All That’s Santa Cruz Is Not Right
August 14, 2009, 9:04 pm
Filed under: Latin America | Tags: , , , , ,

Santa Cruz Department is the bastion of Bolivia’s hardline opposition.  Since the 2005 election of Evo Morales, the Department has spearheaded a campaign for regional autonomy .  A stronghold of the country’s large landowners,  the Department has fought tooth and nail against Morale’s proposals.  One proposal, land reform, seems particularity worrisome to wealthy Santa Cruz ranchers.

In Santa Cruz, Morales, the country’s first indigenous president, is often referred to as the “shitty little indian.” Suffice it to say that Morales is not a popular man in the Department, although he still remains a very popular leader nationwide.  In fact, Santa Cruz prefect Rubén Costas has gone so far as to call Morales a “Macaco.” (Think George Allen)

But while Santa Cruz is firmly in the hands of the opposition, indigenous groups, who overwhelmingly back Morales, are playing a greater role in the internal dynamics of the Department.  Traditionally suppressed, neglected or co-opted, Bolivia’s indigenous groups are producing actionable change, even in Santa Cruz.  They are even challenging Morales’ government, calling for an even greater push to the left.

Via Reuters:

Civic leaders in a southeastern Bolivian city called off a strike on Friday to protest an oil exploration plan involving Spanish oil major Repsol YPF after the government agreed to review the planned investment

Civic leaders in Camiri, located in Bolivia’s Chaco province, are opposed to a $500 million plan between the Bolivian state-run energy company YPFB and Repsol YPF to develop nearby gas fields.

The leaders, who are calling for YPFB to carry out the plan without any involvement from foreign companies, said they were suspending any protests until Aug. 24 when the government will discuss the investment scheme with a regional assembly.


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