Amigos de Sucre

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Archive for the ‘Sucre’ Category

Bolivian’s National Holiday

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Yesterday (6th August) was Bolivia’s national holiday.  On this day, the President visits the constitutional capital – Sucre – and various organisations take part in a parade around the town square from where he traditionally waves to them from the balcony of one of the Government buildings.

Among those marching are the Scout Groups from Sucre, and 9 years ago I was lucky enough to take part in the parade with one of them.

Grupo Sagrado Corazón, Sucre

Grupo Sagrado Corazón, Sucre (6th August, 2000)

This year the parade looks to have been slightly different.  The online newspaper La Razón has a report this morning containing a photo of the President himself walking around the square.  Was he leading the parade?  Is this a new idea?   Or did his predecessor do the same thing and I missed it because I was so far behind?

Walking at the head of the parade may well be a sign that he is leading the country with the people rather than from above them, and comes at a time when parts of the new constitution are coming into force.

The constitution not only allows President Morales to be re-elected in December, but is said to give more autonomy to indigenous communities.  This fact alone must create some difficult situations, as last year one region did try to hold a referendum on autonomy, only for this to be opposed by none other than Morales himself.

So is it one rule for indigenous communities, and another rule for the rest?  We will have to wait and see what difference the new constitution really does make.

Back to the national holiday, and I was hoping to see some photos of the event on the website of the local newspaper: Correo del Sur.  But for some reason, their website is down.  Not the best week for that to happen.  Anyone know why?

And whilst on the subject of photos, it is worth mentioning that at the end of the parade all of the Scout Groups get together for a District photo – something that takes some organising.  I am on the photo that was taken in the year 2000, and was promised a copy of it.  Unfortunately, I am still waiting for it.

Radio La Plata celebrates 65 years of broadcasting

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009
Radio La Plata - 26th July 2000

Radio La Plata - 26th July 2000

I missed an anniversary at the end of last year, and only found out about it by reading the Correo del Sur website – the local newspaper in Sucre.

I didn’t realise that the station had been going so long!  The reason I am particulary interested is that this is the radio station that I gave an interview at when I was in Sucre many years ago.

At the time I had been learning Spanish for about 18 Months and the interviewer asked me about my trip with the Scouts to Bolivia.  I am pleased to say that I was able to understand most of what he was asking, but he professionalism showed through when he asked me something that I didn’t understand and was able to read in my eyes that was having trouble with the question.  Before I even had a chance to say anything, he rephrased it and hopefully the listeners did not even notice.  I was so proud to have given my first Spanish press interview!

So, even if it is a bit late: ¡Feliz cumpleaños, Radio La Plata!

A video of the riots in Sucre

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

A while ago I blogged about the disturbances in Sucre. Today I found a video on YouTube that was filmed while they were taking place.

It’s a strange feeling to see fights and smoke in streets that are familiar to me!

Riots in Sucre

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

There were riots in Sucre last weekend with reports suggesting that at least 3 people were killed.

The UK Foreign Office had warned of disturbances, but demonstrations can easily occur in Bolivia. I’ve seen pictures of the riots in Sucre and these are on a different scale – especially when you hear that there have been fatalities.

Correo del Sur even shows pictures of riot police and tear gas today. So what’s it all about?

Well, when President Evo Morales was elected, he promised to reform the constitution to give more rights to indigenous people. As it happens, the draft of the new constitution has two points that are causing unrest in the country, and neither have anything to do with his election promise.

The first I have already written about – moving the seat of Government back to Sucre. This would make Sucre the sole capital of Bolivia.

The second, and this is what appears to have caused the riots, is that President Morales could be indefinitely re-elected.

After introducing a lot of reforms, such as reducing the President’s pay, on first glance this does look like it is going in a new direction. Even if there are other countries where the President can be re-elected as often as they care to stand for office, other limit this and whilst there is probably something to be said for both systems, I am suspicious of someone who wants to change the law in this way for their own benefit.

Bolivia has seen enough dictators in it’s past who clung on to power (only to be promptly displaced by a new regime). Even if this law is on a democratic basis, it doesn’t seem to be sending the right message to the people!


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