Saturday, September 13, 2008

I LOVE The Family That Preys! Three cheers for Tyler Perry!
Subject: Bolivia: Deaths in the Amazon

Written by Franz Chávez

Saturday, 13 September 2008
(IPS) - The Bolivian government declared martial law in the northern province of Pando after as many as 15 indigenous supporters of President Evo Morales were killed by rightwing protesters near the town of Cobija.

A group of public employees of the provincial government of Pando, in the hands of the rightwing opposition, intercepted the victims as they were heading to a meeting of Morales supporters from Amazon jungle communities, where they planned to organise resistance against the pro-autonomy demonstrators who have been occupying public offices and holding protests over the past few days.

The killings occurred in the context of a wave of demonstrations that broke out on Tuesday, when members of the rightwing Santa Cruz Youth Union (UCJ) took control of public offices in the central Bolivian city of Santa Cruz, after breaking past the military and police cordons protecting the buildings.

The pro-autonomy movement led by Santa Cruz Governor Rubén Costas and backed by the regional governments of Beni, Pando, Tarija and Chuquisaca, which with Santa Cruz make up Bolivia's relatively wealthy "eastern crescent," has in practice put an economic stranglehold on the country by blocking the main highways and partially cutting off supplies of natural gas to Brazil and Argentina.

On Thursday, leftwing President Morales, the first indigenous president in the history of Bolivia, accused groups of landowners in the eastern lowlands provinces of "financing a criminal mentality," and warned that "patience also has a limit."

The Roberto Galindo hospital in Cobija presented a dramatic scene as emergency room personnel tended those injured in the attack. They had deep slash cuts from machetes and axes, as well as bullet wounds from shotguns and rifles.

Some of the dead had bullet wounds from firearms used in the "ambush" of the government supporters, which took place in the early hours of Thursday morning with the goal of preventing a meeting in the small town of Filadelfia, 50 kilometres south of Cobija, according to the local representative on the Comité de Vigilancia (Citizen's Watch committee), Leyla Tudela.

Former Mayor of Cobija and leader of the Movimiento Amazónico de Renovación Democrática (MAR, Amazon Movement for Democratic Renewal) Miguel Becerra told a local radio station that it was "a massacre of the campesinos (indigenous peasants), some of whom were run over by a truck belonging to the governor's office."

For their part, supporters of the governor of Pando, Leopoldo Fernández, accused Becerra of instigating the violence.

The Deputy Minister of Social Movements, Sacha Llorenti, a close Morales adviser, said the victims were shot in an armed attack by "hired killers" in what he described as "an outright massacre" in Cobija.

Llorenti blamed the incident on Governor Fernández, a rightwing landowner with a long track record in Bolivian politics.

On Friday, the executive branch asked Congress to take action against Governor Fernández for the Porvenir massacre, according to the government news agency Agencia Boliviana de Información (ABI).

Violence continued Thursday in the slum neighbourhood of Plan Tres Mil on the outskirts of Santa Cruz, which is basically populated by Aymara and Quechua Indians from Bolivia's impoverished western highlands provinces.

UJC groups attacked a neighbourhood market where indigenous people sell their wares, and local residents showed up to protect the vendors.

Native people who have settled in the neighbourhood, originally from the western provinces of La Paz, Oruro and Potosí, are in fear of being attacked by the radical rightwing youth groups.

Meanwhile, in the town of Yacuiba, on the border with Argentina, a group of demonstrators swarmed a natural gas facility that exports fuel to Buenos Aires, and managed to cut off supplies.

Bolivia exports six million cubic metres a day of natural gas to Argentina, Bolivia's second largest gas export market after Brazil.

An attack on the gas pipeline to Brazil Wednesday reduced the volume of gas flow from 26 to 23 million cubic metres per day, creating concern among diplomats at the Brazilian embassy in La Paz.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

An Admission

I am in love with Kanye West;-)

Bolivia: Violent Groups Take Over Human Rights Organization

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Written by Center for Juridical Studies and Social Investigation
Thursday, 11 September 2008

Translated by Andrew Lyubarsky

On September 9th a group of approximately 50 vandals entered by force, completely sacked and set on fire the offices of the Center for Juridical Studies and Social Investigation (CEJIS) in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Eastern Bolivia.

