Yesterday, the country’s Defense Democracy bloc called the citizens’ strike successful, despite the fact that civil groups from the Movement towards Socialism (MAS) and the police intimidated and suppressed the mobilized sector that promoted the annulment of the law against the legitimation of illegal profits and the cessation of political persecution, among other things.
The concentrations and sporadic blockades were the joint protests in seven regions of the country with the greatest force in Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, La Paz and Potosí. In the first two, mobilizations continued yesterday evening.
Although the transport sector and private activities functioned normally, the working day in the cities was abnormal due to the partial paralysis of public function and commercial activity. Little traffic was observed and many people preferred to stay at home.
For the government, the strike was a failure. President Luis Arce Catacora said in Cobija that a minority are protesting against the government’s measures and that “the disastrous times of 2019, when the coup took place, will not return”.
At the end of the day, the country’s trade union sector gave the government 72 hours to repeal the Illegal Profits Legislation or it will resume pressure. Meanwhile, the citizenry is maintaining the state of emergency in the country.
The Mayor of La Paz, Iván Arias, confirmed that the “citizen mobilization was a success” and condemned the fact that “MAS paramilitary groups violently suppressed protesters” on the streets and squares of the city where the government is located.
“The citizen mobilization was a success. The legitimation draft was rejected and must be submitted. I charge MAS paramilitary groups for violently suppressing protesters, ”the mayor of La Paz said on his Twitter account.
Pro Santa Cruz Committee representative Rómulo Calvo described the day of the strike as “energetic” and advised President Arce not to make the same mistakes as former President Evo Morales.
“We carried out a mobilized strike, that is, it was paralyzed in some cities like Santa Cruz, Potosí, but the mobilization was very important because we managed to take to the streets, mobilize civic groups and then we have that Police faced, “said Manuel Morales, representative of the National Committee for the Defense of Democracy (Conade).
He denounces the systematic presence of extremely violent and aggressive shock groups willing to use force to lift the blockade, which shows that they are paratroopers or paramilitary groups.
“On this very special day, two women were attacked: one, Congresswoman Campero (Luciana) in Tarija, and a woman with her red, yellow and green chinstrap with her puppy in La Paz, who is molested in public, cornered and street was struck. This is a government where MAS movements are extremely violent and even involved in criminal and fascist activities, ”he denounced.
He added that social movements, along with the police, were responsible for the unblocking. “It is a shame that the police have been co-opted by the MAS and are ready to go out and suppress the citizens to defend this government.”
There were no mobilizations in Beni and Pando
The citizens’ strike to reject the bill against the legitimation of illegal profits was carried out under threat of confrontation, gassing, assault and two detainees.
The strike was respected by civil organizations, trade unions and some institutions in different regions.
In Santa Cruz the pressure measurement was observed with great force.
In Cochabamba, sporadic marches and blockades were recorded.
In La Paz, blockades were carried out in various areas, which were harassed by groups appointed by the MAS in order to prevent them from doing so.
While Tarija reported 80 percent compliance with the civil strike.
In Chuquisaca and the capital, the day was normal, the institutions did not adhere to the measure; except for the government, which joined the strike.
The strike was not observed in Pando and Beni, but according to press reports in Trinidad it was blocked at the four points of the main square.
There were union marches in Oruro.
In Potosí the strike increased in strength and the march called by the Comité Cívico Potosinista (Comcipo) was held in large numbers.
The President of Compipo, Juan Carlos Manuel, announced that after evaluating the 24-hour strike, new protests would be defined until their demands were met.
In the opinion of political scientist Marcelo Arequipa, this is another sign that the country is polarized and that Bolivia is again “generating a high degree of polarization and that it is strategically not a good idea that the MAS has mobilized”. its sectors to repel lockdowns. I think it’s a mistake, because in the idea of showing strength, on the contrary, they showed violence, “the political scientist told Urgente.bo.
The President of the Bolivian Chamber of Deputies, Freddy Mamani, thought the citizens’ strike had failed.
The legislature conceded that despite sporadic blockades “by identified officials” the “conscience of the Bolivian people” prevailed.
Mining cooperatives challenge the government and reject the law
The mining cooperatives rejected the bill against the legitimation of illegal profits. They warned the government that if they don’t give up their stance, they will be measured on the streets to see who will win; They also questioned that there is no law for coca farmers to pay taxes and take away the wealth created by drug trafficking.
At a press conference, the top representatives of the Federation of Cooperatives of Bolivia, the Regional Association of Gold Mining Cooperatives, the Association of Gold Mining Cooperatives of the North of La Paz and the presidents of the mining companies rejected Law 1386 on the National Strategy for Combating the Legitimation of Illegal Profits and the law of the same name.
Concobol leader Braulio Arguedas recalled that in 2006, when Evo Morales was elected President, this sector supported the so-called change process; However, they questioned President Luis Arce’s form of government.
“Today we do not understand what is happening to this government, why it is passing laws that run counter to the interests of the social movements that brought it to power. Either we consider the President (Luis Arce) and the Cabinet to pass consensual laws or, I repeat, we will see each other in the streets and in combat and there we will see who wins, ”declared Arguedas.
He also called on the government to enact law to collect taxes on coca producers and confiscate their assets as a result of illicit drug trafficking.
“Why don’t you enact a special law for coca farmers to pay taxes and take away (their) property that is illegally held by drug trafficking?” Arguedas demanded.
Ferreco’s leader, Eloy Sirpa, protested that the government intended to influence the manufacturing sectors “but not the coca-growing sectors”.