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The Week that Was – Bolivian Blogs

According to the National Electoral Court, the ballot count for the July 2 election and referendum was the quickest in history. The composition of the Constituent Assembly has now been finalized and Miguel Centellas of Ciao! helps analyze some of the results and thinks that Samuel Doria Medina’s Unidad Nacional (UN) party, which also ran for President in 2005, will play the “king maker” party meaning that it will be essential in any alliances made to acheive the 2/3 majority necessary to make any changes to the Constitution. The results also show a divided country because 4 of the 9 departments voted in favor of autonomy during the referendum process. However, in the department of Santa Cruz, where President Evo Morales’ Movimiento Al Socialismo (MAS) party won a significant number of seats, many of those voters still voted for autonomy, which was contrary to the official party’s position.

Generalizations that entire regions lean one way or are homogeneous in population and ideology also are worrisome. The blogger that goes by the name of Joup, who lives in Santa Cruz, one of the 4 departments that voted in favor of autonomy, and writes in her blog Este Arcoiris se llama Joup (ES) is fed up with generalizations.

“Generalizing things leads us to separation and leads us where the just pay the sinners. The wave of resentment grows in the Bolivian population…as I said earlier, the arrow of injustice, racism, inequality has two sides. One cannot be intolerant towards another culture, one cannot judge. We cannot be part of a group that thinks our culture is better or superior to another….Bolivia is a multi-ethnic, pluricultural nation. It’s time give repect to the cultures and ethnicities that exist…There is only one Bolivia. Santa Cruz is part of Bolivia. We demand respect, but we also must respect those that do not share our customs.”

In his blog Palabras Libres (ES) written from El Alto and La Paz, Mario Ronald Duran Chuquimia, was one of the handful of bloggers, that wrote about El Alto councilmember Roberto de la Cruz, who appeared on television with a group of indigenous youth aka the Bolivian taliban, who vowed to “defend the kollas that live in Santa Cruz and to confront the Cruceño Youth Union” , which is a group that has been accused of attacking indigenous in that city. Duran wonders whether the declarations made by de la Cruz will actually improve the lives of the young Alteños, who suffer from unemployment and underemployment. The statements made by de la Cruz seem to be the very thing that Joup referred to in her post about generalizations.

The blogger at the page Morir Antes Que Esclavos Vivir (ES) is also worried about these individuals because it continues the division among the country, especially because Bolivia is not comprised by only indigenous populations, but it contains a lot of mestizos (mixed race). Former Congressman, Dante Pino, wonders why the Bolivian media even gives airtime to de la Cruz, who according to Pino, was also involved as an inciter during the social unrest of October 2003. His blog is called PRETÉRITAS (ES).

Finally, Bolivian bloggers Gustavo Siles, Almada de Noche (ES) and Isabella Fuente, Ergoth (ES), who both live in Spain, received a pleasant surprise when the musical duo, Negro y Blanco, arrived in Madrid from Bolivia. In fact, Fuente even helped collaborate to put on a show for the musicians. The concert, which was held on July 10 at the Bolivian-Hispanic Center was a great success. Afterwards, one of the group’s members even commented that they would soon have a blog of their own.

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