LA PAZ, Bolivia (HPD) — The indefinite strike in the province of Santa Cruz, Bolivia’s economic engine, entered its second week without a solution as more protests for and against the measure are announced.
On Monday, marches were expected from groups related to the ruling party Movimiento Al Socialismo (MAS) against the strike called by unions and civic organizations opposed to the government that demand that a census be carried out that would allow Santa Cruz to obtain a larger budget and more seats in the Legislative.
The lack of fuel and food was felt after peasant movements close to the government cut off the access routes to the city of Santa Cruz and to a refinery belonging to the state company Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales de Bolivia (YPFB). In the afternoon, the state oil company reported that after negotiations with the sectors, it was possible for 38 tanker trucks with fuel to leave to supply the region.
Meanwhile, the requests for a dialogue to take place increased. The Catholic Church called on the sectors to sit down to negotiate and resolve the conflict after President Luis Arce met on Friday with more than 300 country authorities except the governor of Santa Cruz, Fernando Camacho, without results.
“President, we ask that there be a dialogue without conditions,” Vicente Cuéllar, rector of the state-run Gabriel René Moreno University, in Santa Cruz, told the media. Cuellar participated in the meeting with the government.
Camacho and other opposition leaders from Santa Cruz reject a proposal by Arce to postpone until 2024 the census that was to be carried out in November of this year.
Former President Evo Morales (2006-2019) has criticized the handling of the conflict by the Arce administration and expressed that “in the government there is an absence of a political cabinet that has a good reading, not only for public management, but for the political action”.
Meanwhile, former President Carlos Mesa (2003-2005) and leader of an opposition force in Congress, demanded on his Twitter account that the president “protect the life and integrity of Bolivians and demand that he withdraw his militants who They advance sowing violence.”
The day before there were clashes between the demonstrators who support the strike and those who are against it. On the first day of the strike, one person died.
Other regions have protested in favor of the census being in 2023 with 24-hour strikes and marches that have been countered by groups related to the government.