Sullkata M. Quilla
The fires in Chiquitanía and mistrust of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) have become the two spearheads with which the opposition seeks to diminish the great advantage that, according to all the polls, Evo Morales leads his competitors in the general elections of October 20.
The Bolivian right wing, supported by the United States and Colombia, and ideologically similar groups in Venezuela and Nicaragua, is committed to generating an atmosphere of social upheaval that calls into question the legality and legitimacy of a Morales victory, in order to encourage a scenario of destabilization similar to that created in Venezuela.
Two weeks before the general elections, the country awoke threatened with a `colour revolution’. Luis Fernando Camacho, former head of the Pro Santa Cruz committee, spoke of the need to advance his secessionist dream. Much like the soft coup attempts in Eastern Europe, Camacho clearly urged ‘rebellion and disobedience in the face of possible electoral fraud’.
On August 23, 2008 the former president of the Civic Committee of Santa Cruz Bronco Marinkovic (fugitive from justice for sedition and separatism), stated that autonomy was no longer sufficient and it was necessary to move on to the federalism of the so-called Crescent -Tarija, Pando, Santa Cruz and Beni- with staggered actions of force.
Meanwhile, the fires in Chiquitanía, a transition zone between the Chaco and the Amazon, have been attributed by opposition to government-approved regulations to expand the agricultural frontier and controlled burning, a technique traditionally used to improve soil quality for future crop planting.
Backed by hegemonic, national and transnational media, the partisan opposition and camouflaged in self-styled “citizen platforms” have constructed this image to reinforce the anti-Evo position.
The offensive is on the sectors of the population that backed the march of the Tipnis indigenous group in 2011 and that in the February 21, 2016 referendum voted against the proposal to modify article 168 to enable Morales for this year’s elections.
It is also likely that some supposedly environmentalist youth group will emerge to present a counter-image built by the indigenous leader upon his known respect for Mother Earth.
The opposition likewise attacks the credibility of the Electoral Tribunal by questioning its impartiality. A week ago, the German ambassador, Stefan Duppel, in clear statements as interventionist as they are irresponsible, said: “I am worried about the day after the elections. Are you all in agreement that these results are clean? I think there is a lot of mistrust in general in elections”.
Duppel’s statements are evidence of the opposition’s strategy to ignore the results of an election that would give Evo Morales a victory in the first round. Undoubtedly, if we were not going through a pre-electoral stage, the lowering party would be expelled from the country.
Cambio reported the support to this demonstration of representatives of the Bolivian extreme right like Carlos Sánchez Berzaín (a fugitive in the United States after the October 2003 massacre) and Leopoldo Fernández, Pando exprefect sentenced on March 10, 2017 to 15 years in prison for the so-called Porvenir Massacre, which on September 11, 2008 cost the lives of 13 people, mostly peasants.
The media recently warned of the presence in the department of Santa Cruz of a team of civilian and military experts headed by George Eli Birnbaun, a U.S. political consultant, who became head of the cabinet of Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in addition to working with Arthur Finkestein, a strategy designer for Republicans in the United States.
Birnbaun also led the political campaign team of Martha Lucía Ramírez, Colombia’s vice-president, who used the strategy of fake news, concludes La Época.
Anthropologist and economist, analyst associated with the Latin American Center for Strategic Analysis (CLAE, http://www.estrategia.la)
Translation by Internationalist 360°