Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The new phase in Bolivia

Would you want this man as your oligarch? Leopoldo Fernández, Bolivian rebel leader charged with genocide

After the UNASUR meeting Monday, the hope for supporters of Bolivian democracy is that President Evo Morales will be able to regain control of the rebel provinces with minimal bloodshed, preferably through negotiations with the rebel leaders.

The immediate aftermath of the UNASUR agreement is unclear at this point. Morales' government has arrested Leopoldo Fernández, rebel governor of the province of Pando and reportedly the wealthiest man of the province, and is charging him with genocide for the 15-30 killings known to have occurred in the violence incited by the oligarchy, of which he is one.

But Rubén Costas, rebel governor of Santa Cruz province and the main public leader of the rebellion, formally agreed to proceed with the talks with the central government, even though his fellow rebel leader had been arrested. (Or maybe because his fellow rebel leader had been arrested?) Mario Cossío, rebel governor of Tarija province, has also formally agreed to the talks.

Old Hickory had to deal with secessionist rebels and arrogant oligarchs in his time, too. He won. And so did democracy.

Präfekt von Pando festgenommen Standard (Austria) 16.09.2008

Evo Morales aprovecha el apoyo de la Unasur para desautorizar a la oposición El Mundo (Spain)/EFE 17.09.2008

Las opositoras Santa Cruz y Tarija anuncian un principio de diálogo con Evo Morales El Mundo (Spain)/EFE 17.09.2008

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