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category international | worker & community struggles and protests | news report author Thursday June 09, 2005 14:07author by solidarity Report this post to the editors

Behind the constitutional legitimacy we see the oligarch backed by the USA and military.

Latest reports, photos, etc from
Indymedia Bolivia
(spanish language)
7 installations in Santa Cruz belonging to Repsol and BP's are occupied.

100 of the 157 senators and deputies of the government have left the capital La Paz for the ancient former capital Sucre where the legislature will meet today.

Hormando Vaca Diez, acting president after the resignation of Mesa is opposed by the mayors of a Paz, Cochabamba, Sucre, Potosí, Trinidad, El Alto and Oruro.

there are 90 entry points to the country which are blockaded.


Evo Morales leader of the coca growers union, is not climbing down, its 100% nationalisation or nothing.

the Oil companies are going to court claiming their investment is endangered and "expropriated".

the USA has backed Vaca Diez's scaled down nationalisation, and his approval of the use of the army to restore order. (this is how military rule begins)

the council of bishops led by Cardenal Archbishop Julio Terrazas Sandoval, a Redemptorist have last night made a statement calling for elections and opposing the presidential ambitions of Vaca Diez from the town of Alto.

the Aymara farmers groupings have further radicalised and are closing the roads, there is now a "territoriality" question. The legislature has left the capital where key bildings are occupied by protesters for a symbolic other city. The players are making their moves from yet another city in the provinces.

The Venezualans (who like Bolivia are a petrochemical producing nation) have accused Vaca Diez of seeking US support for a his illegal control of the state, these ideas are being widely reported, and include accusations of bribery of key army officers to support an imminent militarised regime.

background info:-

Local coverage:-
(spanish language)
(these two communication lines are cross-referencing)

We have a situation where those on the side of moral and ethical rights, have joined against those of capitalism, and the ancient oligarchy of south american ranchers who first dealt with the U$A on the collapse of the hispanic empire and the failure of the first bolivarian states feel that their rule backed by soldiers on the verge of a civil war might be considered legitimate in the wider world.

The Bolivian people did not elect Vaca Diez as their president. For him to rule till 2007 is unacceptable and must be seen for what it is-

more updates as they come-
(I'm now going to attend a bolivian consul demonstration & talk to local bolivians, & let you know what they say)

author by -publication date Thu Jun 09, 2005 14:16Report this post to the editors

BBC press overview:-
last online opinion poll indicates 47% support for , Eduardo Rodríguez as president (head of the judiciary) as against 13.74% for VacaDiez and 2.75% for Cosio. 35.71% "none of the above". But then again only 172 online voters have bothered polling since wednesday, which is an indication, that the situation has gone beyond opinion polls.
If you're into watching things, the very wealthy rancher heartland of Santa Cruz where Vaca Diez comes from, are clucking clucking : the country they feel "is immersed in one of the worst crises in its republican history". That's the sort of thinking that prepares military regimes.

author by ipublication date Thu Jun 09, 2005 16:16Report this post to the editors

at the door to the Bolivian Consul, Barcelona 14/6/05

"For The Dignity of the Bolivian People"

Bolivia is going towards the abyss, they tell us. And we ask - "& when did it leave it?" There are at least 8 million habitants of whom they ask again and again to renounce their wealth, to attend as spectators the constant expropriation of their gas, their petrol, their forests, their minerals, their water. They ask them to continue living in misery, as a folkloric decoration to the lamas and vicunas. Well then, the Bolivian people have said enough. Basta. We want to be owners of our own destiny. If we are standing on such wealth, "why has not even a mite touched us?" "Why do we have to attend barefoot the constant expropriation of our resources? Why do they want us to give up everything?

The responsibles for this chaos are not the indiginous aymaras who resist the bullets of the army, they are not the pollera [long-skirted] women who work up to 16 hours a day, they are not the peasants who break their backs on the ground, the masters who without resources attempt to give themselves the best. The responsiblies for chaos have their own names. They sit on the board of directors of companies such as Repsol, Petrobras, BP; through the IMF or the US embassy. It is they, and no others who are guilty for a region such as Potosí which has the highest infant mortality rate in all of Latin America. Where is the wealth Potosí gives the world?

At this moment, there are yet few minutes for the Bolivian congress to decide on acceptance or not of the resignation of Carlos Mesa. If it does, and Hormando Vaca Díez, the man of the trans-nationals assumes power, the whole country can submerge in a spiral of insanity and chaos from which it will only be able to escape with difficulty.

