An article on the latest developments in the crisis in Bolivia. Translated from the Spanish from econoticias bolivia
The indigenous president, who only has control over the Altiplano and part of the valleys, has opened dialogue with the fascist oligarchy who have absolute power in the other half of the country and who are massacring peasants and indigenous people without mercy.
La Paz, 12th September 2008 – Bolivia’s peasant-indigenous government led by Evo Morales, and the traitorous fascist oligarchy, who control the east and the valleys, this evening began round-table negotiations designed to pacify the country.
The meeting took place from 6pm in La Paz, following president Morales’ public invitation to the right-wing Tarija governor Mario Cossío, who represented the oppositionist governors who no longer recognise Morales’ government and who have unleashed a wave of fascist terror in Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando and Tarija.
This spiral of violence was at its most savage this Thursday in Pando, on the Brazilian border. Government reports indicate that eight people were shot dead and twenty were wounded. However, according to unofficial supports by the MAS senator Abraham Cuéllar, the fascist attack against the Pando peasantry actually killed six more people than the official reports say.
Morales’ government’s objective is “to initiate a dialogue with no conditions and no pre-determined limits, which will allow us to find a solution to the country’s political crisis”, reported the government news agency ABI.
At a press conference the Minister for the Presidency Juan Ramón Quintana emphasised the openness to dialogue expressed by Cossío and offered a plane to take him from Tarija to the seat of government.
Quintana expressed his pleasure at the sentiment the Tarija governor expressed towards re-opening dialogue, despite the fact that in recent weeks Cossío had refused to do so, causing “so many outrages, irreparable damage and pain for the people of Bolivia”.
Despite this attitude the government re-affirmed its intention to renew a productive dialogue. “This willingness to negotiate means that there must be no pre-conditions. We invite you to a meeting today [Friday 12th] at 6pm at the Palacio de Gobierno. If you need it, we can supply a small plane to bring you to La Paz”, declared the Minister for the Presidency.
The negotiations have opened at the same time that the indigenous president Evo Morales, who one month ago won the electoral support of seven of every ten Bolivians, has virtually handed over half of the country in the face of the violence unleashed by the oligarchy and the fascists.
Fascist groups are staging massacres and killing peasants and indigenous people with impunity; and they have control over public institutions, highways, airports and the streets of the cities of Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando, Tarija and Sucre. The far right has consolidated its power in the east and in the valleys of Bolivia, after overcoming the weak resistance of the Police and Army, who at Morales’ orders have withdrawn to their barracks, not giving any protection to trade unionists and peasants.
In five of the nine provinces of South America’s poorest country, fascists are setting up shop with total impunity, having managed to raise the flag of ‘regional autonomy’ and thus to arraign behind themselves thousands of young people and large sections of the middle class and civil society organisations, terrorising trade unionists, the Altiplano immigrant population and activists loyal to Morales, many of whom have gone into hiding.