Amigos de Sucre

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Riots in Sucre

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!

One Response to “Riots in Sucre”

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