Bolivia: More mining conflicts
Morales denies safe-pass to asylum seeker; ‘marchistas’ from TIPNIS continue march despite problems
Miners from Colquiri start dialogue with the government
On Saturday, the government and the leaders of the cooperatives and waged miners engaged in a dialogue in Oruro, aiming to solve the conflict in Colquiri, where confrontation about the possession of the mines of thin and zinc occurred last Thursday and Friday.
Among those attending the meeting are the Ministries of Government, Carlos Romero, and Mining, Mario Virreyra. In addition, the event also included the participation of the main executives of the Federación Nacional de Cooperativas Mineras (FENCOMIN- National Federation of Mining Cooperatives) and the Federación Sindical de Trabajadores Mineros de Bolivia (FSTMB– Union of Mining workers of Bolivia).
The meeting stretched for long hours, but the President of COMIBOL (Corporación Minera Boliviana – Bolivian Mining Corporation) Héctor Córdova assured reporters that there is a good dialogue environment, which may anticipate the achievement of a final agreement between the opposite parts. He added: ‘the work methodology was defined, and the Minister of Government is driving the meeting, there are several speakers, and they are exposing their positions with mutual respect. There are seven speakers for each part, each of them with five to ten minutes to expose their case, after which there will be a conclusion’.
Morales denies safe-pass to Senator Pinto
Opposition Senator Roger Pinto who declared himself as the victim of political persecution was granted political asylum by the Brazilian embassy in La Paz. Last Wednesday, Morales accused him of human rights violations and corruption.
The political opposition and Human Rights organizations accuse Morales of manipulating prosecutors and judges, thus preventing fair and impartial judicial processes. This has provoked hundreds of politicians and entrepreneurs to seek political asylum in Brazil, the U.S., Spain, Paraguay and Perú.
A refugee on the Brazilian embassy in La Paz for two weeks, Pinto request the government of Dilma Rousseff for asylum, alleging political persecution because he had criticized Morales and accused him of not taking action against the traffic of drugs.
President Morales has denied the necessary safe-pass to allow Mr Pinto to go to Brazil. This has placed Bolivia’s image within the international community under risk, since Morales is denying him the asylum already granted by Brazil.
Gustavo Aliaga, an international analyst, declared: ‘what we are doing is dangerous; we are placing the country within an international scenario in a no respectful way in relation with international treaties. The President should understand that politics is one thing, and international relations are another issue’.
Another political analyst, Carlos Cordero, also declared: ‘Morales is treading uncharted territory, because he is dealing with taboo topics in Bolivia, such as asking the revision of the treaty of 1904 with Chile or to criticize an asylum request, like the one granted to Senator Pinto’.
The TIPNIS continues march toward La Paz
Las Friday, several leaders of the Central de Pueblos Indígenas de La Paz (CPILAP – Confederation of indigenous people from La Paz) and the Consejo Regional Chiman – Moseten (CRTM- Chiman Regional Council-Moseten) announced they will join ranks with the IX indigenous march in defence of the TIPNIS.
President of CPILAP Edwin Iro informed that around 120 indigenous people from eight organizations from the Northern part of the department of La Paz will join the march before this coming Wednesday, while the people of Chiman – Moseten will soon arrive with an additional 100 members.
In addition, Iro declared that they support the suspended President of the Confederación de Pueblos Indígenas de Bolivia (CIDOB- Confederation of Indigenous people of Bolivia) Adolfo Chávez and their leaders forming part of the directory commission.
The ‘marchistas’ are in Santa Bárbara, after being denied to camp in Challa where local leaders denied them to camp on a football camp. Students and faculty members from the Social Sciences faculty of the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés (UMSA –Major University of San Andrés) sent and clothes and medicines, which were received yesterday.
During the weekend, the ‘marchistas’ will stay in Santa Bárbara, and they will continue the march tomorrow Monday toward Yolosita.