TIPNIS update as of October 14, 2011

The TIPNIS protest-walk has started walking up, to the highlands. The group started walking today around 6am, they are marching from Yolosa (69 kilometers away from La Paz city) and intend to reach Sacramento town. A leader from the Beni Indigenous People (CPIB), Wilma Mendoza is asking for solidarity to the organizations that are supporting this march; warm clothing and oxygen are needed to cope with the high altitude “sickness.” She said that most of the marchers are not accustomed and/or were never exposed to cold weather nor the altitude.

This afternoon, the group will decide how the final stage to reach La Paz will be structured and when will they enter La Paz city. CIDOB’s leader Adolfo Chavez recognized that due to the weather and increasing altitude, the pace will slow down. He estimates the protest-walk group to be around 2,500 people. This is the 59th day since they started walking in protest for the intention to cut in half their territory and the national park.

It is not the agreed terms that turned in to the “short law,” it only stops momentarily the construction through the TIPNIS, it does not cancel the road as we asked for in our project, said indigenous congressman Bienvenido Sacu.

http://www.laprensa.com.bo/diario/actualidad/bolivia/20111014/la-marcha-inicia-hoy-su-ascenso-hacia-la-cumbre_9187_15396.html

This cartoon appeared in La Razon, October 12, 2011. It portrays current Bolivian president with “imperial – Napoleonic” attitude, riding on a police/military animal with a chain saw in his hand. Negotiation between TIPNIS people and national government will turn tense, let’s hope indigenous rights will be respected; not only because the TIPNIS was granted ever since the “neo-liberal” governments but also because the Constitution, enforced by this government, says so.

This cartoon is from El Dia, October 1, 2011. You can see a policemen beating on the TIPNIS protest-walk group, the policeman (with the face of the president) is not only hitting, but also has made use of duct-tape (here they call it masking tape) to prevent elderly, children, women and men alike to express their outrage for this attack or shout in pain. The cartoon reads “The government is very sorry for the brutality and excess of the media (journalists, TV crew, photographers).” If it hadn’t been for the media who displayed such brutality and the San Borja population who prevented the Hercules plane (the government asked the US NAS permission to use it), the indigenous group would have been taking to, still as of now, to unknown locations.

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

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