Saturday, April 23, 2005

Roadblocks

Roadblocks as a form of political protest are very commonplace in Bolivia. It is one of several form of protests, including strikes, hunger strikes and demonstrations. To make roadblocks you need stones, cars, burning tires, fallen trees or just angry people.

If a group decides to make a road block, they decide to go to a close street/road or they choose one that will impact a large amount of people. The last choice is not hard in Bolivia where there are very few roads connecting cities and towns. Thus, often you end up with a line of hundreds of vehicles with people eager for the roadblock to recede.

I will not discuss extensively the reasons that justify road blocks. These include demands of higher political participation from excluded groups, lack of employment, people being fired, tax increases, lack of diesel, corrupt bosses. I could go on and on forever.

Very often the people participating in the road blocks or demonstrations are not well informed about the issues at stake, leaders might exaggerate the problems or even lie about them. Lately road blocks are very frequent and roadblocks are preferred to solve problems the normal way.

Yesterday we had a fun joke about roadblocks, my cousin's husband told her that there was a road block in the road from Oruro to La Paz. When she asked what was the reason he told her that people was upset that a german pope was elected instead of a latin american one. In fact, this roadblock some mine workers demand the government to return the mine to their true owners, after some unemployed mine workers took it by force. My cousin believed the pope reason for a second, with this you can see that sometimes roadblocks are installed because of crazy reasons.

Right now i am in Oruro and couldn't travel to La Paz last week because of the roadblock i talked about. I am now planning to go to Cochabamba to visit friends and family on monday. However, there is a roadblock on that road too, so it is not sure i will leave Oruro anytime soon.

I will have to stay in Oruro sleeping with good company ;).

Alexey in good company

Meet my brother Andrey, who lives in Oruro.

Mi manote

2 Comments:

Anonymous Leigh Jardon said...

Are there other forums/blogs that are more specific for this topic? I have not found one.

7:13 AM  
Blogger Alexey said...

Hello Leigh, you may want to follow the links under the Alexey reads heading. Many of them link to Bolivian blogs with detailed analysis of the political situation over there.

10:01 AM  

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