The most recent BIF Bulletin (number 20, see below) traced the causes and development of the TIPNIS dispute, a conflict between indigenous peoples of the Territorio Indígena y Parque Nacional Isiboro Sécure and the government, over the course of a planned road through this protected region. The march, supported by the national indigenous lowland confederation (Confederación de Pueblos Indígenas de Bolivia - CIDOB) began from Trinidad, the capital of the Beni, on August 15. On September 25, it was violently dispersed by the police. The following day, President Evo Morales spoke on national television announcing that the road project would be suspended, at least until after a wider debate on the issue could be held. Meanwhile, the march continues towards La Paz.
- The idea of vivir bien needs further discussion. What does it mean, and what kind of development model does it entail?
- Faced with a politically motivated press, how best to maintain a critical approach to the sort of distortions it generates?
- How to ensure wider debate and participation in the political process, even if this means delaying important policy decisions and then living with the consequences of these?
- How protests are dealt with and tactics used by police need to be seriously re-examined and ways found to deal with crowd control without resorting to indiscriminate violence.