Vaca Díez Passes Hydrocarbons Law in Bolivia

“I have no choice but to sign the document and pass this law, faced with President Carlos Mesa’s negative response. Now, all I ask is for unity in the country,” said Hormando Vaca Díez, president of the Bolivian National Congress, assuming, before all the members of Congress, the responsibility that President Mesa had tossed onto him. “Supported by the Constitution,” Díez passed the new Hydrocarbons Law just over two hours ago. Saying he was tired of the uncertainty, Díez signed his name during the Congressional session this afternoon. After that, the senator explained that the administration had avoided its responsibility, and that, in times like these, this is impossible: “We have passed the law, under conditions very complicated for the country, where a very high level of uncertainty has been generated for the Bolivian people.”

No one had to wait for the first reactions. Two of the multinational oil companies, which completely oppose any changes in their current contracts, such as those stipulated in the new law, have announced the possibility of filing international lawsuits against Bolivia…

Evo Morales’ Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) has not changed its position much either, and presented a series of proposed modifications just minutes after the law’s passage. Morales and his people have made it clear that they do not intend to destabilize President Mesa or carry out any other such actions. The march which left from Caracollo yesterday remains on its nonviolent course, demanding changes in the law that would make it, according to the MAS, as always, more just for the people, and, at the same time, leave no room for conflicts with the oil companies.

“Coward and Traitor”

In any case, the people of El Alto remain on the scene, ready to implement their agenda. At the moment they are in an assembly and there seem to be no changes in their position. But the Aymara farmers, the other major radical group in this battle, have already changed their discourse: they have declared that President Carlos Mesa and the members of congress from every political party to be traitors, cowards, and enemies of the people.

Under these conditions, the rural Aymara have decided to organize more mobilizations. Road blockades will begin in the next few days, and a hunger strike being carried out in the offices of Tupaj Katari  Single Peasant Farmer Federation of the Department of La Paz will continue. That is to say, kind readers, this wave could grow into a tsunami, wiping out the Bolivian political class…

At the moment, there is not much more information… but with this, the situation seems much clearer to everyone. Stay on line with us until the next dispatch.

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