Protection available from police or other authorities in Santa Cruz in the event of a robbery of a business owned by a Chinese national and assaults against the owner and his family; whether the level of protection would depend on the business owner's residency status [BOL42349.E]

Information on the protection available from police or other authorities in Santa Cruz in the event of a robbery of a business owned by a Chinese national and assaults against the owner and his family, as well as information indicating whether the level of protection would depend on the business owner's residency status, could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. However, the following information may prove relevant.

According to the 14 April 2004 updated website of the Joshua Project, the ethnic Chinese population in Bolivia numbers 1,600, while another website created in April 2001 claimed that the number was closer to 12,000 (OCC n.d.). Two sources indicate that the majority of Chinese immigrants have settled in Santa Cruz (Swaney 1996, 31; International Religious Freedom Report 2003 18 Dec. 2003, Sec. 1).

According to two Bolivian newspapers, in May 2002, a man of Chinese origin was killed inside his restaurant by four of his employees in Santa Cruz (El Nuevo Día 30 May 2002; La Razón 29 May 2002). The employees also allegedly beat the man's wife (ibid.) before fleeing with approximately 8,000 bolivianos (El Nuevo Día 30 May 2002), or approximately CAN$1,391.35 (Yahoo! Finance 6 May 2004). The man's wife called the police, and special homicide detectives (Brigada de Homocidios) came to the scene to investigate (La Razón 29 May 2002). The Chinese consul participated in the investigations, and urged police to find and punish the authors of the crime (ibid.). The consul stated many of his compatriots have been killed, and, according to the consul, many murders of ethnic Chinese remain unresolved (ibid.).

La Razón indicated that other restaurateurs, not necessarily ethnic Chinese, had been assassinated by their employees (29 May 2002). One Chinese woman told El Nuevo Día in May 2002 that armed robberies were almost a daily occurrence in her community, and, in her opinion, "there was no one to stop it" (30 May 2002).

In correspondence with the Research Directorate on 21 April 2004, a spokesperson for the Permanent Assembly of Human Rights of Bolivia (APDH) related the following information. The spokesperson had not heard any reports of a Chinese business-owner being assaulted. Furthermore, she stated that if a person's papers were "in order," there would be no reason that the police would discriminate against him/her. The spokesperson did say, however, that if a person had no official status in Bolivia, he/she could go to his/her embassy in order to obtain assistance. Finally, when asked about the general level of protection offered by the police in Bolivia, the spokesperson was of the opinion that the police were often not efficient in resolving crimes, although corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References


International Religious Freedom Report 2003. 18 December 2003. United States Department of State. Washington, DC. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2003/24480.htm [Accessed 27 Apr. 2004]

Joshua Project. n.d. "Han Chinese, Mandarin of Boliva." http://www.joshuaproject.net/peopctry.php [Accessed 15 Apr. 2004]

Justice Studies Center of the Americas (JSCA). 2002-2003. Report on the Judicial System in the Americas 2002-2003. "Bolivia." http://www.cejamericas.org/report/Country_Reports/Bolivia.pdf [Accessed 27 Apr. 2004]

El Nuevo Día [Santa Cruz]. 30 May 2002. "La comunidad china en Santa Cruz está aterrada." http://ea.el-nuevodia.com/2002/05-Mayo/30Mayo2002/Policial/mayo/poli020530b.html [Accessed 27 Apr. 2004]

Overseas Chinese Confederation (OCC). n.d. "Distribution of Overseas Chinese Population." http://www.overseaschineseconfederation.org/databases_popdis.html [Accessed 15 Apr. 2004]

Permanent Assembly of Human Rights for Bolivia (APDH). 21 April 2003. Correspondence with spokesperson.

La Razôn [La Paz]. 29 May 2002. "Un chino es muerto por sus propios empleados." http://ea.gmcsa.net/2002/05-Mayo/20020529/Al_cierre/Mayo/cierre020529d.html [Accessed 27 Apr. 2004]

Swaney, Deanna. 1996. 3rd ed. Bolivia: A Lonely Planet Travel Survival Kit. Hawthorn, Australia: Lonely Planet.

Yahoo! Finance. 6 May 2004. http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/m5?a=8000&s=BOB&t=CAD&c=0 [Accessed 6 May 2004]

Additional Sources Consulted


Internet Sites, including: Amnesty International (AI), Chinese In/From Latin America, Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, Derechos Humanos.org, Ethnologue, European Country of Origin Information Network (ECOI), Human Rights Watch (HRW), Instituto Nacional de Estadística de Bolivia, International Society for the Study of Chinese Overseas, International Organization for Migration, Joshua Project, Migrants Rights International, Red Cross, US Department of State, World Confederation of Institutes and Libraries for Overseas Chinese Studies, World Health Organization (WHO), World Immigration and Deportation, World News Connections (WNC)

Publications:

Bolivia: Land of Struggle, Ethnic Groups Worldwide, World Directory of Minorities