Following our friends in Bolivia, is fresh news that police has used teargas and water cannons to repress the Ninth March.

The Ninth March, made up of some 1,500 indigenous marchers and their allies, arrived in La Paz on June 27, after a 62-day, 580-kilometer trek from the Amazonian lowlands to protest the government’s proposed highway through the Isiboro-Sécure Indigenous Territory and National Park (TIPNIS). Just hours before the march arrived in the capital, President Evo Morales settled a National Police mutiny that had seen six days of street clashes in the city. Morales had darkly warned that the mutiny was part of a plot by conservative opposition forces to set the stage for a coup d’etat. Vice President Alvaro García Linera attempted to link the Ninth March to the supposed plot, saying the government had evidence of a “Plan TIPNIS” to destabilize the Morales government. Esteban Urquizu, governor of Chuquisaca with Morales’ Movement Towards Socialism (MAS), cautioned, “both the police mutiny and the indigenous march are seeking violence or confrontation, as well as deaths, in order to blame the government.”

TIPNIS indigenous leader Fernando Vargas was quick to refute the charge. “Our mobilizations were never [intended] to overthrow the government but, on the contrary, have been to redirect government policies that have gone astray,” he stated. (NACLA News, July 2; La Razón, June 27)

appropriated from HERE: http://www.ww4report.com/node/11254

An anonymous source in Bolivia, caught in the repression had this to say:

…a dodgy translation of the description i wrote out yesterday on a private message list:

What I have seen: those that were in the march shouted to let us into the Murillo Square, then went to the vice presidency and we kept shouting there. There several people joined our group, men and women, both people from the vigil and citizens in general. Some people (I don’t know exactly who) started throwing things like fruit at the police, then suddenly someone started to hit the shield of a police officer with a flag pole. This was enough for the police to justify launching tear gas and we all started running to escape the gases, including children who were with their mothers. From where we stopped half a block, I saw that people were still throwing things at the police. They continued releasing even more gas, so the streets became unbearable but several people continued there and I saw people throwing sticks at the police. I can not say who threw them. The police then began with the Neptune water cannon, sending high pressure water at the tents of the vigil. And I saw people fighting the police with wooden sticks. They continued releasing more gas, one person even told me that you could feel the gas 5 blocks away.

It would be interesting to know the story of someone else who was there, but for me the key question is who was the person who started to hit the shields with a stick? Someone told me it was a man and a citizen off the street, not one of the march, and he had seen the same person in other manifestations doing the same. We must find out who is and whether supports the movement and has an anger problem or if someone infiltrated that seeks to create confrontation. What is clear is that this person is to blame for generating violence and cause the police to react … On the other hand, is not justified in the police launch so much gas at a march of women and children just because ONE person showed them violence.

We must denounce this.

[youtube http://youtu.be/bmKXilO-1O8]

What the international community can do is to watch, comment and use our position to help our sisters and children and brothers. As fellow citizens of the spaceship Earth, we have an obligation to do what we can and not continue to turn a blind eye to things we feel we have right to ignore.

Other really informative readings :

http://boliviadiary.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/law-to-consult-indigenous-communities-on-tipnis-road/    Check out the videos

http://www.boliviaweekly.com/government-excludes-tipnis-from-dialogue-and-accord/2968/

http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2012/06/416569.shtml

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