Trade unionists carry out a march against Law 1386 to combat the legitimation of illicit profits, today in Cochabamba (Bolivia). EFE / Jorge Abrego
La Paz, Nov 15 (EFE) .- The protests in Bolivia continued this Monday, on the eighth day of an indefinite strike partially carried out by merchants, transporters and civilians until the country’s Parliament fulfills the promise of President Luis Arce to repeal a controversial law that is considered contrary to civil liberties.
In cities such as Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Potosí, Sucre and La Paz, demonstrations against Law 1386 of the National Strategy to Combat the Legitimization of Illicit Profits and the Financing of Terrorism are held on this day.
This despite the fact that last Saturday, President Luis Arce announced the abrogation of the rule, for which he sent to Parliament a draft bill that will be treated by “dispensation of processing” first in the Chamber of Deputies this Monday and by the Senate early on Tuesday.
In Cochabamba, in the center of the country, the unions or informal merchants marched through the center of the city to make it clear that this conflict “is not solved with words but with signed papers,” the regional representative of that sector, Omar, assured Efe. Rodriguez.
For his part, the representative of the private companies in that region stated that “it has been decided to continue in a state of emergency and in vigil.”
In Santa Cruz, the main political stronghold of the opposition and economic engine of the country, the strike has been maintained with a margin of time for the population to stock up on food and the request of some merchants to return to sales.
The Civic Committee of Santa Cruz defined the day before to maintain the pressure until additional demands are achieved such as the annulment of laws considered “cursed” and the restitution of two-thirds of the vote in parliamentary debates.
GEARS AND COUNTERSWITCHES
In Potosí and Sucre, the capital of the country, what seemed like a normal day turned, according to local media, into a day with low traffic since neither the commercial work nor the traffic have been entirely normal.
In Sucre there was a demonstration by sectors related to the ruling party that demanded the restitution of activities after the announcement of the abrogation of the law, while heavy transport and neighbors contrary to the norm carried out street blockades.
Something similar happened in Tarija, where a massive pro-government rally demanded “peace and respect for democracy.”
At the end of the afternoon, in La Paz the Assembly of Paceñidad was installed, led by the opposition mayor Iván Arias to define measures until the annulment of Law 1386 is consolidated.
Supporters of the mayor and the government Movement for Socialism (MAS) gathered at the doors of the municipal building, among which there were fights and confrontations for and against the protests, for which the Police had to intervene by throwing tear gas.
In the next few hours, the lower house is expected to begin the treatment of an abrogatory law of 1386 that will then go to the Senate for analysis and approval early Tuesday morning.
The Arce government and its supporters insist that the protests are a “pretext” to stage a new “coup” as they believe happened in 2019.
The former president and maximum leader of MAS Evo Morales admitted that the annexes to the law “affected some sectors.”