Daily Archives: November 14, 2012

Bolivia: The project to override private property

An important editorial from El Diario:

The project to override private property

The origin of private property goes back to the same appearance of the man on the planet and that sense of human society is in a process of evolution, whose final cannot be predicted, since the matter, in general, is in its infancy. This condition, including in Bolivia, is so elemental that can be considered that it only was born here or, in the best of cases, is to be born.

However, despite these conditions, in Bolivia has emerged some time ago a movement that proposes the cancellation of property and ownership rights. This attack has been intensified in recent years, although it has no greater effect since it is crashing against the wall of reinforced concrete by the population, which rejects that suggestion not only verbally but in acts of great power demonstrations, as the street protests’ of drivers, guilds, peasants and other large social masses throughout the national territory. Indeed, the fight in defense of private property has the character of the masses.

The recent proposal to disregard the property was born with the project of “Extinction of the domain of private property in favour of the State”, ministerial text which was brought to the attention of the Chamber of Deputies, entity which rejected it, to the extreme of pointing it out, through its Chairperson, that it lacked “seriousness” and that it was the subject of over sixty reforms which invalidated its existence. [current president had, today, expressed his main disdain as he is upset with the Chairperson, for that news in Spanish click here]

In any case, the proposal caused great popular concern that may have reached the volume of rejection of the Decree of the “gasolinazo” [December 2010 attempt to increase the price on gasoline, diesel and gas, next year’s subsidy of these items is estimated at one billion dollars], which was issued two years ago, the same one that had to be withdrawn by the Government in haste, without having, in addition, the less possibility of updating it.

Against great opposition which arose against the “law of extinction of domain from their property in favour of the State” (a title that is only a neologism, by “cancellation of private property law), including the President of the State was forced to react and accordingly ordered that the project be previously considered by the Constitutional Court and just based on its decision again be submitted for the parliamentary debate.

However, that remission of the project in question to the Constitutional Court by the Executive power is unconstitutional, since that step could only have been adopted by the same Chamber of Deputies decision that by Law and surely will be rejected by this Court. Moreover, the project should be moved back to the lower House, which is the only one that can take that transfer, thus following the correct implementation of the current constitutional order.

The wrong procedure to send to the Constitutional Court of the mentioned draft law is not in accordance with the Constitution, since it was already out of the jurisdiction and competence of the Executive. But that objection relates solely to the procedural aspect, because what is questioned is the substance of the draft against the property, which is guaranteed by the Constitution, in particular the articles 56 and 110-II, provisions which emphasize that “the violation of constitutional rights holds responsible on its intellectual and material authors” and therefore, any disregard of the rights established by the Constitution and the international covenants, performed by any authority or person, shall be answered thereon.

In that way, the draft domain extinction or cancellation of property is guilty of being unconstitutional, both in form and in its content, so it should be checked in a timely manner in the Chamber of origin and once the Constitutional Court has made known his word.