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After the season of pain, blood and fear, there is a thirst for justice in Bolivia

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São Paulo – The Bolivian court annulled an arrest warrant that had been issued against former president Evo Morales. Evo had been “denounced” for “crimes of sedition in terrorism”, after being targeted by the coup that forced him to resign and leave the country. The president of the Departmental Court of Justice of La Paz, Jorge Quino, said on Monday (26) that the right to defense of Evo Morales was disrespected. Prosecutors are still preparing lawsuits against the former president who currently lives in Argentina. He has yet to decide on when to return to the country, which he had to leave under death threats on November 11 last year.

The first decision of the Bolivian Justice in favor of the leader of the Movement for Socialism (MAS) comes just days after the party’s hard-hitting victory at the polls on October 18. MAS elected ex-Minister of Economy Luis Arce as a new president and an absolute majority in the Chamber and Senate. For Brazilian journalist Vanessa Oliveira, a specialist in Latin American affairs, the decision favorable to Evo Morales may be a symptom of the construction of an institutional agreement for the pacification of the country.

PhD in Social Sciences from the University of Paris 8 and Federal do ABC, and professor at the Mackenzie Presbyterian University in São Paulo, Vanessa Oliveira was in Bolivia as a member of the Indigenous Election Observation and Monitoring Mission of these elections. The journalist explains the possibility of a peacemaking deal in the face of the still tense scenario: “Evo was threatened with death. His family members, parliamentarians, members of the government and MAS had houses burned down. People were savagely beaten. The rabid right has committed many crimes against humanity in the past 11 months. Many people resisted silently, even within institutions. Everyone in Bolivia is thirsty for justice, ”he says.

The wide-open blow

A member of the Public Defender’s Office, reports Vanessa, even used the expressions “resuming the transformation process” and “revolution” to refer to what he expects from a future MAS management. With expectation, including “correcting” possible mistakes made during the management of Evo Morales and which would have removed him from his bases – favoring the coup environment.

justice bolivia
Vanessa: Coup violence was explicit (Photo: Renato Nascimento)

“Did people get entrenched? Yes, because the violence of the coup was explicit. But there was resistance on the streets. There was still dialogue in the communities and grassroots work. Community democracy exploded in the election ”

The atmosphere of tension in the days leading up to the elections was breathed in the early hours by observers. “To give you an idea, Bolivians were prepared for the worst. There was even an escape plan for the removal of observers from the country by land in the event of a new wave of aggression by the coup makers, ”says the researcher. His delegation, which arrived on October 15, received from the Government Minister, Arturo Murillo, a threat expressed via Twitter of the type “we know who you are and where you are”.

For her, the strong “community democracy” exercised from the
peripheries, from the bottom up, was the engine for the electoral trump that
it surprised the Bolivian right and western geopolitics.

The gashamed olpe

“Did people get entrenched? Yes, in a way, because
the violence of the coup was explicit. And it caused people to retire. But not
there was no more resistance in the streets. There was still dialogue in the
communities and grassroots work. Community democracy built over the years
last decade has acted from the bottom up and exploded democratically on the day of
election, ”he says.

This explosion, according to Vanessa Oliveira, was decisive to inhibit any institutional “relapse” by the sectors that supported the coup – including sectors of the Bolivian media and justice, and international organizations. “International support for the coup, mistaken during the execution, became ashamed of the result of the ballot box. Whoever constructed the false argument of the fraud a year ago was obliged to organize an election now beyond any suspicion. To talk about fraud now would be a total demoralization ”, he explains. And he cites the participation of the UN – via the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) – and the Organization of American States (OAS) in the attempt to legitimize the 2019 coup.

Journalist Vanessa Oliveira, during a visit to an electoral zone in Santa Cruz de La Sierra: there was so much fear that there was an escape plan for international observers (Personal collection)

Strength of women and the base

“The results showed that the Bolivian elite does not know the people of their country. In all these months of coup, they exposed a bloody hatred, more than class, of race. They made the coup that deposed Evo Morales a kind of racial rematch. This is in a country that has more than 85% of the population formed by 36 indigenous ethnic groups ”, says the observer, who emphasizes the outstanding participation of women, both in the process of resistance and in the results of the elections. “Women won 20 of the 36 seats in the Senate (56%). And 10 of the 21 won by MAS ”, highlights Vanessa. In the Lower House, 62 out of 130 parliamentarians (48%).

The researcher considers that the
“Dialectic of this moment” – the results of the vote in Bolivia and a referendum in
Chile, a week later, by the end of the Pinochet era constitution – cannot be
Wasted. Subject to the appropriate geographical, political and
cultural, she notes, were two cases in which the left and the countryside
democratic have to pay attention.

“Due to the movement in the bases,
for dramatization as a form of language, for the recovery of symbols
history of struggle ”, he explains. “These are scenarios that fill people with hope. AND
it is not just any hope. They are the heat of the streets, the focus on unity and
overcoming differences, democracy built and exercised on the basis of
saying: we are in the game. ”

MAS seems to have “learned other lessons from the coup, as Vanessa says. “Bolivia is on its way to vote on a media law,” recalls the journalist. For her, the consolidation of democracy involves the democratization of access to information. “Social movements felt the difficulty of making the“ resistance narrative ”circulate while the coup on the right was established, including with support from the global media.

