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May 12, 2009
Bolivian land reform comes under fire from landowners

The Bolivian government is implementing new land reform policy 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. Worldfocus’ Ivette Feliciano, Bryan Myers and Ara Ayer report from Santa Cruz, where many of Bolivia’s largest landholders — ranchers, cattlemen and industrial farmers — live.

For more Worldfocus coverage of Bolivia, visit our extended coverage page: On the Ground in Bolivia.




[…] A video report telling us that large landholders don’t like the new agrarian reform much. You know what? British MPs don’t like the new focus on their expenses much, either, because it shows some of them to be grasping, out-of-touch toerags who think they’re above the reach of the law. Much the same thing’s happening here. Just let me say it again: Bolivia’s latest land reform is moderate and reasonable. It doesn’t confiscate land from anyone who can prove that they acquired it legitimately, and who isn’t committing human rights abuses on it or using it only for property speculation. It limits new land purchases to 5,000 Ha, which if you think about it, is an enormous stretch of land, and it’s not retroactive. […]


Caraparicito is 15,000 hectares or 37,500 acres but of that only 1,200 or 3,000 are flat enough for farming or cattle ranching. The rest of Caraparicito is all mountainous with no productive value. We have a private reserve with seperate titles on the ranch that is 2,500 heactares or 6250 hectares that has no workers and is all mountainous. The only thing that the Bolivian governenment they stands for are lies, corruption, and fraude and now “terrorist coverups” because they are the government.


Thank you for this report–this is a country that seldom gets press in the United States and any coverage it does get is often dramatically biased. I am far from an expert but I have spent several weeks in Bolivia and have traveled all over the country and have looked at this issue from a number of perspectives–in my opinion this is a great piece of journalism.

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