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research paper-bolivia and peru

research paper-bolivia and peru - Politics 219 The Struggle...

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Politics 219 The Struggle for Equality in Peru and Bolivia: Who’s More Successful? Professor Rand Smith Henry Osmar Salas Lazo Email: [email protected] Phone: (847) 323-3328 Due Date: 04/25/2008
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Index 1. Introduction ____________________________________________3 2. Tracing Inequality _______________________________________ 4 3. Factors Influencing Inequality 3.1. Geographical Location ________________________________ 8 3.2. Poverty ____________________________________________ 9 3.3. Corruption _________________________________________ 11 4. Indigenous Movements? __________________________________ 13 5. Government Leaders Approach the Issue of Equality ____________15 6. The Civil Society’s Response to Inequality ___________ __ ______ 16 7. Conclusion _____________________________________________ 17 8. References _____________________________________________ 19 9. Bibliography ___________________________________________ 21 2
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1. Introduction This paper will depict the phenomenon of disparity of the general population in the Peruvian and Bolivian societies, and will stress how the economic inequality influences the general struggle for an equal political and social participation in these countries. To fully understand the issue of inequality, it is important to know that Peru “is South America's third-largest country, with an area of 1,285,220 sq km (496,226 sq mi,)” 1 and that its capital Lima faces the Pacific Ocean. On the other hand, Bolivia is a small country of west-central South America, traditionally regarded as a highland country. As the Encyclopedia Britannica depicts, “[Bolivia] extends its territory some 950 miles (1,500 km) north-south and 800 miles (1,300 km) east-west,” and shares Lake Titicaca, the second largest lake in South America (after Lake Maracaibo), with Peru. The country has been landlocked since it lost its Pacific coast territory to Chile in the War of the Pacific (1879–84) 2 , but agreements with neighboring countries have granted it indirect access to the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The constitutional capital of Bolivia is the historic city of Sucre, where the Supreme Court is established, but the de facto capital is La Paz, where the executive and legislative branches of government function. As history has shown, geographical characteristics are a vital factor in reaching prosperity among nation-states. Peru and Bolivia have not been an exception to this trend: the similar geography of both of these countries is rich in natural resources that once contributed to the rise of the Inca Empire. However, the history of colonization of these countries, which brought continuous depravation of natural resources and constant oppression from the Spaniards, initiated the struggle for equality that is still apparent in the indigenous Peru and Bolivia today. Furthermore, this dissatisfaction with the social, economic, and political structures has increased in recent years. Thus, in this paper, I will 3
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argue that the struggle against inequality is pervasive in Bolivia and Peru, but due to neoliberal reforms the latter has taken in recent years, Peru has been more successful in achieving economic fairness, whereas Bolivia has managed to attain better social and political equality. Due to external factors, however, this persistence of inequality is not completely eliminated in neither Peru’s nor Bolivia’s social, political, and economic scenes.
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