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News > Bolivia

Bolivia's Campesino Union Slams Opposition Protests as 'Total Failure'

  • Small attendance at opposition roadblocks on Tuesday

    Small attendance at opposition roadblocks on Tuesday | Photo: Abya Yala TV

Published 9 July 2019
Opinion

"we have seen luxury cars blocking some avenues and roundabouts, where four or five young people are there causing an inconvenience”

The head of Bolivia’s Indigenous Campesino union, the country’s largest social movement, has said opposition protests held Tuesday in the city of Santa Cruz have been a "total failure" after opposition parties mobilized in the eastern city against leftist President Evo Morales, attempting to block the region’s main roads, calling for the resignation of the country’s electoral council. 

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Teodoro Mamani of Bolivia’s Campesino union and Hugo Torres of the main Labor union federation have dismissed protests, supported by all the main opposition candidates standing at the upcoming elections. Speaking to state media, the two social movement leaders characterized the events as a "total failure".

This comes after the largest pro-opposition media outlet in the city, El Deber, reporting that all public sector workers and services are operating normally without any staff absences.

The only difficulties reported have been of workers at the ministry of justice arriving by foot, and one person even arriving by horse, due to partial roadblocks near the building. However, workers at regional tax and migration offices were able to arrive normally, despite opposition attempts to block public transport.

State media reported that by midday Bolivian time, only one major road had been entirely blocked by protesters, the newly built freeway in Yapacani that connects Santa Cruz to the city of Cochabamba.  

In La Paz, lawmakers from Morales’ ruling ‘Movement Towards Socialism’ (MAS) denounced the protests, David Ramos, former labor union leader, now legislator said: "It is not a mobilization for popular or social demands, it is a political mobilization whose aim is to destabilize, conspire and boycott the democratic system in our country"

Another MAS lawmaker, Edwin Muñoz, reported early in the morning on the roadblocks he saw, saying, “Right now, because of the route we took, we have seen luxury cars blocking some avenues and roundabouts, where four or five young people are there causing an inconvenience”

Protesters oppose the decision by the country’s electoral authorities to allow current Evo Morales to stand for a third term in elections being held in October 2019 despite term limits regulations in the country. 

Morales hopes to continue the government’s current approach, that through state investment, nationalization of natural resources and strategic industries, has turned Bolivia into the fastest growing economy in the region.

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