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Evo Morales has deceived the Guaranís of Tarija
and has incorporated ultra-right wing racists into MAS

The Guarani organizations of Tarija are in a situation of utter defencelessness with respect to the illegal offensive being carried out directly by President Evo Morales.

Following a meeting held between the President and these organizations in La Paz at the end of November, a series of agreements were reached which fundamentally recognised the authorities in accordance with uses and customs and agreed the creation of a commission to consider outstanding issues.

Both proposals were made directly by Evo Morales who has nevertheless implemented neither of them, resulting in great disillusionment among the Guaranís and in their organizations.

The matter was exacerbated when all the indigenous representatives, chosen by the party's respective general assemblies and/or by uses and customs, were rejected in the lists of MAS ("Movimiento al Socialismo").

Evo Morales promised to replace Walter Ferrufino (current sub-governor, officially "the Sectional Executive for Development" in the province of O'Connor in Tarija) and to put an end to the policy of "kapangas" (leaders of the parallel structures created by the Government) which affect all the communities but particularly the Assembly of the Guaraní People of Itika Guasu (APG IG). The President further stated that those responsible would be identified and that the Arebayo brothers, who are kapangas, would be liable to pay for damages resulting from the blocking of the bank accounts of the APG IG.

As evidence of this goodwill, Evo Morales replaced the Minister Juan José Hernando Sosa Soruco as co-ordinator of the electoral campaign in Tarija because of the protests of the Guarani organizations which occurred after the said meeting at the end of November in La Paz.

Nevertheless, the minister Sosa in a manifestly illegal way continues to maintain the representation of the kapangas who are in the service of Walter Ferrufino on the companies which operate in the Original Community Territory of Itika Guasu in violation of the Political Constitution of the State and of course of indigenous law.

The President also promised to intervene directly to put an end to the arbitrary blocking of the current accounts caused by the group led by Walter Ferrufino and implemented by the Financial System Supervisory Authority [Autoridad de Supervisión del Sistema Financiero (ASFI)], given that this institution controls banking entities and therefore has no jurisdiction to take any measures which affect the APG IG, an indigenous organization.

The ASFI was used to achieve the blocking of the accounts and thereafter the leaders of the APG IG were the victims of false accusations concerning the diversion of funds to personal accounts. As these accusations were false, naturally not one of them has been proved.

To complete this depressing panorama, Evo Morales personally incorporated into the MAS lists the two sub-governors who have been leading a racist campaign against the Guaranís for some years, the Sectional Executive of O'Connor, Walter Ferrufino Gaite, and the Sectional Executive of Villamontes, Rubén Vaca Salazar, both self- declared racists and members of extreme right-wing political parties.

In the case of Walter Ferrufino, his designation directly by Evo Morales was necessary because his candidacy was not approved by any of the general assemblies held in Entre Ríos, and in fact he did not get one vote in the assembly to appoint the candidate for Governor for the Department of Tarija.

As the newspapers of Tarija have stated, all the members of the MAS list in Tarija come from parties known to be racist and ultra-right wing, primarily from the party founded by the dictator and general who carried out a coup dŽetat, Hugo Bánzer, The Nationalist Democratic Action [Acción Democrática Nacionalista (ADN]), later reformed into the party Democratic and Social Power [Poder Democrático y Social (PODEMOS)], with Jorge Tuto Quiroga, ex Vice-President of the ADN as leader.

Therefore, MAS is now represented by extreme reactionary and racist forces as a result of an express decision of President Evo Morales.

Meanwhile, legal persecution by the prosecutors continues against indigenous and campesino dissidents of MAS, provoking false incriminations and threats. Similarly, the Departmental Electoral Tribunal rejects resolutions made under indigenous jurisdiction in order to illegally and arbitrarily impose the kapangas of Walter Ferrufino.

These actions have even included assault and robbery of documents of the Council of Captains of Tarija on repeated occasions, actions led by Abraham Espinoza, a kapanga contracted by Rubén Vaca Salazar and Walter Ferrufino, who relies on the financial support of the Government of Tarija through Roberto Ruiz Bass Werner.

Roberto Ruiz Bass Werner is the Executive Secretary of the Government of Tarija and forms part of the clandestine and illegal organization seeking to destroy the Guaraní organizations of the Department. In the 2005 elections he was candidate for senator of PODEMOS and was the President of the secessionist Civic Committee of Tarija, as well as member of a group called "Dignity" ("Dignidad"), the same group which has produced the current candidate for Governor of Tarija on behalf of MAS, Carlos Cabrera.

This situation could deteriorate at any moment, given that a renewal of the offensive by the Minister of Hydrocarbons and Energy, Juan José Hernando Sosa Soruco, is expected. This individual, with the support of the racist leaders, considers that there should not be a right to consultation and the Original Community Territories should be dismantled.

An example of this attitude is that of Walter Ferrufino, who occupies about five thousand hectares of the TCO Itika Guasu, without any right or title whatever, and this appropriation partly explains his historical racism, as well as the fact that he is convinced that Evo Morales supports his campaign against the indigenous people and the breaking up and termination of the TCO. In fact, his kapangas, led by Hugo Arebayo are even offering for sale lands situated within the TCO IG and they guarantee to interested parties that they have the express support of the President Evo Morales.

So far it would appear that Walter Ferrufino is right.

For more information, please see:

Racist Campaign against the APG IG /Campaña racista contra la APG IG

Tarija and OŽConnor: the indigenous question and conflicts/ Tarija y O'Connor: cuestión indígena y conflictos

Note by Equipo Nizkor:

If you have read this article and believe that this situation merits a protest either to the Bolivian authorities or its Embassies or in any other form which publicises the grave situation in which the Guaranis now find themselves, don't hesitate, please do send your protest.

The following addresses might be of use:

Presidencia del Gobierno
Fax Presidencial (591 - 2) 2201921
Fax Jefe de gabinete (591 - 2) 2204004

Ministerio de Gobierno
Av. Arce esq. Belisario Salinas N° 2409
La Paz - Bolivia
Telefono: (591-2) 2440466
(591-2) 2120002
(591-2) 2120003
Fax: (591 - 2) 2440466
Correo Electrónico:

Ministerio de la Presidencia
Palacio de Gobierno
Calle Ayacucho esquina Comercio
La Paz - Bolivia
Teléfono/Fax (591 - 2) 2202321

Ministerio de Transparencia Institucional y Lucha Contra la Corrupción
Oficina Principal La Paz
Calle Capitan Ravelo Esq. Montevideo
Edificio Capitan Ravelo Piso 3 - 9
Telf.: (591-2) 2115773
Fax: (591-2) 2153084
Fax: (591-2) 2114423

Some electronic mail addresses are:

Ministry of Information,
Ministry of Justice,
Ministry of Government,
Ministry of Autonomies,
Ministry of Cultures,
Ministry of Rural Development,
Ministry of Mining,
Ministry of Public Works,
Ministry of Development,
Ministry of Planning,
Ministry of Defence,

[Source: Radio Nizkor Edition, Charleroi, 14Jan15]

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small logoThis document has been published on 21Apr15 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.