An exceptional end-of-the-year analysis by Susana Seleme Antelo, from http://www.hoybolivia.com:
The obscene practice of the exercise of power
“When lawyers tell me it is illegal, I just do it and I say just do it, then legalize it; for that they have studied”. Evo Morales Ayma. President of the former Republic of Bolivia, today Pluri-national State. August 28, 2008. Sucre.
That phrase painted full-body the President. That is the trigger for the structural corruption which splashed all his Government since he himself gave the kick to commit illegalities. And to confession of parts, relay testing, as the legal aphorism says.
Much light-hearted ink has run on that Morales ‘saying’, when in reality it is a lapidary statement of principles against the legality of a rule of law and the direct interference of the Executive Power over the Judiciary. That is, the independence of powers passed on to a better life. Thus, any offence of the ruler, is converted by reason of State and on behalf of that reason, anything goes to retain power, even at the cost of violating political and civil rights, legal security and people’s freedom.
If the rule of law is harassed by practices that violate all the institutional scaffolding with extortionists who have license to kill, corruption grows like a weed. There has always been corruption, here and everywhere in the world, is a true since the beginning of history. However, today it was found that the obscene practice of the exercise of unfettered power, becomes an assault of public and private funds, installs the culture of extortion and activates bribery.
In the dangerous years lived under the regime of the Government of Evo Morales, this 2012 concludes as the worst of all. In 2011 the society chose a new judiciary by direct vote in the polls, but was one act of deception and media policy in pursuit of greater control in the administration of justice. Nothing has changed and rather there were setbacks by the excessive political subordination and economic centralization.
Corrupt behavior, from any sphere of power, displayed the lowest instincts of human nature. However, it is not power that corrupts, but that naked power lower instincts: get rich no matter what, for example. Nor is the “opportunity that makes the thief”, according to the complacent saying, because for that there are cultural pillage rules without God or law since primitive times. While culture attempts to increasingly establish social units, in return restricts the deployment and the satisfaction of the aggressive and destructive pulsions according to Sigmund Freud. It is what is known as “unrest in culture”, i.e., the clash and the contradiction between the negative impulses demands and restrictions imposed by the culture.
“Public light darkens it all”
So ruled the German philosopher, Martín Heidegger on authoritarian times in the first half of the last century, as Hanna Arendt recalls in her book “Men in times of Darkness”. Its philosophical connotations are another matter, but what a beautiful metaphor for the oxymoron concept! “Sarcastic and perverse statement… that was no more than a concise summary of the existing conditions” sentenced Arendt. Nothing more resembling the conditions of Bolivia in the Morales era.
If we are to make a balance of these seven years, the persistence of abuses committed against society and legality have resulted in this end-of-year with uncontrollable fury. Finally discovers with name and surname to the members of the criminal extortion network of lawyers, prosecutors, judges sheltered in the Ministry of Government, the Ministry of the Presidency, Anti-corruption Ministry, the Prosecutor’s Office and the Courts of (in) justice.
In the latter case, it is nothing more and nothing less but the Public Ministry, institution whose supreme duty is to protect society and the State of all types of crimes, whatever political, economic, ethnic, cultural or other they may be.
There have been seven years in which society has lived in a total state of defenselessness, victim of Justice predators. However, will those who say they did not know of the millionaire extortion that their subordinates committed, remain unpunished? But if they didn’t know, they are inept. Or knowing what was happening, are part of the criminal network for the crime of complicity, as stated in article 23, chapter V, Criminal involvement of the Penal Code: “Art. 23 (complicity) are accomplices who in any way facilitate or cooperate to the execution of the fact, in such a way that even without such help would have committed”.
The forcefulness of these facts is so brutal, that the Government is trying desperately to cover the Sun with a finger. And it has not found anything more expeditious than to accuse the CIA, crude joker of authoritarian, anti-democratic Governments and anti-imperialist, to get rid of their own sins. Nothing better, then, to distract attention from society and conduct informative policy for ‘disinformation’ public opinion towards another area: the espionage of the Empire [USA] to damage the image of his Government, Evo Morales dixit.
They announce that it is under investigation the presence of an infiltrate of the CIA, and accuses a character named Boris Villegas, who worked in official spheres and the ministries involved, since the beginning of the Morales era. And it was he who pointed to the former Minister of Government, Sacha Llorenti, now Ambassador to United Nations, as the responsible for the repression to the Indigenous Peoples of the East in Chaparina, in the year of 2011, when potatoes were beginning to burn more than one staff member.
To the end, the “process of change” and “21st century socialism” of Morales and his entourage, hath made bare their worst faces: the contempt for the democratic rule of law, structural corruption and their totalitarian impulses. To say how Morales said ‘I just do it, even though it is illegal”, is an extraordinary confession of political excess of power. In other words, “laws do not interfere really, I can make you whatever I want, I can treat you as guilty if I so choose, I can destroy you if I wish”.
