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on the ground in bolivia

Bolivia is a South American nation with nine million inhabitants, indigenous cultures and the world's largest supply of the coca plant -- the key ingredient in the production of cocaine.

Many rural coca farmers depend on the crop for their livelihood. But the war on drugs now threatens age-old traditions, such as making pasta, toothpaste and shampoo from the coca leaves. Bolivian leader Evo Morales recently expelled the U.S. ambassador and drug enforcement agents from the country, throwing the future of U.S.-Bolivian relations into question.

Worldfocus correspondent Ivette Feliciano and producers Bryan Myers and Ara Ayer travel to the crisp quiet of Bolivia's crystalline salt flats, which sit on top of one of nearly half of the world's reserves of lithium -- a metal crucial for electric cars and other alternative energy technology. They explore how Bolivia is protecting its extraction rights and how foreign companies are vying for this natural resource.

"On the Ground in Bolivia" is a collection of signature videos, interviews, online radio shows, blogger perspectives and web original videos.

On the Ground in Bolivia

The bowler hat: Born in Britain, perfected by Bolivia

Video

The bowler hat: Born in Britain, perfected by Bolivia

Worldfocus producer and correspondent Ivette Feliciano explores a fascinating fashion trend in Bolivia -- the bowler hat -- which has roots in Europe.

Posted: October 9, 2009 10:16   Comments: 2
Coca fortunes read amid crucifixes and Bolivian war heroes

In the Newsroom

Coca fortunes read amid crucifixes and Bolivian war heroes

Worldfocus correspondent Ivette Feliciano reported on Bolivia’s coca plant cultivation. The coca plant is used to make teas, pastas, shampoos and medicines -- but as she found out, fortune tellers have also found a spiritual use for the leaves.

Posted: June 12, 2009 09:13   Comments: 1
Pickaxes break silence of Bolivia’s expansive salt flats

Sights & Sounds (video)

Pickaxes break silence of Bolivia’s expansive salt flats

Witness the desolate quiet of Bolivia's Salar de Uyuni salt flats, sitting on top of one of the world's largest lithium reserves.

Posted: May 15, 2009 12:24   Comments: 0
Morales: U.S. must “restore trust” with Bolivia

Interview (video)

Morales: U.S. must “restore trust” with Bolivia

In an exclusive interview, Bolivian President Evo Morales discusses an assassination plot that targeted him, why he chose to expel U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg and the future of U.S.-Bolivian relations.

Posted: May 14, 2009 12:48   Comments: 1
Bolivia eyes lithium with hopes to transform economy

Signature Video

Bolivia eyes lithium with hopes to transform economy

Bolivia controls nearly half of the world's reserves of lithium, a metal crucial for electric cars and other alternative energy technologies. But who will benefit from this discovery is creating controversy.

Posted: May 13, 2009 12:51   Comments: 2
Bolivian land reform comes under fire from landowners

Signature Video

Bolivian land reform comes under fire from landowners

The Bolivian government is implementing land reform designed to help the poor, under which the government can seize and redistribute land to indigenous farmers. It's a proposal that has left many landowners unhappy.

Posted: May 12, 2009 13:43   Comments: 3
Passing through a drug checkpoint in Bolivia’s mountains

Sights & Sounds (video)

Passing through a drug checkpoint in Bolivia’s mountains

Along a major highway in the Yungas forest of the eastern Andes, Bolivian troops stop about 500 vehicles per day looking for cocaine and the chemicals that help process it. Families, commercial trucks and busses all make their way through this checkpoint, allowing troops to inspect their vehicles.

Posted: May 11, 2009 15:37   Comments: 0
Bolivians depend on coca plant despite anti-drug efforts

Signature Video

Bolivians depend on coca plant despite anti-drug efforts

Bolivian leader Evo Morales recently expelled U.S. drug enforcement agents from the country. Bolivia's Yungas region is one of the world's leading sources of the coca plant -- the key ingredient in the production of cocaine. But many impoverished Bolivians depend on the coca plant for their livelihood.

Posted: May 11, 2009 12:37   Comments: 4
High in the Bolivian Andes women dish out llama pizza

From the Field

High in the Bolivian Andes women dish out llama pizza

Worldfocus producer Bryan Myers is currently reporting from Bolivia and writes about one memorable dining experience high in the Bolivian Andes.

Posted: April 7, 2009 09:46   Comments: 4
Tune in: Radio show on resources in the developing world

Worldfocus Radio

Tune in: Radio show on resources in the developing world

Worldfocus.org's weekly radio show explored the state of natural resource use, opportunities and dangers for resource-rich developing countries and the role played by the U.S. in this global issue. Dave Burdick, Michael Cohen and Alf Hornborg joined the conversation.

Posted: March 31, 2009 18:06   Comments: 1
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