Political Repression in Bolivia sparks international protests

STATEMENT ON THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF ACTIVISTS ARRESTED IN BOLIVIA

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. Continue reading

Indigenous protestors take aim at Morales government

Quechua natives block La Paz-Potosi road in Bolivia. Their siege of the city of Potosi Saturday threatens French lithium mining investments

Bolivia: Social Tensions Erupt

By Federico Fuentes

15 August, 2010
, Greenleft.org.au

Indigenous Quechua protesters blockaded the main road between La Paz and Potosi on August 8. Recent scenes of roadblocks, strikes and even the dynamiting of a vice-minister’s home in the Bolivian department (administrative district) of Potosi, reminiscent of the days of previous neoliberal governments, have left many asking themselves what is really going on in the “new” Bolivia of indigenous President Evo Morales.

Since July 29, the city of Potosi, which has 160,000 inhabitants, has ground to a halt. Locals are up in arms over what they perceive to be a lack of support for regional development on the part of the national government.

Potosi is Bolivia’s poorest department but the most important for the mining sector, which is on the verge of surpassing gas as the country’s principal export because of rising mineral prices. Continue reading