Manfredo Kempff writes in El Deber:
Who is the racist?
Milena Fernández, TV presenter is being harassed by the public prosecutor of Oruro, which accused her of “racist”, in one of her tourist programs she said that city, despite its virtues, “stink”. No one may like being told that their town sucks, but the people from Santa Cruz could not deny our city stinks in some places and depending on the season. And stink like most of the capitals of the Departments of Bolivia, in part by sewage that run on its banks, unhygienic markets, garbage dumps and, finally, due to the intense smell of piss during Carnival, that makes you cry. Or Paris by the Seine, London on the Thames are saved for the stench.
Now that there is a feast of complaints by racism, product of new times and quite complex laws, not is that you can look in the face to someone or less tell him something that is not helpful, because they immediately, accuse of being racist or discriminating. Everything that is not an exaggeration or partial is OK because in Bolivia there has been social abuse, but it is obvious that the “law against racism and all forms of discrimination” aims against the ‘blanquinosos’ (as they say in Peru [people who is white or has lighter skin]), in a sort of novel ‘apartheid’ [reverse racism].
Milena Fernández is being accused of ‘racism’ by what she said about the aromas of Oruro. However, she recognized her mistake and apologized. They were public and repeated apologies. They have not served anything. The Oruro prosecution has taken letters in the subject and without doing a proper notification so that the Communicator can testify, Prosecutor Chambi is accusing her of ‘racist’ and, on top of that, asked for her preventive detention because suspect a danger of escape. Why escape? Will also Milena Fernández need to seek for asylum for having disrespected the “brothers and sisters”? [using the way politicians refer to people of darker skin and “lower” incomes, despite some of them having larger illegal/informal activities with far more income than regular middle class citizens in today’s Bolivia]
This is one more circus, but where you won’t laugh. We had enough with the susceptibilities of the true racists, as the Prosecutor, who go against Santa Cruz. There were the corresponding calls for apology for the alleged crime of having spoken of the stench in Oruro and that is enough. What else can the young journalist of television do? Does it deserve, perhaps, that they implement community justice with the error of having hinted pungent smells in that region of the country? This is the result of the incitement to hatred that now poisons Bolivia.
It is unbelievable how current government has poisoned the minds ob many Bolivians, not ever have I seen such hatred, resentment and cockiness!