Home > Americas, Latin America, Politics > Bolivia: End of the New Social Pact?

Bolivia: End of the New Social Pact?

Federico Fuentes writes in Green Left:

Having come out of an intense period of political confrontation, including the biggest mobilisation in Bolivia’s history, this landlocked country situated in the heart of rebellious South America seems on the verge of plunging into a new phase of open conflict. At the centre of this is the country’s Constituent Assembly — a central plank of Bolivia’s cultural and democratic revolution, led by the country’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales — which was convened over a year ago with the goal of achieving a new social pact between Bolivia’s conflicting sectors and drafting a new constitution that would for the first time include the country’s indigenous majority.

Both sides of politics now openly talk about the possibility of the closure of the assembly, which has already passed its initial August 6 deadline to present a new draft constitution without a single article having been approved. Outside the assembly, in the streets of Sucre, the number of pickets and people on hunger strike continues to grow. Protests by locals in Sucre continue to radicalise, angered by the assembly’s vote to leave out any debate over where the capital of Bolivia should be.

On August 22, the ABI news service reported that “mobilisations in Sucre, spilled over this Wednesday into acts of vandalism, persecution of constituent delegates, attacks against houses, looting of union headquarters, destruction of media installations and physical aggressions against journalists”. The assembly indefinitely suspended its sessions due to the lack of any guarantees for the safety of delegates. While Sucre is the historic capital of Bolivia, ever since the 1899 civil war La Paz has been the country’s political capital. The cries for the return of the capital to Sucre, stoked by the right-wing opposition to the Morales government, have raised tensions across Bolivia and revived fears of another “civil war”.

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