Mundubat began working in Bolivia in 2005, coinciding with the Movement towards Socialism’s coming into government, with Evo Morales at the head of a coalition of social movements which had already emerged as political actors in the early days of the 21st century, uniting in opposition to the neo-liberal policies which had predominated in Bolivia since 1985 and for the purpose of moving indigenous policy forward, as well as through a conviction that primary materials should benefit all Bolivians.
In a context such as the current one, Mundubat finds a great deal of scope for acting, working at impacting policies and strengthening the social organizations that are driving change in Bolivia. This process is characterized by strong participation by multiple social organizations of all types, especially important being the NGO’s which work with the rural and urban population and with indigenous organizations (present in rural and urban areas).
Thus it is that Mundubat is supporting processes occurring within the more general process of change and transformation, fostering the building of economic and political alternatives driven by social movements of a progressive nature.
High indices of poverty and profound inequality
Despite the re-distribution policies driven by the current government and favourable hydrocarbon prices, rates of poverty remain at high levels, as do indices of inequality, positioning Bolivia as the most unequal country in South America.
Severe exclusion of sectors of the population, especially the indigenous population
The concentration of poverty in indigenous municipalities and communities is evidence of the situation of exclusion, marginalization and oppression affecting these majorities, who represent over 60% of the total population and whose access to basic services is still severely deficient, the situation being aggravated in the countryside.
Persistence of infringements of the human rights of indigenous peoples and popular sectors of the population
Especially in the departamentos of Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando and Tarija, where the State has a scant presence, there continue to exist colonial and exclusive structures where access by indigenous sectors to political or administrative authorities is still very limited. This exclusion has translated into serious infringements of the human rights of indigenous populations and vulnerable groups.
Inequity in access to, and participation in, economic resources and decision-making arenas (political participation) by women
Women are still subjected to a situation of exclusion, due to the persistence of structural causes that hinder their inclusion on equal terms in all spheres (social, cultural, political, economic…). In spite of advances in the legislative sphere, there persists weakness and deficiency in applying the new laws, with resistance in many sectors, such as the traditional indigenous ones, which are not typically open to the influx of pro-gender-equality currents.
The lines which we have developed at present are:
Food sovereignty: One of the mainstays of our co-operation in Bolivia. We are supporting the resistance that small-scale farming communities are putting up to the neo-liberal model, which is based on “extractivism”, geared towards export, as the mode of production of natural resources. Our food sovereignty work has two focal points: production projects; and projects to impact, and put forward, public policies.
Strengthening of indigenous small-scale women farmers’ organizations: the inclusion of indigenous small-scale women farmers in decision-making arenas continues to be deficient, as does their ability to put forward proposals. These deficient abilities are palpable despite their empowerment as major players in the country’s political life, since they lack the skills and resources to convert all that emancipating energy into tangible political and economic alternatives. Although we are working with this group, social and political participation by women and their inclusion in decision-making arenas is our aim for other groups too, in response to the thinking of these women themselves, who are aware that the problem extends to a broader group of Bolivian women.
Strengthening of local power and political training: Enhancing the proposal-making, constructive criticism and rights-demanding skills of social movements and grassroots organizations, which contributes to deepening the democratic process by means of various instruments for participation, notably the incipient decentralization and autonomy-building process in which the country is engaged.
Confederación Nacional de Mujeres Campesinas Indígenas Originarias de Bolivia “Bartolina Sisa” ; http://www.bartolinasisa.org/
Red Nacional de Trabajadoras de la Información y la Comunicación (RED-ADA); http://www.redada.org/
Asamblea del Pueblo Guaraní (APG); http://www.cidob-bo.org/regionales/apg.htm
Centro de Desarrollo Integral de la Mujer Aymara (CDIMA); http://cdimabolivia.org/
Centro de Investigación y Promoción del Campesinado (CIPCA); http://www.cipca.org.bo/
- Confederación Nacional de Mujeres Campesinas Indígenas Originarias de Bolivia “Bartolina Sisa”
- Red Nacional de Trabajadoras de la Información y la Comunicación (RED-ADA)
- Asamblea del Pueblo Guaraní (APG)
- Centro de Desarrollo Integral de la Mujer Aymara (CDIMA)
- Centro de Investigación y Promoción del Campesinado (CIPCA)