Santa Cruz rebels against the police and the militarization of the Bolivian government due to the census conflict

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Inhabitants do not allow security forces to enter the department that covers a third of Bolivian territory

Santa Cruz rebels against the police and the militarization of the Bolivian government due to the census conflict

By

Humberto Vacaflor GanamFrom La Paz, Bolivia

Santa Cruz rebels against the police and the militarization of the Bolivian government due to the census conflict

Bolivian riot police remove some tires that were used to block streets in Santa Cruz (EFE/Juan Carlos Torrejón/Archivo)

The inhabitants of Santa Cruzthey do not allow the Bolivian police to enter the department that covers a third of the national territory due to the obstinacy of the government of Luis Arce in postponing for two years a census that should have been carried out in these days.

The positions have become irreducible both on the part of those who demand that the census be done next year to show that in Bolivia there are more voters than inhabitants, and on the part of the government, which wants it too close to the 2025 elections.

On the highways that lead to Santa Cruz and in the streets of the capital city citizens do not allow the transit of police officers sent in buses by the government from the altiplano , with the argument that they only mistreat the people of Santa Cruz.

The government has responded with harshness, sending a contingent of army soldiers to the rebel territory and announcing that those responsible for the paralysis of activities, for 19 days so far, will be subjected to severe criminal proceedings.

The military does not They have said nothing, as it should be, but there remains the question of whether they will use weapons in the rebel territories, because the commanders refuse to obey orders that do not bear signatures and seals that protect them.

Government shock groups furiously assassinated José Eduardo Sosa(28) in the Latin neighborhood of Santa Cruz, with such fury that his heart was stabbed out, raising the tension created by the census issue to horrendous levels.

The The Minister of the Presidency, María Nela Prada, says that in the next few hours the government will announce the date of the census, probably in April 2024, which will close the issue despite protests from Santa Cruz, Tarija, La Paz and Beni, 80% of the Bolivian territory.

Santa Cruz rebels against the police and the militarization of the Bolivian government due to the census conflict

Luis Arce and Evo Morales (REUTERS/Manuel Claure/Archivo)

All this while the ruling party is sinking into a deep division that has led former president Evo Morales to define as traitors to the president Arceand Vice President David Choquehuanca, because they want to retire him or directly hand him over to the US DEA.

Morales suggested that Arce solve the census issue by giving something up to the regions that demand to set it for next year, but the president is obstinate in winning this test and submitting to the department that has almost half of the inhabitants of Bolivia.

The president's stubbornness is contradictory to his announced intention to run for re-election in 2025, because he is hell-bent on humiliating millions of voters, reinforcing the story that he may be determined to resign.

Someone who wants to be a candidate in the next elections is not behaving like a dictator, mobilizing police, murderous hordes and even the military against a region that only asks for a change in the date of the census, says the opposition leader José Carlos Sánchez.

If it were for the economic situation in the country, Arce would have to resign tomorrow, adds Sánchez. Is that the energy trade balance shows a deficit of 200 million dollars until October due to the fall in natural gas exports while gasoline and diesel imports increase.

Inflation has begun to move very fast (0.75% in October, the highest of the year) despite the fact that the massive import smuggling from neighboring countries helps a lot, as well as the millionaire sums that enter the economy through drug trafficking.

Arce would also have to resign if he paid attention to the public debt, which is the highest in history, while his government insists on continuing to create public companies with money borrowed from the abroad.

But he says he is very proud of the results of the economic, “social, community and productive” model, which would be, in his words, the envy of all neighboring countries.

Morales, meanwhile, announces trials and sentences against all the traitors who now govern, and whom he accuses of acting in coordination with the followers of the liberal Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, overthrown in 2003.

The tension that Boliv is now experiencing ia is similar to the one that occurred during the cold war, when the country came to have the gold medal in number of military coups.

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