Protecting The Sex Workers’ Profession:: A Tragic Reality

‘I am also a part of this society’

We are doing important social work . . . It is because of us that there are less cases of rape.’ So speaks Lily Cortez, president of OTN, the sex workers union of La Paz. OTN, along with its sister organization ONAEM, in Cochabamba, is fi ghting for sex workers’ rights. While prostitution is legal in Bolivia, sex workers are often not treated well and socially ostracised.

In 2005, residents of El Alto attacked a number of brothels and bars, ransacking and burning them in moral outrage, due to a belief that prostitutes ruin homes and spread disease. Cortez denounces this as hypocritical behaviour from of a society that enjoys prostitution clandestinely. Alina Rueda, a social worker at the CRVR clinic for sex workers in El Alto, confirms that Bolivian sex workers are for the most part in very good health, as …

Bolivian capital’s Witches Market blends traditions and mysticism

La Paz, Jun 3 (efe-epa).- Love potions, powders to forget not being loved in return, amulets to bring good luck and dried llama fetuses as offerings to Mother Earth are some of the goods to be found in the mystic Mercado de Las Brujas (Witches Market) in La Paz, recently named Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Andean city.

The narrow, colorful streets behind San Francisco Church in the old colonial area of La Paz preserve the centuries-old wisdom that surprises those who walk along its cobblestone lanes.

In this strange market, people’s hearts and souls can be cured of their malaises with perfumes guaranteed to attract the loved one, and with magic powders that if taken every day will bring wealth and good fortune.

Such are the powders made of pusanga, a plant that saleswoman Flora Lopez told EFE will help win the heart of the person that is …