 2008

Unchanged

Political situation remains polarised after 85.6% vote in favour of autonomy in 4 May Santa Cruz (SC) referendum; no major violent incidents around poll. President Morales dismissed referendum as unconstitutional. SC started implementation of autonomy statutes 15 May. In ongoing political deadlock, govt and opposition agreed 8 May to hold recall referendum for president, vice-president, departmental prefects 10 Aug. Minor clashes ahead of Beni, Pando 1 June autonomy referendums.

Bolivia

  |  1 May 2008

Unchanged

Political crisis over new constitution continued, tensions grew, ahead of 4 May referendum in Santa Cruz (SC), first of 4 provinces to vote on increased autonomy. Govt froze SC accounts 25 Apr, but reversed decision shortly after. President Morales said referendum unconstitutional but rejected MAS party calls to declare martial law, ruled out military response. Regional representatives visited country early month to mediate. Land ownership conflicts erupted, including violent clashes between Guarani indigenous people and estate farmers in Santa Cruz mid-month. Pro-Morales Guarani People’s Assembly self-declared autonomy from Santa Cruz department 20 Apr.

Bolivia

  |  1 Apr 2008

Unchanged

National Electoral Court (CNE) 7 March suspended 4 May referendum on new constitution citing insufficient preparation time. CNE also rejected autonomy referendums initiated by departments; Santa Cruz, Beni departments said would ignore decision.

Bolivia

  |  1 Mar 2008

Unchanged

President Morales signed law 29 Feb setting 4 May date for referendum on draft of proposed new constitution after congress approved national vote; Morales’s supporters blocked many opposition lawmakers from attending vote. Technical dialogue commission set up to address constitutional, autonomy dispute failed to make progress, while central government began pension payments 1 Feb using provincial funds allocated from hydrocarbon tax without governors’ agreement. Santa Cruz department said autonomy referendum to be held 4 May.

Bolivia

  |  1 Feb 2008

Unchanged

President Morales met provincial governors in La Paz 7 Jan to defuse political tension: discussed eastern provinces’ autonomy statutes and new pension bill cutting provinces’ share of gas revenues. No agreement but committee set up to address constitutional concerns; Morales later imposed revenue cut, angering opposition. Also condemned alleged collaboration of Western governments with opposition against his “irreversible” reforms. Protesters in Chuquisaca began drive to become fifth province to declare autonomy.

Bolivia

  |  2 Jan 2008

Unchanged

Political crisis continued: Constituent Assembly approved new draft constitution 8-9 December; opposition boycotted vote, claimed document invalid. 4 eastern provinces launched bid for autonomy 15 December; extra police sent to Santa Cruz to protect public buildings. President Evo Morales called for dialogue, facilitated by EU ambassadors, but said would not allow separation of Bolivia. Dynamite attack on headquarters of largest Bolivian trade union (COB) 24 December. Venezuelan military plane suspected of carrying arms attacked attempting landing in Amazon region 6 December. Petrobras announced $1bn gas investment.

Bolivia

  |  1 Dec 2007

Deteriorated

Fears that violent clashes over new constitution and capital status for Sucre may worsen. Constituent Assembly (CA) reconvened after 3-month suspension 23 November at military base in Sucre; 4 killed, 300 wounded as police fought with protesters. CA approved initial constitution draft 24 November in face of boycott by opposition, who claimed vote violated procedural rules. Congress decreed 28 November CA could convene anywhere, to help speed approval by 14 December deadline, after opposition members denied access to session by Morales’s supporters. Morales’s call for dialogue 29 November rejected until concessions made; anti-government strikes in 6 of 9 provinces relatively peaceful, but further action pledged.

Bolivia

  |  1 Nov 2007

Unchanged

Renewed tension in eastern departments: protestors stormed Santa Cruz airport 18 October and clashed with 300 government soldiers in corruption dispute. After Venezuelan President Chávez pledged military force to suppress any potential coup against Bolivia’s Morales, protestors in Santa Cruz launched dynamite attacks 22 October on Venezuelan consulate and house of Cuban doctors. Despite efforts to get Constituent Assembly back on track, Sucre representatives rejected political council compromise of locating Electoral Court, some legislative sessions in the city, blocking resumption of proceedings 25 October.

Bolivia

  |  1 Oct 2007

Unchanged

Constituent Assembly (CA) ceased activities for 1 month 8 September due to ongoing dispute over future location of capital. Dialogue Committee created between pro-government and opposition political forces to avoid CA failure; but 48% of Bolivians polled believed constitution unlikely to emerge by December end to CA mandate. Noting increased Bolivian effort to thwart cocaine production, U.S. dropped threat of aid sanctions.

