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Re Bolivia: BBC got it wrong

By Miguel Centellas | Ciao!

09.24.2005 | I've contacted the BBC (about 5 hours ago) regarding the factual error on their story on Bolivia where this paragraph appears (emphasis mine):

Bolivia's constitutional court ruled against an electoral law that said population information from a 2001 census should form the basis for parliamentary elections.

The paragraph says the exact OPPOSITE of what actually happened. Bolivia's constitutional court ruled that the December elections must use the 2001 census as the basis of seat distribution in upcoming parliamentary elections. The elections (thus far) were structured around the 1991 census; legislators from Santa Cruz (which would receive more seats under the 2001 figures) filed a suit w/ the constitutional tribunal.

Because of the context of the story, the BBC makes it seem as if the court decided (for no given reason) to take seats away from regions likely to vote for Evo Morales. The quote about an alleged "conspiracy" against the MAS candidate, then, makes sense. Bias? Or just plain incompetence? I suspect the latter.

I mean, it's not like the international BBC news desk has the resources to read a few online Bolivian newspapers. Right?

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NOTE: Here's the story (in Spanish) at La Razón, El Deber, Los Tiempos, and Correo del Sur.

UPDATE: It has now been 24 hours since I pointed out the error to the BBC through their email "corrections" form. The story still stands as written.



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