Santa Cruz again! in the front lines defending BOLIVIA democracy rights!

Santa Cruz has demonstrated once more why this beautiful region and people is constantly attacked by current political party in power.

Freddy Lacio Fernandez writes for El Deber:

They call for referendum to change law of autonomy

The first citizen Assembly in the history of the plurinational State provided a boost to Santa Cruz Governor to avoid his suspension from duties

The recent first citizen Assembly in the country, made history yesterday at the stadium Ramón Tahuichi Aguilera, defined start actions from Santa Cruz to make a binding nationwide referendum that is intended to modify the framework law of autonomy and decentralization.

In addition, participants gave mandate to the assemblymen and Santa Cruz Councillors to enforce respect for the popular vote, preventing the suspension of elected authorities.

Thousands of people came to the main sports venue in the country, to convene an call from the Committee pro Santa Cruz, in support of the Santa Cruz Governor, Ruben Costas, who is threatened to be suspended from Office due to a formal indictment against him for alleged embezzlement of resources of the former Prefecture, for the holding of the referendum for the autonomy statutes in 2008.

Representatives from 15 provinces and several Santa Cruz municipalities, as well as the departments of Tarija, Cochabamba and Beni guests were present at the historic act that refused the law which was described as the ‘damn law’, because it enables the Defenestration of Governors, Mayors and Councillors.

Eight speakers took the floor before the lecture was given to the final resolution, and although the civic President, Herland Vaca Díez, called “to the point, brief and proactive” interventions, was the representative of young crucians, Douglas Toledo, which requested the collection of signatures to promote a national consultation to amend the mentioned standard.

After several speeches, which touched the themes of human rights, persecution of political opponents, the road by the TIPNIS, the Census of population and housing, the exploitation of the Mutún and even citizen insecurity, the civic President invited public notary, María Luisa Lozada to put the emerging questions of the appointment to all the participants for consideration.

“Do you agree to enable the realization of a binding nationwide referendum requiring the plurinational Legislative Assembly legislation that respects, guarantees and not hoax the will of the people expressed at the ballot box?”, queried the notary, receiving a thunderous Yes in response. Shortly after the five points of the resolution was read (see below).

Then, the civic Herland Vaca Diez stated that the mandate of the Assembly will “guide our actions in the near future, because their axes are democracy, the rule of law and freedom“.

On his turn, Costas, who said that he attended as a citizen, to not politicize the event, noted that the referendum “is the only way which, using laws, the Constitution and democracy, can abolish this evil law”.

However, Victor Hugo Velasco, Member of the civic directory, noted that the status of the Committee does not recognize the citizen Assembly and therefore Vaca Diez is acting outside the rules. “I’m going to ask for the installation of the Court of Honor that analyse the situation,” said Velasco, adding Vaca Diez may ascribe to the Party of the Governor Costas, but not putting at risk the Committee.

In the Act

Speakers. The people who made use of the word at the stadium were, in order of appearance: Ulises Pessoa (civic provincial), Jenny Quiroga (trade sector), Douglas Toledo (youth), Joshua Antezana (indigenous people of the TIPNIS), Rosario Rivero (Gabriel René Moreno University), Pedro Zabala (neighborhood joints), Sara Mejia (civic ladies) and Elmer Pereira (Andrés Ibáñez province).

Foreigners. Members of parties in the centre-right of Chile, Honduras, Paraguay and Panama were yesterday in the stadium watching the Assembly which endorsed the Santa Cruz Governor. Foreign legislators were concerned about the form of Government of President Evo Morales and supported Costas.

Empty. Although Governor sources estimated that some 45,000 people participated in the event in the Tahuichi, it was evident that the scenario, with capacity for 35,000 (sitting), presented some empty places.

Question. “Where’s the Mayor?”, was heard being asked by the attendees, for moments out loud and from various sectors of the stadium.

The resolution

1. Declare our firm commitment and struggle for the preservation of democracy in Bolivia as a mechanism of coexistence and social peace, making use of all the instruments of direct and participatory democracy under the CPE [Constitution].

2. Activate popular initiative to collect signatures for a binding national referendum requiring the plurinational Legislative Assembly to respect in a national legislation, the will of the people expressed at the ballot box and to repeal or abrogate the regulations that violate these rights and the fundamental principles of the Bolivians.

3. Demand to the judicial authorities and the public prosecutor’s compliance with the CPE above all laws on respect for the rights, guarantees and democratic principles, and that put an end to the political persecution that occur to people who think differently.

4 Instruct departmental assemblymen and Councillors to not give up in the fight for democracy, making prevail the CPE, international treaties, and the sovereign will expressed at the polls to avoid suspension of the elected Governor of Santa Cruz and other democratically elected municipal and departmental authorities.

5. The presidium of this Assembly is responsible for measures to the State authorities, using the mechanisms, procedures and legal procedures for the implementation of these decisions.

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

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