Bolivia

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Bolivia Seizes Spanish-Owned Power Firm

Morales nationalizes power grid

(Newser) - Bolivian President Evo Morales marked May Day by ordering the country's armed forces to seize the assets of the country's main electricity company. Spanish-owned Red Electrica owned and operated around 85% of Bolivia's power grid, and Morales announced that he was nationalizing the company because it had... More »

Bolivia Is Now a McDonald's-Free Zone

It's the only nation in Latin America to lose the arches

(Newser) - Those traveling in Bolivia can forget about a Big Mac. McDonald's has closed its eight restaurants there because of weak sales, making Bolivia the only nation in Latin America without the golden arches, reports the Hispanically Speaking News blog . The chain tried without success for 14 years to gain... More »

Teen Commits 'Suicide by Piranha'

Bolivian leaps into river swarming with flesh-eating fish

(Newser) - An 18-year-old Bolivian picked a bizarre and gruesome way to commit suicide, police say. The intoxicated teen jumped out of his canoe into a stretch of river infested with piranhas and bled to death after suffering dozens of bites, the Sun reports. Police believe the death was suicide because the... More »

Bolivia to Give Nature Same Rights as Humans

Nation will create ministry of mother earth

(Newser) - Bolivia will soon put in place a first-of-its-kind law that gives Mother Nature the same rights as humans. The idea behind the Law of Mother Earth is to try to rein in pollution and the exploitation of natural resources, reports the Guardian . It grants nature several rights, including the "... More »

Bolivia to Chile: Give Us Sea Access or We'll Sue

Landlocked country aims to regain access after 132 years

(Newser) - After more than a century with no access to the Pacific, Bolivia is threatening to take Chile to international court in a fight for its right to sail. Bolivia lost those rights in a war 132 years ago, and it remains an “open wound,” according to President Evo... More »

In Bolivia, a Quinoa Quandary

Popularity means more money for farmers, but people can't afford it

(Newser) - Quinoa is a food so remarkable it's been praised by NASA scientists—and Americans and Europeans have taken note, gobbling up the protein-heavy Andean plant (generally miscategorized as a grain), which sells for as much as $5 a box. But with quinoa's ascent comes a troubling predicament for the Bolivians... More »

Landslide Rocks Bolivian Capital

800 families homeless; 5,000 people affected in La Paz disaster

(Newser) - Some 800 families were left homeless after Bolivia’s capital was hit with a “mega-mudslide” yesterday, CNN reports. No deaths or injuries were reported in the La Paz disaster, which was prompted by heavy rains. "So far we are talking about 5,000 (people) affected," said a... More »

Priest Who Blessed Bolivia Prez Nabbed in Coke Lab

Aymara priest found with 530lbs of cocaine

(Newser) - Chewing coca leaves has a strong—and legal—place in the Aymara culture of Bolivian president and former coca farmer Evo Morales. Running a lab churning out hundreds of pounds of processed cocaine, however, doesn't. The Aymara priest who presided over Morales' traditional blessing ceremony has been arrested after a... More »

Butch Cassidy Saddles Up Again

This time without the Sundance Kid

(Newser) - Forty years after his apparent death in a Bolivian shootout at the end of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Butch Cassidy is back. Blackthorn, a new movie set to begin filming next month, has Sam Shepard taking Paul Newman's old role, saddling up as an older Cassidy who returns... More »

Mexican Hijacking Over; Suspect in Custody

(Newser) - A single hijacker took control of a jet out of Cancun with more than 100 people aboard before forcing it to land in Mexico City and freeing the passengers, CNN reports. Mexican authorities have detained the Bolivian hijacker, who falsely claimed to have a bomb and demanded to see Mexican... More »

US Ambassador Returns to Venezuela

Diplomat back in Caracas 9 months after Chavez booted him

(Newser) - The American ambassador to Venezuela is back in Caracas 9 months after Hugo Chavez sent him packing, AFP reports. The diplomat was expelled after Chavez alleged that America was trying to undermine Bolivia's leftist government, one of his key allies. Venezuela's ambassador to the US, who was booted out soon... More »

Bolivian TV's Flight 447 Photos Actually From Lost

News program apologizes after gaffe

(Newser) - In what was either a bizarre prank or heinous gaffe, a Bolivian TV station broadcast two photographs last week from the ABC series Lost as exclusive photos from the final moments of Air France Flight 447, the Telegraph reports. The first shows passengers in an aircraft cabin using oxygen masks,... More »

Obama Defends Handshake, Urges Cuba to Free Prisoners

Bolivian prez accuses US of assassination plot

(Newser) - President Obama defended his friendly chat with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and asked Cuba to free its political prisoners, the Wall Street Journal reports. At the close of the Summit of the America's today, Obama brushed off Republican criticism, saying that turning a new page with Venezuela and Cuba represents... More »

Bolivian President Wins Point, Ends Hunger Strike

(Newser) - Bolivian President Evo Morales ended his hunger strike today after the country’s legislature agreed to pass a law further enfranchising his native constituency, Bloomberg reports. The bill passed after Morales reduced his demand for new indigenous voting districts from 14 to seven. “The Bolivian people will never forget... More »

Bolivian Prez on Hunger Strike Over Voting Law

Indigenous groups would gain—as would Morales, foes say

(Newser) - Bolivia’s president has vowed not to eat until the country’s senate passes a law some say would boost his reelection chances, the BBC reports. “Faced with the negligence of a group of neoliberal lawmakers, we have to take this step,” Evo Morales declared. The opposition is... More »

Road to Electric Cars Runs Through Bolivia

Nationalism, socialism may make its lithium supply hard to tap

(Newser) - Are we about to replace our dependence on foreign oil with a dependence on foreign lithium? Almost half the world’s supply of the mineral—essential for the light, rechargeable batteries electric cars need—is found in Bolivia, where nationalist sentiment is running high, the New York Times reports. Evo... More »

Latin American Nations Reject DEA

Bolivia, Ecuador latest to repudiate US anti-drug operations

(Newser) - Some Latin American countries are pushing back against the US by cutting off DEA operations, the Christian Science Monitor reports. President Evo Morales, saying DEA agents "worked to conduct political espionage," gave them 3 months to leave Bolivia. Ecuador, meanwhile, has refused to renew the US lease on... More »

Bolivia Prez Shuts Down 'Spying' US Drug Team

US officials call accusations 'absurd'

(Newser) - Leftist Bolivian President Evo Morales has barred US federal drug agents from operating in his country after accusing them of "spying" and financing violent anti-government protest groups. He halted all Drug Enforcement Administration efforts to battle the cocaine trade in Bolivia, but stopped short of expelling agents. US officials... More »

US Slaps Sanctions on Chavez Aides

3 charged with backing FARC drug runners, as tensions mount

(Newser) - Escalating the diplomatic crisis with Venezuela, the US has frozen the assets of three members of Hugo Chavez's inner circle it accuses of having links with drug-running Colombian rebels, the Wall Street Journal reports. The sanctions follow the expulsion by Venezuela and Bolivia of their US ambassadors—a move the... More »

Chavez Boots US Envoy: 'Go to Hell, Yankees!'

Threatens to cut oil shipments

(Newser) - In a dramatic move in support of Bolivia, Venezuela President Hugo Chavez yesterday slashed diplomatic ties with the US, booting the American ambassador and calling home his envoy from Washington, reports Reuters. The socialist leader has also threatened to stop all oil shipments to the US—Venezuela’s largest customer—... More »

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