At least 300 members of Bolivian indigenous communities are set to begin today a 620km march to La Paz via the Amazon forest demanding the government to tackle several environmental reforms.
The seven-point list of indigenous’ requests include halting the paving of a highway in the Tipnis natural reserve; the inclusion of at least one representative for each indigenous community in the national legislative assembly and honoring the promises made in the previous VIII Indigenous March (repressed by authorities last September and lead by Bertha Bejarano, one of the foremost figures in the fight for indigenous rights in Bolivia).
Today’s march, originally scheduled for the 25th of April, is set to arrive in the capital in at least 35 days. Bolivian authorities said this time they won’t allow disruption to the march. “No one will threaten nor interfere with this mobilisation,” declared Carlos Romero, the Bolivian Minister of Autonomies.
“We will be at least 300 people, but more indigenous are joining in from other communities,” said Adolfo Chavez, president of the Bolivian Indigenous Community Central (CIDOB).
The Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Bolivia (CIDOB), said Amnesty International asked the state to “ensure the right of assembly, freedom of expression and freedom of movement”.
Protesters leaving Trinidad today at 2pm local time represent at least 24 different organisations. The column is organised into eight sub-committees. Amongst them, politics, art, health, logistics, transportation and communication.
Last Wednesday, another strike, this time organised by the chief trade union federation, Bolivian Workers’ Central (COB), paralysed the capital city and caused road disruptions in many parts of the country.