Bolivia

  |  1 Sep 2007

Unchanged

Mandate of Constituent Assembly (CA) extended 3 August to 14 December. But political crisis deepened after CA proceedings suspended amid growing protests in Sucre over move of country’s capital, and pro-government congressmen’s action to bring breach of duty charges against 4 Constitutional Tribunal judges. Over 1,200 judges threatened 48-hour strike in support of accused colleagues. 6 of 9 provinces carried out general strike 28 August. President Morales accused U.S. embassy of financing opposition.

Bolivia

  |  1 Aug 2007

Unchanged

Constituent Assembly (CA) due for extension until 14 December, pending approval by Congress; over 300 articles still require debate. Over 1 million protested in La Paz 20 July over moves to restore “full capital” status to Sucre; large-scale response protests in Sucre 25 July. Marches and roadblocks set up across country throughout July. In Tarija, MAS party CA delegate led peasants setting up 16 roadblocks for 9 days to demand greater share in energy revenues.

Bolivia

  |  1 Jul 2007

Unchanged

Constituent Assembly (CA) likely to ask for extension of 6 August deadline to present new constitution; nothing approved in over 10 months. Tensions continued to rise in CA over ruling MAS party proposal to consider 36 indigenous groups as nations and include autonomy for indigenous peoples in new constitution. Eastern lowland regional governments see move as undermining regional autonomy won in July 2006 referendum.

Bolivia

  |  1 Jun 2007

Unchanged

Constitutional Court (TC) and President Morales at loggerheads over Supreme Court judge appointments, as government seeks to push through corruption charges against former President Sánchez de Lozada. Morales accused of attempting to dismantle TC after filing breach of legal duty charges against its justices; lower House of Congress (with pro-Morales majority) to rule whether accusation has merit. 600 landless peasants occupied Madidi National Park in Apolo 17 May, demanding development in the region and more equitable land rights. Protestors vowed to mobilise additional 10,000 Apolo inhabitants if government does not heed their call.

Bolivia

  |  1 May 2007

Unchanged

Clashes 18 April between military guards and demonstrators demanding greater share in profits from Margarita gas field killed 1 and injured 20; protesters held 58 police officers hostage for 24 hours. Constituent Assembly delegates gathered more than 3000 proposals for new constitution.

Bolivia

  |  1 Apr 2007

Unchanged

President Morales replaced head of state petroleum company 23 March following discovery of 44 flawed contracts with foreign energy companies. Errors delayed May 2006 nationalisation process; new head is fourth to serve in 14 months. Morales promised elections as early as 2008 once new constitution adopted, subject to national referendum to be held earliest December 2007. Constituent Assembly still to agree on many controversial issues including regional autonomy, decentralisation and new territorial entities. National emergency declared after heavy flooding in eastern lowlands likely to delay implementation of agrarian reform law.

Bolivia

  |  1 Mar 2007

Unchanged

6-month standoff in Constituent Assembly over procedural rules ended 17 February after parties settled on two-thirds majority for passage of articles for new constitution; draft due by 25 July. 20,000 independent miners protested in La Paz 7-8 February over President Morales’ proposed tax increases on mining industry; Morales withdrew plan and promised new investment. Nationalisation of natural resources continues; landmark gas deal signed with Brasilia promising increased revenues.

Bolivia

  |  1 Feb 2007

Unchanged

More violence sparked by moves for autonomy in east; at least 2 killed in new clashes in Cochabamba between supporters of President Morales and autonomistas, prompted by Cochabamba governor’s call for autonomy referendum by mid-February. Government proposed compromise on voting rules standoff in Constituent Assembly but no agreement reached with opposition.

Bolivia

  |  2 Jan 2007

Deteriorated

Political divisions deepened between President Evo Morales and pro-autonomy opposition and showed signs of fostering violence. Hundreds of thousands marched on capitals of 4 of Bolivia’s 9 departments 15 December, demanding greater respect for regional autonomy provisions passed in 2 July referendum and change in voting rules for Constituent Assembly to reflect original law establishing body. Santa Cruz saw largest protest, where 50 reported injured in clashes between protesters and government supporters, while raids on ruling MAS party headquarters and government buildings were recorded throughout month.

Bolivia

  |  1 Dec 2006

Deteriorated

President Evo Morales’s reforms met increased opposition, notably in Santa Cruz and eastern provinces. Despite opposition pledges to boycott discussion of agrarian reform bill, Morales’s MAS party steamrolled bill through senate, while 6 of 9 regional governors cut relations with Morales, and thousands marched 21 November in protest organised by civic groups and agro-businesses in Santa Cruz. Morales spoke of popular “revolt” and threatened disbanding of Senate to push through reforms, accusing opposition of injuring Bolivian democracy. MAS party also forced through controversial rules of procedure for Constituent Assembly after 3-month standoff, allowing constitutional changes by simple majority, although final document will require two-thirds’ vote.

