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Bolivia's people must have right to self-determination

Bolivia's people must have right to self-determination


Alarming news by the Ayllus and Markas of Qullasuyu, indigenous people of Bolivia, reached Dr. Klaus Hofmann in our office in Cologne today: The premises of the National Council of Ayllus and Markas of Qullasuyu (CONAMAQ ) in La Paz were violently stormed by people who seem to belong to the ruling Bolivian government party MAS.

CONAMAQ was founded on 22 March 22 199, with the purpose of restoring the self-determination of "original nations" including the collective rights to land and natural resources, re-definition of administrative units and self-governance exercised through indigenous autonomies and direct representation in state institutions." In an official statement the CONAMAQ asked the national government of Bolivia to call back the militants. 

Bolivia’s constitution recognizes the right of indigenous nations to self-determination. As the TIPNIS-conflict in Bolivia - which is about building a street through the Amazonas rain forest - shows also, the right to self- determination yet is not fully accepted and practised in Bolivia. Much more, its realisation is hindered. 
The Montevideo Declaration issued by the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy last year explicitly mentions the right of indigenous people to self-determination by stating: “It is not enough for direct democracy to be a promise in a politician’s speech or in some governing document. It must be an everyday practice, with the appropriate regulation, civil society involvement, and a participatory infrastructure to ensure that all people – especially women, indigenous people and others who have traditionally been excluded - can participate in the process, and that their vote is not only counted, but also that their voices are heard.“

In this view Democracy International condemns any forms of violence applied to the indigenous people of Bolivia stopping them from practicing their right to self-determination.

Further information:

The website of the CONAMAQ
The Montevideo Declaration issued by the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy 

Text by Dr. Klaus Hofmann, edited by Cora Pfafferott




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