December 15, 2007

Bolivia: New Draft Constitution and Regional Autonomy

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Today, December 15, 2007, will be an historical day for Bolivia. The president of the Constitutional Assembly has turned in the newly drafted and approved Bolivian Constitution to the Vicepresident. This has been a long and hard road for MAS and the Morales government. A road that threatened to end in an abyss, had the government not pushed its will, disregarding the participation of the opposition.

It was today, as well, that the departamento of Santa Cruz, primarily, along with Tarija, Pando and Beni, declared their autonomy from the central government. This autonomy implies a certain independence in decision making and management of the resources within the department.

Tensions are high however, due to the government's unwillingness to accept the departamentos moves and vice-versa. The government has been rejecting rumors that it was planning, among other things, an autogolpe (or fujigolpe), a curfew or a military take over of Santa Cruz.

Miguel (Pronto*) has an interesting take on the legality of these events.

"Technically, of course, none of the autonomic statutes are 'legal'

The next days promise to be interesting, to say the least.