Hormando Vaca Díez is supported in the right wing sectors of the army, the "cruceña" extreme right, and the US embassy. He is a "hardliner" who will not hold doubts in asking for the intervention of the army against the demonstrators. Whilst they kill they will accuse of as always : violent : radicals : anti-system : coup d'etat supporters.... As president of the congress, Vaca Díez will give the appearance of democracy to what could convert itself de facto in a military-commercial government. The People? Silenced or dead.

For all we demand:
[this was in capitals]

1. That Hormando Vaca Díez renounces his pretensions to relieve Carlos Mesa as president : that the alliance of old creole parties MIR, MNR and NFR is a trap for the aspirations of the bolivian people.

2. That all the natural resources of the country be nationalised as is asked by the grass roots popular organisations.

3. That all protesters detained in the last days be granted their liberty. The machinery of repression which has begun in Bolvia and ashamedly we know what it takes to stop it.

4. That the temptation of military intervention ceases. The destiny of Bolivians belongs to the Bolivian people, not to the military financed vy trans-national capital.

[end capitals]

This is what we proclaim before the doors of this consul, so that our voice be heard in the hearts of the millions of Bolivians who struggle for their land.

(((The concentration was called yesterday, and saw around 30 to 40 people attend, with a banner calling for "bolivian gas for their people". There was a minimal police presence which ahem doubled as soon as I arrived, ( I swear they follow me ). They informed the little group of human rights activists and members of the "solidarity comitee with indiginous american peoples" that a decision had been made further up the chain of command for them to take down their banner, and if poss "move along there". Which is what they did aoubt 35 minutes after sort of clogging up the pavement which is narrow and filled with moped parking spots. They were and are a civilised bunch of people. The last great influx of bolivian migrants and economic refugees to Europe arrived mostly in Spain and Barcelona in 2000 the year of the "water war" when the bolivians fought against what can only be termed imperialistic theft of their water.
many stayed & are fully integrated, I spotted two badges for the first mediterranean social forum which will be held here Jun16-18. Just before I left, and having chatted to a few bolivians and realising that the coverage reflects well the alliance of solidarity, a moped driver arrived, "what's this about?" he asked looking at the patchwork rainbow flag on a lampost (the protesters had obediently taken down their banner for the police) bolivia said one. "Oh the elections, rather the *non-elections*" this passerby said.)))

more updates soon-

They break their back growing coca, their kids die and what's left for them? "folklore tourism"? Its their Gas. BASTA!
They break their back growing coca, their kids die and what's left for them? "folklore tourism"? Its their Gas. BASTA!

author by $%€publication date Thu Jun 09, 2005 16:30Report this post to the editors

BP (British Petroleum) motto :-
"Burning the Planet"
established in bolivia since capitalisation of oil in 1999, BP directly employs 10 employees in the country - 3 in Chaco and 7 in Air BP. Chaco has 231 employees, and is one of the most profitable subsidiaries in oil exploration in South America In mid 2000, Chaco fulfilled its investment commitment of $US 307. (Oil companies put figures like that and you read without seeing it the "million" aint that sweet?)

Repsol YPF
The Spanish equivalent of BP, repsol directly employs and owns its enterprises in Bolivia established since 1994 and has consistently been accused of corporative abuse, today the Spanish stock market lost 0.75% on total value, but the telly stock went up coz someone out there doesn't want it going pop, meanwhile Spain is withdrawing its citizens. Repsol YPF is going to sue the Bolivian government.

author by -publication date Thu Jun 09, 2005 17:08Report this post to the editors

is reported as having sent letters to the secretary general of the UN and the presidencies of neighbouring countries Brazil and Argentina asking for observers to be sent as a sign of how seriously the region and the world take the crises and polarisation of Bolivian politics and the perceived threat to democracy.
So if you're like Mr Geldof or someone with you know "standing in the community" say something now, before a "military-commercial junta" takes over.

author by musicapublication date Thu Jun 09, 2005 17:12Report this post to the editors

the words of one of the songs being sung by those pollera women as they ask with as good a nature as any woman who works 16 hours a day in one of the poorest country on earth whilst it exports one of the largest % of gas the little soldiers not to shoot them-
"sure it could be their son"
Send these lyrics to Mr Geldof, he could do a Manu Chou type cover.

author by -publication date Thu Jun 09, 2005 17:34Report this post to the editors

