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For the urban communities of relatively recent origin faced with the economically precarious conditions in El Alto, neighborhood councils (juntas de vecinos) play a key role in everyday forms of collective social organization. Each has its distinctive character, given the origins of its migrant residents. Like a form of local self-government, it operates outside of state auspices to coordinate everything from infrastructure and services to festivals and sports within its jurisdiction, as well as to define neighbors’ obligations to the community. Approximately six hundred such associations are grouped together in the city’s Federation of Neighborhood Councils (fejuve). The...

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