Southern Exposure

Desde as Entranhas dos Labirintos Latinos.

Monday, November 24, 2003

It seems Mesa's finally realized he'll never befriend the populist left, no matter how hard he tries. So he's back to being a constitutional democrat, giving the middle class a huge collective sigh of relief.

In the past few weeks, Mesa & his ministers did everything in their power to appease the demands of syndicalist dirigentes like Felipe Quispe, Evo Morales, Angel Duran, Jaime Solares, Roberto de la Cruz, and others. When he offered to negotiate their myriad demands, they scoffed, insulted cabinet members, walked out of meetings, or called on the use of mobilized violence to achive their goals. Last week, Mesa found his spine.

In the end, it seems the government's decided to negotiate w/ other dirigentes who, not only are more willing to negotiate, but it seems are actually more legitimate. Bolivian papers never reported this (investigative journalism isn't a strong suit here). But. It seems Quispe's not actually head of the Confederaci├│n Syndical Unica de Trabajadores Campesinos de Bolivia (CSUTCB), de la Cruz doesn't lead the Central Obrera Regional de El Alto (COR), and Duran isn't chief of the Movimiento Sin Tierra (MST). While they are of course major players in these organizations (and have their own clientelistic networks w/in them), they seem to forget that these organizations have organizational structures & elections.

Is this merely a divide and conquer strategy on the part of the government? Probably. But I don't see why Mesa & his ministers, who've shown tremendous good faith in trying to negotiate can't also decide which leaders they'll negotiate w/. And if Someone from MST wants to negotiate, rather than call on campesinos to forcefully seize lands (as Duran does), I see no reason why Mesa can't negotiate w/ the actual executive secreaty of the MST. The same goes for all the other groups.

Meanwhile, the formal investigation of Goni & his ministers is going forward. But it might not make Evo & co. happy. While the courts found enough reason to try Goni & his ministers for excessive use of force in October, it also found enough reason to investigate Evo, Quispe, Solares, and five other dirigentes for crimes against the state (such as for callign on armed insurrection). Meanwhile, two sets of lawyers have also filed individual criminal suits against the populist dirigentes for their actions in October. It's gonna be an interesting legal process.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home