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Opinion |

Historical context of NGOs

by Andrés Soliz Rada

Former Minister of Hydrocarbons.

The only way to separate the good from the bad NGOs is that the state knows its funding sources, the fate of their expenses and actual objectives pursued, which can not be against sustainability and strengthening the country.

The historical context takes into account the place, time and relevant facts surrounding social events. Unfortunately, almost all analysts that write about NGOs do not take this into account, which leads to erroneous conclusions. On the subject, it should be recalled that NGOs are officially born with Article 71 of the UN Charter, 1945.

As background, the activities of charities such as the International Red Cross is quoted. Today, the big NGOs associate with transnationals. One of its main objectives is to prevent the consolidation of national states in backward countries. The Western powers subsidize and their companies fund them, because they are considered an extension of their politicians. Thus, its companies seek to control the strategic sectors: mining, oil, banking and agriculture, and NGOs close the circle with their presence in health, education, culture, small and micro enterprises and the environment.

Let’s take a look at some concrete examples: David Axelrod, Obama adviser, is a specialist in order to create transnational NGOs. NGOs mushroomed from the Reagan administration onwards. In Russia alone there are 220 000 and about four million worldwide. Former President Bill Clinton said, in 2006, that “the growth of NGOs was one of the most extraordinary events in the world after the fall of the Berlin Wall.”

The World Bank financing to large NGOs became systematic from the ILO Convention 169, 1989, and the UN Declaration on Indigenous Peoples in 2007, translated into law of the Republic without adapting it to national circumstances, by the influence of Xavier Albo. (See my book Disputes of the National Left). It is naive to believe that the World Bank, international banks and transnationals disbursed important contributions to lose their privileges by applying the philosophy of “living well” – Buen-vivir in spanish.

The presence of NGOs in Bolivia grew in the first government of Sanchez de Lozada, which resulted in the creation of 200 Community Lands of Origin (TCOs), 60 protected areas and 22 national parks, as well as national monuments in agricultural areas, wildlife reserves, national sanctuaries, natural areas and natural reserves of integrated management. The connection between the German Catholic Church, Cardinal Terrazas, Danida and Earth Foundation was important to achieve this task. His influence was even greater in the Constituent Assembly of 2008 and the New State Constitution (NCPE) in 2009.

The strict application of the NCPE, coupled with the aim of the Camba Nation of separating the eastern regions, have caused the disintegration of Bolivia, as featured in national and foreign publications. To avoid it, Evo Morales chose not to apply it. Although the name was changed from Republic to Plurinational State, the nonexistent recognition of 36 indigenous nations was reduced to a theoretical statement, which had no effect on the self-determination of indigenous peoples, recognition of ancestral lands, sovereignty of natural resources and community justice.

This does not deny the importance of the transformation process in the country and the success of the NCPE in rescuing languages, traditions, beliefs and ancestral wisdom, but in the framework of national unity. The new official orientation is shaped with Law 351 of 13/03/19, which oversees NGOs, as in countries as diverse as the US, Russia, Israel and Ecuador. US NGOs must submit four annual reports and Israel can not receive donations exceeding $ 5,000 a year.

Despite the above, it would be wrong not to recognize the existence of hundreds of NGOs that are independent of world power and that are, rather, civil society organizations interested in the environment and the defense of indigenous peoples.

The only way to separate the good from the bad NGOs is that the state knows its funding sources, the fate of their expenses and actual objectives pursued, which can not be against sustainability and strengthening the country.

Taking into account the historical context of NGOs also means respecting their rights to work legally in the country, in the implementation of human rights, freedom of thought and expression, assembly and democratic gains, which are a heritage of humanity.

Source: UNITAS