Bolivia

  |  1 Nov 2006

Unchanged

Boost for President Morales’s hydrocarbon nationalisation efforts as main investors agreed to hand over greater control to state and pay up to 82 per cent in tax. But crisis in mining industry showed fragility of political situation: violent clashes between independent and state-affiliated miners over control of tin mine in Huanuni killed 20 and injured dozens. Morales blamed for allowing dispute to escalate; independent miners withdrew support. Venezuelan President Chávez raised regional alarm when he promised to intervene in any coup against Morales. Constituent Assembly still stalled after 3 months over adoption of internal rules.

Bolivia

  |  1 Oct 2006

Deteriorated

Potential for significant unrest as President Morales’ reforms hit stumbling blocks and rifts emerged in Constituent Assembly. Santa Cruz and regional allies walked out of Assembly 1 September after Morales’ MAS party imposed simple majority instead of two-thirds vote as threshold for making changes. Further evidence of regional divide 22 September: farmers and trade unionists in Santa Cruz, angered by opposition to land reform program, blocked roads. VP Garcia raised stakes in speech to country’s peasants that included veritable call to arms in defense of “revolutionary government”. Full nationalisation of hydrocarbons industry continued to stall: minister in charge resigned after crisis in relations with Brazil prompted by granting state-owned YPFB control over 2 refineries owned by Brazilian gas giant Petrobras; new minister expected to take more conciliatory tone.

Bolivia

  |  1 Sep 2006

Unchanged

President Morales convened inaugural session of constituent assembly 6 August, designed to give more power to indigenous population. Nationalisation of hydrocarbons hit snags as state energy company YPFB ran short of funds to expand control over gas sector and YPFB head resigned, while Morales spoke of “conspiracy” raising obstacles to nationalisation. Troops sent to Argentine border 29 August after protests by Guarani Indians briefly halted gas exports; leaders threatened further protests at gas fields over investors’ failure to realise promised local development.

Bolivia

  |  1 Aug 2006

Unchanged

President Morales’ MAS party gained 137 of 255 seats in new constitutional reform assembly in 2 July elections, less than two-thirds needed for full control. In simultaneous referendum, 4 of Bolivia’s 9 regions voted in favour of greater autonomy. VP Linera led delegation to Washington to improve relations with U.S.

Bolivia

  |  1 Jul 2006

Unchanged

Tense build-up to 2 July referendum on regional autonomy and election of constitutional reform assembly, as opposition accused Venezuela of supporting President Morales’s MAS party, and mass rally held in Santa Cruz in favour of decentralisation. Morales pressed ahead with agrarian reform, giving peasant farmers 2.2 million hectares of public land despite breakdown in talks with landowners. 1 killed during police operation to evict illegal occupants from private land.

Bolivia

  |  1 Jun 2006

Unchanged

President Morales continued nationalisation of energy sector: announced takeover of natural gas sector 1 May, giving foreign-owned companies 6 months to negotiate new contracts or leave; ordered foreign financial firms to cede control over pension fund effectively granting government oversight in 3 large companies. Morales and Venezuelan President Chavez signed 200 far-reaching economic and cultural accords.

Bolivia

  |  1 May 2006

Unchanged

Government expelled Brazilian steel company in Puerto Suarez, ending power struggle between Morales administration, which said company had broken foreign ownership rules, and local interests that wanted plant to stay open: locals had kidnapped 3 ministers in protest. String of labour strikes continued, raising fears of deeper social protests. President Morales increased control over energy industry with new regulation granting government power to set prices and export volumes. Morales signed trade pact with Cuba and Venezuela, seen as alternative to trade deals with U.S.

Bolivia

  |  1 Apr 2006

Unchanged

U.S. State Dept. report voiced concern over increased political influence from coca growing organisations. Chile rejected President Morales’ call for OAS session on Bolivia’s right to access sea. Explosions at 2 La Paz hotels killed 2, 21 March; American and Uruguayan arrested in connection but as yet no clear motive.

Bolivia

  |  1 Mar 2006

Unchanged

President Morales threatened protests if congress refused talks on rewriting constitution and continued push towards nationalisation of natural gas industry. Morales controversially re-elected as leader of largest coca farmers union despite indicating would step down from post; later met with U.S. ambassador to discuss drugs issue.

