In Bolivia, a census bill ends 36 days of sometimes violent protests

The region of Santa Cruz, the economic capital of Bolivia and stronghold of the opposition, suspended, on Saturday, November 26, the demonstrations, sometimes violent, which it had been leading for 36 days against the government.

Earlier on the same day, the Chamber of Deputies had adopted the government bill providing for the holding of the census in March 2024, a distribution of economic resources and the reassignment of seats before the legislative and presidential elections of 2025. lower house sent the bill to the Senate.

“Today is a historic day [car] democracy wonsaid Romulo Calvo, leader of the Departmental Civic Committee, a powerful civil and business conglomerate, which demanded the early holding of a census, a crucial element in view of the elections.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers In Bolivia, a violent conflict over the census revives fractures

Four dead and more than 170 injured

“As of now, we are having a fourth intermission, we are lifting the strike and blockades, without suspending our struggle”, he added. The executive nevertheless refused, citing technical reasons, Santa Cruz’s request to organize the census in 2023, and fixed it for March 2024.

Santa Cruz had begun its protests on October 22 with blockades of streets, avenues and interdepartmental roads to demand that leftist President Luis Arce carry out a population census by 2023, as the distribution of public funds and l The allocation of seats in Parliament depends on the population of the regions. However, the region of Santa Cruz, located in the east of the country and governed by the right-wing opposition, considers itself disadvantaged by an obsolete census dating from more than ten years ago. She feared her representation would not be updated in time for the 2025 ballot.

Violence has punctuated this month of protests, including clashes with stones, sticks and firecrackers between opponents of power and its supporters. According to the government, these overflows left four dead and more than 170 injured.

The World with AFP

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