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applejuice 12-28-2011 05:56 PM

TIPNIS -part two-
Amazingly, after many deaths, a brutal repression and a Law for the Protection of TIPNIS, the problem has not been solved yet. A fraction of settlers and indigenous people -sponsored by Morales' government- has started a march demanding the cancellation of the Law for the Protection of Tipnis and the construction of the road through the heart of Tipnis. About 1300 people, among settlers and indigenous, will arrive tomorrow to Cochabamba and, as they say, will march to La Paz and will not cease their protest until their demands are fulfilled.
More information: Marcha asoma Cercado en medio de denuncias

Human No More 12-28-2011 11:57 PM

What's the chance of anything happening? The backlash against his previous actions looked fairly large...

applejuice 12-29-2011 02:35 AM

Unfortunately, the possible outcome of this is very grim: the government (and Morales) have already proclaimed this protest as "true and legitimate, not sponsored by the NGOs opposing the government and the change process the country is going through". Given such premises, the march will arrive to La Paz, will be welcomed by the government and, given that Morales governs "obeying the people", the Congress will cancel the Law and the construction will resume as soon as possible.
An enormous part of the people will oppose; the first thing you will hear in the news -in "The Official Press of the Plurinational State of Bolivia"- is that the "true" indigenous people has protested and that the Law was "forced by some leaders sold to the right oligarchs", therefore, the "legitimate" demand has to be attended. Obviously, that will be the opposite of what will happen (the government has such a poor imagination that everyone knows what they will say). You will find in independent reports that this march is a retaliation from Morales and a very good mean to boost his already emaciated image. Even by looking at the face of the people who is marching tells about their origins: they are not indigenous, they are settlers: coca planters that have lived there for 30 years; mostly miners and their families, re-localized after the 1980s-1990s economic crisis triggered by low mineral prices. They lent themselves to the business of planting coca and selling it to drug lords, sponsored by the then dictator Luis García Meza. Those times are repeating, Morales' policies of "Coca is not Cocaine" has made my country a paradise for drug elaboration and trafficking.
Why is there such an interest for a road inside a protected area? It is simple: plans have been made to modify the law controlling coca plantations: the government plans to extend the limit of 12000 hectares of legal coca plantations to 20000 ha. You can imagine where those extra 8000 ha. are: TIPNIS, plus, it is an electoral promise of Morales for his union fellows.
Suffice to say that indigenous leaders have stated that they will defend TIPNIS to death, Morales is an immoral person, it is certainly going to happen... :(
I'm very angry at it.

Moco Loco 12-31-2011 04:02 AM

:shock: This is incredibly tragic :(

applejuice 01-05-2012 03:36 PM

Update (January 5)
The march goes on, but there's little support (if any support at all) from civilian institutions. Despite the press coverage of the march, their leader threatened journalists covering this event will be "shot with arrows due the misinformation they transmit to the population" and that they will choose which journalists will cover their actions. So far, the march seems a failure in almost every aspect. Hopefully it will be a complete failure.
Sadly, most of the marchers are, probably, being forced to make this farcical action.

applejuice 01-31-2012 03:56 AM

January 30 update
The government-sponsored march demanding the road has arrived to La Paz. Unlike the warm reception given to Tipnis people, today's was cold and the marchers passed unnoticed to most people in the government seat city. After their arrival, they attacked journalists and police with no reason at all (one journalist has a broken nose and maxillary bone, three policemen also resulted injured). Morales has already had a meeting with them and the cancellation of the short law that stopped the road's construction will be considered in the national parliament.
However, the government has recently lost its majority in congress, making the cancellation of the short law very unlike, at least not without resistance from civilian institutions.

