Indigenous Guaraní in Bolivia claim police brutally attacked them on Tuesday, August 18, as they protested the government’s efforts to explore their lands for oil. The Guaraní people, who reside in southern states of Tarija, Santa Cruz, and Chuiquisaca, say heavily armed police officers used tear gas on women, children, and the elderly, while they stood at a blockade on the road that connects Santa Cruz with Yacuíba. According to local media reports, police officers then forcibly entered the homes of protesters who had run back to their village to avoid arrest.+ Beginning at 6 a.m. local time on Tuesday, approximately 1,000 Guaraní people from the local community blocked traffic on the road.
They called for President Evo Morales to respect the Constitution, which mandates a public consultation prior to exploration projects on lands where indigenous groups live. “They entered directly into dwellings in the Yateirenda community. This is already getting out of hand; they are attacking the dignity of our homes,” said Coca Hijino, a representative of the indigenous group in Takovo Mora. “Just imagine, the children have all fainted. Something has to be done, because [the privacy of] our homes is being directly violated.”
Over the last few weeks, the Guaraní community has organized demonstrations in protest of operations in El Dorado by state-run oil company Bolivian Treasury Petroleum Fields (YPFB). They are demanding the national government repeal Decrees 2298, 2195, 2366, and 2368, which allow the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbon resources in protected areas.
via Panamerican Post
According to Bolivian Maoists
“The Morales government is in a worrying situation, the boom in international oil prices is over and it now urgently needs to deepen its extractive policy, ie its dependence on the imperialist market and the deepening of the country’s status as an exporter of raw materials. For this reason it has launched several decrees to explore for oil in protected areas, which is why the public consultations on projects affecting indigenous territories are an obstacle, because it is offering awards to imperialist capital to come to Bolivia to do business, for these reasons it is attacking NGOs who oppose these policies, even if these NGOs are not strategic enemies and have no fundamental contradictions with the state or government..
This is the current situation of the government; to ensure its program to exploit raw materials and agriculture in the interest of imperialist capital it needs to suppress any dissent and opposition and is ready to violently repress the struggles of the people, it must further centralize the power and control of state institutions as it is doing, silence dissenting voices in the media and strengthen its repressive apparatus as it constantly does. This is part of the implementation of the corporate fascist program and strategically, a part of the deepening of bureaucratic capitalism that ultimately leads to greater imperialist exploitation.”