September 11, 2007

Outcome of the Mobilizations

MABB © ®

Yesterday, September 10, the groups supporting and against the moving of the seat of government to Sucre were supposed to meet. The former, were striking and marching on the streets of Sucre. The latter, wanted to march through the same streets in support of the government and the MAS dominated assembly. As a result, there was a very real possibility that the two groups would engage with violence against each other.

However, one day later, we can say that was not the case. First of all, the Sucrenses stopped their strikes and marches due to a State Supreme Court ruling, which declared illegal the assembly decision of leaving the issue in question out. On the other hand, the attendants to the government's 'march in support of the assembly' were not as many as the government said they would be. In fact, out of the 100,000 people who were supposed to attend, it was calculated that only 12,000 attended. A big group was made up by the Chapare cocaleros.

This last group, after hours of debate, produced a document with ten decisions, of which three are basically important to mention. The first decision was to ignore the State Supreme Court's finding. The second was to move the assembly to an other department. The third was to make the traditional independence day presidential speech rotate among all the departments. This speech was given every year in Sucre.

Bottom line, the intransigent positions of the two groups are still in place. It is most likely that Sucre will continue to rally for the changing of the seat of government, thus provoking more mobilizations. The assembly will not have a platform on which to build consensus and the possibility that the assembly will be closed is nearer and nearer.