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Pollution levels in Bolivia plummet on nationwide car-free day
4 September 2017 - Air pollution levels have plunged in cities across Bolivia as the country marked a nationwide car-free day in which all non-emergency vehicles were banned from city streets. The car-free event started 18 years ago in Cochabamba, one of Latin America's five most polluted cities, and has gradually taken root across the country. By 2011, it had become so popular that Bolivia's legislature declared a yearly 'Day of the Pedestrian and Cyclist in Defence of Mother Earth.' (more)

No alcohol, no violence: life inside the Bolivian community led by women
17 February 2017 - Visually, there is little to distinguish the barrio of Maria Auxiliadora from the other barrios of the working-class southern periphery of Cochabamba, Bolivia. Despite its innocuous appearance, a remarkable history sets this neighbourhood apart: since 1999, Maria Auxiliadora has worked to create a safe environment free from domestic violence, under the leadership of women. Families wishing to live there have to abide by the rules established in the community: no sales of alcohol, and no gender-based attacks. [Its success] has been recognised on an international level. The community was a finalist in the 2008 World Habitat Awards, run by Building and Social Housing Foundation in partnership with UN Habitat. The nomination explicitly recognised the project's success in reducing domestic violence and promoting female leadership in a traditionally patriarchal culture. (more)

South America: Enlisting an army to save a forest
5 October 2016 - Erika Cuellar taps local talent in her efforts to conserve South America's Gran Chaco, one of the planet's largest unknown wilderness areas. During more than a decade of scientific research in South America's Gran Chaco, the massive tropical dry forest that spreads over parts of Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil, Cuellar enlisted local villagers and indigenous people to help navigate and better understand one of the planet's largest unknown wilderness areas, home to over 4,000 animal, bird, and plant species. Adapting paramedic-style training, she developed a parabiologist program that turns out field experts adept in science and conservation skills. (more)

Indigenous Bolivians welcome Aymara New Year in dawn ceremony
22 June 2016 - Hundreds of indigenous Bolivians raised their hands to the sun rising over the Cordillera Real mountain range and danced to music around a blazing fire to usher in the Aymara New Year. The celebration on the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca included offerings to Pachamama, or mother earth, for a bountiful crop. About 2 million Bolivians trace their heritage totally or partially to the Aymara (more)

Bolivian teddy bear exhibit brings history to life
1 December 2015 - Hundreds of teddy bears, many dressed in traditional costumes, featured in a new permanent exhibition at La Paz's Elsa Paredes de Salazar doll museum are teaching Bolivian children about recent key events in the history of their country. (more)

Peru gives landlocked Bolivia a piece of Pacific coast to call its own
20 October 2015 - It might be a strip of sand without even a jetty but a small stretch of the Pacific coast now harbours Bolivia's dream of regaining a coast and becoming a maritime nation. The landlocked Andean country has won access to a patch of Peru's shoreline, fuelling hopes that Bolivia will once again have a sea to call its own. President Evo Morales signed a deal with his Peruvian counterpart, Alan GarcĂ­a, allowing Bolivia to build and operate a small port about 10 miles from Peru's southern port of Ilo. (more)

New York couple returns stolen Andean paintings to Bolivia (with AP video)
9 April 2015 - Two colonial-era paintings that were stolen from a provincial church in 2002 have been returned to Bolivia by the New York City art collectors who purchased them unaware of their history. Richard and Roberta Huber presented the large paintings to Bolivian President Evo Morales on Thursday at the Presidential Palace. (more)

New Yorkers return stolen church paintings to Bolivia
26 February 2015 - The discovery that two paintings held by a New York couple had been stolen from a Bolivian church in 2002 has ignited a search for 10 other colonial-era paintings that were taken in the theft, one the largest such crimes in the country's history. Richard and Roberta Huber contacted Bolivian officials after learning from a New York museum that the two large works had been reported stolen. The Hubers had purchased the paintings legally from an art gallery in Sao Paulo and restored them. (more)

