/** headlines: 104.0 **/
** Topic: Summary of Christmas Massacre **
** Written 8:48 AM Jan 10, 1997 by newsdesk in cdp:headlines **
/* Written 7:00 AM Jan 4, 1997 by firstname.lastname@example.org in saiic.indio */
/* ---------- "Summary of Christmas Massacre" ---------- */
From: Elsbeth Vocat <email@example.com>
"Christmas massacre", N. Potosi, Bolivia; Radio Pio XII "subversive"
The recent bloody confrontation between miners and military forces in Northern Potosi, which began with the occupation of the Amayapampa and Capasirca mines by miners on Thursday, December 19, and ended with a "peace" agreement between the latter and the government on Sunday, December 22, 1996, has claimed yet another victim: the farmer Gregorio Carlo died because of complications from bullet wounds. This elevates the total number of people killed to 11, most of whom were miners or peasant-farmers; in addition to a police commander and a female nurse.
The events surrounding the conflict between the miners and the Vista Gold Corp., owner of the Capasirca and Amayapampa mines, raise a number of legal, ethical, and environmental issues, which transcend the local nature of the current conflict: to whom should the subsoil and the minerals in it belong? To the state (as in the case of Bolivia) or to the indigenous peoples? What are the responsibilities of powerful, international corporations operating in developing countries, where the local communities hardly benefit from the multi-million dollar profits these companies make? What is the role of the state in this situation? How do we define "sustainable development" in areas where people are preoccupied, above all, with mere survival? Questions which evidently one cannot pretend to answer, but may only serve to initiate a discussion.
News/Noticias PRESENCIA, Bolivia, 26/12-30/12/96 (Engl. summary of Span. summary, not a direct translation)
The minister of Social Communication, Mauricio Balcazar assured that two work committees would be formed to investigate the events and the government would offer economic aid to the families of those killed in the conflict. According to Balcazar, the government would also reactivate the mining sector and direct its efforts to lower the (infant) mortalitity rate and malnutrition of the region [one of the most impoverished in the country, in sharp contrast to the richness of its mineral resources].
A forensic medical report issued at the Hospital Civil of Uncia confirms that Galo Luna Salinas, Secretary of Culture of the Union Federation of Miners of Bolivia, died of bullet wounds. A leader of the Assembly of Human Rights, Guido Martinez, noted that one bullet went in the back of Luna and came out on the other side, which indicates that the union leader was shot in the back. Martinez confirmed that Luna's body showed four bullet wounds.
(EFE).- The Minister of Defense, Alfonso Kreidler, could not explain why the military forces abused the press and why they restricted the press' access to the Amayapampa and Capasirca mines.
A blackboard at the garrisson of Illimani at Uncia, which still had the plan of operation written on it, included Radio Pio XI as one of the targets of the military combat plan as the radio station presumably was part of those "called to subversion" (llamados a subversion).
When the press entered the room after the signing of the peace agreement between miners and the government, the authorities hastily withdrew the blackboard after some initial confusion, because the latter were not immediately aware that the journalists were reading the text on the blackboard.
According to Sacha Llorenti, member of the Permanent Assembly of Human Rights, at one point the Minister of Defense, one of the co-signers of the peace agreement, denied that Radio Pio XII was subject of government intervention and that its functioning was guaranteed. Llorenti and Father Roberto Durette, Director of Pio XII, related that Kreidler became very confused when it was pointed out to him that the combat plan on the blackboard behind him contradicted his statement.
The station wagon of Radio Pio XII was confiscated by the police for one morning to transport troops in the region of Amayapampa, while the journalists who were in the station wagon were registered by the police. Journalists of the TV Channel 6 of Llallagua were beaten by the police and their video of the events in the region was confiscated.
traduccion Yan Phoa
In his message addressed to the nation, lastly, the President warned that terrorism is like a cancer for nations. With respect to Bolivia, he said that "it is not possible to allow that mass media organizations, funds ("fondos"), homes, factories, or mines are occupied by armed groups in a violent manner."
Guido Riveros, deputy of the MIR (an opposition party to the ruling National Revolutionary Movement MNR, which has been the first to call the events in Amayapampa the "Christmas Massacre") argued that "it is infamous to attribute terrorist origins to the miners and peasant-farmers; this is not having compassion for those who suffer in the poorest region of the country."