Teachers march towards the Ministry of Education during a protest by teachers demanding a salary increase and the rejection of the new curriculum in public schools, in La Paz, Bolivia, Monday, March 6, 2023. ( AP Photo/Juan Karita)

At least 10 organizations of Bolivia will march this Tuesday in the most important cities of the country to protest against the government’s plan to Luis Arce for the state pension administration and against certain controversial projects that threaten the freedom of the press and of expression.

The march was announced after the organisations, which include trade unionists, citizens, transporters, university professors, doctors, platforms and pensioners, signed a week ago unitary agreement.

“We have formed an alliance called ‘unity in diversity’ and we have issued a resolution which establishes the total rejection of the package of laws that the MAS wants to approve. These laws aim to maintain a Totalitarian regimeaccording to the scenario 21st century socialismsays the activist Pamela Flores of the platform Children of the Fatherlandwhich is part of the national agreement, according to the Bolivian newspaper The duty.

Organizations will also request that the Long-term public social security manageroh directoras everyone calls it in the country, is managed by professionals who are not related to the ruling party BUT.

The state entity will administer, from May, the resources that thousands of Bolivians have contributed to the Pension fund administrators (AFP) that they were private.

“We must set an example of unity, even to opponents who have not been able to respond to these current issues. Tuesday we are going to do a big walk in each of the departments. From MAS and the government they want to cancel the new directions that come out to defend the homeland,” Flores said.

The organizations will also protest against the package of bills — 305, 304 and 280 — promoted by the ruling party and renamed “biting” by the associations of Bolivian journalists. These bills propose penalties that include three to seven years in prison for “discriminatory or racial crimes” and also penalize the “abuse” of social networks.

The project 280 has two articles which toughen the sentences with up to 25 years in prison for the offenses ofterrorism“, a criminal offense described as “ambiguous” by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and specialized entities of the United Nations.

For this crime of terrorism, the governor of Santa Cruz, Luis Fernando Camachoin a process linked to the political crisis of 2019.

FILE - Luis Fernando Camacho speaks during a rally with coca growers in La Paz, Bolivia, November 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Juan Karita, File)
FILE – Luis Fernando Camacho speaks during a rally with coca growers in La Paz, Bolivia, November 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Juan Karita, File)

The second bill provides for sanctions against journalists for “discriminatory or racial crimes”.

As opposition to pro-government projects grows, citizen marches against the government have multiplied in recent weeks. The last was yesterday in Santa Cruz.

Bolivian President Luis Arce (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
Bolivian President Luis Arce (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

the state Long-term public social security manager It plans to start its work 100% from May, after a transition process announced in 2015, to manage the pension contributions that have until now been the responsibility of pension fund administrators (AFP).

It’s a bag of $24 billion who already began – years ago – to undergo a permanent infusion ordered by the administration of Evo Morales for the pharaonic works and the payment of the current expenses of the state.

In 2015, the government of the then president Evo Morales (2006-2019) approved the decree of incorporation of the public manager and in September 2017 published another rule which postponed the start of its operations until March 2019, but later this was postponed to 2021 because the software was not finished.

In July last year, the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) issued an award that obliges Bolivia to compensate BBVA with 105 million dollars for the “unjustified delay” in the nationalization process of the retirement system. .

Finally, in September 2022, the President Luis Arce announced the transition to the new state pension system.

The fear of opponents and analysts is that it is a maple maneuver maintain the illusion of the “economic miracle” of Bolivia through a discretionary use funds from Bolivian retirees.

This transfer of several million dollars planned by the Bolivian president comes at a time of lean times in the country.

The Central Bank is bleeding to death: in 2015, reserves were over 15 billion; today they have disappeared at 3 billion. Dollars are getting scarce and there are ever longer queues to get the few dollars that exist in national banks for fear of a rush. Even the government intends to establish restrictions for its purchase. See ghosts around every corner. On top of all this, the budget deficit is skyrocketing: Bolivia has spent a decade with rates above 7%.

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Bolivians took to the streets to protest the administration of state pensions

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