The Spanish foreign ministry have confirmed that they've talked to Antonio Brufau director RepsolYPF and are supervising the evacuation of the "colony" of workers & offering the company their assistance and support, and the state news agency has confirmed the "concensus" amongst diplomats and anaylsts is that the worst case scenario is senator Hormando Vaca Díez holding the presidency.
The telephone is ring ring ringing, from Repsol, to the OAS, (see other press) to Condolence Rice, to the UN to all of it. The local writers are describing and sending photos of dead on the street, the food is going, the place is a mess, and they're entering into that territory of being really really brave for saying what they're saying, coz if it goes "worst case scenario" they're on the list. "how you getting in if you're not on the list?".
Let's go through it really simply-

* elections.
* observed.
* aid = money give em loads of money. "they're a deserving cause"
* its their water, their gas, their oil persuade them they're getting well paid for it, since they're amongst the poorest on earth, this mightn't cost you that much.
* stop making 67% of the population feel like a backdrop to tacky tourism give 'em schools and hospitals.
* Peace = justice = no trickery

(see? the really simple stuff doesn't change much)
Meanwhile rights activists in Sucre (where the government are meeting) are renewing interest in the massacre of 2003 see link for photos

Out of decency I have never published a photo of dead bodies.
Out of decency I have never published a photo of dead bodies.

author by redjadepublication date Thu Jun 09, 2005 18:12Report this post to the editors

Zero Hour in Bolivia: What to Watch for Today
By Al Giordano,
Posted on Thu Jun 9th, 2005 at 08:42:57 AM EST

“Pal cementerio se va
La vaca de mala leche
Pal cementerio se va
Ni dios le va a perdonar”

- Manu Chao

It is 4:30 in the morning somewhere in a country called América, the coffee percolates on a lucky stove where there is still gas: Authentic Journalism cannot sleep. A day of reckoning is upon us.

Today, the ghosts of Bolivia’s 180 years of simulated democracy will haunt the empty halls of the Bolivian Congress in La Paz at 10:30 a.m. as the Senators and Deputies of the disgraced official parties convene 740 kilometers away, in Sucre, to sign a death warrant on a nation’s hopes for authentic democracy.

By the dawn’s early light thousands of farmers, miners, students, teachers, manual laborers, maids, gardeners, elders and children, chewing coca leaf and carrying ancient memories and dreams of self-determination, are moving toward Sucre en masse...

author by imacdpublication date Thu Jun 09, 2005 18:29Report this post to the editors

Alconada Sempé an ex-minister of the Argentinian social democrat government under Raúl Alfonsín(1983-89) is currently an advisor to the UN program on development PNUD in Venezuala and Bolivia, got the plane at mid-day, and will be accompanied on this mission by Marco Aurelio García a founding member of the Brazilian socialist party (PTB) and currently advisor to president Lulu, and José Ocampo a Colombian economist who is an ex-director of the UN Economic commission for Latin America & carribean.
Their presence was requested by Mesa on wednesday by telephone.
The hearing which was scheduled for 10h30 local time may continue till Friday amidst "a lot of debate", and the presence of thousands of protesters.
In case you're veryslow, they must decide-
* to accept or not the resignation of Mesa.
* if "yes" to refuse to grant presidential powers to either Vaca Díez or Cossio.
* in which case to grant presidential powers to Eduardo Rodríguez, the supreme judger, who is obliged to call :
* immediate elections.

This link from colombia-

contrasts with this from cuba-
La Paz has been closed/beseiged since May 16 and El Alto since May 23, and now the leader of the Bolivian workers in el Alto has announced that he and other unions have declared a workers assembly. "Former President" Mesa, MAS (evo morales leading the really poor farmer people) grass root organisations, unions of the miners, the Pope in Rome and his cardinal in El Alto, and seven municipal heads (mayors including El Alto) are asking that the "constitutional mechanism" of the presidency passing to the "chairmen" of either senate of parliament be pro-rogated in favour of the president of the supreme court who is obliged to call :
* immediate elections.

I reckon it boils down to
*immediate elections.
I have the instinct that when all is heated up & bothered, the residue will say
*immediate elections.

Ireland is currently in summer time GMT+1 Bolivia is 5 hours behind, my little hand points @ 6 and the little hand @ 27 past, your little hand @ 5 and lots of bolivians don't have little hands @ all but if they did it would be half past 12, unless of course they were german-bolivians in which case it would be an ethnic cultural battle between half one and half twelve and the experienced "concensus" type would settle for saying it in 24 hour format like this-

author by iosafpublication date Thu Jun 09, 2005 21:37Report this post to the editors

= around now-ish.

"Let's get geographical"

Those who support the constitutional claims of 1) Vaca Díez to the presidency as leader of the Senate and 2) Cossio as leader of the chamber of deputies are the members and voters of 2 parties MIR, MNR and are concentrated in the west of the country they also rely on support in the richest central lowland area of Santa Cruz. The city where the 27 senators and 130 deputies are at this moment, Sucre is 579km south of La Paz, (a city for all intensive purposes "out of order") where dead are being collected in the scores. The meeting of the parliamentarians is being held in the "casa de la libertad", Sucre, where the declaration of independence was signed for bolivia in 1825. The mayor(-ess) of Sucre Aydé Nava has joined with 14 other members of the municipal council of that city on hunger strike today demanding that both the "unacceptable" candidates forego their constitutional right to the presidency and themselves resign in favour of the supreme court judge, she and her fellow hungerstrikers are in the city council building 20 metres away from casa de la libertad.
The city is surrounded by army (anwerable to the state but at higher level "sympathetic to the senator") but is itself under police control (answering to the municipal authority) and all official buildings have closed, including the university, the council (the hungerstrikers are locked in to boot) and the food market to "calm" the local situation and avoid concentration points for very polarised people to say unkind words to each other. For the moment no-one has been arrested in Sucre, the perimeter line at 100 metres from both city council and government building "the birthplace of bolivia" is being held by police (who aren't shooting) and (I suppose you could say they're holding the line as well) students, trade unionists, campesinos, miners and others with fireworks (this is firework season). This is the first time in 106 years that the city of Sucre (the symbolic capital) has seen a meeting of the national government.
The VIP observers from Argentina Brazil and Colombia also representing the UN have arrived.

This link is from EFE (spanish bbc state media) working with the main commercial Chile TV station.

author by ~publication date Thu Jun 09, 2005 21:54Report this post to the editors

After the president, the chief of the armed forces is the admiral Luis Aranda, he yesterday "slapped down" lower ranking officers for getting political and has denied that the armed forces are planning a coup.
The quicker amongst you will be thinking - Bolivia has no coastline, and you'd be right, Bolivia lost her coastline to Chile in 1884 and the role of the 3800 navy is now mostly confined to border work on Lake Titicaca which at over 12,000 foot is the highest lake in the world and is shared with Peru their one seagoing vessel is kept in Argentina and cruises on the river Plate and has never been near Bolivia.

Anyway, geography trivia, military trivia...

Aranda has said he hopes the government will
"know how to interpet the feeling of all bolivians"..."we try to act at all moments with serenity, professionalism to aviod the sheddinf blood between bolivians, and that is the reason for what we are now doing" [giving a press conference at Milaflores barracks in La Paz].
old link (yesterday but in engurlish)

& the latest person to get commenting is Rodrigo Rato, the former minister of Aznar, who is currently the number one of the IMF, he has said they want "A political and social decision, transparent and effective"...."the world bank and the IMF are here to help governments". ribbid ribbid ratty señor Rato.

I counsel against a civil war.
coz I'm a pacifist. But if one happens you'll see a east / west split, with wholescale urban deprivation and refugees going into Peru and Chile rather than Brazil and the question would be the ability of El Alto to defend itself. But its not going to come to that. Ratzinger's redemptorist is in el Alto and Holy Joe no make war.

author by eeekkkkkpublication date Thu Jun 09, 2005 23:22Report this post to the editors

Thursday morning update 6/9/05

> The truth is that I am not very convinced that this update is useful since very shortly in Sucre the fate of the country is scheduled to be decided by a special session of Congress -the first held there in over 100 years and only the second in the last century and a half to be held in the nation's capital. All indications are that Vaca Diez (MIR) has firmed up his political alliances with the other right wing traditional parties (MNR, ADN, NFR), important sectors of the military, Eastern elite and the USE to accept Mesa's resignation and Constitutionally accede Vaca Diez to the country's presidency legally for the next two years. This despite his and Cossio's rumored promise to the Bishops that they would resign along with Mesa in order to call for early elections. Once again, Mesa miscalculated and jumped the gun, resigning on Monday night while Vaca Diez and Cossio apparently were negotiating the new government's Cabinet and "Plan" along traditional corrupt power sharing schemes. IF THIS SCENARIO INDEED PLAYS OUT IN THE NEXT SEVERAL HOURS THEN MOST EXPERTS EXPECT A CIVIL WAR TO ENSUE. Even though leaked information of VD's PLAN suggest he will call for a Constitutional Assembly and Autonomy Referendum AS WELL AS SOMEHOW SUGGEST NATURAL RESOURCE NATIONALIZATION, in an initial effort to appease his opposition, no one believes he has any real intention of completing these promises other than the AUTONOMY option. Mesa has made last minute appeals to the nation and neighboring countries (Argentina and Brazil) that civil war be avoided -one fears once again, too little, too late. Below are listed some of the key protests against this scenario:

