Tourists damage 1500-year-old Gate of the Sun and rock monoliths in Bolivia’s ancient city of Tiwanaku

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Four women and one man from the eastern city of Santa Cruz were charged with damaging the carved stone relics of the civilization that flourished for five centuries on the site, forerunner of the Inca empire. The pre-Columbian ruins are part of the country’s most important archaeological treasures.

After seeing what they described as “suspicious activity,” caretakers said the group splashed the structures with an oily substance that stained surfaces and that experts say would attract gases into the stone, causing internal changes and deterioration.

By Milan Sime Martinic

Bolivian town wants to charge woman for calling town “ugly”

Uyuni Salts
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Authorities in the tourist town of Uyuni, famous for its salt flats, are demanding the extradition (from one department to another) and prosecution of a Bolivian singer who goes by the pseudonym Frances P. The musician in a social media post said the town was so ugly she would not move there even for $3,000,000.

Bolivian law has a “duties of tourists” clause that prohibits “discriminatory comments.” Bolivia has in the past arrested a newscaster for making derogatory comments about another city.

By Milan Sime Martinić

Farmer accidentally kills 2.5% of country’s condor population with poison

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A Bolivian farmer accidentally killed 35 condors with strychnine while trying to protect his livestock from a puma living in the area, according to Bolivian authorities after a slow and much-criticized investigation.

The large number of deaths was likely due to the behavior of the species at the time of feeding, with sometimes as many as 40 condors feeding on one carcass, according to Huascar Bustillos Cayoja, a researcher with the University of Bern in Switzerland and a professor of Ecology and Protected Areas at Udabol University in Bolivia.

By Milan Sime Martinić