The Deadly Tale of What Happens when IMF Theory Becomes Cold Reality in a Poor Country
by Jim Shultz
From the Introduction:
Through the large windows of the International Monetary Fund’s office in La Paz you can see down to the rooftop where Ana Colque was shot and killed in February 2003. Army sharpshooters sent a bullet through her chest during a military assault intended to quell public protests against an economic belt-tightening package imposed on Bolivia by the IMF.
Colque, 24, was among thirty-four people killed during two days of violent conflict sparked by the announcement of a new tax on the nation’s working poor. For an afternoon, the conflict erupted into a shooting war between Bolivia’s army and police, directly in front of the National Congress and the Presidential Palace.
Deadly Consequences tells the story of Bolivia’s Febrero Negro, Black February. It is not just the story of two tragic days in La Paz, but also of the global economic system that set that violence in motion. The report traces a path that begins on the desks of economists at the IMF in Washington and ends with the squeezing of the poor beyond their tolerance and, finally, with death on a rooftop.
The report is based on interviews with Bolivia’s current President and senior government advisors, with IMF officials, with economists of varying points of view, with Bolivian human rights leaders, participants in the events on the ground, and with the families of victims. It also draws on dozens of original documents, ranging from signed agreements between the IMF and Bolivia, to Bolivian budget analyses, to heart-wrenching personal testimonies.
A quick, clear, and easy read:
- Insight for activists
- A real world story for policymakers and economic theorists
- A dramatic and striking story for journalists
- Powerful reading material for university classes
- A well-documented case study for researchers
- Background on current events for travelers
- IMF 101: History, Background, and Present-Day Effects for students of all ages and areas of study
The International Monetary Fund and the Politics of Economic Belt-Tightening
The IMF in Bolivia, a Nation Struggles to Meet Economic Demands Issued From Abroad
Two Bloody Days in February
Conclusion: Lessons Learned in Blood and Fire
Order your copy of Deadly Consequences today
Forty pages including cover with original Bolivian art work. ($7.50 in US and Bolivia, $10 everywhere else, includes postage).
Or read the Deadly Consequences chapter from Dignity and Defiance for free: