Monday, September 15, 2008

Santa Cruz, Republica de Mierda

Let's go over what's been happening in Santa Cruz, eastern Bolivia, and spearhead of the conservative autonomy movement. The violence and "civil coup" attempt witnessed last week has been a long time coming. The elite business and political interests behind the Santa Cruz autonomy movement and directing its fascist "shock groups" have been planning this move for months, if not years. I've noted their intentions before and for good reason have been running a "coup watch".

But why now? Simple. Desperation. Despite their best efforts, the Bolivian people resoundingly backed Evo (67%) in the August recall referendum that the opposition approved before rejecting and finally submitted to. Things looked pretty bleak for the hypocritical opposition following the recall referendum. The next logical move seemed to be passage of the proposed constitution (which will really put these jackasses in a bind) so they decided to escalate confrontation and go for broke... scheduling the start of this latest protest round and "civic strike" for August 19th, the 37 anniversary of the dictator Hugo Banzer's golpe de estado.

Ok, got it. But what has been the official casus belli? Officially this "protest" was called to demand the end of the use of natural gas revenue in funding a national elderly pension and send the money back to regional department coffers, even though Media Luna shares of natural gas revenue have more than doubled since Evo nationalized the sector in 2006. So take a hard look at that photo to the left because that is literally what the opposition Prefects are against. The word "sick" comes to mind.

So the strike got off to a typical start, featuring fascists thugs beating up on brown people, but the kicker- distinguishing it from the past- was a failed attempt to seize control of the Santa Cruz's local National Police station. But even still, the "civil strike" didn't look to be going anywhere- far from crippling Evo's government. Whatever, just move forward with that unconstitutional "Autonomy Statute" passed in illegal and unverifiable referendum vote and pretend like you are an independent government facing imminent confrontation with those tyrannical "monkey" Injuns.

As Inca Kola News noted, the municipal government of Santa Cruz got caught red handed trying to acquire bullet proof helmets and shields to arm their "Municipal Police" (above). Note: in Bolivia there is no such thing as "municipal police" (at least not legally speaking) only a National Police force exists.

Next, as News of the Restless followed, the autonomistas turned Santa Cruz's central plaza into a hate fest, beating up on a pro-government march. (video below)

There is really no need to speak Spanish in order to understand what's going on in the following video. Hate is a universal language.

As you may have already read, autonomy supporters escalated further last week by taking and then looting government offices in Santa Cruz and elsewhere in the Media Luna. This was done by members of the Santa Cruz Youth Union (Union Juvenil Crucenista, UJC). Even though the US press refuses to admit these fascists exist, the occasional honest report slips through.

Here they are with their cute UJC shields, the cross emblem clearly visible for all to witness (what good Christians, no?). And yes, they claim to be fighting for "democracy and liberty". If you have seen La Batalle de Chile (link to film), you'll note these guys look exactly the same as those fascists organized to precipitate the 1973 coup.

Below is the photo the New York Times printed with an article by Simon Romero that, of course, doesn't mention UJC's existence, even by some euphemism.

The caption reads: "Bolivian farmers who support President Evo Morales fought Saturday against those who called for more autonomy from his government."

Yup, that is how thin these "journalists" are. The photos contradict their own captions and reports. If you want to review the UJC one can, again, read my "Note to Simon Romero" or better yet just look at the cartoon below, capturing their pure essence.

It is truly not exaggeration to call them fascists. If these guys don't qualify as fascists, no one does. And to be fair. Who are they fighting against? Spot the difference.

(source: AP)

In addition to government offices, the offices of CEJIS, an indigenous legal assistence NGO were also looted. You may ask, 'Why trash some NGO office when it is a coup you are after?' Except CEJIS is the principle NGO working with the National Agrarian Reform Institute (INRA, trashed below) to break up illegally extensive landholdings (quite a few of them in Santa Cruz). Did I forget to tell you that Branco Marinkovic (the president of the elite Comite Pro Santa Cruz whose offices the UJC operates out of) is one of the largest land holders in Bolivia? Right. Also, these scumbags use slave labor. Yeah, no joke.

Just in case you thought Marinkovic and Santa Cruz Prefect Rubin Costas were good "civic" leaders not directly associated with this violence, here are their statements:

Marinkovic: "Those who are causing the violence are from the government, who have deployed violent people against our right to express ourselves and fight for our rights and for democracy"

Costas: "What has happened is the consequence of State terrorism that exerts the central government and in its blindness prevents it from recognizing the rights of the people."

About that tyrannical state terrorism, police and military shock troops oppressing autonomy supporters never appeared, because Evo explicitly told the military not to act as it would have resulted in deaths. Watching helpless police and soldiers be humiliated by the autonomy supports has not gone over well in the barracks. If Santa Cruz's "civil coup" has achieved anything, it has succeeded in turning general sentiment in the national military firmly against the autonomy movement. Note to fascists: turning the national military against you is a stupid way to pull off a hostile coup. Hitler figured that out the hard way in the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, but naturally you racist jackasses wouldn't know that because you'd have to actually open a book to learn that one.

So it has to be said, because you are unlikely to read it through normal channels, that the opposition coup attempt in Santa Cruz and across Bolivia has failed (or it is better to say 'is currently in the process of failing'), but it would be impossible to say exactly what will come next (Otto agrees). Evo's off handedness has exposed these thugs to clear public viewing, and it seems general sentiment in Santa Cruz is beginning to turn against the scumbags and douches leading the autonomy movement (who really wants to associate themselves with this ugly mess?). An anonymous letter published in Santa Cruz's highly conservative daily, El Deber, has called for the disbanding of the Comite Pro Santa Cruz and UJC and reorganization of the autonomy movement on peaceful and reconciliatory lines. The Comite Pro Santa Cruz is an entrenched fifty year old institution in Santa Cruz, so to have its disbanding called for in El Deber is kind of a big deal. Additionally, the principle conservative opposition political party PODEMOS is falling apart and disbanding as a legal entity. As witnessed in the lead up to the "civil coup" attempt, Media Luna Prefects and primary opposition party PODEMOS found themselves totally unable to formulate a common agenda, scrambling as they're all moving towards irrelevance.

Do not expect to hear much about Evo Morales' incredible leadership guiding his government and country through this crisis right in the face of these racists and fascists. To do so would be to the heretical reversal of the racist stereotypes and discourses buried deep within much 'mainstream' analysis following Bolivia- that old and deep understanding of the Indian or any browny as an ignorant child. Rather, it is Evo who is properly treating the conservative opposition as spoiled children acting up (that they are!), negotiating their privileges while laying a down a firm line not to be crossed.


Otto Rock said...


Rafael said...

Interesting racial/ethic divide. It is a battle between the "criollos" (like me, am afraid) and the aborigines (indians is a word that belongs to Cristobal Colon).

Catholic fascist? Let me see, where have I seen that before:


This a battle 500 years in the making and for once the good guys are winning (for now).

Keep up the good work.

Bina said...

Once again, I'm astonished at what a lousy job the lamestream media does of reporting the most basic things--and how much better a humble prog-blogger can do.

Keep it up, Duderino!

Bina said...

BTW, Germany had Catholic fascists too:

Guess who!

...although this one, in fact, hailed from Austria, which actually explains a lot.

Locojhon said...

Congrats on another great posting from you.
Of all the disturbing views shown in the video, the most disturbing for me is at ~5:35 and shows how craven the Camba fascists really are, including even a woman abusing/hitting with a club the baby held in the indigenous mother's aguayo.
She knew what she was doing, and what was held there--yet it made no difference to her. What scum!
I hope that somehow the woman doing the clubbing of the woman and infant somehow receives some measure of justice for what she has done, and that the baby survived without lasting damage.
Disgustedly,,,John said...

Without the good work you, Otto Rock, BoRev, Sabina, Federico Fuentes at Bolivia Rising! and Jim at The Democracy Center do, this information would have died a most unnatural death. We owe you guys a ton for putting this out to the world. There may come a time when traditional media dies. If so, it died from self-inflicted wounds like the coverage of this fiasco.

bol said...

hi duderino

great article.

we have received a significant document, in english, that we won't be posting on the main part of our sp-sp blog, but that can be found as the last item under Pages in the menu to the right of our main page. see "open letter to the u.s. state dept."

it would be good to pass it around the english-language blogosphere.
recommended reading.

boliviasol at

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Anonymous said...

Irish documentary about the attempt to foment civil war in santa cruz region with eastern european facists and an irish kid.

Death in Santa Cruz -