More military and police presence on Bolivian streets
Police officers and members of the Armed Forces are increasing their presence on the streets with the aim of carrying out joint ‘preventive patrols.’
This increase in military and police presence takes place in the lead up to January 22 , the Day of the Plurinational State, a date that also represents the consolidation of the birth of the Democratic and Cultural Revolution of Bolivia, a movement established by the Evo Morales government.
Broad sectors that support the indigenous leader called for a mobilization that day against the coup government led by self-proclaimed president Jeanine Añez, whose ‘mandate’ must, by law, end that day.
However, yesterday the Plurinational Constitutional Court (TCP) approved a bill to extend Añez’s term, which is now being debated by the legislature.
The Court also agreed to extend the term of senators and deputies, mandates sue to end Wednesday 22.
According to La Paz Police Commander William Cordero, quoted by the newspaper La Razon, the operation is part of ‘preventive efforts, as we did all this time with the special groups’ at the government headquarters, ‘with the purpose of preventing and being able to have the peace we need for our society.’
However, a few days ago, Bolivian police instructed the use of lethal and non-lethal weapons against demonstrations against the de facto government, a measure that has added to the repressive methods questioned by human rights organizations.
De facto government in Bolivia cancels anti-imperialist school
Bolivia’s de facto government dismantled the Anti-Imperialist School, created by the toppled president Evo Morales, and turned it into Academic Unit of Military School of Engineering, the Defense Minister Fernando Lopez reported today.
On November 14, 2015, Evo Morales announced the establishment of the General Anti-Imperialist Command School, which is named after one of the most prominent military in the history of Bolivia, Juan Jose Torres Gonzales.
This institution was created to teach history, strategy, doctrine and praxis of National Liberation, as well as the principles of the Bolivia’s sovereignty defending people and natural resources.
It also sought to defend the construction of a domestic and popular project linked to the unity of the Latin American and Caribbean Homeland.
In a scenario marked by militarization, permission for police officers to use lethal weapons against rioters, political persecution, shutdown of community radio stations and the extension of the de facto authorities’ mandate.
Bolivia’s Anti-Imperialist Army School Renamed After Che’s Assassins
The military academy created was renamed by the coup government in honor of the assassins of internationalist hero Ernesto “Che” Guevara.
The anti-imperialist school that Evo Morales created in the Armed Forces of Bolivia in 2016 has been renamed Friday to Heroes of Ñancahuazu, after the Bolivian military unit that killed the revolutionary figure Ernesto “Che” Guevara in 1967.
“Bolivians are not anti-anything,” Bolivia’s Interim Defense Minister Luis Fernando Lopez declared to media in La Paz, while explaining that the anti-imperialist orientation with which Morales launched this academy in 2016 “did not fit with military doctrine.”
“Under that anti-imperialist concept, foreign doctrines are generated,” he added, something that “has nothing to do with the spirit of Bolivians.”
The General Juan Jose Torres Anti-Imperialist Command School installed in the Bolivian city of Warnes did not provide “any type of function that will contribute to the Armed Forces,” the official added.
The training center was integrated into the Military School of Engineering with the new name. Yet this is just another attempt form the de-facto government to erase the legacy of Evo Morales and the social and cultural progress made during his mandate; as in the case of the burning and dismissal of the Indigenous Wiphala flag.
The de-facto President Jeanine Añez, after coming to power last November in a violent coup, said the government would replace “ideological educational instances” that in her opinion “did not pay any education” to the Bolivian military.
The statements of the Minister of Defense were made during the presentation of a military and police device to strengthen security for Jan. 22 when Bolivia celebrates Plurinational State Day.