Santa Cruz (Bolivia), February 18. A protest by ‘political prisoners’ in Bolivia, including opposition Santa Cruz governor Luis Fernando Camacho, has forced the relocation of the region’s main carnival parade, the country’s economic engine, from the pedestrian promenade where it is held traditionally to an avenue in another neighborhood of its regional capital.
The 4.5 kilometers of Parque Lineal Mutualista, better known as “Cambódromo”, seemed deserted this Saturday, unlike other Carnival Saturdays in which even a day before the place began to be prepared for the Cruceño Corso , the main carnival celebration of this department. .
Twenty residents have been vigilant since Wednesday at one of the entrances to the “Cambodromo” to prevent the “Corso 2023” from taking place on this promenade, despite the announcement that this carnival celebration will be a platform for protest against arrests opponents like Camacho.
“The mobilization was carried out because in this country, unfortunately, there are no rights, no laws, everything is violated by an authoritarian government, by a government with political prisoners,” said Aldo Sosa, l one of the demonstrators, at EFE.
According to Sosa, there are “more than 200 political prisoners” in the country with “suffering” families, in view of which these “self-summoned” neighbors decided to prevent the parade from taking place in the “Cambodromo”. , otherwise it would be to understand to the world that “in Bolivia and in Santa Cruz we live in a normal way and this is not the case”.
“The Cambódromo does not only belong to the neighbors, it belongs to Santa Cruz, it is a representative icon of this land. And so, in this Cambódromo, as long as the rights of citizens do not exist above all and the laws are respected, They are not going to dance, let it be perfectly clear to them,” he said.
Since its inauguration in 2014, the “Cambodromo”, located northeast of the city of Santa Cruz, the regional capital, has hosted the Cruceño Corso every year, except in 2021, when the event was suspended due to the pandemic. of covid-19.
Aunque en esta jornada eran menos, los movilizados estaban decididos a no dejar a nadie entrar al lugar, ante lo cual la Asociación Cruceña de Comparsas Carnavaleras (ACCC), decidió llevar el desfile a la avenida Roca y Coronado, en el extremo oeste de la city.
In the middle of the morning, the passage was closed in a section of this avenue and fences, tents and a main lodge for the authorities and the guests of the corso began to be put in place, faced with the refusal of a dozen of people who didn’t want the parade to take place there either.
Finally, the ACCC agreed with these demonstrators that only the folkloric ballets and the “coronation” comparsa take part in the Corso, that is, the one with the queen of the carnival of Santa Cruz.
The queen was Eliana Gonzalez, but she resigned last January due to “circumstances” in the country, and María Laura Zamora was elected in her place.
The theme of “Corso 2023” is “Break the chains for freedom and democracy”, in protest against the “kidnapping” of Camacho, announced by the ACCC in January.
Camacho was arrested in late December and is being held in a prison in the highlands of La Paz, charged in the “Coup I” case for the 2019 crisis.
The ruling party points out that in 2019 there was a ‘coup’ against then-president Evo Morales, while the opposition argues that the protests that led to his resignation were due to a fraud in his favor in the canceled elections of that year. ECE