Now what happens after the Bolivian 2012 census? Some covenants and humor…

The Bolivian National population and housing census has taken place, what is next? A well done reflection comes from Ivan Arias Duran, from In addition, a few cartoons serve to illustrate what happened and what is at stake:

Post census: constructing four pacts

The Census with all its virtues and defects has been made, their achievements and nudity in the issues of organisation and how it was concerted. From today it is accurate that ruled and rulers, ruling party and opposition to be at the height of civility, discipline and delivery that we have seen in the population on November 21. The results of the 2012 census will put on the table four themes: 1. definition of municipal and departmental boundaries. 2. Distribution of economic resources of the TGN [National General Treasure]. 3. Combating poverty and development. 4. Reallocation of parliamentary seats. These issues force us to build four pacts for the challenges of the coming years. Dreamer? If we do not want the confrontation agenda we have mastered, its essential we encourage a settlement.

1. Territorial pact: 97% of the country’s municipalities have problems of limits. That is, out of the 337 municipalities of Bolivia, 312 face conflicts by territories. Only 25 municipalities have delimited by law their jurisdiction. Things look bleak in the departments, nor because out of the nine we have, only one, Pando, has defined its boundaries. In the case of the provinces 80% of them also has trouble, but because this is not an instance of public management that receive transfers, conflicts do not have hatched. The definition of the limits is not a Government matter, so it is a State task in which all must be involved. The draft law of territorial units which seeks to replace the previous norm of policies administrative units (UPAs) that, as everything that is proposed to the current Government, rather than perfecting it, opted to disregard it and wanting to “re-invent” the gunpowder, is in Congress. As well and not cry over spilled milk, is pressing that the projected Law is socialized, corrected and agreed in a great territorial pact that transcends the current management of Government and bring us to solve these problems of limits in peace and conciliation.

2. Fiscal pact: the general budget of the State for the year 2013 provides that for the municipal, departmental autonomies and universities allocated 12% of the resources of IDH, HPIC and co-participation by ratifying the centralist logic of the current regime where the national Government is left with 88% of the budget. On the other hand, the current distribution generates inequalities that are not sustainable as that, for example, Pando, being the least populated of Bolivia, by each inhabitant in the Department, receives Bs8,060, as opposed to Santa Cruz, that being the most populous Department, by each inhabitant barely receives Bs962. However not only a debate should focus on how much we take from the central State, but also to analyze the fiscal effort that the autonomies make.

That is, we must observe the generation capabilities to obtain their own resources, that have sub-national levels, because to live only from the “central” father says very badly of the autonomy. The municipality of Santa Cruz, being the most populous of Bolivia, just collects per each inhabitant Bs335; for its part the municipality of El Alto that grows like the Eastern colossus, barely raises Bs202 for every inhabitant. Meanwhile, the municipalities of La Paz and Sucre, not experiencing flooding from the previous ones, collect Bs558 and Bs338 per inhabitant respectively. Thus the fiscal pact not only will reduce how much you give me, but also as how much effort I do.

3. Social Pact: 2001 data showed that 70% of the population lived in poverty because of their low or no access to basic services (health, education, drinking water, sewerage, housing, electricity, and others). Bolivia is signatory of the Millennium Development (MDGs) goals for what we committed to overcome, inter alia, access to basic services until 2015.

The President has said that those goals will recently be abided by 2025, that complaint, by his own mouth, that on this issue we are deferred. In this sense it forces us to agree on the orientation, quality and efficiency of social investment. It is not possible that the Central Government, bases in several programs, like the “Evo complies with” which spent more than 290 million dollars, continues to invade subnational competences and repeating motif investments like social venues and synthetic soccer courts. To share wealth must generate it, in that sense, also this social pact will take us to discuss whether it is worth to continue to scare out private investment (domestic or foreign), clinging to the failed petroleum-mining policy and continue crushing into investments in State-owned companies which are inefficient and devouring money that do not generate decent work.

4. Political pact: with the 2012 census results that the correlation of forces must also be varied with 130 members of the lower House. The departments of Santa Cruz, La Paz and Cochabamba shall require, due to its population weight to increase their deputies quota. But given the rigidity of the current Constitution, to increase one is at the expense of the other and this can take us, paradoxically because parliamentarians are very badly seen by the population to absurd interdepartmental fights. Taking advantage of that we must adopt a new law on political parties, the opportunity opens to build this fourth Pact.

* Citizen of the Republic of Bolivia

This is from El Diario, November 22, 2012:

We see current planning minister, “artistically portraying” the census.

Not only its implementation but also its results.


This is from La Razon, November 22, 2012:

The census is “taking a picture” of what we have: “do you have access to potable water?” No

“electricity” No

“cable TV?” No

“internet?” No… while behind the “poor” living conditions, their real assets are hidden… People were very kin on reporting actual living conditions because of fear of expropriation, take over of their land, houses, wealth…

This is from La Prensa, November 23, 2012:

The person in front of the crammed bus is current La Paz Governor who said on numerous occasions that people should go back to their rural communities for the census. La Paz city “lady” resents that by saying “ungrateful! I give you lodging, work and you leave me when I need you the most”.

This is from El Dia, November 23, 2012:

Playing with the words:

census and censored, as the first is erased with the latter.

There were many anomalies during the census, initial official results will be know sometime earlier in 2013.

This is from El Diario, November 27, 2012:

one person says: “… in the census they did not ask me how much I gain from my 65 houses and apartments..”

the other one says: “..maybe the only thing they are interested in, is if the number of voters grew..!”

Finally, this is the link for a Spanish article, from El Diario, written by Santiago Berrios about the failure of the census.

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