Tag Archives: border problems

Who governs Bolivia? Quo Vadis Bolivian central government?

There is an ongoing border problem between Potosi and Oruro, people who normally are amicable are at the verge of a violent and probably deadly confrontation. Remember when this government let miners on opposing sides fight in Huanuni? At least 16 people died, and at that time, the vice president dared to only offer the coffins, well after the violence, which could have been prevented. In that case, this government did not take sides, as both groups of miners were supporters of the political party in power.

This cartoon is from La Razon, November 29, 2011. Both Potosi and Oruro have been blockading roads, going under strikes and problem remains. Governors do little as they probably also follow instructions from above. The cartoon represents both president and vice-president in a demeaning and arrogant attitude saying: “we don’t really do much on conflict resolution” and the VP says “we go more on division and domination”

Today, El Deber’s website posts what I consider outrageous and far from understanding who governs Bolivia:

Why do I say that? simply because the UN rep in Bolivia, Yoriko Yasukawa met with both sides and intends to mediate in the problem. She intends to reach consensus and expects both sides to reach an agreement.

What is wrong with that picture, aside of commending Yasukawa for such altruistic commitment? In a country that its central government is opposed to any type of colonial demonstrations? the UN’s attitude resembles the role they had after World War II, or wherever they were “making peace” in conflict areas. Of course, there were problems but among countries, and not within”brotherly” departments inside a same country, inside the same ecoregion with very similar history and traditions. Oruro and Potosi are certainly no Serbia or Croatia. Before the Spaniards, the rule of the Inca Empire mostly set up those living structures for over 800 years by now.

It puzzles me to see a central government which does not give autonomy to the departments; giving just the title of Governor instead of Prefect is not sufficient; as it is not sufficient to have created a Ministry of Autonomies… and it is also confusing to see the UN assuming the role of Human Rights and the Catholic Church as mediators.  These Bolivian institutions along with the press have helped in so many occasions current president and most if not all his party members, one time or another, get out of conflicts. This case is different.

So, who is really governing Bolivia, what is happening? Why current government did not learn from the deadly Huanuni example? Is it afraid to govern, to make decisions?

(for the full Spanish article, please use the link below).