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La Paz Paralyzed - Blockades Return to Bolivia

La Paz Paralyzed - Blockades Return to Bolivia

From Al Giordano -
August 26, 2004
Please Distribute Widely

Claudia Espinoza reports from La Paz, Bolivia, an important news story that, surprisingly, has not been reported by any English-language wire or news media: The capital city was paralyzed, beginning yesterday, by a transport workers' strike, the union's tactic of "moving blockades," to which other social movements from the landless peasants' "Sin Tierra" movement to Felipe Quispe's Farmworkers' Federation to the Coordinator for Defense of Gas in Cochabamba, joined... All with the common cry of "Nationalize Gas Now!" ...and its shades of October all over again as the government of Carlos Mesa sends out the Army to push back...

Espinoza - investigative journalist and 2004 professor of the Narco News School of Authentic Journalism - reports:

"Strikes, marches, blockades and demonstrations marked Wednesday, August 25th, in several Bolivian cities. A “moving blockade” by the transport workers totally paralyzed the capital city of La Paz. Residents of the city of El Alto marched en masse toward the highway. The families of the dead and wounded from the “Gas War” last October demanded that former president Gonzalo “Goni” Sánchez de Lozada be brought to trial. The landless peasant’s movement marched from Collana and Batatallas: the marchers arrived in La Paz where police attacked them, and some members of “Sin Tierra” were arrested. In Cochabamba, thousands of people demanded the nationalization of gas in a large rally held in the city’s central plaza.

"Around midday, a National Police vehicle was captured and set afire on 14 de Septiembre Avenue, in the Obrajes neighborhood, in the city’s south end.

"According to the women who sell candy, soft drinks, and food at that place, near the Union of Transport Workers – one of the largest in the area – the drivers decided to burn the car because, nearby, police tried to break up the blockades along the avenues that connect the south end with downtown, where a large number of mini-and-micro-buses were blocking any automobile from passing.

"The women said that the drivers were protesting, also, because the police had an order to break up the blockade so that President Carlos Mesa would be able to pass from his house that is located in this residential neighborhood toward the National Palace..."

Read the whole thing on Narco News...

Or Espinoza's original report in Spanish on the Narcosphere...

With Bolivia's "Gas War" heating up again, along with the landless peasants, coca growers, and other social movements, anything can happen.

Starting tomorrow, Narco News begins an in-depth series of background reports explaining the national circumstances, history, and true facts behind the Gas War, beginning with a report by 2004 Authentic Journalism Scholar Teo Ballvé: "A Tale of Two Bolivias."

Reports about the Gas War and background issues by other members of the investigative journalism on the internet workgroup - Narco News swarm coverage! - coming soon to a computer screen near you!

from somewhere in a country called América,

Al Giordano Publisher
The Narco News Bulletin

Narco News is supported by:

The Fund for Authentic Journalism P.O. Box 71051 Madison Heights, MI 48071 USA

© Scoop Media

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