President Evo Morales laments excesses by Bolivian police and defends plan to build highway

26 September 2011

Dario Kenner, La Paz

Daily updates on TIPNIS conflict at Twitter: @dariokenner

You can view all updates here http://twitter.com/#!/dariokenner

 

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In a press conference this evening President Morales expressed regret for what happened yesterday when Bolivian police intervened in the indigenous TIPNIS march (see article for background). But it was surprising he did not announce the resignation of any government ministers because the incident has caused outrage and been strongly condemned across civil society. This is the demand of the TIPNIS march and also protests in La Paz and other major cities. They say Minister of Government Sacha Llorenti is responsible for ordering the police action that resulted in injuries and detentions. Llorenti claims he obtained permission from a prosecutor for the intervention but the public prosecutor has denied this.

The major announcement was the suspension of work on the road going through the TIPNIS national park and indigenous territory until a national debate (or consultation) with sectors in the Beni and Cochabamba regions decide what they want. However, the Bolivian Constitution and international norms make it clear any consultation about a project inside an indigenous territory can only be with the indigenous communities who live there (see background article).

President Morales did not cover key issues in his press conference such as why the highway has to go through the TIPNIS national park even though he emphasised the need to link up the regions of Cochabamba and Beni.

It remains to be seen if this press conference will be enough as strikes are reportedly planned on Wednesday 28 September in La Paz, Trinidad, Sucre, Oruro and the Pando region in support of the TIPNIS march. There have already been protests yesterday and today in La Paz, Cochabamba and rejecting the police repression of the TIPNIS march.

In radio interviews with key leaders on the indigenous march it is very likely the march in defense of TIPNIS will begin again tomorrow.

Below are the main points President Evo Morales made in his 15 min press conf on the TIPNIS issue

Work on road through TIPNIS suspended until national debate, mainly Cochabamba and Beni regions, make a decision. (Unclear if he means the entire project or just the part inside the TIPNIS).

“What happened yesterday was unforgivable. We lament and condemn excesses by police against march. There was violence and abuses against the indigenous brothers on the march”

“But we also ask ourselves if that march had passed what would have happened if the other people mobilised in Yucumo”

“We will organise an high level commission in-depth investigation into what happened yesterday with international organisations, Ombudsman and human rights organisations”

“The president never ordered this. We hope that this commission will find all the aggressors from yesterday’s events”

“Until now we have no reports a baby died during intervention. We hope there is no more information but if there is we need the name of the baby and the parents. If the baby died where is it buried?”

“The media reports others have died. We would like to see the evidence behind these claims”

Explained two reasons for Government plan to build highway between Cochabamba and Beni regions are past norms and demand of sectors in Cochabamba and Beni. Refers to norms and laws from 1984, 1990 + 2003 to justify why Government now building highway

Reads 25 September agreement with 12 (out of 64) communities inside TIPNIS national park (CONISUR) who say they want the highway, to start consultation, a law to protect environment inside TIPNS and integrated management plan for TIPNIS.

“Consultation will always be respected but Government also has obligation to listen to all Bolivians”.

“Highway project supported by many social movements from Beni and Cochabamba so government guarantee finance. We are building the road obeying the people”

President Evo Morales, Plurinational State of Bolivia

President Evo Morales, Plurinational State of Bolivia

 SUMMARY OF TWEETS FROM MONDAY 26 SEPTEMBER 2011

 dariokenner Dario Kenner

Article about police action Sunday 25 Sept: Bolivian Police Tear Gas#Indigenous Marchers tinyurl.com/3zx9szr #bolivia #TIPNIS #evomorales

54 minutes ago Favorite Reply Delete

dariokenner Dario Kenner

#indigenous #TIPNIS marchers assembly now in San Borja 2 decide what do now, Radio reports (Erbol,Fides,Panamericana)say march will continue

6 hours ago

dariokenner Dario Kenner

#bolivia #evomorales Gov cabinet meeting now. We wait to see what Gov decides + says publicly about current #indigenous #TIPNIS issue.

