My September newsletter began with the title "So much to celebrate in September" and was sent out on September 7th. (You can read back issues of my newsletters by going to the page below):

Bella News Back Issues

As it turns out, just four days later September became one of the most turbulent months in Bolivia's 186-year history. Most of you probably already know that Bolivia now has its own 9/11. On that date inhabitants from several areas in Bolivia's northern department of Pando clashed in a violent confrontation that left 14 dead and the government declared martial law in Pando.

Since then there has been a lot of tension throughout Bolivia and other important events have taken place. The U.S. Ambassador was expelled from Bolivia, the DEA and USAID were expelled from Bolivia's principal coca-growing region (El Chapare, in the department of Santa Cruz).

The U.S. government withdrew 113 peace corp workers and all its non-essential personnel from the country last weekend, and many American families took advantage of evacuation flights offered by the Embassy in September. Many others left on their own and continue to leave.

Autonomista and masista youths clashed in the city of Santa Cruz, thousands of armed M.A.S. party members marched on Santa Cruz, autonomistas and masistas blocked roads for over a month with spots of violence and one autonomista killed, and the government and civic leaders spent nearly a month at a negotiating table with the participation of over a dozen international impartial observers (this negotiation ended in a stalemate, although some advances were made).

President Bush cancelled Bolivia's special trade preferences under the ATPDEA, there are diesel, gasoline and natural gas shortages, prices have spiked, and now masista and opposition congressmen and women are involved in negotiations on a proposed text for a well-disputed new constitution.

Thousands of supporters of Evo Morales have marched for the past 5 days and plan to arrive soon in La Paz where they will encircle Congress to force congress to pass a law that would allow the government to call for a referendum so the entire population of Bolivia can vote on the proposed text for this new Constitution.

Congress will be convening tomorrow, Saturday the 18th of October and will attempt to hash out differences. Marchers have vowed not to leave until the law they want is passed. Some have stated they are willing to die for it. We're hoping it won't come to that.

Congress members from Eastern Bolivia literally moved in to the Congress building tonight with mattresses, food and clothing as they are afraid they will be attacked by the masses outside or kept from entering to participate in this historic event. In the meantime, I've vowed not to use my website as a political vent.

There is a lot of speculation now about Bolivia's future and I've received many many MANY messages from readers asking about the situation here. THANK YOU for all the "Dear Bella, Are You OK?" letters!!!

All of these things do give many a reason to feel anxiety and fear. Fear can be paralyzing, both physically and mentally and that's not healthy!

So because of this, I've made a conscious decision for myself and I'm going to dedicate this newsletter to a single message to my readers, many of whom want to know why the "H-E-double hockey sticks" I've chosen to stay. Read it below. Peace!

FEAR NOT! Bella's Personal Message to You.

Please join me in sending Bolivia some positive vibes:

Solidarizate! Envía vibraciones positivas a Bolivia:

Join or start a discussion topic about Santa Cruz:

News from Bolivia

“I will laugh at the world. For though I am nature’s greatest miracle am I not still a mere grain tossed about by the winds of time? Will my concern for this day not seem foolish ten years hence? These words will carry me through every adversity:
This too shall pass.”

Events (in English)

Eventos (in Spanish)

Welcome to all our new subscribers!

We had a lot of new BELLA NEWS subscribers this month - welcome to the BoliviaBella online community. For those of you who don't yet know, "Bella" is actually an American living in Bolivia. She works as a professional translator and interpreter and also spends countless hours designing this site just for you! Find out about your friendly neighborhood webmaster here:

Who is Bella really??

As you can see, we've been very busy working super hard to grow and improve and make it the number one English site on Bolivia. Parts of the site are also being translated into Spanish due to the large number of visitors we have from Spanish-speaking countries. We're always looking to improve - this site is FOR YOU so be sure to let us know what you want to see included on - we're not on our way to NUMERO UNO for nothing - we're working very hard to get there!! Please direct your comments to webmaster "Bella". TELL BELLA WHAT YOU WANT!

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