La Razon, June 13
The autonomy model that the MAS majority is proposing in the Constituent Assembly opens the possibility of constructing autonomous indigenous governments, parting from the recognition of their ancestral territories or other geographical spaces occupied by them, all within the framework of a plurinational state.
In order to concretise this objective, those that support MAS are working in two areas: the debate in the Constituent Assembly and pressure in the streets, the first under the control of its majority bloc of assembly delegates and the second headed by the Unity Pact, an organisation that groups together campesino and indigenous groups.
The starting point is a plurinational state, that the MAS majority approved by forcing a vote by simple majority in the vision of the country commission, and which in its second article establishes that: “Given the pre-colonial existence of the indigenous peoples and originario nations and their ancestral dominion over their territories, this constitution guarantees their free self-determination which is expressed in the will to conform, and being part of, a united, plurinational, communitarian state, and in the right to self-government, their culture and reconstitution of their territorial entities within the framework of the constitution.”
In the autonomy commission, the preliminary report present by MAS adds that indigenous autonomies “are constituted on the basis of the ancestral territories of indigenous peoples, originario nations and campesinos, that have geographical continuity or discontinuity, or parting from geographical spaces occupied by them”. It adds that in order to consolidate this objective the indigenous peoples should appeal “to procedures and mechanisms of direct consultation according to the constitution and the law”.
In MAS’ view, as with departmental autonomies, indigenous autonomies will not have legislative capacities, but they will be able to designate their authorities according to their traditions and customs, define the administration and control of their territory, budget and mechanisms of internal fiscal control.
Yesterday, the leaders of the Unity Pact announced in Sucre that they would fight for a plurinational state and indigenous autonomies “in the streets and highways”.
A large group of representatives of the Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of the Bolivian East (CIDOB) and the National Council of Ayllus and Markas of Qollasuyu (CONAMAQ) bellicosely reclaimed in the garden of Junin college, where the commissions of the Constituent Assembly are meeting, that their demands for indigenous autonomies be respected by the assembly delegates.
Pedro Nuni, vice-president of the pact announced that they would defend indigenous autonomies “in the streets, in the highways, where ever it is necessary”, because “we have been putting this forward way before the cabildo [open town meeting] of a million [referring to Santa Cruz]”.
Justino Leano, tata mallku of CONAMAQ, coincided with the idea, signalling, “we are going to defend [indigenous autonomies] until the last consequence, because it is out right”.
Nuni said that they are demanding the same level of autonomy as the departments are, “without subordination”, and announced that “we are going to stay here until the 21st”, date in which the commissions need to hand over their reports. The autonomy commission decided to postpone its debate until today.MAS' proposal
Definition – “Indigenous, originaria, campesino autonomy is the exercising of the right to self-government, as an expression of the free determination of the indigenous peoples, originario nations and campesino communities, that the constitution established for the conformation of their autonomous territorial entities, with their own government and attributions.”
Basis – “They are constituted on the basis of the ancestral territories of indigenous peoples, originario nations and campesinos, that have geographical continuity or discontinuity, or parting from the geographical spaces occupied by them.”
Mechanism – “In the territorial units where a self-identifying population exists such as indigenous, originario, or campesino, as do organising structures that articulate them, in exercising their free determination, they may constitute autonomous territorial entities according to the constitution and law.”
Procedure – “The decision of transforming an existing territorial entity into a indigenous, originario, campesino territorial entity is made via the procedures and mechanisms of direct consultation according to the constitution and the law.”
Organisation – “The indigenous, originario, campesino autonomous territorial entities, by their own will and in conforming with the procedures established by the law can organise themselves into: a) indigenous, originario territories that correspond to a local collective that inhabits ancestral territories, with a cultural identity, government and their own competencies b) municipalities and c) regions.”
Attributions – Designate government authorities in accordance with their own norms and procedures and define norms and forms of management, administration and control over their territory and budget.
Translated from La Razon