March 21, 2007

Brief Summary of What Happened in El Alto

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The second visit of the assembly tour, El Alto, is over and here is a short summary.

The 21 commissions of the Constituent Assembly were welcomed in El Alto with a solemn ceremony. It was symbolic because one of the demands of the October agenda in El Alto, the social movements' demands back in October 2003, was the assembly.

In the mids of, at times violent demonstrations, the first proposals were those of modification to the patriotic symbol. Among others, proposals included the addition of the multi-colored indigenous flag to a corner of the current Bolivian flag. Other proposals modified the national shield adding coca leafs, the Illimani volcano and jaguars. There was a proposal to replace the words of the national anthem with allusions to a nation of indigenous people and the immigrants living together in peace.

Another issue El Alto demanded was the nationalization of the entire production process of natural gas.

Alteños also asked for loans at low interests to stimulate enterprises, policies to fight unemployment, and elect judges.