On 14 October 2007, citizens of El Alto, Bolivia demanded that all bars and brothels facilitating sex work be located at least 3,200 feet away from schools, because they believed that the establishments were facilitating crime in the area. They then began a three-day rampage of the bars and brothels in the impoverished red-lights district of El Alto. These El Alto citizens, primarily parents and students, burned or destroyed at least 50 brothels, burned sex workers’ belongings, and beat sex workers.
In 2006, President Evo Morales passed the National Plan for Equality and Equal Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities. The plan included legal measures to ensure equal access for people with disabilities in the areas of health, education, economic rights, personal and social capacity-building, and institutional and organizational development. It also guaranteed increased financial support totaling $6 million annually, but the money never made it to the people to whom increased subsidies were promised.
Bolivia’s transition to a democratic government began in 1978 when then military dictator Hugo Banzer Suarez stepped down after international and internal pressure for Bolivia to hold democratic elections. While the Democratic Popular Union (Unidad Democratica y Popular, UDP), led by Hernan Siles Zuazo, won the 1978 elections, Juan Pereda Asbum, Banzer’s chosen successor, launched a military coup and declared the elections invalid.
In July 2007 the Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Bolivia, which goes by the Spanish acronym CIDOB (La Confederación de Pueblos Indígenas de Bolivia), launched their Sixth Indigenous March campaign.
CIDOB is a national organization representing most of Bolivia’s eastern lowland indigenous groups. Included under the CIDOB banner were regional Amazonian indigenous groups, Guaranís, Guarayos, and others.
In December 2010, Bolivian president Evo Morales announced that the government would be unable to continue subsidizing fuel prices. In addition to changes in the cost of fuel, which increased by more than 80% without subsidies, the price of food and other commodities also skyrocketed in the same period. Morales reinstated the fuel subsidies after a week of widespread protest, but the price of food remained high.
Social protest has played an important role in Bolivia's recent political history. Ever since the national revolution of 1952, civil society has found success in turning to forms of mass participatory direct action for meaningful social change, largely responsible for the removal of unpopular Presidential administrations from office.
Bolivia contains significant natural resources, but also has a long history of exploitation by foreign powers. One of these resources is natural gas. Just like the precious metals from Potosí, however, the gas was mostly exported (partially due to low demand within Bolivia) as a raw material, meaning very little wealth stayed in Bolivia, and the wealth that did remain was concentrated in a few, mostly white, hands. In protest of this policy tens of thousands of Bolivian activists, who mostly came from indigenous backgrounds, worked toward the nationalization of the nation’
The 1977-1978 economic justice and human rights campaign in Bolivia stemmed from tensions that began with the 1952 Bolivian Revolution, which left the Nationalist Revolutionary Movement in power. This group implemented a nationalization of the tin mines, agrarian reforms, and universal franchises. These policies and reforms lasted until 1964, when a military coup led to the regime of General Barrientos. This regime clashed with miners and broke down worker power and cultivated the peasantry.