Bolivia: Indigenous and Mestizo Power Flexes Muscles
Franz Chávez writes in IPS:
An immense tide of people demonstrating to keep the Bolivian seat of government in this city took to the streets last week to show support for the indigenous Aymara and mestizo leadership, in the greatest expression of popular power in the history of the country.
Laying apathy aside, the people of the western department of La Paz shattered all political and demographic predictions, coming together as one body, urban and rural, with deep Aymara cultural roots but embracing mestizos (of mixed indigenous and Spanish colonial ancestry) settled in the mountains and Altiplano (high plains).
Immigrants from the country’s other eight departments no doubt also participated in the gathering, which was free of regionalism and characterised by the solidarity that is typical of Aymara community traditions.
The mass demonstration on Friday delivered an ultimatum to the Constituent Assembly to ditch a proposal to move the seat of government from La Paz to Sucre, the official capital and seat of the judicial branch, by Aug. 6.
The greatest estimates were that between two and 2.5 million demonstrators participated in the rally. If confirmed, these estimates will cast doubt on some official figures.