July 06, 2007

For Santa Cruz, Autonomy is Serious

MABB © ®

For the Santa Cruz department, to obtain control over its affairs is supremely important. That is the reason why it created the Asamblea Provisional Autonomica de Santa Cruz (Provisional Autonomic Assembly of Sta. Cruz, roughly translated). This entity has worked on the drafting of a proposal to reform the current constitution and, lately, on an autonomic statute.

The statute, presented on July 2 of this year, outlines in detail what is it that Santa Cruz means when it speaks of autonomy. I look at the document as Santa Cruz's own constitution. It talks about the Santa Cruz identity, its own history, its symbols, and its own government structure. Furthermore, it even touches the topic of defense and indigenous autonomies.

It also seems to me to closely follow the federalist line. If you read the document It'll seem to you that it is of a federal state it is talking about. I don't really understand why it just doesn't mention federalism out loud. It would make more sense that way.

I have to say though, while the document talks about autonomy and the power of making decisions independently, it does mention about the competencies of the central government and the municipal governments. At one point it mentions the shared taxes from the natural gas exports as a structure or mechanism in place to redistribute these funds, without trying to redefine or even abolish it altogether. That would be expected of a state which wants to be independent.

The document, imho, is not a total declaration of independence, but it does have those overtones.

A proof of that is the following reference made in the same website. There I found an interesting link in the publications section. In this section there is a book entitled: "History of Santa Cruz de la Sierra", written by Enrique de Gandia. The book starts like this: "Este libro es la historia de una Nación cuya independencia será algún día una realidad" (This book is the history of a nation, whose independence, one day, will be a reality.). Now that should be an alarming sentence for those skeptics of Santa Cruz's autonomy.

With references to works of that nature, the people of Santa Cruz will have a heck of a time convincing other departments to join in their cause. I would even say, the either Beni, nor Tarija are willing to go that far.