[Marxism] Bolivian government-owned newspaper charges disabled protesters with beating up cops

Richard Fidler rfidler_8 at sympatico.ca
Thu Mar 8 12:52:12 MST 2012


Excuse me, but where is the evidence in the article below to sustain
Louis's headline on the item? All I can see is this:

"Cambio dwelled on the injuries sustained by the police and blamed the
violence on a group of infiltrados posing as disabled people....

"As evidence of the violent infiltration, Cambio unveiled a photograph
of a man in a striped sweater standing in front of a policeman in riot
gear, accompanied by the caption ‘Activist beats up policemen at
disabled protest’. Below that were two more photographs, purportedly
of the same man protesting against the TIPNIS road."

The story says nothing about Cambio alleging the disabled themselves
attacked the police -- which would be pretty incredible to begin with.

There are many other misleading statements in this report but I will
leave it at that. No need, Louis, to add your own disinformation.

Richard

-----Original Message-----
From:
marxism-bounces+rfidler_8=sympatico.ca at greenhouse.economics.utah.edu
[mailto:marxism-bounces+rfidler_8=sympatico.ca at greenhouse.economics.ut
ah.edu] On Behalf Of Louis Proyect
Sent: March 8, 2012 2:24 PM
To: rfidler_8 at sympatico.ca
Subject: [Marxism] Bolivian government-owned newspaper charges
disabled protesters with beating up cops

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http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2012/03/06/belen-fernandez/in-la-paz/
In La Paz
Belén Fernández 6 March 2012

In June 2009, the Bolivian state-run newspaper Cambio reported that
Alán García, the then president of Peru, had accused Boliva’s
president, Evo Morales, of inciting genocide against the Peruvian
police force. Morales had expressed solidarity with inhabitants of the
Peruvian Amazon opposed to the multinational corporate exploitation of
the region’s resources.

Since then, Morales seems to have adjusted his position on both
environmentalism and the rights of indigenous peoples. There are plans
to build a highway through Bolivia’s Isiboro Sécure National Park and
Indigenous Territory (TIPNIS). The government has portrayed the road’s
opponents as politically motivated allies of US imperialism, and the
police have cracked down violently on protesters. The road would
benefit Brazilian energy companies and coca-growing Morales supporters
who have moved into the area.

Cambio has meanwhile cast the Bolivian police as the victims in a
confrontation with disabled protesters in La Paz last month. The
protesters arrived in the city at the end of a 1000-mile march to
request an annual disability subsidy of 3000 Bolivianos (around $400).
Amnesty International drew attention to reports that the police had
used electric shocks and pepper sprays indiscriminately on the crowd.
Cambio dwelled on the injuries sustained by the police and blamed the
violence on a group of infiltrados posing as disabled people.

Having watched the marchers arrive in La Paz on 23 February in
wheelchairs and on crutches, some of them missing limbs, I was
surprised to hear from my newspaper vendor the following day that the
disabled had attacked the police in the city centre.

As evidence of the violent infiltration, Cambio unveiled a photograph
of a man in a striped sweater standing in front of a policeman in riot
gear, accompanied by the caption ‘Activist beats up policemen at
disabled protest’. Below that were two more photographs, purportedly
of the same man protesting against the TIPNIS road.

Through such manoeuvres, Cambio has shown itself to be no better than
the right-wing Honduran paper that in 2009 ran a headline claiming
that Morales had been declared president of Bolivia for life. The
non-story underneath was about a Bolivian citizen who said he’d like
Morales to be president for life.

As for the Bolivian state’s insistence that indigenous opposition to
the TIPNIS road is inextricably linked to the US embassy, USAID,
various pro-US NGOs and followers of the US-backed former president
Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, there’s no denying the meddlesome history
of the US in Latin America. But that doesn’t give Morales a free hand
to suppress dissent. It’s worth remembering that one of the grievances
against Sánchez de Lozada, whose retirement in the US has been
undisturbed by Bolivia’s extradition requests, was his harsh way of
dealing with public protests.

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