“Our government demonstrates once again its predisposition to dialogue and fulfilling the demand of the people of Santa Cruz.”
This Sunday, October 22, Bolivian President Luis Arce said that his government is willing to dialogue with the promoters of the indefinite strike in Santa Cruz. He regretted that the opposition leadership of the Santa Cruz strike actions has abandoned the dialogue, without offering a proposal for the Population and Housing Census—at the center of the debate—to be carried out in 2023.
“We installed a dialogue roundtable without conditions to expose the arguments of the date of the Census,” Arce wrote on his Twitter account. “The meeting was broadcast and the Bolivian people witnessed the unfortunate attitudes of the strike leadership, who abandoned the dialogue without explaining their proposal.”
“Our government demonstrates, once again, its desire to dialogue and meet the demand of the people of Santa Cruz proposed by means of a new Supreme Decree, to define the date of the Census based on the analysis of the technical round-tables,” wrote Arce.
Instalamos una mesa de diálogo sin condicionamientos para exponer los argumentos de la fecha del Censo. La reunión fue transmitida y el pueblo boliviano fue testigo de las lamentables actitudes de la dirigencia del paro, que abandonó el diálogo sin explicar su propuesta.
— Luis Alberto Arce Catacora (Lucho Arce) (@LuchoXBolivia) October 23, 2022
This Saturday afternoon, the far-right governor of Santa Cruz, Luis Fernando Camacho, and the second vice president of the Committee for Santa Cruz, Stello Cochamanidis, left the dialogue roundtable that analyzes the launching of the Population and Housing Census.
After the restart of the dialogue, the representatives of the Inter-institutional Committee of Santa Cruz presented a proposal for an edict that modifies Supreme Decree 4760. If passed, the decree would mean that the Census is carried out in 2023, and within 180 days, to make the results known as soon as possible.
Since midnight of this Saturday, in the department of Santa Cruz, an indefinite strike has been called by demonstrators demanding that the Census be moved forward, and conducted in 2023. One death was reported in the municipality of Puerto Quijarro.
The United Peasants’ Union of Bolivia warned that it would blockade Santa Cruz if the strike is not lifted within 48 hours.
“We have made the determination that if they do not lift their pressure measure in 48 hours, we are going to surround Santa Cruz, and all the nearby regions of our 15 provinces, since they have harmed the most humble people,” said Franklin Vargas, the spokesperson of the Federation of Peasants of Santa Cruz.
The dialogue roundtable, installed in Santa Cruz between a government commission and the Santa Cruz committee, did not reach agreements after more than eight hours of negotiation.
The minister of the presidency, María Nela Prada, led the government team alongside the minister of planning, Sergio Cusicanqui, presidential spokesman Jorge Richter, and deputy minister for autonomies, Álvaro Ruíz.
The rector of the Autonomous University, Gabriel René Moreno, along with Vicente Cuéllar, the far-right governor, Luis Fernando Camacho, a civic vice president, Stello Cochamanidis, a lawyer, and Jorge Santiesteban, among others, participated on behalf of the Santa Cruz committee.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
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