November 28, 2022

Brighton Journal

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Tensions in Bolivia: MAS supporters attack protesters in Santa Cruz and opposition prepares for town hall

21 days have passed since the protests in Santa Cruz, Bolivia are preparing to organize a council this Sunday (EFE).

This Friday Bolivia meets 21 days of stops Y Locks In the country, more precisely in the region Santa Cruz -Economic engine of the nation-. The general strike which has been going on for three weeks, a Population census The government plans to postpone it to next year, instead of 2024, due to logistical reasons.

The results of this census are a Redistribution of seats In legislative power, as well as a Revised Budget For social assistance, among others.

During today’s session, MAS supporters sought to open the city’s central routes to restore traffic flow, leading to clashes with protesters defending the force operation. Police officers had to stay in the conflict zone and even used tear gas to disperse the rival groups. No arrests or injuries have been reported so far.

Protests in Bolivia to end census by 2023 (REUTERS)
Protests in Bolivia to end census by 2023 (REUTERS)

Meanwhile, the Santa Cruz Civic Committee -Which conducts protests- a Council For this Sunday afternoon, with the idea of ​​defining whether to maintain or tighten power levels. A few days ago, the group participated in A Negotiation table With the President’s Cabinet Lewis Ars It was not successful.

“We expect a significant turnout for citizens on Sunday,” he told the agency. EFE A spokeswoman for the Civic Council of Santa Cruz, Manfred BravoAfter confirming the decision to proceed with the town hall originally scheduled for Tuesday the 15th.

And, Bravo insisted, “the strike was not in vain.” Place the issue of census on the national agenda”. However, Ars seems to be ignoring these demonstrations as the President is expected to make an announcement Order In the following hours with the new date of Census, it cannot be expected earlier First quarter of 2024.

After a failed negotiation schedule, Louis Arce is expected to issue a decree on the date of the new census, which is not expected before the first quarter of 2024 (REUTERS)
After a failed negotiation schedule, Louis Arce is expected to issue a decree on the date of the new census, which is not expected before the first quarter of 2024 (REUTERS)

However, without losing hope of getting a positive response from the executive, Bravo explained that the decision to continue or stop the strike and pressure measures “depends on the content of the order.” “The struggle has paid off, and it’s important to prepare for whatever comes next.”

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For his part, the chairman 2023 Census Steering Committee, Vicente Cuellar“It is in the hands of the President to issue the Supreme Decree fixing the new date for conducting the census,” he warned. It is in the hands of the President to pacify this country”.

In addition to being the region’s economic engine, Santa Cruz is also home to an opposition led by its governor. Luis Fernando CamachoIn Bolivia, he leads campaigns for a census that will give his region more political power and more money – to concentrate more people.

Two years after taking power, Ars is currently facing the most serious conflict in his administration. Added to the street protests was a tense atmosphere stemming from social conflicts fueled by communal clashes. Lack of product Essential and strong Controversies within your party.

Ars faces the toughest conflict so far in his two-year term (REUTERS)
Ars faces the toughest conflict so far in his two-year term (REUTERS)

In this context, Ars, in a message, accused “certain groups” of wanting to “destabilize us again”. Political crisis That country lived 2019 After the failed elections, it was denounced as rigged Organization of American States (OAS) in which the then President Evo Morales He was seeking a fourth consecutive term.

The explosion killed 37 people and led to the resignation of Morales and he fled the country for Mexico and then Argentina.

A few months later, in 2020, elections won the presidency of Luis Arce – Morales’ political successor – who was at odds with his mentor due to disputes within the party. MAS (Movement Towards Socialism).

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(With information from EFE and AP)

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