Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Sorry State of The Rule of Law in Bolivia

This time, I will not keep on writing about Bakovic, who was imprisoned just because Evo wanted to see him in jail (read about this case here). This time I will write about the lack of guarantees to enforce basic human rights in Bolivia. Indeed, Bolivia is starting to look like a Sergio Leone western rather than a country.

This report is about a family, who own a pice of land in Santa Cruz. They apparently own 20ha, which makes them oligarchs in the eyes of Evo. Well, it seems that this family called the police, because the Sin Tierra movement was threatening a takeover. The police attended the call: they did not see anything unusual and went away, leaving the family at the mercy of the Sin Tierras.

However, more than 100 Sin Tierras (ST) started their advances once againt the night after the police went away. They destroyed the fence and went into the unprotected property. In the words of the owner, "They came drunk and on drugs, willing to slit our throats or burn us alive". So they defended themselves: To gain time, they started using firearms, in order to scare the STs until the car was ready. The STs began to try to set fire to the building where the family was. In all the confusion, one of the ST was mortally wounded. Finally, the family got to escape. They had to drive a car without lights on and in the middle of the night, because they knew that their lives were on the stake.

Now the STs are accusing the owner of the land of killing one of them and say that they have people missing. What did the police do? The son and three nephews of the owner have been detained, as well as friends who were helping them to escape, so that the police can find out the one that killed the ST and try him. The Sin Tierras are all roaming free, probably looking for new lands to take over.

The chief of the STs said: "We wanted to pay him $5 for square meter, but he wanted $13, which is out of our possibilities". Geez, I guess that makes taking over property all right. He also demanded the owner to use his lands in an acceptable way. What nerve!

Am I the only one seeing something wrong here?

I hope Tuco at Evonomics posts his thoughts on these events.

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Anonymous blogsurfer said...

I am not willing to pay a cent above $3 for an Ipod. So, if I do not get one with a deal like this one, I'll just snatch the next Ipod I see in the subway. If get caught, I will demand the lawful owner of the Ipod I was stealing to upload the music I like to hear and get off the hook.

It's really simple.

I hope it works. Wish me luck!

11:22 AM  

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