1) El Alto has declared self-rule under a National and First People's Assembly -they have cut off all access to LP including food and gas
2) All the important mayors of the Western part of the country (El Alto, LP, CBBA, etc) are on hunger strikes against Vaca Diez's presidency and for early elections, etc -Western dept Comites Civicos are also organizing against VD as are business councils around the country
3) The Church has called for a national day of prayer and admits they do not support VD and also call for early elections -the DdP and HHRRs also reject VD
> 4) Miners and nearby peasants are marching to Sucre to keep vigil on what happens while the majority of protestors remain in LP ready for the worst (if VD becomes president then everyone expects him to use police/military force to disperse urban manifestations and rural blockades) -in response 100s of extra police and military have been sent to Sucre
5) It is variably reported that the MAS will and/or will not attend the special session of Congress this morning -I think they WILL attend but also have as backup social movement protests if the vote goes as expected to VD
Now I must go watch tv to see what will actually happens as the military are just now giving a live press conference supporting today's special Congressional session.

author by iosafpublication date Fri Jun 10, 2005 11:13Report this post to the editors

1) the resignation of Carlos Mesa was accepted.
2) the constitutional mechanism was over-ruled.
3) Hormando Vaca Díez thus did not become Pressie
4) Mario Cossío thus did not become Pressie.
5) the Supreme Court judge Eduardo Rodríguez Veltzé became interim provisional Pressie, and now they'll have
6) elections.

Before that...
* There were ongoing clashes in Sucre one miner died.

* Vaca Díez justified his withdrawl as being for "the unity of our country, so that the confrontations end, and Bolivia restores normaliy and that the experiences lived in recent days in our country never be repeated".

* Mario Cossío justified his withdrawl as being "in search of the best days for the country, of a true meeting again of bolivians working for a common future"

At 00h00 local time, Eduardo Rodríguez Veltzé was sworn in, and though not naming a date, spoke of the great need for concensus, dialogue, calming down, and reminded all that his appointment was constitutional, he is a judge, and such represents no party politics or personal politics. Elections must be held within 180 days.

Chronology from Paraguay (in spanish) of the Bolivian story since 2003.

It's now time to reflect.
I'll update you soon, but at the moment all there is to tell is "oil down 1000 barrels from here, down 500 barrels from there, one miner dead here, women praying for peace there, he should have stayed, he shouldn't have gone, its their fault, its not their fault". Bolivia has truly come to the edge but for many of its people as expressed yesterday in that statement at one of the bolivian consuls, they are constantly living on the edge. Certain of the poorest communities have declared "autonomy" (not much of a change from before) but that does not really change the destiny of the 8million nation when considered as a state, with constitution, army, police, politics.
We hope the scarf on the new provisional presidents shoulders, reflects the interest of all bolivians and those in solidarity with indiginous peoples in America in improving the living conditions of those people "up the hills". They have come to the table, and the news. But now allow them to "reflect".

(((I'm off to look at the Zimbabwe story)))

The Provisional President of Bolivia leaves the building with an indiginous scarf.
The Provisional President of Bolivia leaves the building with an indiginous scarf.

author by redjadepublication date Fri Jun 10, 2005 13:25Report this post to the editors

Thursday, June 09, 2005
Vaca Diez Relents
A short while ago the President of the Bolivian Senate, Hormando Vaca Diez, announced that he would not seek to assume the Presidency if the Congress, as expected, accepts President Carlos Mesa’s resignation.

For those who have not been following this story closely, Bolivia has been besieged by intense protests for the past 24 hours by miners, campesino organizations, labor groups, and hunger strikes by mayors and other public officials demanding that the Santa Cruz politician not take the Presidency. House leader Mario Cossio, next in the constitutional line of succession after Vaca Diez, had already declared his refusal of the Presidency.