This explains the processes against political opponents or judicial Guillotines in the absence of those who cut heads, as VP García Linera likes, who wants to be the last Jacobin of history, of course, in its phase of absolute terror. It gave the same thing that they were autonomist or other political actors, but such victims take between three and four years detained, in exile, in the wrong limbo, accused without proof of being terrorists-separatists and some of genocide since the breakdown of the constitutional process in 2003. In none of those cases there is jurisprudence, as they are rude political trials against opponents to the central power. (see [the opinion article] The power rots and smells like the plague, by Susana Seleme Antelo. 12/02/12 on the Internet)
What will be the fate of the terrorist-separatist case, if defendants already point to the famous Prosecutor of the case, Marcelo Sosa as one of the most abusive, and require auditing to his work? For any of the cases that have caused so much suffering to the defendants and their families, I return the article 23: there are very high levels of government complicity. That is why they seek scapegoats: from the ones down below to the non-existent infiltrate of the CIA. Those responsible for their intellectual and ideological ‘work’, the ministries involved and their heads, as the amounts obtained by the network of extortionists are left out of an impartial investigation. They continue to enjoy the honey of power, at the top of the political structure.
As says Giovanni Sartori, “.. .the political corruption has already reached the critical point of corrupting the same political activity”. Then, emerges the anti-politics.
The anti-politics and social conflict
Evo Morales, the ‘Vice’ [VP], Juan Ramón Quintana, as many other Ministers and acolytes, destroyed the foundations of democratic institutions through the use of real and symbolic violence, i.e. through the political suspension of ethics and the anti-politics. It is obvious that this last category is also political, as it leaves other actors with their Guild, corporatist, even violent practices, act as part of the system of political parties, named as social movements.
The anti-politics has become a real alternative against a worn party system, because it does not necessarily break the constitutional order; implemented in the field of democracy, because it enters in electoral processes accompanying a charismatic leader; it has a powerful marketing media coverage and adequately conceals dictatorships in the powers that be.
In that muddy field shelter all extremists, covered in social movements of coca growers, farmers, cooperative mining, smugglers of all kinds, including drug traffickers, in the hands of non political leaders, but closely linked to the ruling political power. The anti-politics is responsible in large part of undeniable anti-party feeling, the so-called “traditional”, that characterized the run-up to the arrival in power of Morales and his group, under the title of “change process”.
Today, they don’t want any change, because it is a conservative party: that nothing changes to retain power, hence the judgment of Ernesto Sábato: “there is nothing more conservative than a revolutionary in power”.
Those movements have exercised and exercise social violence as a basis for political sustenance from the ‘boss – jefazo’ and made an instrument of social ascent of the conflict. A study on the subject points to social conflict “has made it possible to promote social mobility between the protagonists and political leaderships… among which Evo Morales Ayma, figures in the first place”. Refers to the practice of Morales as a violent coca union leader, up to what it is today: successful triple Chair of the 1) the powerful six federations of the Cochabamba tropics, who cultivate coca leaf, raw material for cocaine; 2) President of Bolivia and 3) of his political party, Movement Toward Socialism (MAS).
Explains that quality, i.e. three functions in one person, the increase in coca leaf crops, from the 12,000 hectares allowed, to more than the 30,000 hectares today, ergo an exponential increase of drug production? To be judge and party, in this case, is a testament to the political suspension of ethics. It is also corruption.
Become an efficient political marketing, “pluri-national” as the exposure of the discriminated indigenous world, as was another populist hook and one of the many fictions, under the indigenous-originary-farmer trilogy.
This trilogy has crude traps: “renders invisible the diversity of different indigenous identities among themselves and, fundamentally, the divergence between the peasant identity and indigenous identities”. The traps of the originary-indigenous-peasant, as legal formulation without sustenance in the sociological reality and with obvious ideological manipulations, has in addition theoretical and conceptual significant errors.
It is deliberately a confused ethnicity, occupation, and class. The confusion is not free: accommodates as fundamental political actor the coca-grower sector, identified as a peasant, not necessarily native indigenous, but mestizo. Nor farm worker, but owner of the land where coca is grown. As such, a small bourgeois farmer.
In the national revolution of 1952, the word ‘Indian’ was quasi banished by the racist connotations that primaban in that Manor society, with one foot in feudalism and another in the capitalist economy. And was casted with ‘peasant’, for the construction of a national identity, on the basis of the peasant-workers alliance of classes.
