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Archive for Sunday, August 6, 2006

Assembly begins to revise constitution

August 6, 2006

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— This quiet, colonial city nestled in the Andean mountains has hosted some of this country's most auspicious moments, from economic booms fueled by nearby silver mining to the declaration of Bolivia's independence in 1825.

Bolivians are looking once again to Sucre, the country's historic capital, for rescue as they find themselves stuck in a political crisis that has seen six presidents come and go over the past five years.

This is where 255 representatives from around Bolivia have gathered to write a new constitution, one that many Bolivians hope will bring long-absent peace to this impoverished, deeply divided country. President Evo Morales kicked off ceremonies Saturday night for what could be a yearlong process.

The social tensions that have plagued this country of 9 million have also come to Sucre, and power struggles were raging even before meetings got under way in the city's ornate Mariscal Sucre theater.

Leftist president Evo Morales and his Movement Toward Socialism party have billed the meeting as a historic chance to empower Bolivia's long-ignored indigenous majority and right historic wrongs dating back to Spanish colonization.

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