January 12, 2007

Two Dead in Conflict Between Antagonist Groups in Cochabamba

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The conflict in Cochabamba has deepened. The result of confrontations between the coca grower's union members who are MAS supporters and what could be a newly emerging civic organization Juventud por la Democracia (Youth for Democracy) has resulted in over 100 people wounded and at least 2 dead.

This latest episode started a couple of days ago when the civic organization wanted to demostrate and call for peace and dialogue for the conflict between MAS and the Prefect. They wanted to gather in the same square where the MAS coca growers gathered the previous day. To prevent this demonstration, the MAS people took over the square and did not let the demonstration take place. It was hours later that the Youth for Democracy group warned the government supporters they would come back the next day, and they better be gone. Naturally, MAS was not gone and hence the confrontation.

This last increase in the level of violence is having repercussions around the country. Now, the civics in Santa Cruz have called state of emergency and want to start taking decision to support this civic movement in Cochabamba, as well as demonstrate in Santa Cruz. At the same time, various unions and umbrella organizations have expressed their concern and want to meet to take also decisions on how to act in response to the events in Cochabamba.

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Bolivia: 2 Killed, 70 Wounded in Street Battles
New York Times Thu, 11 Jan 2007 7:59 PM PST
Two people were killed and more than 70 wounded as supporters of President Evo Morales and seekers of regional autonomy battled one another with guns, sticks and rocks on the streets of Cochabamba, in central Bolivia. Fighting broke out when supporters of Manfredo Reyes Villa, governor of the state with the same name as the city, entered downtown Cochabamba, occupied since Monday by thousands of ...

One killed, 50 injured in Bolivia clashes
Reuters via Yahoo! News Thu, 11 Jan 2007 2:19 PM PST
One person was killed and about 50 were injured in Bolivia on Thursday during clashes between protesters demanding the resignation of the governor of the Cochabamba region and his supporters, local media reported.

30,000 leftist protesters wield sticks, rocks in Bolivia
Arizona Daily Star Thu, 11 Jan 2007 11:09 PM PST
COCHABAMBA, Bolivia — Protesters seeking the ouster of a Bolivian state governor for his opposition to leftist President Evo Morales battled with the governor's supporters Thursday in clashes that left one dead and dozens injured, authorities said.

Political Clashes Kill 2 in Bolivia
Journal Gazette & Times Courier Thu, 11 Jan 2007 9:30 PM PST
COCHABAMBA, Bolivia - Protesters seeking the ouster of a Bolivian state governor for his opposition to leftist President Evo Morales battled with the governor's supporters Thursday in clashes that left two dead and more than 60 injured, authorities said.

Bolivia's YPFB Postpones Gas Bids for Argentina to Jan. 16
Bloomberg.com Thu, 11 Jan 2007 2:52 AM PST
Jan. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos, Bolivia's state-owned oil company, postponed until Jan. 16 bids by pipeline operators to ship natural gas to Argentina.

Negroponte: Democracy in "danger" in Venezuela and Bolivia
El Universal Thu, 11 Jan 2007 3:00 PM PST
US National Intelligence Director John Negroponte Thursday stated before the Congress that democracy is in "danger" in Venezuela and Bolivia, and he depicted President Hugo Chávez as one of the most anti-American leaders in the world, reported AFP.

Two killed, dozens hurt in Bolivia street battles
Reuters via Yahoo! News Thu, 11 Jan 2007 6:45 PM PST
Two people were killed and nearly 70 wounded in street battles in the central Bolivian city of Cochabamba on Thursday, with national and regional leaders blaming each other for the political violence.

Violent clashes kill two in Bolivia
AAP via Yahoo!7 News Thu, 11 Jan 2007 10:49 PM PST
Violent protests over a Bolivian state governor's call for more local autonomy have killed two and injured more than 60 in the South American country.

Nicaragua's Ortega signs trade pact
AP via Yahoo! News Thu, 11 Jan 2007 6:13 PM PST
Nicaraguan revolutionary Daniel Ortega's first day as president was spent signing a socialist trade pact with allies Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba, and planning a meeting with Iran's hard-line president, actions sure to irritate the U.S. government.


Anonymous said...

I also read on another web site that pro-Morales miners were on their way to Cochabamba. This cannot be a positive development.

miguel said...

That is right, as well as other people from the 15 regions in-and-around Cochabamba.

But, that doesn't necessarily mean violence has to brake out. The problem is the government's complacency, collaboration and one sidedness. The government asks its supporters to "defend" its actions. On the other side, the intransigence of the opposition.

Frank IBC said...

Meanwhile, five of the nine prefectural governors are discussing what to do about the situation.

That's another interesting situation in itself.