Thursday, December 28, 2006

Commenting on news

You might get the impression that I am not much into Bolivian politics lately. To tell the truth I follow events back home using newspapers rather frequently, blogs are also quite useful for this purpose. Recently I quite liked Jim Schultz interpretation of the power struggles in Bolivia, so you might want to take a look.

For the moment I decided not to comment on anything political because, to be frank, I would be adding very little material to the actual events and existing discussion. I prefer to discuss about things that could be considered niche interests, that is, news items that are not considered interesting in other blogs. One of such interests is the very high rate of traffic accidents in Bolivia, especially accidents that involve intercity transportation. While I was an university student I used to travel from Cochabamba to Oruro and back every other weekend. Although some buses in which I traveled had technical problems, none of these was serious enough to cause an accident, luckily. I happen to know persons that had great personal losses because of accidents, and my brother, being a doctor, told me the horrors that victims of accidents have to go through. These experiences make me interested in the safety of transportation, so whenever I am reading something related in the press I just bookmark the item. I hope I'll have something interesting to say on this, but don't hold your breath. This is by no means a research, maybe it will be a general impression from a collection of press articles.

I have also been bookmarking news related to the yearly floods that the rainy season brings. The news talk about the destruction of much infrastructure including roads, bridges, farms and villages, but very little is discussed on how much damage can be prevented. This intrigues me, the same sad scenes are replayed year after year. I would like to know how much prevention is possible, and also how much of this is the fault of deforestation. After reading Collapse by Jared Diamond, I can see that mismanagement of resources can bring these problems about, what is alarming is that poor countries are especially vulnerable to this pattern.


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