“These leaders who want to change our way of life and don’t thank the cruceño people... they should go, what are they doing here.” Vice President of Santa Cruz civic committee angrily denouncing a peaceful march by Cruceño people against a “business-led autonomy” in Santa Cruz. The next day a molotov cocktail, most likely by one of the groups tied to the civic committee, was thrown at the house of one of the march organisers.
"It was impossible to get in. I was shouted at, insulted. Miners hit me with their hats, but I wasn’t intimidated.” Congresswoman Ninoska Lazarte denouncing her experience of trying to get through the blockade of Congress where the referendums for the new constitution were controversially agreed.
Ok, can you spot the difference? Well it is fairly easy to see the parallels. In both there was an apparent intolerance for the exercise of democratic rights. In one case a march against autonomy statutes drawn up by a small group of elites in Santa Cruz was responded to by violence by their “thugs.” In the other case, the creation of a threatening atmosphere by social movements surrounding Congress made it difficult for opposition senators to attend and vote.
The big difference though will be that only one of these quotes and accounts will get any coverage in the mainstream Bolivian and international press.