The Central Obrera Boliviana (COB – Central Trade Union Confederation) and Pacto de Unidad (Unity Pact) civic organizations, which are a part of the alliance of social movements and organizations making up the Movement to Socialism (MAS), the political party of former president Evo Morales, announced on Tuesday that they will continue to intensify the mobilizations, however, they instructed the blockaders to allow ambulances and medical supplies and personnel to pass through.
COB executive Juan Carlos Huarachi urged blockaders to allow the passage of essential health services and equipment, a call that was subsequently reiterated by the organization’s intercultural executive, Henry Nina, who ratified the instruction to allow the passage of ambulances due to the health situation that the country is going through.
The announcement was made after the government reported that the blockages are preventing the passage of oxygen tubes, which are vital for treating COVID-19 patients.
Tuesday marked the second day of protests called to demand that the forthcoming national elections be held on September 6 as originally agreed between the major political factions after two previous delays. The electoral commission is attempting to postpone the election until 18 October.
The social leaders estimated that as of Tuesday there were more than 50 major blockade points throughout the country.
The executive of the Confederación Sindical Única de Trabajadores Campesinos de Bolivia (Single Trade Union Confederation of Agricultural Workers of Bolivia, CSUTCB), Jacinto Vega, announced the organizations’ decision that it will also “continue to join” the protests and not back down.
The social movements and organizations that have organized the nationwide blockade of major transport routes apologized to the Bolivian people for the inconvenience caused by the blockades, but emphasized that they are necessary to ensure that national elections are held to re-establish a legitimate government.
The leader of the COB leader further stated that the de facto government is not meeting the urgent needs of the population regarding the health crisis and the economic recovery. LINK
Late on Wednesday, after five hours of meetings between representatives of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) and the social organizations protesting the postponement of the elections, the respective sides announced that no agreement had been reached.
Consequently, the indefinite national general strike and roadblocks will continue for the time being.
The executive secretary of the Federation of Trade Unions of Mining Workers of Bolivia (FSTMB), Orlando Gutiérrez, reaffirmed that the miners are ready to expand the mobilization in the event of any attempt by the police or military to end the blockade by force.
The leader of the COB, Juan Carlos Huarachi, expressed his regret that no agreement has been reached. “Unfortunately, there is no will from the TSE. We have spent five hours justifying the people’s request, covering the social reasons for the demand and legal arguments,” he said after the meeting amid cheers and calls of ‘elections now’ outside the TSE building, in the Plaza Abaroa in La Paz. LINK
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