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Bolivia Human Rights

Bolivia Human Rights


 Where are the Human Rights in Bolivia?

Human rights in Bolivia are virtually non-existent for the majority of people in the country.  Until 2009, indigenous people did not have access to affordable, clean, safe water.  Military personnel often use deadly force to break up protests resorting to firing shots into the crowds not caring who they kill.  Trying to punish those who have committed violations against human rights is rarely successful because of the corruption in the government. 


The process been made in Bolivia?  In 2009, indigenous people were celebrating a court ruling allowing them access to clean water that is affordable.  The reason was because in 2009, a new constitution was passed.  People opposing the new constitution feel the human of  inherent people rights are in jeopardy.  Since the constitution was passed little has changed.  Corrupt government officials and police officers have halted what progress should have been seen by the new constitution. Outside human rights organizations are doing their best to educate the people as to what their basic rights include.  Humanitarian aid is often seen throughout the country; yet, there are still appalling reports of discrimination with little help from the authorities. 


Bolivian laws support basic human rights however they are not enforced or upheld.  In 2010 and 2011, laws were passed allowing people to criticize the government openly without fear of death or harsh punishment.  If the media portrays the president in a bad light, it is often criticized if distorting facts.  Military personnel have been killed during training by military officers who were punishing them.  Military courts often do not allow their officers to testify in court cases if complaints are brought against them. 


Violations include child labor, forced or coerced labor, deadly punishment and abuse by officers on soldiers in the military.  Human trafficking is a common violation.  Harsh prison conditions have been a concern by human rights groups for over 20 years.  Little has been done to prosecute violators.   For example, a court case began in 2008.  As of 2011 it was still being tried after many delays while the people who are being prosecuted were out of jail free to do as they please.  Violations occur on a daily basis against women and children as they are not considered valuable citizens. 


While human rights organizations are appealing to the Bolivian government to educate the community about the lives of women and children, the abuse continues with little repercussions.  The human rights of the indigenous people in Bolivia have a long way to go before even the basic needs are met consistently.  Government officials and law enforcement are going to have to change the way they have thought about society and learn to treat people in appropriate ways.  In order for there to be progress in meeting the basic human rights of the people of Bolivia, enforcement of the human rights laws in Bolivia’s Constitution will have to start with the President supporting the laws instead of ignoring them.