Extractive Industries in Bolivia (BIF)

Bolivia Information Forum

Read the Special Edition Bulletin on Extractive Industries, March 2013

Mallku Khota (credit: El Diario)

Mallku Khota (credit: El Diario)

1. Thinking about extractives: the contribution of Eduardo Gudynas

Of those who have written about extractives and extractive industries in recent years, few have been more influential than Eduardo Gudynas, a Uruguayan researcher at the Centro Latinoamericano de Ecología Social (CLAES). The Bolivia Information Forum thought it useful to summarise some of the points he has made with respect to clarifying concepts such as ‘extractivismo’ and ‘neoextractivismo’, as well as highlighting his ‘ten theses’ with respect to the latter…..

2. Moving towards industrialisation in the mining sector (By José Pimentel Castillo, ex minister of mines, Bolivia)

Since earliest colonial times, Bolivia has been known as mining territory. Doubloons from Potosí filled the Spanish coffers, and from there they moved out to much of Europe, financing industrial development and the age of renaissance…..

3. Significance and implications of the increase in hydrocarbons rents (By Carlos Arze Vargas)

In 2005, before Evo Morales became president, a new hydrocarbons law was passed which changed the tax regime in the hydrocarbons sector. The new law obliged firms to pay 32% in the form of the Direct Hydrocarbons Tax (IDH) and another 18% in the form of royalties. This raised the tax burden for oil and gas companies from under 25% of gross value of output in 2004 to 37% in 2005…..

4. The Mother Earth Law: the proposal and paths to implementation (By María Teresa Hosse, Plataforma Boliviana Frente al Cambio Climático)

Elaboration of the Mother Earth Law has led to a comprehensive proposal for rethinking state administrative structures and, above all, for thinking about how development is understood. It involved widespread public participation, and took place at a special moment…..

5. A community protects its interests: the case of Mallku Khota

Evo Morales government nationalises Mallku Khota (credit: Los Tiempos)

Evo Morales government nationalises Mallku Khota (credit: Los Tiempos)

The conflict in Mallku Khota is complex since it brought together a number of different issues. It involved the struggle for non renewable natural resources between private (and transnational) interests and several local groups. It also involved a struggle to gain recognition for territorial rights, laid down in the constitution, and respect for the environment. It highlighted the lack of rural development alternatives and the problems faced by the state as a mining operative at the same time being the main guarantor of law. The conflict gave rise to violence between community members and the death of one person, repeated acts of kidnapping used as a means to bring pressure to bear, the deployment of the police to the area, and several months of tension and hostility among community members.

Read the Special Edition Bulletin on Extractive Industries, March 2013

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