Bolivian grandmothers stay fit with handball
24 February 2015 - Dozens of traditional Aymara grandmothers ease many of the aches and pains of aging by practicing a sport that is decidedly untraditional in Bolivia -- team handball. The women play every Wednesday at a covered court in El Alto, an impoverished city near the capital of La Paz. About 1,000 older people practice sports, play Andean music, and recall their younger years through the programme that also provides free medical care to around 10,000 participants. The programme so far has spread to six of El Alto's 14 districts. (more)

Bolivia caravan celebrates return of god of prosperity
24 January 2015 - Hundreds of people have been marching through the streets of Bolivia's capital tossing flowers and dancing to celebrate the return of a 2,000-year-old icon of the god of prosperity, Ekeko. The Museum of History in Bern, Switzerland, recently sent the 6-inch (15.5-centimeter) image back to Bolivia. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Bolivia: Maharishi Tower of Invincibility, housing development being planned
9 October 2009 - Plans are taking shape in Bolivia to construct a large housing development according to principles of Maharishi Sthapatya Veda--Vedic Architecture in accord with Natural Law--surrounding a Maharishi Tower of Invincibility. (more)

Latin America: Students raising Bolivia to invincibility
24 December 2008 - In 2008 in Bolivia, two courses in Yogic Flying (an aspect of the Transcendental Meditation Sidhi Programme) have been offered to students--one at the beginning of the year, and another just completed. There are now about 1,500 Yogic Flyers in the schools, with plans for expansion of the programme in the coming year. These students are among 61,000 from 158 schools in 19 Latin American countries currently practising Transcendental Meditation, and 14,000 practising Yogic Flying. (more)

Bolivia: Integration in education through Yogic Flying
26 June 2008 - On a recent Maharishi Global Family Chat, Raja Jose Luis Alvarez, Raja of Latin America for the Global Country of World Peace, spoke about the influence of Yogic Flying in schools in Bolivia. (more)

Latin America: Yogic Flyers create smooth transformations in Bolivia; Colombian students promote invincibility
4 June 2008 - On a recent Maharishi Global Family Chat, Raja Jose Luis Alvarez, Raja of Latin America for the Global Country of World Peace, spoke about the softening influence of the Yogic Flyers on the political transformation in Bolivia, and progress in establishing a large group of students practising this technique in a school in Colombia. (more)

Bolivia to be a model of Invincibility for all Latin America - Part II
24 May 2008 - Raja Jose Luis Alvarez, Raja of Latin America, reported recently on Maharishi Global Family Chat about the growing application of Consciousness-Based Education in schools and communities in Bolivia, and about government support for a Maharishi Tower of Invincibility and Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture. (more)

Bolivia to be a model of Invincibility for all Latin America - Part I
23 May 2008 - Raja Jose Luis Alvarez, Raja of Latin America, reported recently on Maharishi Global Family Chat about the growing application of Consciousness-Based Education in schools and communities in Bolivia, and about government support for a Maharishi Tower of Invincibility and Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture. (more)

Student Yogic Flyers create invincibility for Bolivia and Latin America
17 March 2008 - Speaking on a recent Global Family Chat, Dr Jose Luis Alvarez, Raja (Administrator) of Latin America for the Global Country of World Peace, reported that the required number of Yogic Flyers has already been reached in Bolivia. (more)

Bolivia to have 10,000 Yogic Flyers by end of year
14 March 2008 - Dr Fernando Zubieta Zegarra, National Director of the Global Country of World Peace for Bolivia, reported on the tremendous success of achieving invincibility for his country through implementing Maharishi's programmes for peace. (more)

Students create harmony and positivity throughout Bolivian community
9 September 2007 - In Bolivia, a country that has achieved the number the of Yogic Flyers necessary to create national invincibility, the people of Santiago de Machaca are reaping the benefits of--and expressing their appreciation for--the harmony and positivity created by students at a local school who have been practising Yogic Flying for the last month, reported Dr Jose Luis Alvarez, Raja (Administrator) of Latin America for the Global Country of World Peace. (more)

