A very descriptive sad reality… An Editorial from Pagina Siete:
Attempts to weaken the Conamaq
First came the CIDOB, which supported the indigenous march against the way that the Government wanted to build a road through the TIPNIS. The envoys of officialdom managed, after months of cronyism, pressure, blackmail and threats, to divide and thus weakening it. Today there are two factions and an important entity has lost the strength and representativeness which had in the past.
Now it is the turn of Conamaq, the Andean version of the CIDOB – whose center of action are the lowlands. In the same way that the Organization of the East of the country, the Government used all its power, in addition to the control of the police, to divide this entity, which was never submitted to the designs of the ruling party.
First, the indigenous people related to the Government tried to take the seat of Conamaq, with the strategic support of the police. Then, their infiltrators chose, irregularly, they say independent media, one of their leaders as President of Conamaq. Hilarión Mamani, prone to the Government, took the direction of the Conamaq de-facto and announced immediately that the statutes would change. “We already have our own label, new letterheads and soon a new statute, which we have to write, it is 16 years old and it was not modified since then”, said Mamani.
The maneuver has been rejected by the leaders of the Conamaq base. Consulted by the media, the mallkus of most of the 16 suyus [geographical/societal divisions] comprising the entity, do not recognize Mamani and rather support Freddy Barnabas, who is a leader that critics the MAS. According to journalistic versions, Mamani does not even have the backing of his native town in Chichas, Potosi.
None of this seems important, because it has been achieved what it sought, to divide and weaken the indigenous entity.
Although there are certainly plenty of political reasons for such an attitude, it is regrettable to witness the division and confusion prevailing in the relationship between the movements and indigenous organizations and the ruling party. Intolerance to any hint of dissent and criticism, even worse social sectors that agreed with the objectives of the so-called “change process”, at some point is clear and is exposed with greater clarity in the desire to align all social sectors in the context of the presidential election which will take place this year.
There is only hope that some sanity and consistency will prevail, in dealing with indigenous organizations that are in the center, in the heart of this process.
In the same way that with the CIDOB Foundation, the Government used all its power, in addition to the control of the police, to divide the Conamaq definitively.
So… here there are more signs of current government’s pressure to have control of freedom of speech, freedom of representation. The indigenous rights were just a facade of current ochlocracy…