Five fun facts about the Bolivia legal system

1. Since 2011, Supreme Court judges have been elected by popular vote. In January 2015, President Evo Morales admitted the justice system had gotten worse under this arrangement, and proposed a referendum to modify the constitution and reform the justice system. 2. Under Morales (that is, since 2006), there have been five female Ministers for Justice – no men have held this portfolio. 3. Until 30 October … Continue reading Five fun facts about the Bolivia legal system

Stuff that doesn’t make sense

I count the days till I go home and they are too many and yet too few. I think of what happened to her and all my sorrow and outrage leak out again. I speak at length with a friend and have the sensation of being simultaneously trusted and betrayed. I speak briefly with another friend and feel the last month of intimacy chill within a week into a relational … Continue reading Stuff that doesn’t make sense

More Than 140 Criminals Convicted for Violent Crimes So Far This Year

Reproduced from the IJM Newsroom: http://news.ijm.org/more-than-140-criminals-convicted-for-violent-crimes-so-far-this-year   Recent reports paint a dark picture of the violence facing millions of the world’s poor every day. Human trafficking generates $150 billion in annual profits, and nearly 36 million people are held in modern-day slavery. But few of the criminals perpetuating this violence are ever held accountable for their crimes.   IJM has been working to protect the poor … Continue reading More Than 140 Criminals Convicted for Violent Crimes So Far This Year

“Effectivisation”: A post about the law (and reforming it)

Bolivia is currently reforming its justice system. On October 31, the Bolivian Parliament passed a new piece of legislation, called the Law for the Decongestion and Effectivisation of the Criminal Procedure System. In case you were wondering, it’s Ley de Decongestionamiento y Efectivización del Sistema Procesal Penal in Spanish – and “efectivización” isn’t a real word in Spanish either, hence the weird translation.

Process is at the heart of justice – as important as a just result is a just procedure to arrive at that result. I’ll confess I’ve forgotten a lot of what they taught me at law school, but this particular principal of justice has stuck with me. Working at IJM Bolivia, I am struck anew by how much of a paradox this often is. Continue reading “Effectivisation”: A post about the law (and reforming it)

In Bolivia, Justice for 3-Year-Old Mona Seemed Impossible…Until It Happened

Reproduced from the IJM Newsroom: http://news.ijm.org/in-bolivia-justice-for-3-year-old-mona-seemed-impossibleuntil-it-happened I didn’t write this one, but did provide the details and photos 🙂   LA PAZ, BOLIVIA October 29,2014 A three-and-a-half- year trial ended this month in Bolivia with justice for a little girl named Mona.* The trial lasted more than half the length of Mona’s lifetime, and the verdict closes a very painful chapter for her family. When Mona … Continue reading In Bolivia, Justice for 3-Year-Old Mona Seemed Impossible…Until It Happened

Ecuador vs Bolivia, and losing the Missionary label

Lately I’ve felt the unspoken question of why I decided to go back to South America but not as a missionary (that is, not as a big ‘M’ conventional Missionary). This post is an attempt to explain this and, at the same time, share with you some of the thinking behind why I went to Ecuador then, and why I’m going to Bolivia now. Why I went to … Continue reading Ecuador vs Bolivia, and losing the Missionary label

Yo soy mujer (I am woman*)

In preparation for this Saturday’s pijamada (slumber party), I’ve just started reading Mentiras que las jóvenes creen (Lies Young Women Believe)**, which we’ll be discussing with the chicas. I’ve only read the introduction and chapter one, but it just made me so angry. During the discussion session at our last SIM team meeting (which I facilitated), we looked at the buenaventuranzas (the Beatitudes, Matthew 5) … Continue reading Yo soy mujer (I am woman*)