6 hours ago

dariokenner Dario Kenner

Strikes Wednesday 28 Sept in #bolivia :La Paz, Oruro, Trinidad and Pando in support of #indigenous #TIPNIS march+rejection police repression

6 hours ago

AndeanInfoNet AndeanInfoNet

by dariokenner

AIN Update on #TIPNIS (please RT):”Turning Point for Morales: Bolivian Police Repress and Detain Indigenous Marchers” ain-bolivia.org/2011/09/turnin…

8 hours ago

dariokenner Dario Kenner

#bolivia Gov say Referendum 2 decide if road thru #TIPNIS national park.BUT consultation shud only be with #indigenous peoples inside TIPNIS

8 hours ago

dariokenner Dario Kenner

Protests now in La Paz,Cochabamba,Santa Cruz against #boliviapolice intervention #indigenous #TIPNIS march.Backgroundtinyurl.com/3gc3j5d

11 hours ago

dariokenner Dario Kenner

#TIPNIS . #bolivia Gov Min.Communication say “there will be a deep investigation into police action+if found guilty will be processed (Erbol

12 hours ago

CarwilJ Carwil James

by dariokenner

Bolivian indigenous parliamentarian Pedro Nuny among those detained in raid of #TIPNIS march. bit.ly/pf2xeI

15 hours ago

dariokenner Dario Kenner

#TIPNIS . #bolivia Gov press conf:“Any police operation must strict respect 4 human rights.If anyone does not do this they will B processed”

13 hours ago

dariokenner Dario Kenner

#bolivia Gov press conf:“The aim was to avoid a clash between the migrant settlers(colonos)in Yucumo+ #indigenous #TIPNISmarchers”

13 hours ago

dariokenner Dario Kenner

#bolivia Gov press conf:“#tipnis march stop being peaceful cos kidnap F.Min Choquehuanca (24 Sept) +police injured by fatal weapons-arrows”

13 hours ago

dariokenner Dario Kenner

#TIPNIS . #bolivia Gov press conf. “The only aim of this operation was to avoid a clash between civilians” – Minister of Gov Sacha Llorenti

13 hours ago

dariokenner Dario Kenner

#indigenous peoples in estern #bolivia city of Santa Cruz start hunger strike in main square in support of #TIPNIS march (Radio Erbol)

13 hours ago

dariokenner Dario Kenner

Reports Minister of Defense Cecilia Chacon cos #bolivia police violence against #indigenous #tipnis march. Background:tinyurl.com/3gc3j5d

14 hours ago

dariokenner Dario Kenner

9.25am Radio Erbol speak 2 CONAMAQ #indigenous #tipnis leader Rafael Quispe “I am in San Borja church as refugee with 200 people” #bolivia

14 hours ago

dariokenner Dario Kenner

9.20am RadioErbol say #indigenous #TIPNIS marchers @ Rurrenabaque airport freed cos group force #bolivia police 2 free them. Police runaway

14 hours ago

dariokenner Dario Kenner

#bolivia .Hearing through contacts CONAMAQ #indigenous leader Rafael Quispe say they will continue #TIPNIS march despite police violence

14 hours ago

dariokenner Dario Kenner

Strange lack #bolivia #evomorales Gov statements today on police violence against #tipnis march yesterday. Just this:tinyurl.com/64orntm

14 hours ago

dariokenner Dario Kenner

Hundreds #indigenous #TIPNIS marchers detained by #bolivia Gov. RadioErbol: “people block Rurrenabaque airport 2 stop transfer of marchers”

14 hours ago

dariokenner Dario Kenner

Pagina 7 newspapaper: 3 month old baby died inhaling tear gas in #bolivia police intervention #indigneous #TIPNIS marchtinyurl.com/3c7o8ju

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