Bolivian “Gas war” and Pacific LNG, Bolivia

The severely repressed revolt of the population from El Alto in 2003 led to the nationalization of gas resources by Morales' government.


Description

In 1996, the former President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada enacted the Hydrocarbon Industry Law no. 1689, allowing the privatisation of the State-owned company Yacimientos Petroleros Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) and the exploration and exploitation of Bolivian natural resources by foreign firms.

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Basic Data
NameBolivian “Gas war” and Pacific LNG, Bolivia
CountryBolivia
ProvinceCochabamba, La Paz, Oruro
SiteCochabamba, La Paz, El Alto, Oruro
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Specific CommoditiesNatural Gas
Crude oil
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe export of natural gas began at the Margarita gas field, which produced 700 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

The investment for the 20 year project totaled US$ 4 billion, of which only US$ 1,2 billion was for the construction of the gas pipeline on Bolivian territory
Level of Investment (in USD)4,000,000,000
Type of PopulationUrban
Start Date08/2003
End Date05/2006
Company Names or State EnterprisesRepsol from Spain - The Pacific Lng Consortium was made up of the following companies 37.5%
British Gas from United Kingdom - The Pacific Lng Consortium was made up of the following companies 37.5%
Pan-American Energy from Argentina - The Pacific Lng Consortium was made up of the following companies 25% a subsidiary of BP
Union Texas
British Petroleum (BP) from United Kingdom
Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) from Bolivia
Relevant government actorsYPFB Yacimientos Petroleros Fiscales Bolivianos, Movimiento al Socialismo MAS
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersFEDECOR - Bolivia, A Sud - Italy, Movimento Cocalero - Bolivia, National Coordination for the Defence of Gas - Bolivia, CSUTCB - Bolivia, Aymara Indigenous Farmers Organisation - Bolivia, Potos, Oruro and Huanani Miners-Bolivia, FOBOMADE - Bolivia, Central Obrera Boliviana (COB)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingInternational ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
It was a popular uprising
Artisanal miners
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Social movements
Farmers
Trade unions
Local government/political parties
Industrial workers
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Street protest/marches
Property damage/arson
Strikes
Threats to use arms
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Boycotts of companies-products
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Fires, Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Oil spills, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsVisible: Malnutrition, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) , Deaths, Other Health impacts
Potential: Accidents, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
OtherBy the end of the fighting, 84 people were killed, 400 were wounded and as many tortured
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights
Potential: Displacement, Land dispossession
Outcome
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCriminalization of activists
Deaths
Institutional changes
New legislation
Violent targeting of activists
Project cancelled
Development of AlternativesAfter the two intense weeks of riots, especially in El Alto, the so-called "Agenda de Octubre" was drafted; it included major demands by the people:

- a new constituent assembly

- nationalization of natural resources (starting from hydrocarbons)

- empowering the people and their democratic tools
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The Bolivian "Gas War" led to the fall of liberal de Lozada's government and path the way to the indigenous movement under Evo Morales. However, the conflict cause the death of more than 60 people.
Sources and Materials
Legislations

Supreme Decree no. 28071: Nationalisation of Hydrocarbons

The Hydrocarbon Industry Law no. 1689

References

Monopolios petroleros en Bolivia. Taia Aillon. 2004

La recolonizacion. Repsol en América Latina: invasion y resistencias. Marc Gavalda. 2003

Privatizacion de la industria petrolera en Bolivia. Trayectoria y efectos tributarios. Carlos Villegas Quiroga. 2004

Perfiles de la protesta - Politica y movimientos sociales en Bolivia. John Crabtree. 2005

ARUSKIPASIPXAASATAKI: el siglo XX y el Futuro del Pueblo Aymara. Waskar Ari Chachaki. 2001

Microgobiernos Barriales - Levantamiento de la ciudad de El Alto. Pablo Mamani. 2005

Disperdere il potere. Raul Zibechi. 2007

Mal de altura, Viaje a la Bolivia insurgente. Colectivo Situaciones 2005.

La guerra por el agua y por la vida. Ana Esther Cecea. 2004

Dignidad y juegos de poder en el tropico de Cochabamba. CASDEL.2002.

Repsol, quien es? que hace en Bolivia?. CEDIB. 2006

Juicio de responsabilidades a Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada y sus colaboradores. Carovana Internazionali in Bolivia. 2005

First year of evo morales presidency. IWGIA. 2007

RENACIONALIZACION: TRAVESIA HACIA LA ERA BOLIVIANA DE LOS HIDROCARBUROS. Roberto Gonzalez.2005

Geopolitica de los recursos naturales y acuerdos comerciales en sudamerica. FOBOMADE. 2005

El pachakuti ha empezado -Pachakutixa qalltiwa-. Si se pudo, si pueblo no es cojudo. Octubre de 2003 y las primeras acciones del presidente. Varios autores. Esteban Ticona Alejo, com. 2006.

Viaje a Repsolandia. Pozo a pozo por la Patagonia y Bolivia. Marc Gavalda. 2006

Impactos ambientales, sociales y culturales de REPSOL YPF enterritorio indigenas de Bolivia. Monitoreo indigena independiente del pueblo guaranì - APG-Itika Guasu, 2005.

Nacionalizacion de los hidrocarburos en Bolivia. La lucha de un pueblo por sus recursos narturales. M. Gandarillas, M. Tahbub y G. Rodrguez. 2008
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Links

Evo Morales nacionaliza por decreto el petróleo y el gas de Bolivia, M. Azcui, El Pais, 2/05/2006
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Proyectos en gas y petróleo MÁS DE US$12.000 millones invertira Bolivia hasta 2019, D. Ramos, D. Oré, 07/07/2015
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"Guerra del Gas", la insurgencia que cambió a Bolivia hace una década, La Razon, R. Burgoa, 16/10/2013
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Other Documents

Demostration during the "Bolivian gas war" in 2003 boliviabella.com
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Meta Information
ContributorLucie Greyl, Joan Martinez Alier & Talia Waldron
Last update29/12/2015
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