Speaking in the Pacific port of Buenaventura, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos boasted gains against paramilitary gangs that have been terrorizing the city.
by Emily Achtenberg, NACLA
In recent months, Bolivia’s Amazonian region has experienced the most disastrous flooding of the past 100 years. In the Beni department, seven of eight provinces and 16 of 19 municipalities are under water, with 75,000 people (more than one-quarter of the population) affected. Economic losses from the death of 250,000 livestock heads and destruction of seasonal crop lands, estimated at $180 million, are mounting daily.
While seasonal flooding is common in Beni, experts agree that climate change has added a threatening new dimension to the cyclical pattern, bringing record rainfall to most of Bolivia this year. Deforestation, exploitation of cultivable land, and loss of infrastructure through the breakup of traditional communities are other factors contributing to soil erosion and increased vulnerability to flooding.
In the past weeks, attention has focused on the role played by two recently-inaugurated Brazilian mega-dams—the Jirau and the San Antonio—in Bolivia’s floods. Located on the Madeira River, the largest tributary of the Amazon which receives its waters from rivers in Bolivia and Peru, the dams are just 50 and 110 miles, respectively, from Brazil’s Bolivian border.Continue ReadingBRAZILIAN HYDRO BEHIND BOLIVIAN FLOODING?
Three were killed as thousands of independent miners blocked highways across Bolivia to protest a pending law that would impose restrictions on their cooperatives.