At 6 PM, three 4x4 vehicles and other motor vehicles arrived at the doors of the institution, from which descended youth armed with sticks, knives, torches and stones. They used one of the vehicles to knock down the entrance gate. The four police officers that were guarding the building fled for fear of reprisals. Once inside, the attackers robbed and destroyed what was in the interior. They broke displays, windows, doors, furniture, computer equipment, files, and documentation. They made a big fire in the street, before the violated doors of the institution and set other fires inside the office. Extremely important documentation on the progress of titling of indigenous land and other studies has been lost. Also destroyed and burned on the street was at least a third of the library, renowned nationally for its important specialization in indigenous and agrarian issues. There were no injuries to the personnel due to the fact that they were evacuated slightly before the attack. The CEJIS offices in Trinidad and Riberalta, both in the state of Beni, are both under threat, where similar actions of violence are ongoing.

The offices of CEJIS, along with its personnel, were attacked more than 15 times in the last five years. In the last months the institution suffered two attacks with molotov cocktails (in November 2007 and last August). In its 30 years of work, CEJIS has provided legal assistance to indigenous, landless and peasant organizations in the process of titling their lands and territories. It has been a permanent ally of the social movements in the legal codification of their rights in national legislation, and advised and accompanied the progress of social organizations in the Constituent Assembly. This work has implied a permanent risk on the personnel and offices of CEJIS, threatened by the sectors of power that have historically controlled the region of Eastern Bolivia, who now feel menaced by the advance of the rights of the most marginalized sectors of our society.

Yesterday [September 9th] in the city of Santa Cruz, in addition to CEJIS, the regional offices of National Taxation, the national telecommunications company (ENTEL), the National Institute of Agrarian Reform (INRA), the Migration offices, the offices of state channel 7, the radio of the New Country Network were also assaulted and sacked. This chain of aggressions forms part of a plan that is in action and continues today with the attack on the national and regional indigenous organizations of Santa Cruz and the peasants rooted in the city, the popular radios – like Alternative Radio, which works out of the Women’s House – and other human rights organizations, by the same groups that threw themselves against CEJIS.

The worsening of the violence in all of the Bolivian East, which started today under the slogan of a “better redistribution of oil income for the regions” has changed by a de facto coup in the states of this part of the country and a wave of intolerant and racist persecution to all that are considered its enemies, now with the demand that the Government of Evo Morales recognize a regional autonomy with separatist stripes, unacceptable for the majority of the population.

Because of all that stated:

1. We denounce the assualt and sacking of our offices in the city of Santa Cruz by a crowd organized by the people that are devastating the city.

2. We denounce that the lives and the security of our personnel is at risk, before the retreat of our office police guard and the total lack of security in the city for certain officials, now that the National Police and the Armed Forces are not acting.

3. We denounce before the closing of the main alternative media sources and the deterioration of the telephone lines of the Entel business, that freedom of expression and opinion in the state are restrcited and that the offices of CEJIS will remain temporarily closed.

4. We demand that the Local Police of the District of Santa Cruz and the National Police conduct an investigation and punish those responsibly, materially and intellectually of these deplorable acts, who are openly identified by the media,

5. We demand that the Bolivian state grant a guarantee of life and personal safety to the officials of CEJIS in Santa Cruz, Trinidad, and Riberalta and appeal to the international conventions on Human Rights to which it is subscribed.

We ask all human rights and civil society organization to declare themselves in solidarity with the situation in which Bolivia is living in.

Santa Cruz de la Sierra – BOLIVIA September 10th 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Stop the Forces Attempting to Divide Bolivia!

The process of changes in favor of the Bolivian majority is at risk of being brutally restrained. The rise to power of an Indigenous president with unprecedented support in that country and his programs of popular benefits and recovery of the natural resources have had to face the conspiracies of the oligarchy and United States interference from the very beginning.

In recent days the increase in conspiracy has reached its climax. The subversive and unconstitutional actions of the oligarchic groups to try to divide the Bolivian nation reflect the racist and elitist minds of these sectors and constitute a very dangerous precedent not only for the country’s integrity, but for other countries in our region.

History shows with ample eloquence, the terrible consequences that the divisionary and separatist processes supported and induced by foreign interests have had for humanity.

we reject the so-called Santa Cruz Autonomy Statute due to its unconstitutionality and the attempt against the unity of a nation of our America.
Happy Belated Birthday to my mother on September 9th!;-) Blessings and good tidings;-)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

I am in LOVE with In Treatment. Wow, Petrarch has found his Laura...and when her hand went over toward him I almost had to run out of the room! I though that hand was going some place else and that was too much for even me!--at the moment. What a great show!