As I write, the Bolivian Congress is meeting in late night session in Sucre where the likely outcome is the acceptance of Mesa’s resignation (which will no doubt make him elated to be leaving the toughest job on Earth) handing the Presidency to the President of the Supreme Court, Eduardo Rodriguez. This also triggers a constitutional requirement for new elections.

Related Link:
author by redjadepublication date Fri Jun 10, 2005 13:39Report this post to the editors

English Translation

The last thing my friend from indymedia La Paz said to me:

imcista: Well brother, the troops are arriving in El Alto (near La Paz) and Cochabamba.

imcista: we are going to go find someplace more secure

imcista: keep in touch and please spread to the world what is happening here.

- - - - -

What happens next? The protests continue. They were never about pushing Mesa out of office, nor forcing new elections under the same corrupt rules. The central demand of real re-nationalization of natural gas and oil remains. The equally real and in many ways more important demand of a constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution and bolivian political system will drive the protests forward.

- - - - - -

Nobody knows what happens, but one indymedia activist said to me on irc, "probably there is going to be a coup."

We are going to be raising money, to help pay for indymedia coverage and to help the social movements at this critical moment in the struggle against neoliberalism and racism and for indigenous radical democracy and equality.

author by iosafpublication date Sat Jun 11, 2005 12:26Report this post to the editors

it is in its second day. It shall hold for at least 9 more days till the interim cabinet is named, and at best till the next general elections which must be held within 178 days in the meantime the new presidency shall fulfill the programme of government of Carlos Mesa
The country is polarised. It is one of the poorest on earth, yet hardly figures in the "imperial congress G8 appeal" of British propaganda which this year focusses on its post imperialist legacy in africa.

you can make no half measures on debt cancellation.
Globalised capitalism must figure out a way to go on without hammering the poorest nations on earth.

If the highland folk win the upcoming election, then the nationalisation curve in Bolivia will provoke yet more serious problems for the *state* of Bolivia. The *state* can not afford to indemnify the investment made in the exploitation of its resources by the oil players. There will not immediately be a civil war, and all those in solidarity with american indiginous peoples, and the american poor have done and will do their best to avert such a disaster. A war would solve nothing & only make everything worse. So creative thinking is called for, and reflection.
Those of El Alto and those who support Evo Morales want *local autonomy* and they should be allowed develop it, but that goes beyond merely financing hospitals and schools, it touches on their economic activity and cashcrops - soya and coca. We might think did the Zapatista communities ever seriously contemplate the administration of all of mexico's urban areas?
They want the money from the gas, reasonable, but getting that money might cost more than its worth. Bolivia is a microcosm of latin america but perhaps at an earlier stage of its political and economic development. When something happens, or emerges from the "*reflection*" I'll let you know.
meanwhile, consider that Bolivia has help.
that Bolivians can count in this next period on advice and solidarity in the search for concensus, dialogue, justice and true liberty.


author by iosafpublication date Wed Jun 15, 2005 22:07Report this post to the editors

the mainstream press talk of the country returning to normal, the urban services such as they are - waste collection, sanitation, transport, postal services, telecomunications, logistic supply of food, fuel and winter clothing etc working.
the social movements of their various hues are talking, debating, arguing, parsing the threads of their past and future. And a visit to bolivia indymedia bears this out, there have been more genuine opinion posts in the last two days than during the whole previous month. They are looking to and at the elections, they were so fearful of not having.
And remembering the miner who died on the last day of the national and trans-national struggle for those elections, which we remember saw the political class move to the symbolic seat of independence in Sucre.
There is therefore a video of the commemoration and a feature article on same at bolivia indymedia-
or if it's been update you can access here click on the link in red colour type "video homenaje al minero caido"-

The miners are obviously an emotive mobilised section of the community, and one whose very real and very hard work, defines them for us as just that "workers". They have for their part accepted the "social treaty" but have not diluted their demands one iota, for nationalisation.
The campesinos are another section of the community, and numbering much more than miners live on the land, tending the crops, both legal and illegal, of in order of production soya, coca, cocoa,coffee etc. They too, are honouring the "social treaty" and their cause has seen the most internationally lauded recognition. From the scarf which found its way unto the provisional president's shoulders in the illustration above, to the new weight they find in the interim cabinet. Their discussion therefore is not just the future of the agricultural autonomies, or the economic benefit they accrue from producing the main cashcrop staples of the richest nations on earth, but also of the line which will be held once they assume greater power.
For the campesinos are on their way to power.
And that means wondering quite naturally how much of their revolutionary fervour & idealism may yet survive the "c-word" at that big table where bolivia is quite a power-less state will change the actual conditions of their nation.
Evo Morales is thus their focus of sustained "REFLECTION".