Bolivia

  |  1 Feb 2006

Unchanged

Evo Morales inaugurated as president 22 January after landslide December electoral victory. Morales appointed predominantly indigenous, socialist cabinet; removed 28 generals from security forces. New hydrocarbons minister Andres Soliz Rada signalled tough stance toward multinational energy companies. Morales invited U.S. to build alliance against drug trafficking but repeated defence of coca cultivation.

Bolivia

  |  2 Jan 2006

Improved

Evo Morales won historic victory in 18 December presidential election. First round poll, described by observers as “free and fair”, gave Morales over required 50% of vote to become Bolivia’s first indigenous head of state; turnout high. Morales’ party Movement Toward Socialism won 65 of 157 seats in Lower House and Senate; will need to form alliances to pass new legislation.

Bolivia

  |  1 Dec 2005

Unchanged

Interim President Rodriguez settled long-standing dispute over distribution of parliamentary seats by basing rules on latest census; set election for 18 December. Organisation of American States to oversee poll. Energy minister resigned after failing to renegotiate international oil contracts in line with new hydrocarbons law.

Bolivia

  |  1 Nov 2005

Deteriorated

Political uncertainty increased after electoral commission suspended December elections amid tensions over redistribution of parliamentary seats. Parliamentary groups and regional leaders met 31 October to try to resolve crisis; Presidential candidate Morales threatened protests if solution not found quickly.

Bolivia

  |  1 Oct 2005

Unchanged

Student and opposition protests continued in build-up to December elections. Controversial court ruling redistributing parliament seats may delay poll and affect presidential favourite Evo Morales’ campaign, who earlier pledged to legalise coca cultivation. Police sent to remove Landless Campesinos Movement in Santa Cruz and Pando.

Bolivia

  |  1 Sep 2005

Unchanged

Finance Minister Luis Carlos Jemio resigned over comments he made in Washington linking top opposition figure Evo Morales to Cuban and Venezuelan leaders. U.S. Sec. Defense Donald Rumsfeld made similar comments, saying Castro and Chavez involved in Bolivia in “unhelpful ways”. Morales candidate in 4 December presidential election and played key role in indigenous protests that led to July resignation of President Carlos Mesa. Yungas coca farmers opposing establishment of police post controlling coca trade announced new round of road blockades.

Bolivia

  |  1 Aug 2005

Unchanged

Interim President Rodriguez confirmed 4 December elections, 1½ years ahead of official due date. Constituent assembly elections and regional autonomy referendum, key demands in protests against previous Mesa government, scheduled for July 2006.

Bolivia

  |  1 Jul 2005

Unchanged

Political upheaval and mass demonstrations continued. President Carlos Mesa’s resignation finally accepted by Congress 9 June. Demonstrations against appointment of constitutional successor, Senate President Hormando Vaca Diez, led to Supreme Court Chief Eduardo Rodriguez selection as caretaker. Rodriguez now charged with calling new presidential and congressional elections, made difficult as no consensus among social movements and political parties as to establishment of constituent assembly and holding of referendum on regional autonomy.

Bolivia

  |  1 Jun 2005

Deteriorated

Energy bill continued to generate tension. Thousands marched through La Paz opposing bill throughout month - police forcibly restrained crowd. President Carlos Mesa opposed law, deeming 50% tax rate on foreign energy firms as unworkable, but allowed it to go to Congress. Protests escalated amid demands natural gas be nationalised and constitution rewritten. Opposition MAS party and El Alto residents organised large marches and massive road blocks. Army high command announced intention to preserve national unity - stemming fears of imminent coup attempt.

Bolivia

  |  1 May 2005

Unchanged

Political unrest continued with ongoing disagreement over energy policies. Senate approved controversial hydrocarbon law increasing taxes on foreign oil companies 29 April: President Carlos Mesa opposes bill. Mesa refused to accept Foreign Minister Juan Ignacio Siles' resignation after lower house censure for failing to defend Bolivia's interests in water dispute with Chile. Movement Towards Socialism leader Evo Morales proposed presidents of Argentina, Brazil and Venezuala help resolve water dispute and praised government verdict that outlaws concessions to foreign oil companies accused of exploiting domestic gas and oil without Congressional approval.

Bolivia

  |  1 Apr 2005

Unchanged

Political turmoil and nation-wide protest over government and its energy policies. President Carlos Mesa’s credibility damaged after resignation vacillations: 6 March resignation to Congress rejected by parliament – after massive display of public support, Mesa agreed to govern until end of term in 2007. Opposition Movement Towards Socialism supported disruptive anti-Mesa street protests and roadblocks, but called them off without extracting concessions. Lower house passed hydrocarbon bill 16 March – to be discussed in Senate, where disagreement continued over terms of bill.

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