Posted by an indymedia activist currently visiting Bolivia: I´m sitting in an internet cafe on Avenida 16 de Julio in downtown La Paz, Bolivia. It´s something like the 3rd hottest day in La Paz´s history, which isnt that hot. Usually it never goes above 70 degrees farenheit here. |
It may appear that the incredible social changes that rippled through the country just 2 months ago have come to a low simmer, but in fact things are still happening, boiling away beneath the surface.
La Paz is in a canyon about 3000 meters above sea level. at the top of one rim of the canyon is El Alto, the site of an historic showdown in October between the people and the government of Bolivia. This morning I went to El Alto, a city in its own right , population 800,000, built in the last 17 years not by the state but by people, people flooding in from the surrounding countryside, the Altiplano. This morning I went there, to visit a neighborhood where 16 people died in that showdown. A friend who knows better spanish than I interviewed several kids while I videotaped, and they talked of the tanks and tear gas and bullets. We also talked with the priest who is working to raise money for those injured and the families of those killed. One man still lies in bed with 2 bullets in his head, because there is no money to take them out.
Back in La Paz the papers are telling a different story.