More updates when there's something to add-

author by iosafpublication date Wed Jun 22, 2005 15:37Report this post to the editors

They called it "new year 5513". Curious these revivals of ancient beliefs, many of these andean communities of indiginous peoples have kept their belief traditions intact, but many more absorbed occidental religious forms through the latin american conquest period, and as in europe, many of the texts and numbers of "hocus pocus" used for occasions such as solstice are of dubious authenticity, to date the year 5513, is to use a Mayan system, one which was not deciphered till within the last century, and the calander system of another part of the continent not the andean mountains. It seems a bit "folksy" to me, as silly as the painting of Hipetia the pagan mathematician murdered and defiled at Alexandria by the early christians during their destruction of the cultural legacy they _wished not see_. [ use search engine for article -" the day sin died "] Still people like to dress up for summer solstice and that you can't deny, and they love to go up a sacred mountain and chant, and point at the sun. But when we use such acitivity as proof of an indiginous tradition which is threatened by neo-liberal globalisation, we are pushing the envelope a tad, as much as a galician who claims a socialist government would raise communion dress hems.

Anyway, Bolivia is still "reflecting", and the political struggle of the indiginous movement there is being influenced as much as influencing those many thousands of kilometres north in the mountains of Chiapas, Mexico.

Thus are these two places "joined" somehow.

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author by iosafpublication date Fri Jul 01, 2005 17:08Report this post to the editors

Eduardo Rodriguez answers questions from LaVanguardia the barcelona based middle of the road commercial spanish daily on the forthcoming elections, which he say will be as transparent as possible, on the "approach to civil war" which he downplays, saying though the crises was fundamentally of the political process and before the elections it is neccesary to restore democratic representation and the legitamacy of the legislature and for that a complete new government of congress, senate, vice president and president is needed.
He has not declared in opposition to the plan by the Santa Cruz region to hold its own referendum before hand, though neither has he expressed support saying that resulting from a petition it is a legitimate political move. On the "hydrocarbon" question, (or indeed the questions of oil and gas) he has said that his government is one of _transition_ that the constitution shall be honoured firstmost, and that Bolivia will honour its commitments abroad.

When asked how he sees Evo Morales, he answers "I understand that Mister Morales, as any political leader, has the level of participation which keeps in order the bolivian democratic system, no more or less". To which the interview riposted
"also the capability to paralise the country..."
Which closed the interview with interim Bolivian president Rodriguez answering "I am not going to pass any more comment in that respect"

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author by iosafpublication date Wed Nov 02, 2005 14:21Report this post to the editors

Bolivians go to the polls to vote and not vote on the 18th of december 2005.

author by iosafpublication date Fri Dec 16, 2005 10:56Report this post to the editors

As is traditional in all spanish speaking countries there will now be a day free of TV adverts and radio adverts ahead of the polling on Sunday to allow the voters and enfranchised the serenity they need to decide if they can be bothered voting.
Of course as most mature observeres of democracy know, the weather is crucial. If its cold turnout will be low. Likewise if its hot, turnout will be low. This is because everyone will either stay at home or go to the beach. If you read the whole article above and all the comments you'll learn why this election is important and get a scope of all those who are interested. You'll also note that Bolivians despite having a navy don't have a seaside or coast. So there'll be no "hot weather = poor voter turnout = they all went to the beach" excuses.

The sensible money is on Evo Morales btw. & if he is elected, Bolivia will be as "polarised" (read the whole article) as before, but will most definitely have moved into the "left / radical" presidential sphere along with most of the rest of South America. & that is exactly what we have all wanted.
& thereafter the rôle of the Congress (who all those months ago moved en masse to Sucre to hold emergency session) will be very important and _constitutional_.

last minute links:-
for their part the BBC (donning their aunty Lucy hat and speaking spanish) remind us all that the USA are talking tough on the drug production question.

and of course our beloved and respected colleauges in Bolivia indymedia

author by iosafpublication date Mon Dec 19, 2005 13:43Report this post to the editors

the former Coca farmer at age 46, shall now become the first indiginous president of Bolivia.

