This cartoon appeared in El Diario newspaper, on June 30, 2011. In a poor rural household, the family is looking happily at one of the almost 100K used cars that entered Bolivia illegally. While the father is saying “…here is the illegal (smuggled) used car, I bought cheap…, now what do you prefer I buy?! …bread or gasoline…?”
There are over 90K cars waiting to be “legalized” and time is running short. As it happens in most of government-related bureaucracy; there are always extension to deadlines in Bolivia. As it’s happening with these old-junk cars, that were discarded elsewhere, and even some stolen ones from neighboring countries, they are all waiting to be legal. Current president said that owning a car is the right of any individual… (without considering how they were acquired).
This political move is misleading as the bonuses that are paid to pregnant women, school attending kids and elderly people. Over the short run they all provide a sense of improvement in the quality of life of poor citizens. However, there is little done in terms of increasing production or value added to our raw resources.
Finally, this used junk will generate an excess demand over our fuels, thus increasing more our current subsidized imports of diesel and gasoline. And last but not least, those cars will be polluting more our environment (in a blunt contradiction to this government’s “policies” regarding mother natures).