Friday, June 24, 2005

Coerced Strikers And Mesa Admissions

La Razon has an excellent series of articles looking back at the past crisis.

THREATS AND COERCION TO PROTEST

In this report they show how residents of certain communities in El Alto were pressured to join the mobilizations. Since neighborhood assemblies and committees control the allocation of basic services, their threats to cut-off water or electric services of recalcitrant residents were to be taken serious. Those with municipal jobs were told they would be fired.
De la conversación con varios vecinos se desprende que las amenazas estaban dirigidas a privarles del derecho que tienen a servicios básicos como agua potable, la energía eléctrica o el gas y, en otros, a bloquear la regularización del derecho propietario de las viviendas o quitar los puestos de trabajo a los gremiales, que en esa urbe sobrepasan las 50 mil personas.


Since many residents of different communities started out as squatters, they depend on neighborhood committeemen for their 'registration' documents, i.e. an application to 'formalize' the resident by granting title to the plot. Residents were told if they didn't march that they would have their applications pulled, which in essence would be an eviction.


"Si no salimos a marchar, los dirigentes que tramitan la regularización del derecho propietario de nuestra urbanización nos amenazan con sacarnos de los planos y lo pueden hacer", comenta Fernando, un joven de 21 años que tiene dos hijos, trabaja en La Paz, y que durante las tres semanas del conflicto llegó caminando desde Ventilla.


MESA ON THE BRINK, NEW ADMISSIONS


As, I suspected, Mesa was trying to keep power for himself, and his last resignation was not necesarilly final, as this piece says. He was ready to pull his resignation and govern till December elections, but once Hormando Vaca showed a willingness to actually become president, Mesa balked and instead called for Vaca to give up any pretensions of actually leading.