Faced with neoliberal legality

Popular legitimacy

Statement from the Coalition in Defence of Water and Life, ASICASUR, Federation of Factory Workers of Cochabamba, Awardees of Housing for Social Interest.

Social conquests have never been the product of “legality”, it has not been laws or judges that have changed the country, it has always been the people on the streets. 1952, 1978, 1979, 1982, 2000, 2003, 2005, are dates in which the people, breaking all legality, initiated the April revolution, recovered democracy, demanded land and territory, defeated the dictatorship of Pereda, Banzer and Garcia Meza. Since 2000 with the Water War, the valiant people of Cochabamba began the long struggle to defeat neoliberalism.

The Water War recovered popular will as the only legitimate instrument for demanding, above legality which only favors the same wealthy people; and also above the political parties that only think of taking advantage of power.

At this moment in Cochabamba a new battle has been unleashed, we came out on the streets and footpaths to occupy spaces of VOICE and DIGNITY, our words are not compromised by any party or economic interests, we speak and act for ourselves.

We are militants for the autonomy of the social movements and organisations, we believe that another Bolivia is possible, and that the people are the legitimate constructors of their present and future.

The request for Manfred Reyes Villa to resign, beyond his past as an aide to Garcia Meza and his behaviour in the massacre of Calle Harrington, and even over and above the pact signed with Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, has to do with the following considerations:

1. In public declarations, in a conscious manner, he has demonstrated that he is not interested in the problem of departmental development, but rather he has converted himself into an instrument of the Crucena oligarchy embedded in Cochabamba, and is only worried about protecting and supporting those interests in order to maintain their accumulated privileges behind the backs of the people, these interests signify exclusion, the division of the country and more poverty, that is to say: THEY DON”T WANT TO CHANGE THE COUNTRY

2. Cochabamba can not convert itself into an appendage of the Santa Cruz oligarchy, but Reyes Villa, via the use of repression, just as in his time as aid of Garcia Meza, and with a strong racist tinge, is pretending to impose a foreign idea onto the majority of the people.

3. Manfred Reyes Villa, now disguised as a democrat, has trodden on the decision of the people of Cochabamba who voted NO to departmental autonomies in the referendum.

Due to these considerations, the social, neighbourhood, youth and professional organisations who have always come out onto the streets want to declare our position, at the margins of any party position or interests, and demand the RESIGNATION of captain Manfred Reyes Villa.

This is a struggle between the wealth of a few and the poverty of millions of us; it is a struggle to the death…. for life.

We cannot accept that others think for us, we can not allow Cochabamba to be converted into the backyard of the Crucena oligarchy, that is why we have to continue the mobilizations, because the people in their wisdom have said:


Cochabamba, January 2007

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