Mesa Accepts New Law as El Alto Defines Next Move
Mesa Accepts New Law as El Alto Defines Its Next Actions
May 17, 2005
Please Distribute Widely
In a speech just broadcast across Bolivia, President Carlos accepted the passage of the new law as a fact and said he would "turn the page" on the issue. With the discussion ended, the president spent more than an hour summarizing his term in office and presented a new economic and social plan – in response, according to him, to the new prevailing reality – which he called ""Bolivia productiva y solidaria": "a productive Bolivia of solidarity."
However, there wasn't much that was new about it. In fact, many of the proposals he made to "create a new State" according to the 21st century Bolivian reality are actions that were already part of his administration's program (and some are being carried out with international funding), such as building an airport and ironworks. The interesting thing about his speech is that he promised to back his program with a package of proposed laws and other measures, which he said would be announced in the coming days.
Over in the social movements' trenches, a few minutes ago, the Federation of Neighborhood Committees of El Alto defined its actions. Considering the positions of Carlos Mesa and other sectors unimportant, the Alteños decided the following:
1. Tomorrow, beginning at 8 am, a new march will depart, again with the intention of reaching the center of La Paz and closing the Congress, obtaining Mesa's resignation, and the nationalization of Bolivia's hydrocarbons.
2. On Friday, the neighborhood committees will carry out a 24-hour civic strike. And if that doesn't work:
3. Beginning next Monday, May 23, there will be an indefinite general strike to force respect for the so-called "October agenda," which was born in the October 2003 insurrection against then-President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada.
For his part, Evo Morales rejected Mesa's proposal because, he said, it "does not demonstrate a change in attitude" from the president.
So, President Mesa's speech did not change the social movements' perspective. Now, more than ever, pay attention, kind readers… Bolivia could give us a new lesson in democracy from below. Expect more news tomorrow…
From somewhere in a country called América,
Luis A. Gómez
The Narco News Bulletin