This weblog was created to provide a fuller and more accurate picture of the current situation in Bolivia. Our principal effort to try to pull things together and place them in proper perspective is the penultimate post below, titled "Main Story."

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Referendum Results

"El Si" passes by big margin

The deed is done. The die is cast. The Rubicon has been crossed.
The voters of the Department of Santa Cruz approved the referendum in favor of "autonomia" today (Sunday, May 4) by over 85 percent, with a pretty good turnout of around 65 percent.
Several communities where sentiment in favor of President Evo Morales and his MAS (Movement Toward Socialism) party runs high blockaded themselves and prevented balloting. There were also anti-autonomia demonstration in a low income neighborhood in the city of Santa Cruz, though pro-autonomia supporters prevailed in the ensuing rock-throwing fight.
AUTONOMIA GATOR STRIKES -- A festive mood prevailed as voting took place. Photo from CNN

A few other irregularities were reported and a vice minister of the government was detained for trying to subvert the balloting, but generally things went smoothly on a day when the weather was perfect for a referendum. (Not a cloud in the sky.)
We hope coverage in your local media at least tells you this much. Bolivia will no doubt soon be descending again below the radar of the North American media, however, so we will be posting further developments on the weblog as the plot thickens to keep you up to date with major developments.
And there will be major developments. Between now and June 22 three more provinces will vote on similar pro-autonomia measures. Please stay tuned.


Deborah said...

Dear Dave and Kelly -- Thanks so much for the excellent historical overview as well as report on the breaking news in Bolivia. Your blog is very spiffy! as well as helpful.

I'm reminded of a sign a friend saw recently at the Tesuque Flea Market just outside Santa Fe -- "Jump and a net will appear." That seems to be the mindset of those who are heading the Autonomia movement. Let's hope that the struggles that lie ahead can be resolved without major upheaval.

Look forward to your ongoing coverage...

Love to you,


Deborah Boldt
Santa Fe, NM

John Lott said...

Does autonomia mean that the local government will stop turning over any tax revenue to the central government? Let's hope that the ride doesn't get too bumpy after this.

Boliviana said...

Hello Boldts,

I couldn't agree more with
your statement on the Autonomia Referendum... "Our own forecast is that the voting will be accomplished without much fuss, and that the test of strength, if it comes, will occur further down the road."

I offer these as reasons why the voting was accomplished, as you say, without much fuss:

It really does help to ease things when:

1) Those calling for the referendum are not from a democratically elected body but usurp representation by self-nominating and incestuous post placements. Cynic Committee!

2) Then said CC captures the electoral administrators. In this case the Departmental Electoral Court to manage the process. The President and Vice-President as well as the General Secretary-- ALL have close ties with the CC.

Orlando Parada Velasco, President of DEC married to María Julia Gutiérrez, President of the Ladies of the CC

José Ernesto Zambrana, Vice-President of DEC is also Secretary General of the Autonomist Cooperative CRE, presided by German Antelo, ex President of the CC.

Dr. Carlos Dabdoub Arrien, General Secretary is an ideologue of the "Nacion Camba" secessionist project and Ex Minister of Health under Centralist Kleptocrat Majoris, Jaime Paz Zamora.

3) This CC promotes and finances a swastika wearing, violent method imposing "Goon Patrol" UCJ that silences any dissident voices from public spaces lest they be shallow propaganda in favour of the CC project.

4) As if utter manipulation of the electoral body guaranteeing the process along with controlling the public discourse arena was not enough, the CC contracts the services of a private company to count the votes. A minimum semblance of democracy would dictate the votes be handled in an accountable transparent manner by a public institution but that would bar efficiency in desired results.

5) Oh, and the private company hired to count the votes (or merely publish them without the superfluous exercise of actually counting them) belongs to...Da da ta ta ta dammmm... Enter than a fired employee of the National Electoral Court. Perhaps, even someone with a previous record of participating in fraudulent tactics?

BTW I think you should continue mingling at those cocktails with the oligarchs, they may be the reason why you seem well informed.

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