New coup in Bolivia? Understand context after a

Bolivian President Luis Arce repealed Law No. 1386 on Illicit Gains and Terrorist Financing after a week of protests and the paralysis of opponents. The acts began last Monday (8), when the Bolivian head of state completed one year in office. The Chamber of Deputies called a session for today (15) in order to endorse the revocation.

“We decided to repeal the law in order to open the way so that there is no pretext to continue paralyzing our economy,” stated Arce.

The stoppages are called by the Civic Committees in the states of Potosí, to the south, and Santa Cruz, on the border with Brazil. Luis Fernando Camacho, one of the protagonists of the 2019 coup and current governor of Santa Cruz, returns to appear as one of the public figures in that call.

Despite the retreat of the head of state, the Civic Committees of Potosí and Santa Cruz decided to maintain the strike and now demand that the government revoke the entire package of laws related to the reform of the judiciary.

Read also: Return of the MAS opens the way to investigate the crimes of the coup government in Bolivia

The Cochabamba truck drivers unions had announced that they would join the strike as of today, but decided to wait for confirmation of the repeal of the measure.

A 25-year-old peasant boy died in Santa Cruz after being beaten by members of the Civic Committee.

The Movement to Socialism (MAS-IPSP) denounces that the acts are a new coup attempt in progress.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement last Thursday (13), “we denounce that these sectors promote violent actions driven by hatred and racism” and are trying to “overthrow a democratically elected government”.

Vice President David Choquehuanca stated during a public event, last Sunday (14), that “everything has a limit, which does not arouse the wrath of the Incas, when a people rises there is nothing to stop and we will rise to defend our democracy”.

In addition to the violence, the demonstrations consist of roadblocks connecting to the capital La Paz.

:: Coup forces “are latent”, says former president of the Senate of Bolivia ::

Last Friday (13), the minister of Hydrocarbons and Energy Franklin Molina stated that the eastern region of the country, including Santa Cruz, could suffer from a shortage of fuel, as of this week, if the blockades remained.

According to the government, the country adds US$ 122 million (R$ 671 million) in damages for each day of stoppage. The Federation of Peasant Women denounces that in the Santa Cruz region it is small farmers who suffer for not being able to sell their production, while businessmen “are calm”.

“They should automatically lift the blockades, but they aren’t doing it. I see it as a whim,” said Federation Executive Secretary Felipa Yalili Montenegro.

Former President Evo Morales met representatives of unions and peasant organizations in the state of Santa Cruz after opposition protests began / MAS-IPSP

Likewise, the Confederation of Trade Unions of Bolivia published a statement condemning the acts and calling for a march in response “in defense of work and free movement” for next Wednesday (17).

THE Union Federation of Mining Workers and the Federation of Mining Cooperatives also published communiqués backing the MAS-IPSP government, “we are against any attempt at destabilization”.

In the media, the right-wing opposition claims that Law No. 1386 seeks to prevent informal trade and would give Arce full powers to “pursue” the opposition.

The argument is based on article 7 of the law, which gives the executive freedom to adjust the law under presidential decree. The government, on the other hand, points out that the law was approved without questioning in Congress and that the measure meets the recommendations of the International Financial Action Group (GAFI).

Find out more: New report confirms that there were massacres and police abuse during 2019 coup in Bolivia

Bolivia increased the level of national division and polarization after a year of elections. According to a new opinion poll by Latin American Strategic Center for Geopolitics (Celag), 47% positively evaluates Arce, while 45.7% rejects it.

Furthermore, 56.8% believe in the possibility of a short-term coup.

Edition: Vivian Virissimo

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