We aren’t at War — We are United
People in various countries across Southamerica are out on the streets since several days, including weeks. Though the reasons are diverse at first sight, the people share the strong desire for a political change.
Images of the accelerating bushfires in the Amazonian went viral during last summer. We saw destroyed nature and fleeing animals, and even though those fires are common for the season, we although learned that the according governments do play a role in all this. But what kind of government would endanger their people in such way? We won’t find the answer in the jungle but in the streets — now.
Several countries are suffering a wave of obvious corruption and injustice and therefore public resistance has risen.
- 21.10.2019 presidential elections are held in Bolvia. The results come out in favor of Evo Morales, who is president of the country since 2005, and is now more than ever accused of fraud.
- In 2009, at the end of his first period in office, Evo Morales changed the constitution (which until then permitted only one legislative period with a duration of 4 years) to the extend that every president could run 2 periods in office, each longing 5 years. He although arranged reelections of the complete government, thus ensuring himself 2 more periods — which ended this year.
- In a referendum in 2016, the people of Bolivia voted against Evo Morales approach to be elected again, but he didn’t care about the decision. The decision by a jury of 6 persons, right after the referendum appears, rather like a bad joke: they declared Evo Morales to have the right to run for office as often as he wants, enabling to stay president for lifetime.
He therefore is, under democratic conditions, an illegal candidate and his government is unconstitutional.
In the election of last weekend a candidate with great support from the people ran for office, Carlos Mesa. When the results were counted live on Sunday night Carlos Mesa was at 38,2% and Evo Morales at 45,3%. This result would have made a second election round necessary, because a candidate needs at least 50% to win in one round. This is when the information was cut off completely for 24 hours, until Monday evening 20:00. Evo Morales then appeared with a 10% difference, which can’t be explained and is statistically impossible. The result therefore appears to be a big fraud, with changed ballot papers and changes final results of the different regions of the country.
‘’The government is full of corruption, inflation and drug trafficking, they are really leading the country as they want to, whilst enriching themselves, The most difficult part is, that the democracy is demanding change, but he wants to stay in power, this has to be translated as a step into a dictatorship.’’
Says Gustavo Gutiérrez, citizen of La Paz and professor at the university, and adds: ‘’We won’t allow going down the same road as Venezuela, we won’t let anybody stay in power forever.‘’
- October 2019, Sebastián Piñera, the president of Chile announces that the prices for public transport in the capital Santiago will rise
- The price increase turns out to be the straw that breaks camel’s back or the last thing that had to happen, for the public to go out on the streets. Thousands are showing their discontent towards the neoliberal politic
- Piñera withdraws his plans to increase the prices, but continues to fight the manifestations with rigorous brutality
In the morning of the 23th October, Piñera admits that he may have underestimated how socially unsatisfied the people of his country are. He announces political reforms in favor of the less economically fortuned. It seems like he has finally understood, that the manifestations did not only happen just for the price increase, but are an answer to a bad education system (including lifetime university debts), destructive mines, bad wages, inequality, bad health care, and the ongoing conflict of the government with the Mapuche people .
But after those days of violence from part of the state, the act of introducing new reforms appears less to be having good intention, than being the last option, for Chile no not fall into complete chaos. Official sites say that 15 people have died so far, other sources report more than 40 dead persons, several violated woman and at least 120 missing person, including some minors. Fotos and videos are flooding the social medias, graphical material that reminds of the seventies of the country, when Pinochet imposed his dictatorship.
‘’All people are coming together, revolting against the system, demanding a profound transformation. Here, most Chileans are supporting the resistance.’’
Says the musician and activist Alvaro Valentin. For the next days the have planned a general strike and more manifestations. They don’t even think of lowering down, until a real possibility for change is at sight.
- At the beginning of October 2019, the president of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, announced a decree that would eliminate the existing subsidy of gasoline. That would have meant an increase of 100% , that would have had consequence for all parts of the daily life
- After massive protests from side of the public, Moreno canceled the decree, thus the prizes stayed like before
- The state emergency, the brutal repression and ineptitude of the president and his ministers left the public very unsatisfied and with the wish for new elections very soon.
‘’ Well he happened to manage, after the demonstrations, that the government didn’t fall, unlike others. But this is only because he alined himself with the most powerful, who are using him as a puppet. It’s a shame that he betrayed the ultimate campaign and the public in general, alining himself with the right wing.’’ comments a student from Quito.
This form of acting manifested itself when Moreno announced, together with his vice president and the officials of the military, that he would change the capital of Ecuador from Quito to Guayaquil, where the indigenous population is way higher.
The indigenous communities had joined the protests of the public transportation workers, who built the base of the protests. The Confederation of indigenous nationalities of Ecuador justified their support with the fact that the measurements would affect ’’the complete society of Ecuador, and put in danger the conditions of living and the most vulnerable sectors of the country’’. At the moment it seems like the government has reacted with the persecution of indigenous leaders.
Even tough the situation is way more calm right now, the public expects a new decree. Therefore it may only be a question of time, till the climate of public opinion changes again.