State Of Emergency Declared By Bolivian Unions! Statement By Bartolina Sisa Resistance

Marchers with the indigenous Wiphala flag in support of the government of president Luis Arce

‘The Bolivian trade union organisation Central Obrera Boliviana (COB) and indigenous peoples organisations have ratified a state of emergency in the face of alleged attempts by the right wing opposition to destabilise the government.

A year after the democratic government of the MAS-IPSP led by Luis Arce and David Choquehuanca was elected, and as a microcosm of what was the coup of November 2019, reactionary forces such as the far right Civic Committee of Santa Cruz launched an indefinite strike initially demanding the annulment of Law 1386.

This law was signed by the opposition MPs and protects citizens and their property.  It fights against illicit profits, the financing of terrorism, drug trafficking and crimes against humanity such as torture, slavery, people trafficking, assassinations and organ trafficking.

Those who oppose this law must be deemed by all to support these crimes. And this will include the oligarchs who object so strongly to it.

The Committee is led by nationalists Romulo Calvo and Luis Fernando Camacho.

And one wonders why this Law matters so much to the small but corrupt elites? Because it goes against their interests and they want impunity.

Camacho’s father owes the state more than Bs200 million in taxes and Luis Fernando Camacho is a tax evader himself. That is why they are against this Law.

But it is also their excuse. The hidden agenda of Camacho and Calvo are ‘to overthrow the Arce government’ since ‘they have the recipe.’

They long to go back to the republican and neo-liberal days. They called indigenous people ‘human beasts’, ‘a cursed race’, ‘savages’, they are racist to the bone and despise our symbols like the Wiphala.

As they did not win at the polls, they intend to take power again through violence causing pain and death to the people.

They are committing sedition, conspiracy and terrorism. And as usual, the NGO Standing Rivers with Jhanise Vaca Daza, a US operative, is adding fuel to the fire to destabilise the government.

This far right, supremacist, fascist, racist feudal oligarchy think they own Santa Cruz and treat it as their fiefdom. The civic committee use paramilitaries of the Crucenista Youth League (UJC) who threaten and beat women, men and children forcing them to abide by the strike.

On November 9th, chanting racist insults, they cowardly attacked the Bartolina Sisa Federation of Campesino, Indigenous, and Native Women leaving many wounded.

In Potosi, Juan Carlos Manuel, president of the Potosi civic committee (COMCIPO), and ally of Marco Pumari, Johnny Llaly, issued warnings and made open threats against our indigenous brothers and sisters ‘forbidding them to enter the city of Potosi’, telling them to return to their communities and that they would ‘not be received with empty hands’, etc…’.

A master with colonial racist attitude telling the indigenous people not to come to the cities. This is an indication of how they plan to run the country if they are successful again.

And as always, it is the indigenous people who pay with their lives when these deranged fascists launch their attacks.

In Potosi, Basilio Titi Tipolo, a young indigenous 22-year-old brother was savagely beaten by an angry mob of COMCIPO supporters who stopped him receiving medical attention, leaving him to die.

They unleashed their hate, savagery and racism against indigenous people leaving several of them wounded – and these are the same people who led the November 2019 coup in Potosi and again are creating a climate of fear in the city.

One of the victims who was kidnapped and savagely tortured by the COMCIPO supporters during the November 2019 coup and threatened with being burned alive in the main square of Potosi, was Dr Marco Antonio Borda Belzu, brother of Dr Victor Borda, former President of the Chamber of Deputies, who was threatened with the killing of his brother if he did not resign after the mob ransacked, destroyed and burned his house.

The culprits are still unpunished to this day.

So this is not a strike, it is a criminal blockade that affects the economy of the country and the most humble who struggle to live from day to day.

Millionaires, racists and fascists like Calvo and Camacho do not feel this need because they have fortunes hidden safely abroad.

Nobody elected this supremacist bunch to speak on behalf of the Bolivian people. What kind of democracy are they talking about when only 284 people elected this so called “civic committee”?

In desperation they are now calling on the police and military to join their illegal strike and utter their prayers, kneeling at the gates of the military barracks.

President Arce warned: “The civic committees threaten our leaders and they lie to the people. We would never make laws that affect the most humble, and united we will defend the majority vote.”

On November 12th in the Lallagua mining district, he said: “A civic committee does not own Potosi, the true owners are the indigenous people, the miners, the factory workers.”

The indigenous peoples, the social movements and the Bolivian Workers Union COB (Central Obrera Boliviana) gave their full support to President Arce, declared themselves in a state of emergency and massive mobilisations are taking place in defence of democracy across the country.

It is paramount that the judicial authorities take immediate action against this affront to our democracy and that all racist attacks are dealt with sternly. Racism is a crime. The Penal Code in its Article 123: Sedition, and Article 124: Arrogate the Rights of the People, condemns this as criminal behaviour.

We also expect that the Crucenista Youth League (UJC) and the Cochala Youth Resistance (RJC) are disbanded as per GIEI recommendations.

The native peoples are the great majority in Bolivia and have the right, as all other citizens, to walk the plazas and the streets free of fear, racism and discrimination.

Throughout history, Bolivian people have stood and fought militantly defending their rights and they will continue to do so and this time will rise up again to fight the fascist, racist minority, far right extremists and defend our democracy that has seen so many lives lost defending it.’