Bolivian mountain paradise home to 300 Yogic Flyers
17 August 2007 - In a remote highland town of Bolivia, where traditional indigenous culture is maintained more than any other place in Latin America, and which is often compared with Tibet, one third of the town's population is practising Transcendental Meditation, and 300 people (over ten per cent of the town's population) are gathering together twice daily to practise the advanced TM-Sidhi Programme, including Yogic Flying. (more)


Flops
Short Summaries of Top Stories


Shrinking glaciers cause state-of-emergency drought in Bolivia
28 November 2016 - The government of Bolivia, a landlocked country in the heart of South America, has been forced to declare a state of emergency as it faces its worst drought for at least 25 years. Much of the water supply to La Paz, the highest capital city in the world, and the neighbouring El Alto, Bolivia's second largest city, comes from the glaciers in the surrounding Andean mountains. But the glaciers are now shrinking rapidly, illustrating how climate change is already affecting one of the poorest countries in Latin America. The three main dams that supply La Paz and El Alto are no longer fed by runoff from glaciers and have almost run dry. (more)

Unchecked pollution befouling majestic Lake Titicaca
25 June 2015 - Lake Titicaca is South America's largest body of fresh water. As human and industrial waste from nearby cities increasingly contaminate the famed lake that straddles the border between Bolivian and Peru, the native Aymara people who rely on it for food and income say action must be taken before their livelihoods die off. Locals fear the tourism industry is next. Each year, some 750,000 tourists visit the 12,470-foot-high (3,800 meter-high) Lake Titicaca for its reed boats, pre-Columbian ruins, and majestic views of snowcapped Andean peaks. (more)

Bolivian president vows to expand coca crops
21 July 2014 - Bolivian President Evo Morales has been re-elected head of the country's largest union of coca growers and promises to expand crops if he wins a third term as the nation's leader. Morales told union members Sunday that Bolivia needs a new law regarding coca production. Current law allows nearly 30,000 acres of coca leaf to be grown for traditional use. One proposal would expand the permitted acreage, including in the Chapare region that is Morales' political base, to more than 49,000 acres. The United Nations, however, has estimated Bolivia already grows more than that, with nearly 57,000 acres believed dedicated to the crop last year. (more)

New Bolivia law would allow 10-year-olds to work
4 July 2014 - Bolivia's Congress has passed legislation to allow children as young age 10 to work as long as it does not interfere with their education and is done independently to help the child's family make ends meet. The legislation otherwise lowers the legal working age to 12 -- again, as long the job does not interfere with the child's education. A regional official with the UN International Labor Organization, Carmen Moreno, says the legislation passed Wednesday night would make Bolivia the first country to make work by 10-year-olds legal. Moreno called the legislation worrisome considering that Bolivia is a signatory a UN convention that sets 14 as the minimum age for child labour. (more)

Bolivian anti-graft officer held on extortion charge in Miami
6 September 2013 - A senior Bolivian police official, accused of flying to Miami in late August to extort $30,000 from a prominent businessman seeking asylum in the United States, will remain in jail until a bond hearing next week, a judge ordered on Friday. FBI agents arrested the deputy chief of Bolivia's police anti-corruption unit, Mario Fabricio Ormachea Aliaga, in a sting operation 31 August after meeting with Humberto Roca, the former president of AeroSur, once Bolivia's largest private airline. Ormachea was identified in court documents as a police Colonel, although a top Bolivian police official denied he held that rank and said he had been dismissed from his job on 28 August. The arrest could further damage already frosty US relations with Bolivia's socialist president Evo Morales, only weeks after Bolivia accused Washington of trying to 'kidnap' Morales when his plane was denied permission to fly over France and Portugal. (more)

Rural Andean churches plagued by sacred art theft
26 August 2013 - Increasingly bold thefts plague colonial churches in remote Andean towns in Bolivia and Peru, where authorities say cultural treasures are disappearing at an alarming rate. At least 10 churches have been hit so far this year in the two culturally rich but economically poor countries. 'We think the thefts are being done on behalf of collectors,' said the Rev. Salvador Piniero, archbishop of Peru's highlands Ayacucho province. Religious and cultural authorities say criminal bands are stealing 'to order' for foreigners. Bolivian churches have been robbed 38 times of 447 objects since 2009 -- of highly stylized decorative silverwork, canvases, polished gold, and silver altar pieces and gem-encrusted jewelry, said the country's cultural patrimony chief, Lupe Meneses. Cultural officials in the Andes have long struggled to protect Incan and pre-Columbian cultural treasures. Now, colonial sacred art has become a similar worry. By law, it is all national patrimony, its export illegal. But poor, rural parishes are on their own. (more)

