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|ORURO, Bolivia -- The Carnival celebrations in this Andean mining city already rival Brazil's Rio de Janeiro for color and culture, if not for size. Now Oruro has erected a huge statue of the Virgin Mary that's a little taller than Rio's famed Christ the Redeemer.
Oruro formally dedicated the new statue Friday as it kicked off its Carnival celebrations, which have been recognized as part of the patrimony of humanity by UNESCO. (In a related honoring of the feminine, in Dec. Bolivia established 11 rights of Mother Earth, including the right to life, biodiversity, pure water, clean air, and freedom from genetic modification, and contamination.)