Tuesday, June 07, 2005

President of Bolivia resigns

Carlos Mesa, president of Bolivia, presented his resignation to the congress in the face of the social movements (protestors) that have sieged La Paz for (i believe) two weeks. This move is not going to demobilize the movements, that will depend on who is the person who is going to succeed Carlos Mesa. According to the bolivian constitution it has to be the president of the congress. However, social movements do not want a politician to take in the presidency. Instead, they demand that the two next persons in line (both politicians) resign and that the president of the supreme court assumes the position. Still, this will not be enough to end the crisis, the movements want by all means the nationalization of the gas reserves and a constituent assembly.

As usual you can follow the situation in Bolivian newspapers:
For english speaking people i suggest the following blogs which have links to articles reporting the situation in english:
It seems that a pipe that transports water to La Paz has been broken. According to this article :
Protesters broke open the main drinking water pipe to La Paz, cutting off the water supply to the capital, La Paz radio station Radio Panamericana reported.
This explains what Nancy wrote some hours ago:
Hi folks,
just thought I update you with the news hear in Bolivia, the heart of south america.
well, it has gone worse. We had peace at the weekend, I guess the demonstraters and the entire Bolivian police force got tired and decided to have a rest, he he. That meant that I was able to leave the hotel and go for a nice walk. Everybody looked really relaxed on the weekend, that was so nice to see.
However, it all started again on mOnday.
now there is little food to buy, the supermarkets are half empty, prices are gone up drastically and the queues are very very long in all shops. it got worse in the evening, they protesters managed to cut the water.
So no water in 3 areas of La paz, no bread either no where in la paz, and no gas.
yes, it looks bad, all of la paz is blocked you can not go out and you can not get in.
the airport is still closed and there are no buses, no cars.
so even if i wanted to go i couldnt.
most resturants are closed too. and most shops.
well, lets see what happens, I basically lost the motivation to work. The interviews are less fun as everybody is very stressed.
the NGO is quiet to, all the volunteer workers are not coming and even some of the full time employers are not there.
Im working on both reports and hope to finish as soon as i can than I decide how to leave bolivia.
lets hope there wont be a civil war.
im actually a bit scared, but please dont worry any of you, I will be fine, somehow
lots of love to all of you
My brother was trapped in a hotel (a medical congress) last time something like this happened. He explained it was hard to find a place to eat. Actually, the businesses that were operating (restaurants, internet cafes,...) were doing so with doors closed. You had to go around the streets, very carefully of course, and as soon you spotted light under the door you would knock and have an expensive meal. Now the situation is even worse since water has been cut. Some pictures about the roadblocks in El Alto.

In Oruro, the situation is not that bad. We actually didn't have a detailed conversation with my brother to know about the situation there. Looking at the official newspaper of Oruro (La patria) i cannot find anything too bad. The usual roadblocks show up but that's about it.


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