Human No More 01-31-2012 12:04 PM

I hope so... that sounds like a good sign, especially if people make themselves heard over this again.

applejuice 02-03-2012 12:00 AM

This whole thing is falling down in pieces, at least 80% of the marchers have abandoned La Paz and the government is definitely without a north in this problem. The government has stated that they will seek international advisory to make a decision. However, if the government decides to modify the law, it would be the beginning of its end, that's a certainty!

applejuice 02-09-2012 02:33 AM

February 8th update
Amazingly, despite the failure and unpopularity of the march demanding the construction of the road, the government has just approved a new law for a "previous consultation" to modify the term "intangible" used in the short law protecting Tipnis. Supposedly, this "consultation" would only involve Tipnis inhabitants and would be accomplished "according to traditional practices", which means that the public opinion and supervision won't be allowed in the process.
Protests are being organized to stop this.

applejuice 02-22-2012 09:05 PM

February 22 update
So far, there isn't really much to do, especially after Carnival. A new march is on schedule for March, to defend Tipnis and it is going to unite almost every major union in the country:miners, merchants, health, public workers, college students and many more. But as for today, everything feels quite normal, no attempts have been made to start the construction again nor information regarding activity on Tipnis has reached the media.

So, stay tuned because the political weather forecast here for the next weeks is a major storm, approaching by everywhere, literally.

applejuice 03-30-2012 04:14 AM

March 29 update
The IX March for the Defense of TIPNIS has a starting date: April 25, departing from Chaparina in Beni to La Paz, demanding the cancelation of a "previous consultation" and the enforcement of the Protection Law they fought for in the last march.

applejuice 04-26-2012 04:09 AM

April 25 update
The start of the IX March has been postponed until tomorrow and the starting point will be Trinidad (in Beni department) due difficulties encountered to reunite people for the march: during the last week, San Ignacio has been blocking the roads to the original rally point to stop the protest. It is an obvious tactic from the government to stop the march. The government has been very active, giving away "gifts" (like solar panels, outboard motors, etc) inside Tipnis in order to convince inhabitants of the "benefits of having a road".
During these last weeks, the country has been in turmoil: a general strike of the country's physicians, medical technicians and auxiliaries is already entering its fourth week and there's no will or interest from the Government to solve it. In a similar manner, most workmen and their union is rejecting the proposed pay rise and are demanding an immediate solution to the health strike. The following weeks will be very tense: Today, medical school students attacked the building pof the local government and the coca planters' headquarters. The last have promised "there will be retaliation"
Finally, Morales expressed today his "happiness of NOT having attended College/University" as an intended moral lesson...

applejuice 04-28-2012 12:25 AM

March begins (April 27, 2012)
BBC News - Bolivians start second 'long march' against road plan After a small religious celebration, about 500 people from Tipnis has started the march towards La Paz, demanding the cancellation of the planned road and a "previous consult" the government plans to make.

applejuice 05-08-2012 01:26 AM

May 7th update
The march is blocked just one 1 km from San Ignacio de Moxos due blockades installed by authorities related to the government. Leaders have decided to ask for Catholic Church representatives to allow them (and protect them) to pass through San Ignacio de Moxos. Church representatives have agreed to accompany the march.

A troubled country is a very good description of the current situation of Bolivia. This events are very similar to those experienced ten years ago, when Gonzalo Sanchez's government was expelled. Today, La Paz (the government's seat) woke up completely blocked by driver's union, no transit was possible in most of the city, the blockades will last until Wednesday, when the country's workers union will enter a three-day general strike protesting the ridiculous pay rise decreed by the government. Health workers are entering the seventh week of their strike. Students from the National Universities Council are also protesting against the government. All of the mentioned have expressed their full support to the Tipnis cause and have comprised to send a group of people to reinforce the march.

applejuice 05-10-2012 02:51 AM

May 9th update
Yesterday, the marchers decided to go around San Ignacio de Moxos and avoid an unnecessary encounter with pro-road demonstrators, though they faced several insults from government sympathizers during their walk, but Police forces escorted the marchers until they were finally safe outside San Ignacio. They arrived to Puerto San Borja, about 20 km from San Ignacio, where they will spend the next two days, they were welcomed by San Borja inhabitants.

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