Bolivia: Luis Arce suspended a trip to Potosí due to the death of a peasant in the middle of a strike

Bolivian President Luis Arce was forced to suspend a scheduled visit to the city of Potosí after the death of a young peasant and several injuries amid a series of violent protests against the government.. On Tuesday night, the death of 22-year-old Basilio Titi Tipolo was reported in circumstances that are still being investigated by the authorities: the opposition speaks of mechanical suffocation while from the government they point to severe polytrauma. Right-wing sectors articulated in the civic committee joined the indefinite national strike in rejection of the Law on the National Strategy to Combat the Legitimation of Illicit Profits and the Financing of Terrorism, although from the ruling party they believe that they only aim to destabilize the government.

For the third consecutive day, the opposition factions continued with the measure of force, although it is only being felt in the departments of Potosí and Santa Cruz, where there are constant clashes between protesters, police and peasants related to the MAS who seek to lift the blockades by force. . The ex-president Evo Morales He maintained on his Twitter account that “Once again the racist hatred of our indigenous brothers causes death and pain in the Bolivian people”. From where you look at it, the scene that the South American country is going through once again lights the alarms of the violence experienced in 2019.

One death, many doubts

The ombudsman of Bolivia, Nadia cruzHe pointed out this Wednesday at a press conference in La Paz that the death of Basilio Titi Tipolo was caused by “Mechanical asphyxia due to aspiration with a foreign body” and that “there were no signs of violence.” The president of the Potosinista Civic Committee (Comcipo), Juan Carlos Manuel, said in the same vein that the young peasant choked on coca leaves that he chewed in the midst of the clashes recorded on Tuesday.

However, the Vice Minister of Health System Management, Alvaro Terrazas, said that although the initial data confirm Tipolo’s cause of death due to aspiration, the forensic medical report establishes that the 22-year-old had multiple trauma and considerable bruising product of blows that would have been inflicted on him by the militants of the Comcipo.

Terrazas also denounced that violent groups who carried out blockades and mobilizations in the city of Potosí they prevented the passage of the ambulance that transported the young peasant who finally lost his life. “We vehemently denounce the obstruction of the circulation of ambulances, emergency care, health, which is a crime that goes against the Political Constitution of the State,” said Terrazas at a press conference fueling the confrontation between the government and the most radical sectors of the opposition.

Different MAS leaders recalled this Wednesday that Juan Carlos Manuel, President of the Comcipo, He warned the peasants a day ago that they had no right to demonstrate and that they were going to receive them “with sticks.” The leader of the Potosí civic committee thus left a message that did not admit interpretations, hours after Tipolo’s fatal outcome: “If they want tooth for tooth, they will have it.”

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New strike day

This Wednesday the third day of national strike took place indefinite summoned by various unions and civic sectors of the country. The measure has been partially complied with to demand, in principle, the annulment of Law 1,386 on money laundering. Sectors of transport, health and the informal economy are manifested in alert, mainly, for a part of their content that foresees adjustments in the Penal Code and measures against informality.

Emilio Rodas, former Vice Minister of the Interior Regime of Bolivia, prefers to differentiate the conflict into two levels or scenarios. The first of them actually has to do with a sectoral conflict against the anti-money laundering law. “In that first battle, these sectors had a first victory because the government withdrew the treatment of the specific law that established the powers of the financial investigations unit and the non-judicial procedures for obtaining information and regulation,” says Rodas in dialogue with Page 12 and adds that now they point to the annulment of the law.

The other component of the conflict, for Rhodes, it is eminently political.Radical sectors led by (the governor of Santa Cruz, Luis Fernando) Camacho, and by (the president of the Civic Committee of Santa Cruz, Rómulo) Calvo They try to reproduce the 2019 scenario by generating a territorial mobilization that has only had repercussions in Potosí and Santa Cruz. However, the slogans that are handled there have nothing to do with Law 1386: the slogan of ‘democracy and freedom’, that is, the argument not to ‘Cubanize’ or ‘Venezuelanize’ Bolivia, “warns the former adviser to the presidency of the Chamber of Deputies.

For Rodas, these sectors are trying to reproduce the 2019 scenario. “But in 2019 they had a referendum behind them that supported them, they had a wrong political decision which was the re-registration of President Evo Morales. They had the containment of the social mobilization because Evo and the government instructed the people not to mobilize to wait for the OAS report. All these elements do not converge today, “warns the leader.

However, it is still striking that certain popular sectors are being seduced by a right wing that defends interests that are often very distant. Own Evo Morales He referred to that issue days ago in a radio interview in which he spoke of the return of fascism to Bolivia through a “new populist but racist right”. “They use some small groups of the indigenous movement, some social sectors, now they get into the neighborhoods… Before I feel that there was not that, it was used for the elections but now it is done from the first moment, “warned the former president visiting Argentina.


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