|February 4, 2009||Permalink|
On January 25th, Bolivia held a referendum to adopt a new national constitution, one that dramatically shifts the country, reversing discriminatory practices and granting many rights and self-determination to the 36 indigenous nations within Bolivia. After a lengthy count, officials announced that the referendum passed with over 60% of the vote. Much political and legal work remains to implement the changes, but soon most of the country's natural resources will be state-owned, land ownership will be capped at 12,000 acres, and Morales will be able to run for a second term. Challenges still lie ahead, as Bolivia remains South America's poorest country, and - after recently expelling all agents the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency - it has lost preferred trade status with the United States. President Evo Morales welcomed the constitutional win by saying "Here begins the new Bolivia", claiming the changes would work to "decolonize" Bolivia. (29 photos total)
A Bolivian Wiphala indigenous flag (this one representing the Qulla Suyu region of the Inca Empire) is held high during a protest march towards La Paz, Bolivia on October 20, 2008. Thousands of supporters of President Evo Morales marched toward La Paz to pressure congressmen to pass a law for a referendum vote to approve a new constitution. (REUTERS/Daniel Caballero)
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