Freak show

It was up to the community communication channels to make the world aware of what was happening in Bolivia in the months that followed the coup in November 2019. Overcoming the technical difficulties of producing with a professional quality standard. And with every effort in the world to break the bubbles of social networks now dominated by the extreme right.

One of the most shocking scenes was the aggression suffered by the mayor of Vinto, Patricia Arce Guzmán, in the Department of Cochabamba, on November 7. Calling her a “murderer”, masked men dragged her through the streets barefoot, cut her hair and threw red paint. Patricia Arce has now been elected senator. “What I went through was horrible. But the feeling of being on the right side of history is priceless ”, he said.

Patrícia Arce, Bolivia: today is another day - https://bemblogado.com.br/site/
justice bolivia
Patricia Arce, on the day of the aggression and on the day of the election (Via Bem Blogado)

To get a sense of the relevance of alternative community communication, journalist Vanessa Oliveira recommends a documentary video produced by the Bolivia Ahora channel, maintained by a group of indigenous communicators. The 20-minute video ran on social media the week before the election, compiling scenes and facts from the days before and after the coup. “I think the world was unaware of the violence and hatred that drove the coup.” Check out the video:

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Economy

Union denounces the death of 20 teachers by covid-19 after back to school in SP

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São Paulo – The Union of Teachers of Official Education of the State of São Paulo (Apeoesp) held a demonstration today (4) denouncing the death of at least 20 teachers by covid-19 since the beginning of the return to school in the state of São Paulo Paulo. The entity also accounts for 1,861 confirmed cases of covid-19 in 850 schools. The protest took place in front of the State Department of Education of the government of João Doria (PSDB), after a motorcade through the streets of the capital of São Paulo. In addition to honoring these teachers, the act also called for an immediate suspension of classes until the new coronavirus pandemic is controlled in the state.

The demonstration began in the Masp free space, on Avenida Paulista. From there, the teachers went to the State Department of Education, at Praça da República. “It is unacceptable what the Doria government has been doing with teachers. Without closing schools, keeping thousands of teachers and staff and millions of students circulating every day, many in public transport, Doria and her Education Secretary reveal themselves as they are: enemies of life ”, said the president of Apeoesp and state deputy, Professor Bebel.

The Doria government has not released records of confirmed and suspected covid-19 cases in schools for two weeks. Much less if there was a death by covid-19 of teachers, students or other education workers. In the only balance sheet released on February 16, there were 741 confirmed cases and 1,133 suspected cases.

Folly

Although it claims that back to school amid the covid-19 pandemic is safe, the Doria government has restricted access to the Education Information and Monitoring System for Covid-19. With that, the governor leaves the assessment of the resumption of activities without any transparency. Only one server from each school can be registered and access the system, both to notify suspected or confirmed cases of the disease at school, and to monitor the general situation of the pandemic in the public school system.

The Secretary of State for Health of São Paulo, Jean Gorinchteyn, defended, on Tuesday (2), the closure of schools across the state due to the worsening of the pandemic of covid-19. He admitted that the increase in the circulation of people promoted by the return to school has contributed to the worsening of the transmission of the new coronavirus in recent weeks, as teachers and health experts have always said it would happen. Today, São Paulo has 17,802, with 9,910 in the ward and 7,892 in the ICU, the largest number in the entire pandemic.

“If we understand that people are threatened
against the virus, against the collapse (of the health system), we have to reevaluate
situations that could be avoided. One of them is the situation of the school. THE
The problem is not the school, but the movement of people. Teachers, students, parents
who take and bring their children. Even in public transport, the exposure that the
we end up putting people. At this point, it is worth noting that this
question of not having classes, ”said Gorinchteyn, in an interview with CBN radio.

Restrictions

In addition to the case records and the denunciation of the death of these teachers by covid-19, Apeoesp also highlights data from the Hospital do Servidor Público Estadual (HSPE) that shows the exhaustion of intensive care units (ICU) after returning to school. According to the internal bulletin of the HSPE, on Monday (1), the ICU occupancy for patients with covid-19 in the hospital is 95%. In wards, the occupation is 73%.

Yesterday, Doria announced that the entire state will enter the red quarantine phase for two weeks, starting on Saturday (6), due to the worsening of the covid-19 pandemic in São Paulo. However, he decided to keep the schools open. “Despite the restriction measures, state schools will continue to open their doors at the worst moment of the pandemic”, criticized Bebel, who guaranteed the continuation of the teachers’ strike, which started on February 8.

Teachers killed by covid-19 in São Paulo, according to a survey by Apeoesp:

Maria Inês Silva Frozel
Eda Balle Pulpato
Antonio Cesar Pereira
Cinthia Aparecida
Rodrigo Andrade
Regina Aparecida dos Santos Tomaz
Maria Soeiro
Maria Tereza Miguel Couto
Marcelo Shiroma
Antonio Cesar Pereira
Antônio Cesar Zenetti
Adriano Moraes
Ana Clara Macedo dos Santos
Paulo Henrique Camargo
Deolinda Scotti
Amauri Nicoletti
Guilherme Augusto de Oliveira Rebello
Luciani Andrade Serrão
Eliana Ferreira Boni
Luiz Roberto Oliveira

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