Translated from the Spanish from Econoticias Bolivia
La Paz, September 15th 2008: Amidst the pain suffered by the Bolivian people and the moral condemnation they have made of the murder of almost thirty peasants in the north of Bolivia, who were attacked by the oligarchy and fascists acting with impunity, in La Paz dialogue continues between Evo Morales’ indigenous government and the fascist National Democratic Council (Conalde) which brings together the genocidal right-wing opposition governors.
Meeting in the Palacio de Gobierno, Morales’ ministers and the fascists, represented by Tarija governor Mario Cossío, announced in the early hours of Monday morning that the parties had made important steps towards reaching a preliminary agreement.
The meeting, which was held in the Palacio Quemada, began at 7pm on Sunday evening and lasted until 2:15am on Monday morning.
The vice-minister of decentralisation, Fabián Yaksic, said that progress had been made and stressed president Evo Morales’ participaction in the meeting, which ratified his conciliatory pact with the oligarchy who control almost all the main cities in the east and the valleys, including Santa Cruz, Trinidad, Tarija, Sucre, Montero and Cobija, although now only in part after the intervention of Army and Police forces to aid the wounded.
“What we have done is to proceed from the basis of agreement decided on Friday [at the start of negotiations]. We had been working on a document for all to sign, which of course needs much more complicated work put in to it, since it will reflect all the progress we made on Friday”, he explained.
Yaksic said that it was important that Cossío consulted with his governor colleagues – among those who meet with the genocidal Leopoldo Fernández, the Pando governor who ordered the massacre of the peasantry – to discuss progress made and the suggested deal.
At the conclusion of the La Paz meeting the right-wing governor Cossío informed the press that “we have 80 percent agreement on the basis of a preliminary agreement which will allow us to continue a meaningful dialogue to resolve the political and social crisis the country is going through”.
He commented that in the course of the day on Monday he had made the relevant consultations with his governor colleagues before again sitting down to negotiations that evening.
“We were heading in the right direction, but it is best to take our time, so we agreed to continue on Monday evening when the president is back from Chile”, he stated, adding that he did not put conditions on continuing dialogue.
Yaksic said that the proposed document would allow the government and the provincial governors to work together in peace, under the understanding that they would have to respect the rule of law.
The document drawn up last night set out the conditions for negotiation. For example, defining who will take part on the dialogue, which issues are to be discussed, who will mediate and how an agreement will be reached. The local press suggested that discussions would relate to the bill for a State Political Constitution, provincial autonomy and the redistribution of the Direct Hydrocarbons Tax (IDH)
Negotiations begin after 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.