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9/14/08

Bolivia: Evo, Unasur, Pando, Abiding

To read what's going on in Bolivia, go to "abiding in bolivia" immediately and bypass my vague wanderings. I mean it. Here's the link to his site again; he's doing a stellar job in bringing you the raw news unfiltered through what other people want you to understand. Sombrero, Duderino.

Suffice to say that the wishful thinking I've been forcing myself to read about Evo's government under pressure, falling apart and suchlike from far right-wing pundits couldn't be further from the truth. The government of Evo Morales is handling the insurgents very well; neither pandering nor heavy-handed. Evo has strengthened in the last 72 hours as a President of substance, and rightly so. Meanwhile, locals in Santa Cruz are beginning to realize that Ruben Costas' way is hurting them more than the MAS party, and with the hotels now receiving cancellations from people who usually attend the city's big fiesta week at the end of September it's the local business owners who will be rebelling against their own "leader" next. In other news, an arrest order for Pando's prefect has been issued in connection with the now 16 confirmed deaths in the Pando massacre, and his reaction was typical of the bullyboy coward. He's fled to Brazil and is undoubtedly hiding out in the western jungle regions with his narco playmates.

Meanwhile, the most important development (for me at least) is that Michelle Bachelet, the in-turn President of the 12 country regional body UNASUR, has called an emergency council meeting over the Bolivia situation that takes place tomorrow. The pledges of attendance have been excellent, especially considering this summit has been called for at the drop of a hat. This is very, very significant. For maybe the first time ever, Latin America is taking full control of its own problems and is sending a clear message to the rest of the world. We can sort this out by ourselves, and we don't need you. Especially this "you".

Let's see what kind of resolution local leaders (with the emphasis on 'local') come out with tomorrow.

As a little post script, I'd add that Reuters has been covering developments very well, too. With that said, now go to Abiding in Bolivia and stop wasting time here.

Update:
Now thirty confirmed deaths from the Pando massacre.