Border dispute: Potosí begins a 48-hour stoppage

Los Tiempos, Cochabamba, 29 July, 2010: The Consulting Council of the Potosí Civic Committee (Comcipo) confirmed that all activities will be paralyzed for 48 hours in this department today and tomorrow, and warned that further measures to be taken will be more radical if the Government does not attend to the demands of this region. The Government, through the Autonomy Minister, Carlos Romero, announced that it will not negotiate under pressure with the leaders of Potosí and encouraged them to reach an agreement with Oruro regarding a border dispute.

In view of this Government response, the social leaders of Potosí decided to radicalize the measures begun last Monday with a 24-hour work stoppage, demanding, among other things, the border between (Potosí and) Oruro be defined, a cement factory be installed in Coroma, an international airport be built, the Cerro Rico be preserved, and a multiple metals mining complex be established in Karachipampa.

These measures were put into place because inhabitants of Coroma decided on their own to blockade the access to the city, specifically due to a dispute with Quillacas (Oruro) over a portion of land rich in limestone, the primary material used to manufacture cement.

The Comcipo chairman, Celestino Condori, reported that the 48-hour stoppage that begins today will be mobilized and, in addition to blockading access to the city, various surveillance teams will oversee various streets.

Condori explained that this decision was made after the Government attempted to “divide the border problem by summoning governor Féliz Gonzales to begin a reconciliation dialogue with the Government of Oruro and the Autonomy Minister, Carlos Romero”.

The intent is to ensure the people of Potosí comply with this protest in view of the imperviousness shown by authorities who have provided no favorable responses to the demands made by the social organizations.

Minister Romero, in a press conference in La Paz, referred to the border conflict between Oruro and Potosí stating that it’s a matter that was already handled administratively in 2002 and that the current government is attempting to solve it through a reconciliation process, which was frustrated on 14 June when the Comcipo and some community leaders decided to place a flag on the summit of (a hill called) Cerro Pahua.

Read this article in Spanish

Source: Los Tiempos
Date: 29-July-2010

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