Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bolivia Happenings This Week

I'm cribbing a bit from El Duderino today, as my return to the north has given me a case of the flu, it seems. I get a bad cough, and I can barely post. El Dude loses an arm and he's still hitting it in Bolivia.

  • Santa Cruz's favorite "civic committee" leader, Branko Marinkovic, might get arrested soon for his alleged role in riots and sheer stupidity that crippled his city earlier this year. I don't know why the cambas didn't do it themselves, as his "protests" closed down the city, crippled the infrastructure, and made him--and his fellow cambas--the laughingstocks of South America. (Where is he now anyway? Still moping around Brazil, complaining that rich landholders like himself are being subjected to human-rights violations? Or in Miami? Anyway, government minister Alfredo Rada had some advice for him: "What Mr. Marinkovic has to do is prepare his defence and not try to run.")

  • Now, if that doesn't piss Branko off, this will: The Bolivian government is starting to expropriate large landholdings and giving them to . . . indigenous Bolivians! Just so happens part of this land is in cambalandia, Santa Cruz state, and there's nothing that pisses a camba off more, in my opinion, than giving the darker-skinned ones a damn thing. Before you feel too bad for the landowners:
    According to figures compiled by the United Nations, Bolivia's richest 100 rural families hold five times as much acreage as 2 million peasant farmers, while a 2004 World Bank study found that the discrepancy in wealth between the richest and poorest fifths of Bolivia's rural population is 170:1.

Sometimes life is good.

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