The Living Force
Resignation of Bolivia’s Evo Morales was no victory for democracy, but a US-sponsored coup
"I resign from my position as president so that (Carlos) Mesa and (Luis Fernando) Camacho do not continue to persecute socialist leaders."
https://actualidad.rt.com/actualidad/333279-perfil-luis-camacho-golpe-estado-bolivia said:Who is Luis Fernando Camacho, the man who leads the coup d'état in Bolivia and who promises that 'God will return to the Palace'?
This Sunday he entered the Government Palace by force to leave a letter to the Executive with a Bolivian flag and a Bible.
Luis Fernando Camacho presents himself on Twitter as "president of the Committee for Santa Cruz, lawyer and father of three children. He claims to fight "not with weapons but with faith," but it is the visible face of the coup d'état against Evo Morales. Who is the man who yesterday entered the Government Palace and prayed kneeling on the floor with a Bible on the Bolivian flag?
In the middle of this year, the local media reported that Camacho would be related to the Panama Papers: through the creation of three companies (Medis Overseas Corp., Navi International Holding and Positive Real Estates) he would have operated as an intermediary to "help people and companies hide their fortunes in offshore entities, launder money and establish tax evasion schemes". This is reflected in the report prepared by the legislative commission that investigated the issue, which was presented in September 2017. Then, Camacho said that they wanted to intimidate him: "I am not going to shut up, I am going to keep the speech," he said.
For Bolivian political scientist and analyst Marcelo Arequipa, "Camacho belongs to a historical family line in Santa Cruz of an elite that has always managed civic power and territorial power. And he related that the current situation in his country is as if he had returned to the nineteenth century. "It's the bible, the conservative and the appeal to the previous economic elites," he says in conversation with RT.
For Hugo Siles, a political scientist and former Minister of Autonomy in Santa Cruz, "Camacho is part of a wealthy family in the area. In the past, it used to cost each user $1,000 to $1,500 to connect to the gas network. That was one of his family's businesses. Today all that is free because of the nationalization policy where gas is a resource that we Bolivians have recovered for our economy. This is how he relates some of the concrete interests of his clan that were touched by the Morales government.
He is part of one of the two great lodges of the area (Los Caballeros del Oriente) and together with his family he is part of the Grupo Empresarial de Inversiones Nacional Vida S.A., companies linked to insurance, gas and services. He is 40 years old, is a lawyer from the Private University of Santa Cruz de la Sierra and has a master's degree in Financial and Tax Law from the University of Barcelona.
A man from Bolivia's richest region
In his youth, Camacho was vice-president of the Cruceñista Youth Organization (UJC), an organization whose motto is 'We are not violent, we are peaceful, but we are not cowards', and which is organized under the 'hashtag' #DiosVolveráAlPalacio. Siles defines it this way: "They are a violent shock group, historically they have made use of force".
The young people are part of the larger organization that Camacho now presides over and which between 1981 and 1983 was led by his father: Comité pro Santa Cruz.
Camacho has presided over it since February of this year. It is an organization that brings together different neighborhood entities, zones, businesses, workers from one of the richest areas of Bolivia. The region produces 70% of the country's food and has an enormous energy and hydrocarbon potential which, after the nationalization of Morales in 2016, is now in the hands of the State.
According to official data from the National Statistics Institute of Bolivia, the GDP of the Department of Santa Cruz in 2016 represented 28.9% of the total economy of the country. "Santa Cruz represents a third of the GDP. Here, with immense resources, it has organized a mobilization of people who have taken to the streets," says Siles.
It is a rich and influential region, but the last time it managed to have a president of its own was Hugo Banzer Suárez, who led a coup d'état in 1971 and then founded a party and won the presidential election in 1997. From the very beginning of the MAS administration, the department questioned the legitimacy of the government.
The 'cambas', as they are defined, were organized around civic committees led at the time by Branko Marinković, a leader son of a Croatian father and Montenegrin mother, and challenged the central power. It was an alliance between the elites of the departments of Beni, Pando, Tarija and Santa Cruz that was called 'the Crescent'. The tension escalated and there was even an incipient guerrilla that sought to break the unity of the nation state. The UJC, of which Camacho had been vice-president, was a key organization in the escalation of violence.
At the same time, a new constitution was being negotiated in Sucre. Faced with such a 'catastrophic tie' (as it was then called), the government called for a recall referendum in 2008 that would honestly correlate forces. Morales won, but most governors also won. However, the massacre of peasants in the Porvenir in September 2008 ended up tipping the balance in favour of the central government and forced the most rebellious sectors to sit at the negotiating table.
Persecution in the Name of God
Everything Camacho does has a very strong religious anchorage: he mentions God in all his apparitions, he took the Bible to the Government Palace and asks his followers to take the Virgin to the mobilizations. On October 4, he gathered his followers "at the feet of Christ the Redeemer" in Santa Cruz. Then, he posted a video on social networks in which he said that in that 'cabildo' they had decided to "punish the tyrant with the votes.
Camacho did not run as a candidate in this October's presidential elections in Bolivia. And yet, he is currently leading a coup that has as its original argument the denunciation of Morales' opposition to fraud.
He himself has taken care to make his style clear by publicly quoting the most famous Colombian drug trafficker: "We have to do - saving the differences - and take out the agenda as Pablo Escobar did, but only to write down the names of the traitors of this town," he said Oct. 30 in a town hall in the southern zone of Santa Cruz.
"Camacho is in fact the political leader of the opposition and who is imposing his agenda. He has made use of what is called 'the spectacularization of politics': he has used the screens in a perfect way," Arequipa analyzed.
According to him, he managed to add Ortíz's speech ("a technocratic right") with that of the Korean evangelical pastor (Chi Hyun Chung) who obtained a surprising 8.77% of the votes in the October elections. "It is the sum of the rights in Bolivia," he said.
After the 48 hours Camacho gave to Morales to resign, he summoned a new Cabildo and published a letter in which he writes the resignation of the then president. Since then, he began a journey on his way to the Palace to deliver the letter.
In the middle, the Organization of American States (OAS) denounced irregularities in some minutes and Morales decided to call new elections "to seek peace.
But the tension didn't go down: Camacho was still in the direction of the Palace. That place, in Plaza Murillo, is where the Executive worked until August 2018, when it moved its functions to the Casa Grande del Pueblo. It was there that Morales governed from then on. However, the Santa Cruz leader explicitly ignored that and decided to go to the old building.
This afternoon we will meet with the National Civic movement, CONADE, social organizations and the Bolivian people, to give them a message regarding the day and time that we will deliver the letter to President Morales, because it is not the whim of one man, or one department.
We will not leave this letter in any window, this letter is the voice of the people approved in the Cabildo cruceño and supported by the Bolivian people in different Cabildos. We will make the delivery to open doors, in front of the media.
Nor will we deliver the letter in a building that built a party, where luxury, hatred, racism, and contempt for the Bolivian people are concentrated. It will be delivered to the Government Palace, the Palacio Quemado, which represents the history of our people.
Finally, that was the scene that shook the world yesterday. Minutes before Morales resigned the presidency, Camacho entered the Government Palace and presented the letter on a Bolivian flag with the Bible next to it.
Just so they know the "democracy" they applaud.
Later he tweet: "Confirmed!! Arrest warrant for Evo Morales! The police and the military are looking for him in the Chapare, the place he hid.
But then - although it was already late and after the denials of the Police - he eliminated it. Morales denounced the persecution.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator
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