A Truth Commission was created to investigate serious human rights violations committed under military governments (1964-1982). Progress was made in protecting the rights of transgender people. Concerns remained regarding threats against and harassment of human rights organizations, and Indigenous Peoples’ rights.
In November, the Constitutional Court ruled to lift the limits on candidates standing in presidential re-elections thereby allowing President Morales to stand for a fourth consecutive term in 2019.
The country office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights closed down on 31 December after the government decided not to renew its mandate.
In August, a Truth Commission was established to investigate serious human rights violations committed under the military governments between 1964 and1982. It is due to submit a report in two years. The armed forces created a working group composed of military officers to provide support for the Commission, including by granting access to their archives.
Persons with disabilities
In August, the Plurinational Legislative Assembly passed a law to facilitate the inclusion in the labour market of people with disabilities and the provision of financial assistance for people with severe disabilities. For years, disability rights activists have called for a monthly disability allowance which has yet to be granted.
Indigenous Peoples’ rights
In August, the President promulgated Law 969, allowing the construction of a road that will cut across the Isiboro Sécure National Park and Indigenous Territory (TIPNIS), one of the country’s main water reserves and home to approximately 14,000 people, mainly from Indigenous communities. This Law repealed legislation under which the TIPNIS was a protected area, raising concerns about possible development of other infrastructure and extractive projects in the area.
Rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people
In June, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal granted civil marriage rights to people who had legally changed their gender. Nevertheless, same-sex marriage remained officially unrecognized. In the same month, the Ombudsman proposed an amendment to the Criminal Code to make hate crimes against LGBTI people a criminal offence. In the past decade, the authorities had failed to hold perpetrators accountable for the killings of LGBTI people.
Sexual and reproductive rights
Unsafe abortions continued to be one of the main causes of maternal mortality.
Human rights defenders
On 6 February, leaders of the Federation of Bolivian Mineworkers took over the Permanent Human Rights Assembly for several hours in the capital, La Paz, and demanded the removal of its president. Meanwhile, human rights organizations and Indigenous leaders held a press conference at the Assembly, where they announced that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights had asked the government to provide information on their request for precautionary measures. The organizations had submitted the request on behalf of Indigenous Peoples in voluntary isolation whose survival they alleged would be at risk due to proposed oil extraction in their territories.
In March, the Bolivian Documentation and Information Centre (CEDIB), an NGO based at the Universidad Mayor de San Simón, a public university in Cochabamba, reported that the Dean of the university had harassed them and threatened them with eviction. Despite the CEDIB director’s request that safety guarantees be provided to his staff and archives, he received no response from the authorities. In November, CEDIB reported that its bank accounts were frozen as a result of a judicial administrative procedure which had been filed by the Dean.