Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bolivia 9/11: Bodies and Power on Feudal Frontier

Bret Gustafson

The farmer’s body lay on a slab in a damp morgue. A camera’s flash brightened for an instant what otherwise looked to be a dim and lonely place. The man’storso was exposed, his pants soiled, and a pale hand hung limply to one side. Blood pooled on the tile by his head. His anonymous face was out of view. The photo arrived incongruously, part of a PowerPoint file that detailed with forensic clarity an armed assault on poor farmers marching across the Amazonian backwater of Pando, northern Bolivia.

America’s mainstream press buried the event amid bigger news and familiar distortions of recent Bolivian history. Yet images from Bolivian sources were popping up on YouTube and Indymedia, and being disseminated by email...

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