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5880 - Indigenous Territories and Autonomy in Bolivia's Lowlands

The political, grassroots-orientated forms of organisations of the indigenous movements in the Eastern Bolivian lowlands, and especially their leader´s extraordinary skills and strategies of negotiation, succeeded in achieving national and international solidarity and cooperation with their goals and vision. This is key for the successful articulation of their demands for a statewide change of paradigm – from a uniform nation state, to a pluri-cultural and pluri-national state, which also has resulted in the recognition of specific indigenous land rights – “territories”. These demands for “indigenous territories and autonomy” of the Bolivian lowland peoples had not been properly understood until recently, due to historic socio-cultural, economic, legal, juridical and political circumstances. This has been changing, as shown for example by recent legislation, which increasingly takes into consideration the demands of indigenous peoples for their territorial and autonomy rights.          

The paper looks at current progress made and also at increasing challenges faced by indigenous with regard to their territories and autonomies in the Bolivian lowlands.

Palabras claves: indigenous autonomies, indigenous political organizations, Bolivian lowlands, Beni, indigenous territories

Autores: Gottsbacher, Markus (IDRC, Canada / Kanada)

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