Miguel Lazcano reports for La Razon:
The Governor’s Office of the Potosí Department yesterday requested the Executive Body [central government] to analyze the possibility of militarizing the area surrounding the Mallku Khota mine, whose concession is held by the Canadian company South American Silver.
The order was made yesterday by Governor Felix Gonzales Bernal, who met with Vice President Álvaro García Linera in the Government Palace.
According to the authority, in the region where the ore deposit is located there are disputes between ayllus [communities] regarding the continuity or not of the operations of the company Minera Mallku Khota, subsidiary of the Canadian South American Silver.
Gonzales said that four ayllus ask the firm to continue exploration operations and two others demand his departure from the area. Precisely the herders of these two ayllus, supported by mining cooperatives from Oruro and Huanuni, would have started on Friday a scuffle in Acasio, a distant population 200 km north of Potosí, with the ayllus of Mallku Khota.
Gonzales Bernal was emphatic in pointing out that the presence, not only of police officers but military because of the bellicosity of the ayllus, is necessary in that region. “Tension remains in the region because the companions of the four ayllus (which were attacked) are organizing,” he warned.
Jorge Perez, Regime Interior Deputy reported that La Paz, Cochabamba and Llallagua policemen were sent to the municipality of Acasio.
Not only the worst possible message is sent to investors but the inability of current government in crisis management is evident but is also painful to the families of those involved. Lets not forget that in Huanuni, the government let the COMIBOL and Cooperative miners engage in a clash which resulted in 16 dead people.
When a country decides to use the military to enforce the Law, something is definitely going wrong with current government abilities’ to deal with this type of recurring issues.