Again, current government shows bad timing, arrogance and excessive use of force against children and women of the TIPNIS group.
Pagina Siete reported yesterday afternoon on its website:
Police repressed with tear gas and water to activists and indigenous people of the TIPNIS
Close to 11 a.m. today [July 5, 2012], police launched tear gas and jets of water against the 9th March of the indigenous people, performing a vigil in tents, asking the Government to override the law on consultation on the highway that will pass through the TIPNIS.
Children and women who were at that time in the improvised camp located in vicinity of the Vice-Presidency, fled in fear, as local media reported.
The police crackdown began when a group of activists of Mujeres Creando, which carried out a mobilization of support to the indigenous people of the 9th March tried to enter the Murillo square and threw fruits and vegetables to the police, who replied with jets of water from a cart Neptune and tear gas, to which the activists threw sticks and stones, Erbol radio reported.
Police expanded its action to the tents of the vigil of the 9th March in Ayacucho Street, between Potosi and Mercado streets.
The Neptune car fired strong jets of water to the tents, blankets, food and other belongings of the natives.
The most critical moment was when it launched three grenades of gas affecting children who were playing in a tent installed by UNICEF.
They were evacuated to the building of the City Hall of La Paz. Meanwhile, their mothers and other small children took refuge in the Church of San Agustin.
The departmental Commander of police, Rosalio Alvarez, told Erbol, that they only responded to aggressions of indigenous Peoples which, according to Álvarez – threw them sticks and stones.
Several children and women were assisted with oxygen because they were very affected by the fumes. According to the report by one of the doctors who attended them on grounds of the City Hall, children suffered dizziness and vomiting. Two of them were taken to a city hospital.
Two photos from ERBOL I obtained in FB:
What happened to the compliance of the Bolivian Constitution???!!!
Last night, on PAT and Unitel, it was reported that the TIPNIS has given a 24 hour deadline to current government to start dialogue. Had the government fail to accept dialogue, around 14:00 hours today, there will be a public meeting (cabildo) called, and the indigenous people are inviting La Paz people to attend such event. I just hope this government comes to its senses and starts the dialogue.