Le conflit du Tipnis et la Bolivie d’Evo Morales face à ses contradictions : analyse d’un conflit socio-environnemental


Between August and October 2011, Bolivia passed through one of its fiercest conflicts since the election of Evo Morales in 2005. Because they are against the building of the Tipnis road that would go through their territory, some indigenous people started a protest walk to La Paz. During the 66 days of the walk, the conflict grew at the national level and gathered all those opposed to the government. It is striking to see that the first ever indigenous elected president is now facing such difficulties. To international viewers, Evo Morales represents another way of development, respectful of indigenous rights and of the environment. To understand the paradox of his international and national stances, I will study how this socio-environmental conflict appeared and then I will focus on the geographical issues raised by the Tipnis road, at the global, regional and local scales. At each level, Bolivia seems to be stuck within its own contradictions, which, in return, fuels the conflicts: contradiction between its ecologist and indigenous stance and the reality of its national policy; contradiction between protection of oriental regions and willingness to continental integration; contradiction between promises of socio-political changes and the reality of a strong central State. What is at stake here is both the process of change in Bolivia and the future of natural resources in a global context

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