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Mesa Announces Constitutional Assembly for Bolivia

Mesa Announces Constitutional Assembly for Bolivia

June 3, 2005
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The latest twist in the heart of the Andres came from Carlos Mesa. With Congress unable to reach an agreement, the Bolivian president released Supreme Decree 28195 at 11pm (Thursday), convoking a new constitutional assembly and a binding national referendum on regional autonomy on the same day! So, October 16, Bolivians will have to go to the polls to, on one hand, elect their representatives in the assembly, and on the other to respond to the issue of autonomy for the departments.

Again there is chaos, and although things seem to be getting resolved, everything is actually getting more complex with every hour....

11:01 pm. Carlos Mesa steps up to the wooden podium with a decree in hand. In a little more than 20 minutes, the Bolivian president explains that the country cannot wait until Tuesday for the Congress to reconvene and discuss the constitutional assembly and regional autonomy... and announces that the decree, with two articles, is his "solution" for the moment to the emergency we have been living for some time.

Anxious to preserve the unity of the country and, in his own style, assume his "historic responsibility," Mesa announced without hesitation the two events that seem to divide the regions and classes irreconcilably... but, based on the initial reactions we've seen, he hasn't achieved much.

Several figures who represent the Santa Cruz right wing have rejected the decree, claiming that Mesa is irresponsible and would lead the country into chaos, that his decree is unconstitutional and completely invalid... Rubén Cuéllar, member of the Pro-Santa Cruz Civic Committee, the neo-fascist group that organized the famous autonomy council in January, said that they had not ruled out filing legal charges of unconstitutionality in the coming days.

On the other side, Evo Morales did not accept the decree's legality either, but he left the last word to the social movements...

Of course, Carlos Mesa mentioned the issue of hydrocarbon nationalization (the main demand in the streets of La Paz, as you now know)... and asked for patience from the people, because, according to him, the "ideal scenario" fro deciding such things would be the contitutional assembly. Evo responded that that Mesa is just avoiding his responsibility to the people... and the mayor of the Aymara highland capital of Achacachi, Eugenio Rojas, has just told us that the blockades will continue, that the rural Aymara will return to La Paz on Monday and that though we will see whether or not the constitutional assembly achieves anything, first they will fight to return all the natural resources to the hands of their true owners...

I'll tell you, kind readers, nothing has ended tonight... although the traditional politicians (led by Mesa) are gaining a bit of time, this is all really just beginning. See you tomorrow.

From somewhere in a country called América,

Luis A. Gómez
Acting Publisher
The Narco News Bulletin

© Scoop Media

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