Over this week, news reported of the intention’s of current Bolivian president to travel to either push the agenda related to our seacoast claim against Chile in the international forum or to advocate for the coca chewing… well, it was not a hard dilemma, as expected the current leader of the coca growers from the Chapare has made its choice. Bolivia will have to postpone its claim for our lost seacoast until further notice or until this government believes its time to use this issue again… for whatever distraction purposes they may envision…
This is from La Prensa, February 13, 2012. It represents how coca growers actually behave with law enforcement. A riding coca grower with a very ‘macho’ type symbol in his hand. While the police enforcer says: “who allows this abuse!” There was a growing trend of violence against police force. NOt so long ago, for a “related” problem, the Yapacani police headquarters was burned to the ground and now when asked to go back, the police say they will not go back until there are ‘assurances’ for their safety… and they are the ones who, despite those riots, should have never left their post. This week, we have also witnessed sadly how people with physical handicaps were not allowed to enter the main plaza in La Paz. Literally dozens of police were assigned there while crime and violence is rampant elsewhere. Another cause to seriously disconnect the riot control duties, which are more in support of current government; and drug enforcement and crime fight should be separate and coordinated with the Governors at each department.
This one is from La Razon, February 17, 2012. It shows the ongoing struggle of those brave indigenous people from the TIPNIS fighting against a road construction which is more likely to open up new territory for those coca growers in the Chapare, Cochabamba. The cartoon shows on one end the TIPNIS pushing against and on the other the coca growers from the Chapare pushing for it, while the coca growers from Yungas, La Paz are saying: “we do need it!” It is undeniable that the coca-cocaine business is highly profitable and obviously pushes those people engaged in those activities to search for more land to expand their businesses.
Bolivian Thoughts in an Emerging World wishes wisdom and ingenuity for the TIPNIS and CIDOB leaders in their upcoming quest. As for the rest of us… we must understand that this fight also puts in jeopardy the rest of our National parks and certainly the wildlife we must protect, for our own’s sake.