Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lazy reporting casts shadow on BBC journalism

I don't think you ask the right questions Andres.

Surprise surprise, just a few weeks before the December Bolivian Presidential elections the BBC comes out with a story insinuating that Evo Morales' campaign is being partly funded by cocaine and claiming that cocaine production has benefited greatly under his administration, "Bolivia election: Cocaine casts shadow on campaign".

Ugh... Do we really have to go over this again?

Because I am hung over let me copy and paste the following facts Andres Schipani just happen to have missed from an earlier post:
1. Coca cultivation has increase in recent years in Bolivia.

2. Evo Morales has pursued a demilitarized coca regulatory policy, to keep coca farmers from being murdered by the DEA.

3. Morales has shifted coercive man power to policing cocaine traffickers and producers.

4. Bolivian anti-narcotics police, FELCN, have since Morales taking office more than doubled cocaine seizures and continues to make seizures of large cocaine factories, all without the "help" of the DEA.

5. Morales' demilitarized coca regulations have resulted in the eradication of more coca cultivation per hectare than under previous neoliberal administration.
Next, Andres quotes Morales' election opponent Dorian Medina in claiming "The only sector that has had an important growth in these past four years is the coca production and also the cocaine industry." Does Andres fact check this statement? Of course not, that requires actual work.

But the really funny thing is that Andres could have saved himself all of the research required to judge such a statement by just asking wealthy businessman Medina how his cement business is doing these days. I would imagine Morales' economic policy of dumping half of the public budget into infrastructure construction in the last year and a half would have had major benefits for the owner of one of Bolivia's major cement factories.

But I guess that kind of a boom in Latin America's fastest growing economy is not enough for Medina, because pasted all over Bolivia at the moment are Medina's two campaign promises: 1) He will put Bolivia to work and 2) More police to make sure #1 happens. It's not going over very well.

No comments: