Hostage City of Potosi
"How can Evo say this blockage is politic? Is he not informed?" Said Mrs. Esperanza Gonzales, a Potosi woman (67) who is taking care of on of the hundreds of blocking posts installed in the city of Potosi. Mrs. Esperanza wears pollera (a special kind of skirt worn by mestizo women in rural and popular areas in Bolivia), and a ragged blue hat which is not enough to cover her white hair falling down in two braids. In her hand is a big stick, which she threatens to use when a vehicle tries to pass the blocking post in Union Square in Potosi.
The lady is not the only one taking care of the place, neither the oldest. Another lady, Mrs. Blanca Iglesias, was looking for a journalist who could make her voice heard. "We need to get the Christ of Veracruz from the church, nobody can do anything against him, he makes miracles, not even Evo can do anything against him", she said.
Women who take care of blocking places and women getting into hunger strikes are the reflexion of a town that rose, tired of being poor for centuries. (Note: The city has been sieged for thirteen days now and the lack of food and money is dramatic),
The movement in these days is not politic because there is no political party behind it, and even a former candidate from Evo´s party, like union leader Jorge Solares, are right beside the civic leaders. What managed to unite and uprise Potosinians is the rage because their natural resources keep being exploited without giving the region enough compensation. The rebellion in Potosi is not directed to Evo Morales, but it is a constant movement in time (...). The last movement was 20 years ago (...) :"Our sacrifice is for something, and we shall win the battle", say the ladies of the road, showing off their sticks.
Like this, without politics in the middle, the strike goes on, and it is the longest in the history of Potosi. For what has been seen, it will still be on for many days.
See the original post from the Potosinian press in Spanish at http://www.elpotosi.net/2010/0809/z_1.php. This is a free lance translation.
Opinions about this article, also in Spanish, include views like this:
"This government of lazy men, bad men, inept, who manage the government as if they were sustained by drug dealers and smugglers, does not have the technical capacity to keep its promises, because they don´t have the resources or the capacity to do it.
As a Potosinian, I am convinced that Federalism is the only way to solve the problem.
The government is knowledgeable in this kind of fight: blockage and violence. We are fighting on their land and even though the love of Potosinians towards our land is big, we are giving in to this government, fighting with the weapons it uses so well.
To defeat this government I suggest we consider the following:
(1) Federalize Potosi, should not be only a discourse anymore. TODAY we should take the way of federalism.
(2) To do this we must, in peace, in fact and operatively, take over institutions like Internal Revenue Services, so that this organization in fact stops belonging to La Paz and instructs all firms working in Potosi to pay taxes in a different account so 100% of the revenue will benefit Potosi (regions where the firms work and the department (state).
(3) Take over, in the same way and by talking, the armed forces. Invite the commanding officers to go back to their previous slogan of "Subordinations and Resilience", getting away in a de facto way, from the central government and manifesting their loyalty to the federal government. If they do not agree, they must be invited to leave the department (state) and take on new commanding officers.
(4) Take over in a de facto way the rest of the organizations that depend on the government: Supreme Court, Customs, etc.
This way, by ourselves, we will have more than enough resources to accomplish the desired development in the department, including the payment of better salaries to federal government officers (in all organizations in the department), more revenue for municipalities, and we will able to defeat the cartels of drug that have come into Potosi, as if they were supported by the central government. FEDERAL POTOSI!!!
Comment left by Jhonny Chambilla at 5:00 AM. 2010/August/09, free lance translation from Spanish.