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The spotlight still remains on the actions of this new government. Some Bolivian bloggers express their interactions with members of the new team. For example, Fadrique Iglesias Mendizábal is responsible for the blog El Clavo en el Zapato (The Nail in the Shoe). He has a familiarity with the Vice-Ministry of Sports, one of the public offices that rarely makes headlines. He also rejoices that the previous officials are out, yet the questions remain regarding the money allocated for the organization of the Organization Deportiva Sudamericana (Odesur) games, which was to be held in La Paz, but subsequently cancelled. The outlook on the new administration in regards to sports is somewhat positive according to Iglesias Mendizábal, which includes the construction of a new football stadium.
Getting to know the new Ministers has not always been easy. The new President Evo Morales has been criticized for naming some top officials without much of a public sector track record. The new Minister of Justice, Casimira Rodríguez is a former domestic servant. However, Elizabeth Peredo Beltrán defends her naming in the Solon Foundation blog. There have been comments in regards to Rodríguez’ past, such as:
“Do you know why domestic workers aren’t supposed to have Sundays off? Because they end up becoming government ministers!”
Peredo Beltrán recalls meeting the Rodriguez in 1996, who was working domestically since age 13, and how she fought for the rights of domestic workers through meetings with ministers, members of parliment and household employers. She ends with the following:
What we should ask ourselves is that in spite of the endless parade of doctors, experts and other notables throughout the administration of justice and in other public institutions, why have the mechanisms of exclusion still remain? During this new stage, the challenge is still grand, but not only for Casimira Rodríguez or Evo Morales Ayma. We all should become committed to defeating discrimination, inequality, injustices and other psychological barriers. Imagining a different world is not so easy, but it still remains possible.
Lucia Rojas writes about Peredo Beltrán’s article in Observatorio Boliviano and adds important links including an interview with the current Minister of Justice and a short C.V. from the Bolivian government website.
Blogs have also served as a medium to publicize and denounce certain actions. For example, in the city of Santa Cruz, the Federation of the Press Workers Union posted their formal complaint against members of their own federation by claiming that the election of the Election Committee was against the organization’s statutes. The blogger posted the actual formal complaint complete with signatures in the self-described official weblog of that organization.
Miguel Centellas speculates on a drastic change in relations between Morales and the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Much of this shift has to do with a recent announcement by the Brazilian government that Chavez might offer natural gas to Brazil at more than one-third of the price that their Bolivian neighbors are offering. Centellas’ blog, Ciao! also contains a preview of a chapter from his dissertation in progress.
Can anyone help with supplying me with Elizabeth Peredo Beltrán’s email address. I am currently undertaking research for a new book on the modern public mural since 1945 entitled” paintings on walls – Sites of representation – contexts, ideologies and Identities.” I shall be visiting Bolivia as part of this research in June and July and would lilke to make contact with her as I believe she was one of the organisers behind the recent murals on the theme of trade justice painted in La Paz.
Thanks for your help
Dr. Desmond Rochfort
Professor. head of the school of fine Arts
University of Canterbury.