Morales and his ideologues, give priority to ethnic cultural identity and accept a weak view of social classes. ‘Pluri-national’ a recognition of the 36 indigenous nations inscribed in the Constitution, however, is reduced to the supremacy of “an expansive macro-aymara identity… is a political fact and its presence in the State depends on its capacity of mobilization, pressure, politics and representation; i.e. a calculation of physical forces toward the State”. An aymara-central admission, explains the impairment and disdain to other indigenous identities such as the ones from the Bolivian Eastern.
The most brutal test of utilitarian use and media of the indigenous issue, is how repressive and racist which were ill-treated the Peoples of the East, grouped in the Indigenous Confederation of the Bolivian East (CIDOB). Who oppose the highway that aims to split in two and killing the Isiboro-Secure indigenous territory and National Park (TIPNIS), one of the largest reservoirs of biodiversity not only in Bolivia, but of the continent. And in the outburst of his political contempt for those people, have concluded a so-called “consultation”, in fact a “posthumous inquiry” for the construction of the road, when the works have already been initiated. Dubbed as the ‘trans-coca road, because it will pass through those areas, indigenous and much of society struggle is to prevent that it pass through the center of the TIPNIS. Thus, the defense of mother earth was another deception and other crude utility hook.
Responsible for the legal, political, social and ethnic helplessness
Evo Morales is the main. Old coca trade unionist and President of the powerful six federations of the Cochabamba tropics of coca growers, for the last 17 years, whose coca leaf harvest goes all to the production of cocaine, exported to the Government Palace the worst Trade Union style: extortion, violent blackmail and vertical imposition to the extreme. And became the practice of the State pluri-fiction policy, more than pluri-national.
The undoubted instinct of Association of which politician enjoys, not makes up for its shortcomings as a political leader, as a man of State, or as the first ruler of the country, nor as interlocutor with the internal opposition nor in the international context. He plays with a charisma that exploded and exploits very well today with less political revenue. In the course of these years Morales has prostituted political practice because you does not know the ‘ABC’ of the political office in democracy: dialogue, negotiations, agreements and covenants for the common good.
Nor is he interested in knowing it, because he is a radical coca trade unionist who handles State and the Government as his union, his property and his personal assets. He has become addicted to the cult to his personality, so much that an ethnic Museum of the cultural revolution is been built, in his hometown – a remote village of the Highlands – with an investment of about seven million dollars, without bidding and without accountability.
Followed by his Lieutenant, the VP Alvaro García Linera, reincarnation of the Jacobean era of terror, not of the revolutionary Robespierre of the first and glorious era of the French Revolution. Like most of the revolutions which are lost in the exercise of power by power, end up eating their children: a Robespierre with the guillotine that applied to all his opponents.
How will end the ‘VP’ who already has ‘robbed the soul of many k’ahras, as mestizo and white like him, who went from being a guerrilla terrorist who destroyed electrical towers and public remittances and bank robber? Increasingly there are major elements that point him out as the intellectual author of the terrorist=-separatist plot against the autonomies, their leaders and other outrages, but with his clandestine practice of urban guerrilla, knows how to camouflage its violent and destructive instincts against their opponents.
And a Juan Ramon Quintana, Minister of the Presidency for the second time, former army captain, trained at the famous school of the Americas for the anti-communist and counterinsurgency struggle in Latin America, is a character with pathological symptoms of physical and verbal violence. The one who wanted to send the former Prefect of Pando, Leopoldo Fernández, “underground to live with the worms…” during a campaign against autonomy. In this quest he coordinated, directed and oversaw the actions that ended clashes between peasants loyal to the MAS and young teachers transferred from La Paz, against local advocates of autonomy, with a balance of 11 dead, from both sides. Fernandez was dismissed, accused of genocide, is not living with worms, but prisoner four years without trial. Quintana, by contrast, continues to enjoy the honey of power, without him caring about how bad these honeys smell to pure corruption.
There are other characters of minor ‘pedigree’, but who more nor less do not act for the benefit of the common good or to the “living well” according to its motto, or to live as equals, recognizing the singularity of each one, but to reproduce in power over all society and by any means.
Today their only interests “attack and punish those who think different, remove the heritage of the opponent, ending with groups of different ideology, intimidate and terrorise opponents and especially make unpunished and wealthy those members of the Government”.
Never, to be hinges between the society and the State. Hence those invoices that reality begins to collect them, it sweeps its passage, among other things, with their images built with media paraphernalia, without livelihoods of personal, political, ethical and meritocratic values.
The clashes of economic policy
The vaunted communal – plural economy, and andean-amazonian capitalism of which the VP praises, did not correspond to the cultural or economic structures, nor to the trends of today’s global economy. Today they sink in the leaf litter of the cultivation of coca, the raw material of cocaine, whose production responds mostly to the illegal globalized capitalist drug chains.