Boom in quinoa demand stresses Bolivia highlands
20 February 2013 - The growing global demand for quinoa by health food enthusiasts isn't just raising prices for the Andean 'super grain' and living standards among Bolivian farmers. Quinoa fever is running up against physical limits. The scramble to grow more is prompting Bolivian farmers to abandon traditional land management practices, endangering the fragile ecosystem of the arid highlands, agronomists say. Last week, Bolivian President Evo Morales chastised farmers for having planted quinoa in pastures where llamas traditionally graze. Without the llamas' manure, little would grow in the arid highlands. But environmental concerns about the expansion of quinoa in Bolivia aren't the only problems that experts see. Quinoa is now showing up where it hadn't before been planted, replacing potatoes, beans, and oats in some fields. Experts fear that trend could harm food stocks in this poor nation where one in five children suffers from chronic malnutrition. And with quinoa now costing three times as much as rice in La Paz markets, Bolivians can't afford to eat it. (more)

Bolivian Farmers association oppose banning of GMO seeds
31 October 2012 - President Evo Morales has issued a ban on genetically modified seeds contained in a package of environmental regulation called the Mother Earth law. The law, which Morales has called a means 'to live in equilibrium and harmony with Mother Earth,' also calls for limits on the expansion of farming into new areas and assigns a spiritual value to land beyond its social and economic function. But the Anapo farming association opposes it. At present, virtually all Bolivian soy uses GM seeds and the law signed by Morales earlier this month has rattled growers in the lowland east, historically a bastion of opposition to the Aymara Indian president -- a vocal advocate of organic farming methods. Soy exports brought in about $800 million last year, making the oilseed the country's third-biggest foreign currency earner after minerals and natural gas, according to the Bolivian Foreign Trade Institute (IBCE). Most of the shipments went to Venezuela and other Andean countries in the form of soyoil and soymeal. (more)

Bolivia's textile trade a globalization casualty
7 July 2012 - Although rich in raw material and skilled craftspeople, Bolivia, a poor, landlocked South American nation of 10 million, can barely compete globally in anything that isn't dug out of the earth or grown in a field. Domestic manufacturing has been slammed by a double whammy of cheap foreign goods, mostly from China, and a nearly unfettered flood of contraband that further cripples the ability of Bolivian products to compete. Bolivia's trade deficit keeps widening, particularly with China. Last year, Bolivia bought $937 million in goods from China and sold $330 million. Chinese textile imports, worth $8.7 millon in 2010, nearly doubled to $17 millon last year, according to the National Institute of Statistics. Meanwhile, tailors and seamstresses are moving to Peru and Brazil. A lot of the clothing is now contraband, which began to proliferate with the wholesale privatization of Bolivia's economy in the 1990s, shock treatment therapy to end runaway inflation. The privatizations, along with the earlier closure of state-owned mines, fed unemployment and with it the informal economy. It's gotten so bad that about 70 per cent of Bolivia's economy not related to minerals now runs on contraband. (more)

Bolivian police mutiny over pay
21 June 2012 - About 30 members of an elite Bolivian police commando unit mutinied in La Paz on Thursday, expelling their commanders and seizing their barracks along with their wives to demand higher wages. The protesters were demanding salaries on par with soldiers and a pension equal to 100 per cent of their salaries. Bolivian police earn about $144 a month and were not appeased by a 7 per cent government-decreed wage increase this year. The mutiny broke out after wives of the police participants were thrown out of the barracks by the men's superiors. Bolivia has 33,000 police and their institution is considered be among the country's most corrupt. It has had seven commanders in the past six years. President Evo Morales was out of the country Thursday in Brazil for the Rio+20 environmental summit. Morales is closer to the military than to the police. (more)

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