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U.S. Statement on the UPR of Bolivia
February 12, 2010

UN Human Rights Council


Consideration of UPR Reports

Report of the UPR Working Group on Bolivia
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

Delivered by John C. Mariz

Thank you Mr President.

Los Estados Unidos dan le la bienvenida a

Las Ministras Nardy Suxo y Nilda Copa y a toda la delegacion Boliviana al Grupo de Trabajo del EPU. Apreciamos el esfuerzo hecho por el gobierno en la preparacion de su informe nacional y hemos seguido attentamente su presentacion de hoy. Ofrecemos los seguintes commentarios y recomendaciones.

In its national report, the government cites the prior administration’s legacy of politicizing appointments as the biggest obstacle to justice. Continued politicization of the judicial appointment process has resulted in a weakened and overburdened system. The United States recommends that the Government of Bolivia promote judicial independence and strengthen the rule of law by ensuring that key institutions such as the Constitutional Tribunal and the Supreme Court operate in a free, fair, and transparent manner and serve as an effective, independent check on the executive and legislative branches.

The United States recognizes that Bolivia established the Ministry for Institutional Transparency and Combating Corruption in 2009 and has drawn up a National Transparency and Anticorruption Policy that contains public policy guidelines on citizen participation, transparency and access to information, and institutional capacity-building. Transparency units operating in all executive ministries have been created to increase the transparency of public administration by enhancing broad access to information and implementing social oversight. These are commendable measures. Even so, we are concerned by reports that corruption worsened in 2009. We e recommend that Bolivia enforce more effectively the criminal penalties for official corruption.

The United States appreciates that the Bolivian Constitution, as noted in the country’s national report, fully recognizes the freedom to spread ideas or opinions by any means of communication. We also note, however, that some NGOs have characterized the country’s press as “partly free” and that the Bolivia has taken some steps to silence dissent and criticism of the government. We recommend that Bolivia robustly support and uphold the universal principle of freedom of expression, recognizing that freedom of expression is essential to a fully functioning democracy.