More than 50 development and human rights institutions in Bolivia have come together to appeal for a peaceful solution as the country is plunged into a social and political crisis.
The crisis follows the disputed elections, the resignations of president Evo Morales and vice president Alvaro García Linera and their departure to exile in Mexico. Senate deputy leader Jeanine Añez assumed the interim presidency and pledged to call new elections, although no date has been set.
There have been massive protests in some parts of the country and sporadic violence. At least 30 people have been killed and 700 injured. There have been many arrests, and others live in a climate of great uncertainty and fear.
The 50 NGOs and human rights organizations issued the following communiqué:
In defence of life and towards democratic and transparent elections
We, the undersigned development and human rights organizations of Bolivia, offer our institutional capacity, human resources, experience, knowledge and physical resources to contribute to establishing negotiations, agreements, pacts and whatever other efforts can contribute to bringing peace back to our country.
We call on all Bolivian women and men to:
- Support the calls made by different social sectors, the government, the presidents of both chambers of the legislative assembly, departmental assemblies, departmental and municipal governments, neighbourhood committees, and all our citizens, to bring peace to the country, to preserve the lives of all our sisters and brothers in all parts of the country and to make arrangements for new national elections.
- To make every effort they can to promote calm and avoid violent confrontations; to provide reliable information about the reasons underlying the demonstrations that have occurred since 20 October; to promote dialogue and understanding at every level.
- To exercise their rights to oblige the authorities to bring forward swiftly democratic and transparent elections and to promote democratic institutions, the respect for human rights, effective investigations of all the deaths that have occurred in the various outbreaks of conflict, compensation for victims, and due legal process for all those who have committed criminal acts.
The statement is signed by the following institutions:
- National Union of Institutions for Social Action Work, UNITAS
- Association of Health Promoters Rural Area, APROSAR
- Centro de Estudios para el Desarrollo Laboral y Agrario, CEDLA
- Centro de Comunicación y Desarrollo Andino, CENDA
- Centre for Legal Studies and Social Research, CEJIS
- Centre for Regional Studies on the Development of Tarija CER-DET
- Centre for Information and Development of Women, CIDEM
- Centre for Research and Promotion of Peasants, CIPCA
- Defence for Children International, DCI-Bolivia
- ACLO Foundation
- URAMANTA Social Foundation
- Institute of Cultural Research for Popular Education, INDICEP
- Institute for Peasant Research and Training, IICCA
- Social Research and Legal Advice Potosí, ISALP
- Support for Inter-Andean Sustainable Development, KURMI
- Women in Action
- PIUS XII
- Promotion of Women Tarija PROMUTAR
- Multiple Services of Appropriate Technologies, SEMTA
- Permanent Human Rights Assembly of Bolivia APDH-B
- CITY FOUNDATION
- FUNDACION Instituto Radiofónico Fe y Alegría IRFA
- FOUNDATION OBSERVATORY OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND JUSTICE
- FOUNDATION BUILD
- JUBILEE FOUNDATION
- EARTH FOUNDATION
- MUNASIM KULLAKITA FOUNDATION
- FOUNDATION ON THE WAY
- PEACE FOUNDATION
- AVINA FOUNDATION
- HUMAN RIGHTS COMMUNITY
- WE ARE SOUTH
- Bolivian Platform Against Climate Change PBFCC
- Centre for Studies and Projects CEP
- Educación Radiofónica de Bolivia, Red ERBOL
- National Network of Women in Mining RNMM
- National Network of Human Settlements RENASEH
- HABITAT Network
- Liga de Defensa del Medioambiente LIDEMA
- Association of Promotion and Education Institutions AIPE
- Centre for Training and Services for the Integration of Women CECASEM
- PROCESS, Educational Services
- Institutional Line of Rural Development, LIDER
- Tarija Social Association ASOCIO
- Agricultural Promoters PROAGRO
- Palliative Care – SENTEC
- WASI PACHA Collective
- Pastoral Social Caritas Sucre PASCAR
- COLLECTIVO DEFENSORS OF RIGHTS La Paz-Oruro
- COLLECTIVE OF LAWYERS DEFENDING RIGHTS
Translated from the Spanish by Mike Gatehouse, for LAB.