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Bolivia: Just Say Yes to the New Constitution

The political crisis pitting two sides in Bolivia has taken a break for the year-end holidays. While there is some indication that dialogue could take place right after the new year, things are rather calm. Bolivian blogs have also taken a break of their own, as many are providing well wishes to their readers.

Discussion regarding departmental autonomies, the new Constitution, and forthcoming referendum will also start back up after the first of the year. One site where this discussion may take place is the collective blog site that has already received quite a few comments and attention is El Taparaku [es]. As its manifesto states:

Vamos a exigir (sí, exigir) que Bolivia tenga una nueva Constitución Política del Estado. Que Bolivia logre un nuevo Pacto Social…Lo hacemos como ciudadanos sin militancia partidaria. Lo hacemos como bolivianos y bolivianas…Que el proyecto de Constitución aprobado en grande se discuta en detalle bajo el escrutinio público. Que se difunda, se conozca, se analice. Que la Nación toda, sin vetos-bloqueos ni exclusiones, diga su palabra.

We are going to demand (yes, demand) that Bolivia receives a new Constitution. That Bolivia achieves a new Social Pact…We do so as citizens without belong to any political party. We do so as Bolivians…That the Constitutional proposal approved as a whole is debated under public scrutiny. That it is distributed, read, and analyzed. That the entire Nation, without vetoes, blockades or exclusions, say what's on its mind.

The movement has called itself Los Montoneros, which as one commenter already has mentioned is not a favorable name perhaps to the group that shares the name. However, Vero explains how she interprets the name:

Un montonero es, por definición, un bicho raro. Es un bicho raro (como un taparaku) porque pretende lo imposible. No se cansa de soñar y porque vive acosado por la memoria. Es alguien que no olvida.

Por defecto, un montonero es un rebelde con causa. A diferencia de lo que se piensa no es uno más del montón, no es su origen pero si su objetivo. Ser montones.

A montonero is, by definition, a strange creature. It is a strange creature (like a taparaku) because it attempts the impossible. It does not tire of dreaming and because it lives from its memories. It is someone that does not forget.

By fault, a montonero is a rebel with a cause. The difference is that it not just one of the bunch, it is not its origin but its objective. To be a bunch.

According to one of the site's founders, Ciudadano K, the group was created during a meeting at a local coffee shop in La Paz and pledged itself to support the new Constitution and to bring the debate online:

7. La idea es lanzar una campaña ciudadana (con especial cuidado de no tener NINGÚN vínculo ni con el gobierno ni el MÁS ni nada que se les aproxime).

8. La campaña consiste en: a) Impulsar el conocimiento y debate de los contenidos de la nueva Constitución. b) Impulsar el siguiente paso democrático: referéndum constitucional. c) Impulsar el SÍ a la nueva Constitución.

7. The idea is to launch a citizen's campaign (with special care to have no link with the government or with MAS or anything that comes close).

8. The campaign consists of: a) Promoting the awareness and content debate of the new Constitution. b) Promoting the next democratic step: constitutional referendum c) Promote the YES vote for the new Constitution.

Part of this original team includes Al-Aznar, who also contributes with the illustrations for the site, La Vero Vero [es] Marco from Pandemónium [es], and Exeni from FadoCracia [es].

Marco explains why he joined this movement [es]:

Asumo una posición y tomo partido. Esto no me quita claridad ni me convierte en partidario de agrupación política alguna. Asumo posición por lo que creo y por lo que soy: Un demócrata, un ciudadano… que no pidan, los tibios, “objetividad”, por que no soy objeto.

Visión de país, acuerdo, objetivo…todo eso será nuestra constitución, constitución que deberá rendir examen en un instrumento de participación ciudadana llamada referéndum…allí, el único soberano, decidirá.

Yo votaré por el Sí.

I take a position, and take sides. This neither takes away clarity, nor makes me a partisan for any political group. I take a position for what I believe in and for what I am: A democrat, a citizen…who does not ask the lukewarm for “objectivity”, because I am not an object.

Vision for the country, agreement, objective…all of that will be our new constitution, constitution that should pass the test as an instrument of citizen's participation called a referendum…there, the sovereign ones will decide.

I will vote YES.

Since then, many other bloggers have joined the ranks and many of their RSS feeds can be found on the page's Feevy site. The posts that follow are mainly a series of one-liners and play on words in support of the current government and in opposition to autonomy movements of the east.

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