The threat of violence hangs over the Assembly

La Razon, September 6

The dialogue aimed at unblocking the constituent assembly is heading towards failure and sectors in conflict have decide to rely on pressure in order to decide the future of this process, identifying Monday September 10 as the day in which both fronts will measure their strength on the streets.

On one side, the denominated Democratic Junta, made up by the civic movements of six departments, decided yesterday to set a deadline of next Monday for MAS to reset on track the constituent assembly, commit itself to respecting two-thirds vote to approve constitutional reforms, and to annul the resolution that excludes debate over the demand from Chuquisaca for Sucre to be the full capital.

If their demands are not attended to by this date, they will begin a hunger strike in Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando, Tarija and Cochabamba, joining those from Chuquisaca that have been on hunger strike for 22 days, announced the president of the Civic Committee of Pando, Ana Melena, in Cobija, where the Junta was meeting.

On the other side, the social sectors aligned with MAS ratified that on the same day they would be staging the social summit in Sucre, with the objective of guaranteeing the continuity of the assembly and demonstrating their support for the project of a new constitution which MAS will present, announced the executive of the United Confederation of Campesino Workers of Bolivia, Isaac Avalos, one of the principal organizers of the mobilization which aims to bring together 50,000 people in the capital of the republic.

Parallel to this, the dialogue being promoted by the government to bring together the leaders from Chuquisaca and La Paz, had not obtained any result up until yesterday, rather, the different positions continued to radicalize.

The leaders from La Paz ratified that they would not negotiate the issue of the seat of the powers and decided to encourage social pressure in order to guarantee the continuity of the constituent assembly. The secretary general of the Prefecture of La Paz, Alejandro Zapata, said that the Emergency Committee complied with its promise of guaranteeing that the issue of the seat of the powers not be touched, and considered that “its time to leave it up to the social sectors”.

The president of the Neighbourhood Committees of El Alto, Nazario Ramirez, agreed, “there is nothing left to negotiate (with those from Chuquisaca)” and said that now the grassroots were organizing themselves to get to Sucre on September 10.

The government invited the representatives from Chuquisaca to come onboard the dialogue that had begun on Monday in Cochabamba with the leaders of La Paz, but those from Chuquisaca placed four conditions: that it occur in Sucre, that the directorate of the constituent assembly and the church participate, that the plenary of the assembly not be convened until some advances had been made on this issue, and that the acts of pressure continue in place.

Although the government did not officially respond, the Minister of the Presidency, Juan Ramon Quintana declared to Radio New Homeland that the only condition they could attend to was the request for the dialogue to occur in Sucre, given that the others did not depend on them.

At the same time, in Sucre, whilst more than 600 people maintained a hunger strike in support of the issue of the capital, new confrontations occurred between protests and police responsible for the security of the Gran Mariscal Theatre, where the assembly is being held.

Alongside this, in both La Paz and Cobija, marches were carried out rejecting the meeting of the Democratic Junta and in defense of the constituent assembly, whilst in Santa Cruz residents who original came from Chuquisaca held a mobilization during the hours of the night in support of Sucre becoming the full capital.

Amongst all this, in Chuquisaca, uncertainty continued over the future of the Prefecture of the department, following the resignation of David Sanchez from the position of prefect, who argued in favor of his resignation, warning that in the region their existed a serious risk of confrontation which he said he was not willing to be responsible for.

Translated from La Razon

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