Politics 18-08-2020

Bolivia said 'enough' and took to the streets for its democracy

The postponement of the general elections in Bolivia made the return of democracy much further, hence the people took to the streets to demand the departure of the de facto government.

The Central Obrera Boliviana (COB) and Pacto Unidad (a group of social organizations) called mobilizations in the main cities of the country in rejection of the decision of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal that, using the Covid-19 health crisis, postponed the elections of 6 September to October 18 next.

For almost two weeks, more than 70 blockade points were enabled in El Alto and in the departments of La Paz, Santa Cruz, Cochabamba and Chuquisaca, among others, to also demand job security and defend the right to health and education.

But the coup regime headed by the self-proclaimed president, Jeanine Áñez, did not sit idly by and resorted to the militarization of the streets and the increase in police repression against protesters, methods applied last November during the coup against Evo. Morales.

Áñez and his ministerial cabinet once again blamed the Movimiento Al Socialismo (MAS) and its leaders, mainly the Aymara leader currently asylum in Argentina, for calling these mobilizations that put the health of the people at risk due to the pandemic.

On August 10, Morales was accused of genocide, sedition and terrorism by the de facto government, a fact confirmed by the Minister of Justice, Álvaro Coimbra, in addition to other alleged crimes against health, the environment, destruction of public places and public instigation to commit a crime.

The complaint includes the executive secretary of the COB, Juan Carlos Huarachi, and the leaders of the MAS in Cochabamba, Andrónico Rodríguez and Leonardo Loza.

In an interview with the Argentine newspaper Página 12, lawyer Raúl Eugenio Zaffaroni, Morales' legal advisor, assured that it was not surprising that a regime of no rights lies, "since all those who exercise power without rights do so."

Zaffaroni recalled that from its inception, the current government of Bolivia ignored the most elementary rules of customary and conventional international law.

On the other hand, the Government ministers, Arturo Murillo, and the Presidency, Yerko Núñez, in an attempt to discredit the reasons for the marches called by the COB, argued that the blockades did not allow trucks with oxygen and medical supplies to pass to care for patients with the new coronavirus.

They also blamed the former Bolivian president and other leaders of his political party for the death of some thirty patients due to lack of oxygen and other medical supplies.

Despite the fact that the local press conceals the reality of the South American country, users on Twitter revealed photos and videos that deny these accusations.

The MAS deputy, Franklin Flores, was in several trucks that transported oxygen and published images where he showed that the blockades did not impede access and accused the current government of distorting public attention of its inefficiency in handling the health crisis.

As in last November, paramilitary groups related to the de facto government such as Youth Resistance attacked the protesters and an example of this violence was the confrontation that occurred on August 8 in front of the electoral body's facilities in the La Paz city.

Young people who were peacefully camped in Abaroa Square in rejection of the postponement of the general elections, were attacked by that group with firecrackers while shouting 'resistance'.

Videos posted on Twitter showed the event, while the Police intervened between the two sides.

Human rights violations, another characteristic of the regime, were denounced by the Bolivian Association for Human Rights for the bullet wounds of three citizens in the province of San Ignacio de Velasco (Santa Cruz), which required surgical interventions.

A statement from the organization revealed that a group of armed people wanted to violently unblock a road block cut by peanut producers in the town of Santa Rosa de la Roca, while blaming the current government for violating the right to life of the citizens.

Likewise, the candidate for the presidency for MAS, Luis Arce, denounced on his Twitter account the threats, intimidations and attacks suffered by young people on a peaceful hunger strike by violent shock groups.

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL?

Faced with popular pressure to hold the general elections in Bolivia once and for all, on August 13 the Parliament approved the law that established October 18 as the unpostponable date to go to the polls and solve the political crisis.

The regulations protect the Prosecutor's Office to open criminal proceedings against those who intend to modify that term and hold the Executive responsible for guaranteeing the necessary financial resources for the Supreme Electoral Tribunal to carry out the voting.

Former President Evo Morales expressed on his Twitter account that this legislation will prevent a massacre and "shield possible Chicanas with international guarantors."

But a day after that step, the COB denounced the attack with explosives at its headquarters in La Paz, a fact described by Huarachi as an attack against the Bolivian people.

Similarly, it condemned similar acts against the facilities of the National Confederation of Indigenous Peasant Women of Bolivia 'Bartolina Sisa', for which six people were detained and no injuries were reported.

With the law that defines the date for holding general elections, a halt was established in the mobilizations, but in the face of the possibility of losing its power, the de facto government will resort to any method to remove the MAS, favorite in the intention to vote, from the electoral race. according the surveys.

The situation in Bolivia, aggravated by the health crisis, is unsustainable for the people who were forced to take to the streets to defend their rights and say 'enough' to the violations of their current government.

Prensa Latina

 
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