TIPNIS needs to be protected, February 5, 2012

Current government has changed its tactics, after a pale welcoming of the group of people who want a road to cut the TIPNIS, now they are working in the National Assembly (former Congress) a law that will open up the possibility for such road. In the meantime, public opinion is reflected as follows:

This is from El Diario, February 3, 2012. Two kids talking: “..one group of indigenous people from the Isiboro Secure want the destruction of millions of trees from the heart of the ‘TIPNIS’ which is a reserve lung from mother earth…” and the other says: “because of the sudden urge of a few that want a road by the center, all Bolivians will suffer from the loss of a marvelous oxygen paradise!” So, it is confusing how current government portrayed itself as an environment advocate and does the opposite.

This is from La Prensa, February 1, 2012. It shows the group in favor of the road, which are not inhabitants from the indigenous territory, but settlers who managed to get inside the national park. They hold their land titling individually, while the indigenous from the TIPNIS have their land as a community. This cartoon shows the group of people who are supporters of current government, portrayed here as supporters of the OAS Brazilian company in charge of the construction of the road, entering the presidential palace in La Paz.

This is from El Dia, January 1, 2012. This cartoon shows current president as a child, playing with a toy with the Conisur sign hitting another toy that represents the police. It was clearly evident that this group was treated completely different than the TIPNIS’ was. Conisur group was violent with the police who made the ‘attempt’ to stop the marchers from going inside the main plaza (Murillo); instead a group of journalists were injured during that episode, Then, the media showed another group of policemen cooking for the Conisur group, peeling potatoes… remember the brutal aggression of the TIPNIS group last year, in the hands of the police? Well, Conisur certainly has a different standing…

This cartoon is from La Razon, February 1, 2012.  Where the police and other forms of aggressors were instructed to go after the TIPNIS protest walk group, last year. While in the case of the road advocates, with the sign “anti-TIPNIS” is hitting the police, while it is also been restrained by its owner…

So, it is far than evident how this Conisur group ended up as just a group that aims at cutting the TIPNIS by half and introduce more coca plantations in the indigenous territory and national park.

This cartoon is from El Diario, February 5, 2012. Two women talking at one of our markets: “.. the defenders of the ‘TIPNIS” were martyred in their long march. Then, tied and beaten up by the police when they were resting!..” and the other adds “.. and in the other opposition march. Evo visits them..! When they were marching they were escorted and had ambulances; arrive to the plaza and still beat the police…” This describes how different the marches were and how biased is the government with one side of those people who live inside and out of the TIPNIS. Most of those people from Conisur said they had their own land-titling inside the park… I highly question that, as if they went inside the park, those titles are illegal and thus should be expelled from the TIPNIS territory.

Current government is trying to portray the TIPNIS and CIDOB groups as the “enemy” of development. This new law intends to ‘rule’ on “prior consultation” that is to involve other actors in the decision regarding the road construction. If we analyze this attempt, we should agree that the so-called consultation should have taken place PRIOR to any road design and/or hiring of a company. Not after… but we cannot ask this government to be logic or coherent. There are other vested interests at hand, that is the only explanation why the TIPNIS saga continues…

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

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