Developments on the Road to ‘Division Day’

Linked with Ana Maria Romero de Campero – Bolivia.

Published on the Democracy Center, December 14, 2007.

… Here is a synopsis view of Bolivia on the road to ‘Division Day’ (some of them):

Santa Cruz Set to Declare its “Autonomy” Saturday:

Yesterday the “Provisional Autonomous Assembly” of Santa Cruz, a body assembled by civic leaders there, issued the statutes upon which it intends to unilaterally declare its autonomy from the national government on Saturday. Among its 155 articles are declarations that, effective Saturday: residents of the department will now be issued separate Santa Cruz identity cards; the department will form its own police force and no longer recognize the authority of the national police; and Santa Cruz department authorities will now control all issues concerning land reform. The statutes will be presented symbolically before a public gathering in Santa Cruz Saturday …

… Indigenous Groups in Santa Cruz Plan Counter Protest:

The Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Bolivia (CIDOB) has announced that it will be organizing a counter protest in Santa Cruz Saturday to counter the rally by the Civic Committee there when it presents its new autonomy plan. “We are not going to obey [the Santa Cruz autonomy statutes] because it isn’t a law, a statute or a Constitution,” the group’s Vice-President, Pero Nuni, declared. “It is just a pamphlet that they [Santa Cruz civic leaders] have made” …

… Civil Society Leaders Call for Dialog

A voice calling for dialog between Bolivia’s warring factions emerged yesterday from a group of respected civil society leaders from all major regions of the country. The group included the Defensor del Pueblo, Waldo Albarracin, his respected predecessor in the post, Ana Maria Romero de Campero, along with a variety of labor groups, journalist associations, religious leaders, and literary and arts figures. “The mechanism of dialog is the door that will allow us to leave behind confrontation and is the tale that will permit everyone to meet to reach solutions for all. This is a first call that we are sure has the support of the silent majority” said Albarracin.

US Embassy Issues Travel Warning

The U.S. Embassy in La Paz took the unusual step Wednesday of issuing a warning against travel to Bolivia: “The Department recommends that U.S. citizens defer non-essential travel to Bolivia at this time. U.S. Embassy La Paz is restricting the official travel of U.S. Government employees to Bolivia during this period. Since protests and demonstrations can break out with little or no notice, U.S. citizens in Bolivia should monitor local media sources for the latest developments. U.S. citizens should avoid demonstrations at all times and exercise caution.”

Santa Claus to Bolivians: The Naughty List is Getting Bigger

In a news release issued from the North Pole, Santa Claus issued a warning to al of Bolivia’s rival factions that he and his elves are monitoring the situation close and are able to make modifications in the naughty list up to the last minute before his Christmas Eve departure. “While Mr. Claus has no official position on the articles of Bolivia’s proposed Constitution, he cautions all involved to use the coming holiday season to mellow out,” noted the release. “And he is also not amused by the letter from Santa Cruz Civic Committee head, Branko Marinkovic, asking for a fresh supply of Uzis and ammunitions [see photo above]“. (full text).

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