Conflict between Evo Morales and Luis Arce ends in blocked roads and losses of millionaires in Bolivia

The roadblocks, which affect five regions of the country and whose losses are already reaching at least 100 million dollars, are attributed to the “evista” wing of the ruling party, while the fight for the 2025 presidential candidacy becomes tougher .

The rupture takes time, but this time it is expressed on the Bolivian roads: since almost the beginning of Luis Arce’s mandate, Evo Morales distanced himself from the government led by his own party, criticizing and explaining his intention to take back the reins of Bolivia once the current government ends.

But today, Evism has moved from declarations to actions, and 14 blockade points in different parts of Bolivia have stopped the movement of trucks and buses in recent days. All that, Due to the change currently being negotiated in the judicial system, and the results of which could (or not) imply the unconstitutionality of Evo Morales’ candidacy for the 2025 presidential election.

The MAS (Movement for Socialism), the party to which Arce and Morales belong and which holds the majority in the Legislative Assembly, was unable to select judicial candidates due to political disagreements. This time, to get things moving, Morales supporters began blocking roads.

People walk during a road blockade in the town of Parotani. Photo: Reuters

The “evista” deputies and leaders demand the resignation of the judges of the Supreme Court: this, given that they had to extend their mandate after the MAS could not agree on the negotiation of candidates for the judiciary. The “arcist” position is that these judges must remain in office at least until the choice of others can be made.

These two visions, with apparently minimal stakes, have another precedent in sight: on December 30, the Bolivian Constitutional Court ruled against Morales’ presidential intentions for 2025, assuring that re-election “is not a right”, which would disqualify the candidacy of the historic leader of the MAS. Some opposition leaders even spoke of a “judicial coup”.

In the midst of this atmosphere within the ruling party, blockages appeared this Monday, and Until Wednesday, there were 14 blockages on the main roads: The main blocked access is that which connects the Santa Cruz region to Cochabamba, Oruro and Potosí, affecting internal routes to Peru and Chile. There are also reductions in southern Tarija, according to the latest government reports.

Truckers and transport unions say this is already the case 3 thousand trucks blocked, and thousands of people on the roads unable to move forward. In the midst of this crisis, deaths have already been recorded: this Thursday morning, the death of a man was confirmed in Locotal, Cochabamba, in the middle of the blockade. His death is believed to be due to cardiac arrest.

A second death took place in La Paz, when a woman seeking medical care could not get to Santa Cruz due to road closures. He was allegedly left waiting in a terminal and suffered decompensation.

Roadblocks in Parotani. Photo: Reuters

It was on December 30 that the Bolivian Constitutional Court handed down its ruling: It is not possible to run for a third presidential term, and this prohibition is consistent with the American Convention on Human Rights. For this reason, a candidacy from Evo Morales is impossible under these conditions.

According to Edmundo Novillo, Bolivian Minister of Defense, the context of the conflict is the MAS candidacy for next year, which Morales would like to take away from his political heir apparent. “Morales considers President Luis Arce and Vice President David Choquehuanca his adversaries. and he is focused on how he is going to exhaust them and exclude them from the electoral system,” the minister said.

The Deputy Minister of Citizen Security, Roberto Ríos, went further in his accusations, going so far as to indicate that the demonstrators were using dynamite to damage the roads: “What “Evism” wants are dead, wounded and “As a national government, we protect the greater good, which is life.”

The Minister of the Presidency, María Nela Prada, indicated that the protests were not aimed at reforming the judicial system, but were linked “excessive power ambitions and the imposition of a single candidacy” in the ruling party with Evo Morales.

For his part, Evo Morales spoke through the X network, ensuring that people “will always remember those who betrayed their principles, lost all ideological horizons and distanced themselves from our revolutionary convictions. » Amid this conflict within the MAS, both sides are discrediting each other, calling themselves “right-wingers” and “traitors.”

President Luis Arce and former President Evo Morales in 2022, during an ancestral ceremony for the Aymara New Year. Photo: Reuters

The Minister of Development Planning, Sergio Cusicanqui, criticized the blockages: “We regret that this type of pressure measures are applied. It is clear that the big loser is the people, who cannot move from one point to another in the first place.“, and also affects the distribution of certain products, such as diesel and certain foods.”

For France24, political scientist Ana Lucía Velasco, from the Bolivian Catholic University, assured that beyond the judicial question, “the roadblock and this political impasse “They are the result of several months of a completely open rupture within the MAS.” For the moment, it is not yet clear which leader will prevail in the ruling party’s crisis: “I fear that these leaders will end the patience of the people.”

Furthermore, the general director of the private Bolivian Institute of Foreign Trade (IBCE), Gary Rodríguez, assured that although it is difficult to make an exact report, “it is possible to ensure that the Losses over the past three days easily exceed $100 million and they are increasing. But another loss, of an intangible nature, This is the image of uncertainty that Bolivia projects abroad, like a country convulsed again.

According to the government, Potentially, losses could reach $128 million per day with damage to economic activity and employment. For his part, the director of the National Chamber of Commerce (CNC), Gustavo Jáuregui, Economic losses are estimated at around $120 million. daily in the area due to obstructions.

Source: Latercera

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