The secondments of Morales and company to the more radical statism, via the nationalization of hydrocarbon companies, are the most notable changes in the economic policy of the MAS, but has put at stake the joints with the world capitalist market and foreign investment.
Some economists claim that “despite the differences in approach between economic policy schemes implemented since the Decade of the ’90s… It has not changed substantively based technical material of the economy… no changes worthy of mention in the modern productive capital installed in the country”.
In fact, State mining or cooperative has not changed its pattern of accumulation and productivity for the last 50 years and still formed part of the primary exporting economy, without added value. The extraordinary availability of surplus that now enjoys the status, due to the prevailing conditions in the world economy by the demand of raw materials available in the country. However, it does not has involved building competitive productive firms, productivity in the work, nor secure productive employment with full social benefits.
And it insists that more than 70% of the economically active population, was immersed in the informality, by deficiencies of the State productive sector, private and weak labor market which makes the informality a survival strategy, face massive unemployment, underemployment or precarious employment.
Three main export products, which generate what they call the salary of the State: hydrocarbons, gas and soybeans, the latter is responsible for the crucian [from Santa Cruz] miracle, with an average sustainable growth, superior to the rest of the country. With ups and downs faced the erratic economic policy of the Government, without clear rules and with too many obstacles for the development of agroexport industry activity. For example, little certainty about land ownership, continuous land-take-overs, barriers to export and the loss of external markets. This practice is determined by the ruling ideology that continues to promote a more communitarian than mixed economy, and eventually none of the two receive State attention.
The Santa Cruz, big, medium and small, bourgeoisie who called themselves as productive sectors, face a sensitive dilemma as class, which produces 70% of the food consumed in Bolivia.
Or opts for being a class that would question the project of the MAS, which is in its real and discursive conundrums, or concedes by the need to harmonize and negotiate with the men of political power to obtain industry-friendly policies.
Until today it has not had no choice but to agree, which in politics – and the economy also is policy – it is better than making war. Pragmatic practice, also skewed by the terrorist-separatist plot against Santa Cruz and its leadership, which has left much of it with very low profile, because many are frightened of the terrorist label. The only terrorism practiced in Bolivia, is the State terrorism undertaken by the Morales Government in that case.
They put it on with precision of watchmaker, experts in counterintelligence, not Bolivian, of course, because Santa Cruz was and is an obstacle in the claim to occupy the entire territory, to subject the entire population and wield total power, in a fractious, rather conservative and opposition to the centralism region. But always innovative, entrepreneurial and willing to take economic risks, already common attitudes in the thousands and thousands of immigrants from across Bolivia.
Will Santa Cruz play a vital role in 2013? As 70% of food producer, will continue to fulfil this not inconsiderable role. In the political field of power, may not develop role of any importance, nor even with the census data, which placed the Department in the first place of population and seats in the Parliament.
On the one hand, the ideology and political practice of Morales and his group, will prevent it at all costs. On the other hand, no sight of a crucian [Santa Cruz] leader, who would run in the general elections of 2014, is foreseen.
Its [Santa Cruz] expansive productive reality, its economic growth and population, and because it already is the unavoidable center by its international stature, regardless of its flaws, services infrastructure as emerging region should have a more defining political performance. Nothing is in sight in that order, because the centralist political power will not share power with anyone.
By way of closing
Evo Morales will ask their lawyers that again “just do it [clean up the mess, after what was purposely and illegally done]”, for its re-reelection in 2014, against the constitutional rule that allows for one re-election only. He already was re-elected, in 2009, but in fact little or anything he cares about the same laws dictated by their men. Today says that he is enabled and welcomes the “surround strategy” devised by the ‘VP’ in 2008. It consisted of cutting the presidential term from 5 to 4 years, with the possibility of a single re-election and call new elections, without completion of mandate. Thus the political forces then agreed it.
Glossy surround manoeuvre, without the political opposition been aware of the trap. Today the Government argues that by having reduced the first mandate, it does not count as such and that Evo Morales began his Government in 2009, with the new political Constitution of the State.
Neither Mandrake the magician, or Cassandra, who possessed the gift of prophecy given by Apollo, in Greek mythology, could prevent the future of Bolivia, after a devastating 2012 as it practised obscene power.
However, everyone to some extent, especially if there is vital pulse for the democratic adherence and respect for human and civil rights, it could be argued that the dialectic plays in favor of Bolivia and Santa Cruz society. And is that as survivors of “another year of aching uncertainty, uncontained rages, of ample bitterness and faded hopes” as the word of the grieved poet, writer and historian, Ruber Carvallo, we are also “The owners of color and hope, the time referees, walkers of dreams and seekers of new utopias. That nothing and no one will stop us. And that the Tipnis be again a gift of life.”
Happy holidays and until 2013.
Deep and undeniable reality of our Bolivia!