In Bolivia, Camacho’s Paramilitary Threatens Democracy

By María Luisa Ramos Urzagaste on October 22, 2020

Violent groups are trying to ignore the results of the elections in Bolivia, just a few hours before the official vote count is made public. They are a minority, but their violence is known and they are not willing to allow a peaceful return to democracy.

According to the official count of the Plurinational Electoral Body (OEP), with more than 80% of the votes counted, the figures show an irreversible tendency: the victory of the MAS is devastating, exceeding 53%, in the face of a historic participation of 87% of those eligible to vote.

The results of the popular vote is so overwhelming that even the transitional president herself, former president Carlos Mesa and others, recognize the MAS victory.

But it could be said that the silence of former presidential candidate Luis Fernando Camacho, who has now come to the fore to sow doubt, rejection and violence, was had been suspicious.

Camacho, known for his blood-thirsty speeches, can only act in the face of a scenario of tension, and he thinks that the time is right to revive his leadership, which does not go byeond the borders of the city of Santa Cruz and in the country does not exceed 15% of the population. Now he calls for mistrust, to generate a violent scenario conducive to his interests, at a time when Bolivia has already decided to return to the democratic path.

In his first speech before the preliminary results, on October 20, he did not make a public recognition of the triumph of Arce Catacora, the candidate of the MAS, and referred to the denial of the history of a people, Santa Cruz, when he said that “for the first time Santa Cruz will have a dignified group”, referring to its parliamentarians who won in that department.

These negative expressions of history, as if history was made from his presence and that before him there was nothing, has made many people jump up in indignation, even those who do not sympathize with MAS, but who don’t want the country to enter a new spiral of violence.

On October 20, especially the last hours, something that should not go unnoticed could be observed in Bolivia. It is very symptomatic, that in a coordinated manner, in various cities of the country, some groups have made a call to be vigilant using threats, since they do not like the electoral results.

Bolivia already knows the methods of Camacho and his circle. During the violent days prior to Evo Morales’ forced resignation in November 2019, he himself said that he had to “disguise himself as a police or military man” by using their uniforms (which is a crime) to mobilize in Bolivia, protected by sectors of the police and military, and he confessed that his father coordinated it with the police and military.

That’s how he acts, that’s his way, he doesn’t the understand the concept of democracy. So now Camacho has returned to his wanderings, never really leaving them behind, because the only thing he knows how to do is lie, manipulate, generate violence and threaten.

In a previous article, I was a little naive when I said that in Parliament, MAS and the Citizen Community would have to deal with that part of Camacho’s party that holds 15% of the vote. The expressions of the so-called self-convened demonstration on October 20 by social networks in the city of Santa Cruz show that they do not accept Parliament as a platform for coexistence, dialogue or representation.

It is naïve to think that this is a spontaneous reaction of the masses; on the contrary, it is organized and directed to lay the foundations so that later, the “savior and leader”, Camacho, will appear to ride that wave of protest.

These groups will continue to use the old violent methods, which is the only thing they know, since they don’t know and don’t want to know about dialogue and peaceful coexistence. This is how paramilitarism is, it is not willing to dialogue, but rather to impose, lie and discriminate.

It cannot be forgotten that in situations of crisis, fascism, in order to gain followers, plays with the noblest feelings of the people, manipulates, and then imposes its rules and subdues the people and their institutions.

It is urgent for Bolivia to encapsulate and annul this fascist and paramilitary outbreak. Bolivia, and especially the city of Santa Cruz, does not deserve the violence of Camacho and his thugs to be reinstalled.

The harangues of not knowing the election results show that Camacho is not alone in his undemocratic project of not recognizing the imminent results.

It even sounds logical that the handful of people that raised him up, advised him, and prepared him will go to the impossible in order not to lose the spaces of power that they thought they had won.

Faced with this scenario, of possible protests in Cochabamba, Chuquisaca and Santa Cruz, the president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Bolivia, Salvador Romero, urged to wait for the tabulations of all the departmental electoral tribunals and to respect the final results.

The extreme fascist right has lost the elections in Bolivia, but Camacho, who personifies paramilitarism and coup d’état, does not feel defeated and this should alert not only Bolivia, but also the international observers, the UN, the regional integration organizations and the international community in general, so that the violence does not resurface.

Source: Sputnik News, translation Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau