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Bolivia

WORLD
September 14, 2008 | From the Associated Press
President Evo Morales on Saturday accused an opposition governor of using foreign thugs against government supporters in violence that has claimed at least 18 lives and prompted him to declare martial law in one province. In a bid to defuse the bitter dispute over a new constitution and land reform that threatens to tear apart the poor Andean nation, Chile called for an emergency meeting Monday of South American leaders. "A larger tragedy has to be avoided," said Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a strong ally of Bolivia's leftist president, confirming that he would attend the meeting.
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WORLD
September 13, 2008 | Patrick J. McDonnell, Times Staff Writer
Bolivia declared martial law Friday in the isolated northern state of Pando, site of violent clashes a day earlier that left at least nine dead and dozens injured. The move was the government's most dramatic action yet against a wave of violence this week in provinces opposed to the leftist leadership of President Evo Morales. The violence had prompted widespread speculation that the government would declare a national state of siege. But Friday's announcement was limited to Pando, where the order limits public gatherings, bans protests and imposes a midnight-to-6 a.m. curfew.
WORLD
September 12, 2008 | Patrick J. McDonnell and Chris Kraul, Times Staff Writers
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Thursday that he was expelling the U.S. ambassador in the latest escalation of tensions between Washington and Latin American leftists. The move came a day after Bolivian President Evo Morales, a close Chavez ally, accused the U.S. envoy in his country of fostering divisions and ordered him to leave. On Thursday, chaos worsened in Bolivia as clashes between government sympathizers and opponents in a remote province left at least eight dead and dozens injured.
WORLD
September 11, 2008 | Patrick J. McDonnell, Times Staff Writer
Bolivian President Evo Morales ordered the expulsion Wednesday of the U.S. ambassador to his country, accusing him of fostering divisions in the deeply fractured Andean nation. The move comes as tensions rise and violence increases in states opposed to the leftist policies of Morales. The president has regularly accused Washington and its ambassador of plotting against him. "The one who conspires against democracy and above all seeks the division of Bolivia is the ambassador of the United States," Morales said during a speech at the presidential palace.
WORLD
September 7, 2008 | Patrick J. McDonnell, Times Staff Writer
Renowned as the cradle of Bolivian independence, this colonial town in the south-central highlands has become a front line in a new battle that is threatening to rip this South American nation asunder. The pugnacious prefect, or governor, Savina Cuellar, a former livestock herder who proudly dons the broad-brimmed hat and billowing skirt that mark her indigenous origins, has become a symbol of the country's deep divisions. Her peasant background inevitably evokes comparisons to the humble history of leftist President Evo Morales, the coca-leaf cultivator who in 2005 was elected Bolivia's first indigenous president.
WORLD
August 12, 2008 | Patrick J. McDonnell, Times Staff Writer
Both sides in Bolivia's bitter political standoff came out of a weekend recall referendum Monday with reason to declare victory. The big loser appeared to be national unity. President Evo Morales won a renewed mandate for his socialist vision, garnering more than 60% of the vote, according to preliminary results that won't be official for a week or so. But his chief antagonists in the rebellious, resource-rich crescent of lowland states known as the "half moon" also savored their triumph.
WORLD
August 11, 2008 | Patrick J. McDonnell, Times Staff Writer
President Evo Morales appeared to have won a sweeping victory Sunday in a nationwide recall election that the leftist chief of state crafted as a means of consolidating support against fierce conservative opposition. Partial unofficial results based on quick counts at polling places indicated that between 56% and 63% of voters cast ballots in favor of Morales and Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera, according to local television stations. Those totals easily exceeded the 46.
WORLD
June 2, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
Voters in eastern Bolivia overwhelmingly endorsed plans for more autonomy for their regions in two referendums fiercely opposed by leftist President Evo Morales. Hundreds of people celebrated in the capitals of Beni and Pando provinces, waving flags and shouting slogans. The referendums in the sparsely populated Beni and Pando regions follow an overwhelming "yes" vote for autonomy in the nation's wealthiest province, Santa Cruz.
BUSINESS
May 28, 2008 | Patrick J. McDonnell, Times Staff Writer
The sloping expanse of verdant hillside known as El Mutun doesn't stand out amid the lush semi-jungle straddling the remote Bolivian-Brazilian frontier. But the rust-colored stones strewn about provide a hint of hidden treasure: This is a mountain of iron ore. Forty billion tons of it. El Mutun is, in fact, the world's largest concentration of iron ore at a single site, said Pritam Singh Rana, Bolivian managing director for Jindal Steel & Power, a New Delhi-based conglomerate.
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