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Reply #10: Indigenous Bolivian people weren't allowed to walk on the sidewalks [View All]

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-14-10 02:17 PM
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10. Indigenous Bolivian people weren't allowed to walk on the sidewalks
Edited on Sun Feb-14-10 02:23 PM by Judi Lynn
their own taxes went to provide until 1952, after a revolution in Bolivia. They also were not allowed to vote until after 1952.

The ban against their use of sidewalks is the part which absolutely astonishes ANYONE of conscience. It's their own homeland.

Gabriela Montao, whose image was missing from the article, has been in danger continuously, from the wholly racist, European-descended Santa Cruz area, where only a small number of Bolivian indigenous lives.

From the original BBC article concerning Gabriela Montao:
One of them is Gabriela Montano, a senator who represents the eastern city of Santa Cruz - Bolivia's opposition heartland - on behalf of Mr Morales's party, the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS).

"This is the fruit of the women's fight: the tangible proofs of this new state, of this new Bolivia are the increasing participation of the indigenous peoples and the increasing participation of women in the decision-making process of this country," Ms Montano told the BBC.

Ms Montano was the subject of several physical attacks during her stint as the government's envoy to Santa Cruz, and last year she was kept at a secret location as a safety precaution after she was threatened by opposition groups.

"The awakening of women has been brewing for a while. Women have been a key element in the consolidation of this process of change led by President Morales, from the rallies, the protests, the fights. Now, they will be a key element in affairs of national interest," Ms Montano says.

Legions of these Santa Cruz storm troopers terrorize the indigenous people in their department, beating, mangling them on the street, and driving over to the neighborhoods where the indigenous live, and smashing them with these clubs studded with metal spikes. They are the Santa Cruz Youth Union. Here's a Wikipedia entry on this group:
The Santa Cruz Youth Union (Unin Juvenil Cruceista) (UJC) is a militant neo-fascist and as one of its leader Yariel soliz group based in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Founded in 1957 as an arm of the Pro Santa Cruz Committee (Comite Pro Santa Cruz)<6>, the UJC has recently become the subject of controversy and accusation concerning its activities in support of the Santa Cruz autonomy movement in opposition to the government of Evo Morales and his MAS political party.<1>

Claiming a membership of more than two thousand, the UJC has violently enforced general civic strikes called for by the Pro Santa Cruz Committee,<2> intimidated and assaulted leftist political opponents,<3> and provided security for the illegal May 4 Santa Cruz Autonomy referendum<4>, participating in violent clashes the day of the vote.<5> Two members of the UJC were arrested and accused of plotting to assassinate Evo Morales on June 20 2008, when encountered by police in possession of a rifle, scope, and ammunition in Santa Cruz prior to the president's flight arrival.<6> Some sources claimed that they were captured at the airport, but others located the suspects in a popular market.<7> Nevertheless, the prosecutor dismissed the case and they were both released shortly afterwards.<7>

An earlier BBC article, focused on Gabriela Montao:
In Bolivia's opposition heartland

By Daniel Schweimler
BBC News, Santa Cruz

Graffiti calling for the death of President Evo Morales is on the walls.

Secret location

I interviewed the government representative in Santa Cruz, Gabriela Montano, at a secret location as a safety precaution since she has been threatened by opposition groups.

I was picked up at my hotel by some of her aides and driven to a private house. After a number of furtive mobile phone conversations, I was allowed in.

"The opposition," she said "has been working on a campaign for months to de-legitimise the government in Santa Cruz."

She added that it was therefore no surprise to find unauthorised people on the streets requesting documentation and beating people up.

It was the government's aim, she said, to re-establish its authority in the region.

Ms Montano laid the blame firmly on the Santa Cruz Civic Committee, an unelected group of businessmen which often speaks on behalf of the region and is behind the move for greater autonomy from central government.

City of contrasts

Santa Cruz is one of the fastest-growing cities in Latin America.

Its oil and natural gas wealth finances the shiny office blocks and plush shops that line the streets.

The population, many of European descent, drive around in 4x4s and wear modern, designer clothes.

But in one corner of Santa Cruz there is a stark reminder of the other Bolivia, the poor indigenous Bolivia where people still wear traditional clothes and eke out a living on barren land.

Plan 3000 is where many of those who came from the west of the country to find work have settled.

Its streets are unpaved, women in colourful shawls carrying babies serve beans and corn in dark covered markets and posters and graffiti in support of President Morales decorate the walls.

Maria Savaia, who works in the indigenous rights office that was ransacked by opposition supporters, said she believes that the same oligarchy that has always governed Santa Cruz was behind the attack.

"The issue is land," she said. "They don't want to give up any of their land but the fight for our rights will continue."

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