In August 1st, the repression forces of Bolivian State raided the office of the Center for Popular Studies (CEP) and arrested the Peruvian activists Hugo Wálter Minaya Romero, Williams Antonio Minaya Romero, Blanca Riveros Alarcón and José Antonio Cantoral Benavides.
The action was directly commanded by the dome of Evo Morales government and executed by the Special Cases Investigation Group (GICE) and the Special Force of Fight Against the Crime (FELCC) of El Alto city. The director of FELCC, Roberto Campos, said the activists “were apprehended in circumstances in which they were making pamphleteering” with lines against the gasolinazo (the policy to higher the price of gas) and the transnationals in Bolivia, and these pamphlets were addressed to the academic community of Popular University of El Alto – UPEA (El Mundo, 02/08/2011). The Morales’ Government Minister itself, Sacha Llorenti, said they “worked preparing pamphlets against Bolivian government and recruiting persons to give classes”, and that they would have linkages with the Shining Path, as it’s called the Communist Party of Peru (Maoist)
Representatives of the government said still that 3 between the activists would be sumarily expelled from Bolivia to Peru, and the National Comission on Refugees (Conare) would make an emergence meeting to face the case of José Antonio Cantoral Benavides, which has officialy recognized refugee status.
The Center for Popular Studies (CEP) of Bolivia is an organization that has consistently advocated for the rights of the Bolivian people, organizing seminars and academic discussions, and denouncing the violence of the government against the poor peasants in Bolivia, the deteriorating condition of the health system, the corruption of union leaders and their policies that serve the interests of the rich and corporations that exploit Bolivia’s natural resources. In May 2010, the CEP issued a statement denouncing the criminalization of popular movements practiced by the Minister Sacha Llorenti, a former member and past president of the Permanent Human Rights Assembly of Bolivia.
On its website (estudioyrealidad.blogspot.com), the CEP is defined as “a nonprofit organization, which has a multidisciplinary team, dedicated to studying and analyzing the Bolivian reality with a commitment with the exploited sectors that struggles permanently in defense of their democratic rights.”
It is clear and confirmed by the very government authorities that the arrest of the four activists is a persecution due to their political positions. A severe case of arbitrary arrest and repression of political dissent, condemned by international law and practiced by a government that calls itself “socialist”. The art. 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966 states that:
1. No one shall be molested for his opinions.
2. Everyone has the right of freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and divulge information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally or in writing, in printed or artistic form, or any other media of his choice.
Based on the foregoing, the IAPL, the ABRAPO and CEBRASPO oppose the arrest and expulsion of the Bolivia terrirtory of Hugo Wálter Minaya Romero, Williams Antonio Minaya Romero, Blanca Riveros Alarcón and José Antonio Cantoral Benavides. We also join the Bolivian people, trade unions and political and human rights organizations condemning this government action that, with fascist methods, attempts to silence the voices against it. We urge that the government of Evo Morales to immediately release the four political prisoners and to repair the damage he caused. And to cease the repression of political dissident in Bolivia.
Sign this document
– IAPL – International Association of People’s Lawyers
– ABRAPO – Brazilian Association of People’s Lawyers
– CEBRASPO – Brazilian Centre of Solidarity to the Peoples
– Secretariado del Tribunal Internacional de Conciencia de los Pueblos en Movimiento (TICPM)
– Posgrado para la Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos de la Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México (UACM)
Please send messages repudiating and denoucing the Bolivia government actions
to the following adresses:
Evo Morales – Presidente de Bolivia
Ministro del Gobierno
Sacha Sergio Llorenti Soliz
Ministra de Justicia
Nilda Copa Condori
Defensoría del Pueblo
Capitulo Boliviano de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo
Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos
Consejo de Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas
Procedimiento de Quejas
Centro Brasileiro de Solidariedade aos Povos