In the capital La Paz voting for him reached 57,7% according to some pollsters which if true would set a national record. MORI yesterday estimated 45% against 33% for right wing rival Quiroga, whilst Ipsos-Captura, (another poll company) put Morales with 44.5% against 34.3%.

3.6 millon bolivians were called to the ballot boxes.
Bolivia has the 2nd largest reserve of gas in south America after Venezuela. Morales has said before that he will nationalise that reserve. IF he does so, the multinationals will sue Bolivia.

constantly updating info on the man-

they voted for him. He is their leader. He will give them their Gas.
they voted for him. He is their leader. He will give them their Gas.

author by ipsiphipublication date Tue Dec 27, 2005 21:52Report this post to the editors

Evo Morales is due to be sworn in as president of Bolivia on the 22nd of january 2006. He is destined to be the 64th official president of the republic when he takes over from the interim president. You may now like to look above at comment 12 and see in the photo that "interim president" leaving the emergency session of Bolivia's congress in an indiginous scarf. Of course its not really an indiginous scarf. Their budget doesn't stretch to that sort of quality. Its a scarf with a pattern of colours which in the last years has come to be accepted as representing the indiginous communities of South America. To a certain extent it reflects both their diversity and famed use of many colours and the parallel introduction of the "rainbow flag" to represent the widest possible global peace movement. Ah yes, considering the enthusiasm that the RC gave in its support of the "rainbow flag" for "peace" as opposed to its earlier semiotic of "gay liberation" we may then presume that the RC church takes an interest in this regime change as well. Whereupon we read the whole article again, as do our best to remember how important the RC church actually was in averting a civil war. I have an "indiginous scarf" too as it happens along with the flag, if I remember correctly it was a RC priest who gave them to me.

Morales will also be the fifth president since the start of the millenium. No career advisor would tell him to feel settled soon. I know I'm going to be writing a lot on Bolivia (as well as most South America) in 2006 becuase one can not treat on one without the other. But for the moment, please remember that Bolivian poverty is not just a question of the control of hydrocarbons. It is also a question of water. A question of debt. A question of history. Most of these questions may not be answered by any regime of one of the poorest states on earth. All that changes with such an election and finely managed constitutional process (N.B. the scarf) is that the "radical left" now assumes responsibility for the misery.

During 2004 in the lead-up to the crises which led to the election, I was employed as a "linguistic advisor" to a swiss banker. His employers have gone from the 8th largest player in South America to the largest, whilst jumping into position 7 on the world stage. I learnt quite a lot from his conversation. i learnt that his bank actively desired and backed the introduction of left wign regimes in South America as well as poorer states of Europe. Zapatero in Spain, Socrates in Portugal, Lula in Brazil all being perfectly acceptable to global capital as "knowing how to deal with their own poor". Odd isn't it? that the poor voters vote against such power, to see the most acceptable continuation of that power. Which is perchance why eventually they stop voting.

Finally please do not consider Bolivia as an isolated case. Its too poor and too small. But do remember the rehaul of mercosur in 2005 and the declaration by Blair and Zapatero (oh those lefties!!!) to forge a new South America under the joint tutelage of Lula & Chavez. & never ever forget ofits which have derived from all this to you and your European neighbours has been in order of importance :- Financial services and banking, Telecommunications, Arms and military supplies and revised petrochemical contracts.

Ah yes. Latin America is in its "transition" to democracy. Sweet isn't it?

author by Ray McInerney - Global Country of World Peacepublication date Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:16author email raymond.mcinerney at ul dot ieauthor address Limerick, Irelandauthor phone 00353860638611Report this post to the editors

The Aymara people of Lake Titicaca, Bolivia, have a traditional adoration for Natural Law which has naturally inclined them to appreciate Vedic knowledge and to value Maharishi's Programmes to Create Invincibility in their nation.

It is extraordinary that a whole community of 600 Aymara people would grasp the idea that their community could become invincible through meditation and approach the teachers of Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation Programme for instruction.

The whole community, including the traditional rulers and the schools—children, parents, teachers, and administrators—have all now learnt Transcendental Meditation and will practice together as a community, in three schools.

When the President of Bolivia took office last year, he went to the sacred place of the Aymaras in the Andes, close to Santiago de Machaqa, for the ceremony of a traditional ruler, and addressed the people from there.

There are 11 traditional Aymara rulers in the region, and word of invincibility through Maharishi's programmes is spreading through them to other traditional areas. Thus there is a good possibility that a major group could soon be creating invincibility for the whole continent, from the very heart of Latin America.

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