Narconews: Today's Combat in La Paz, Bolivia
Today's Combat in La Paz
June 7, 2005
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Guest what... as authentic journalist Claudia Espinoza said at midday, when we ran into each other in the middle of today's marches: "Once again, we have to write about thousands of marchers who shut down La Paz and clash with the police as they try to take Plaza Murillo." Well, exactly right... today, everyone again descended from El Alto into La Paz, this time with the addition of several contingents of miners. The miners numbered several thousand today, and arrived heavily armed with dynamite.
Read our full, detailed, report on the day's breathtaking events, here:
And breaking news since that report was posted:
This afternoon the leaders of the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (MNR) and the Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR) parties, the same who made the Sánchez de Lozada administration possible three years ago, are now speaking the same language: they are thinking of handing power to the coup-plotting Senate president, Hormando Vaca Diez.. with this, they say, they hope to maintain a legal framework, if they can even meet, of course.
It is just after 6:15 p.m. in La Paz, the people are already more relaxed and the clashes have ended for today, or so it seems. But the right-wing succession pact could even further unleash the power of the social movements.
Even Evo Morales, who together with his Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party has maintained a "legalist" position, has now announced that this development will be answered by an endless mobilization, to continue until Vaca Diez is gone.
The right seems to have lost its fear for now, and is reforming the coalition that brought this country the massacres of October 2003 and the popular insurrection that ut short Sánchez de Lozada's second term.
Don't be surprised, kind readers, by this new play by the political parties. This afternoon, U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack demanded that the Bolivians reach an solution that is "peaceful, democratic, and constitutional to these tensions"...
In these moments, this can be nothing but support for the Bolivian politicians, for them to continue usurping the political representation of the people who are fighting in the streets...
And arguing that it would be too difficult to meet in La Paz, Vaca Diez has announced that the next session of Congress will be this Thursday, at 10:30 a.m. Appealing to the diverse sectors of society to heed the necessity for the Catholic church-led dialog, Vaa Diez defended the need to maintain the unity of Bolivia.
As he announced that the first item on the session's agenda in Sucre, Bolivia's nominal capital (though all government functions are in La Paz) would be the consideration of Carlos Mesa's resignation, Senator Vaca Diez also mentioned that those who think that Bolivia is ready for a "radical government" to end poverty are wrong. "That path," he said, "leads to exclusion and disintegration."
Later, a master of evasive rhetoric, Vaca Diez refused to say whether he would take power, as the consitution allows, claiming that while Mesa's resignation is not finalized he has nothing to say about it.
The rural Aymara leaders, who are preparing for a new day of struggle, responded with a simple warning upon learning of this: "Even if he leaves, that resolves nothing... we will keep going and will descend (on La Paz) tomorrow."
Vaca Diez, while many take as a given that he will become the next president of Bolivia, dismissed the necessity of dialog with them. "The solution, all of it, all of it, is within the framework of the constitution, of institutionalism, and nothing else," he concluded.
Kind readers, this thing is heating up, the plot is thickening... stay with us tomorrow...
From somewhere in a country called América,
Luis A. Gómez
The Narco News Bulletin