Elections in Colombia, Guatemala, Argentina and soon Venezuela. Collapsed peace talks in Colombia and tensions between Colombia and Venezuela. A big U.S. aid package proposed amid rising narco-violence in Mexico.
All of this recent activity has kept attention away from Bolivia, where a constituent assembly has been struggling to rewrite the country’s constitution ahead of a December 14 deadline. Efforts to hold the assembly in Bolivia’s “second capital,” Sucre (where the country’s Supreme Court meets), have been stymied by repeated protests. The protesters, with the support of opponents of President Evo Morales, want to move Bolivia’s capital to Sucre.
Things blew up last weekend. Meeting on a military installation in Sucre, with few (or no) opposition constituents present, a pro-government rump of constituents approved a draft constitution.
The opposition was enraged. Sucre was rapidly consumed by violence on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with at least four people killed and 200 wounded. The police pulled entirely out of Sucre. The violence has momentarily died down, but the severe political crisis continues.
If, like us, you have been distracted from giving Bolivia the attention it deserves, here are some useful recent analyses. It is hard to find coverage that is not biased one way or the other. If you see anything else, post a link in the comments.
- Andean Information Network: Four Dead in Capital Conflict
By far the best analysis in English so far. The issues raised by the clashes and the future of the new constitution will have a profound effect on future political developments, as opposing sectors have become even more firmly entrenched in their positions
- (Added November 28) Blog from Bolivia: And Now the Ugly Endgame
As is almost always the case in interpreting the frequent chaos of Bolivian politics, it is essential not only to look at the hot rhetoric and street action that is public, but the political chess moves that lie underneath
- Global Voices: Conflicts in Sucre Over New Constitution
Bolivian bloggers based in Sucre and across the country commented on the violence and the tactics used by the majority party
- Mabblog: This Is How They Did It
In order for MAS to fly over the approval of its Constitution, they had to first modify the rules of debate. They modified the necessary articles in the following manner
- La RazÃ³n: Noviembre Negro
- El Diario: Proyecto de nueva Carta Magna crea divisiÃ³n en el paÃs
- Los Tiempos (Cochabamba): Sucre no termina de enterrar a sus muertos