Conflicts & War

Bolivia’s president repeals law that sparked six-day strike

La Paz, Nov 13 (EFE).- Bolivia’s president announced Sunday the repeal of a law which sparked a six-day general strike, marches and blockades across the country by unions and civic committees.

In a press conference Saturday night from the seat of government, Luis Arce announced the decision, saying “the country does not want more anxiety and uncertainty unnecessarily.”

“Listening to the demands of the Bolivian people, the sectorial demands, we have made the decision to repeal law 1386 in order, first, to pave the way so that there is no greater pretext to continue mourning, to continue mistreating, to continue paralyzing our economy, an economy that today is being damaged,” said Arce.

The Bolivian government held talks Saturday with some sectors in order to dismantle the demonstrations of informal merchants, transporters, civic committees and citizen platforms against the law of the National Strategy to Combat the Legitimization of Illicit Proceeds and the Financing of Terrorism.

The head of state affirmed that a “distinction of facts” was made around the law, on the one hand with the factors that were “disturbing certain social sectors such as transport, or unions,” but considered that “it was also clear that there is a political agenda in that questioning” of the norm.

According to Arce, the transporters and informal merchants who carried out the strike “have been affected in their income” and said that the government has to ensure that the economy continues to recover and also “wants peace and tranquility in society.”

“We have the obligation to take care of the economy, democracy and our Bolivian families because everything that has happened is generating fear, anxiety and uncertainty unnecessarily in the country due to the fact that there are sectors that have other interests beyond those that mark the needs and concerns of the social sectors,” he insisted.

The first day of the strike on Monday coincided with the end of the first year of the government of Luis Arce. Throughout the week there were clashes between protesters, and the police and groups related to the ruling party that tried to dispel the demonstrations, leaving around 100 detained and several injured.

Strikes continued for six days in regions such as Potosí, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz, the economic engine of Bolivia.

Arce appeared with Vice President David Choquehuanca and several union leaders related to his government.

His statement was preceded by the speeches of the trade unionists, who launched warnings of mobilizations to avoid a “second coup d’état” that, according to the ruling party, was brewing in this conflict similar to the one they consider to have happened during the political crisis of 2019. EFE


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