- Title: Anti-government protests erupt in La Paz as Amazon highway is back on track
- Date: 2nd August 2017
- Summary: LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (AUGUST 2, 2017) (REUTERS) GENERAL VIEW OF PROTESTERS HOLDING SIGNS PROTESTING AGAINST THE STEP FORWARD IN LEGISLATIVE PROCESS OF LIFTING A LAW THAT PROTECTS THE ENVIRONMENTAL STATUS OF THE SECURE INDIGENOUS TERRITORY AND NATIONAL PARK (TIPNIS) - THE LIFTING OF THE LAW WILL ALLOW A HIGHWAY TO BE BUILT THROUGH THE TERRITORY CLOSER VIEW OF PROTESTERS HOLDING SIGNS PROTEST SIGN ON GROUND IN THE FORM OF A BOLIVIAN FLAG, WHICH READS (Spanish): "THIS LAND DOES NOT SELL FREE TERRITORY." POSTER FEATURING PHOTO OF BOLIVIAN PRESIDENT EVO MORALES THAT READS (Spanish): "NEW COLONIZERS, PROTEST AGAINST THE TIPNIS ROAD" PROTESTERS HOLDING SIGNS GENERAL VIEW OF PROTESTERS HOLDING SIGNS PROTESTER HOLDING FLAG FOR TIPNIS PROTESTERS MARCHING WITH BANNER READING "TIPNIS IN EMERGENCY" PROTESTERS MARCHING, CHANTING (UNINTELLIGIBLE) POLICE GUARDING PLAZA MURILLO WOMAN HOLDING PROTEST SIGNS WOMAN PROTESTING IN FRONT OF POLICE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FABIAN GIL, TIPNIS LEADER, SAYING: "They want to annul our law 180 [referring to law protecting TIPNIS environmental status], because the government has outstanding debts with transnational corporations and because we say all the time that the TIPNIS is not the problem, there are other protected areas in the same situation and therefore we won't allow the 180 law to be annulled." EXTERIOR OF VICE PRESIDENT'S OFFICE ENTRANCE TO VICE PRESIDENT'S OFFICE GUARDED BY POLICE WITH PROTESTERS IN FOREGROUND POLICE (SOME IN RIOT GEAR) GUARDING THE ENTRANCE TO THE VICE PRESIDENT'S OFFICE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF THE PERMANENT ASSEMBLY OF HUMAN RIGHTS (APDH), MARIA AMPARO CARVAJAL, SAYING: "[We are here] To tell the whole world that they have arrived to say that their territory is not to be touched, that their territory is to be respected, that they know how to do development and that the road will not happen." PROTESTER IN FRONT OF THE ENTRANCE TO THE VICE PRESIDENT'S OFFICE CHANTING: "LIES, LIES, THE SAME RUBBISH!" (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) OPPOSITION LEGISLATOR, JIMENA COSTAS, SAYING: "One must remember that Polygon Seven is a zone close to the coca producers in the tropical region of Cochabamba of which between 92 and 96 per cent is diverted to drug traffickers who transit their product through the TIPNIS (National Park) towards the Beni region to get it into Brazil. So, the drug trafficking highway was necessary for the interests of the coca producers in the tropical region who divert their product." VARIOUS OF ROUNDTABLE MEETING WITH OPPOSITION LEGISLATOR JIMENA COSTAS CLOSE SHOT OF PARTICIPANTS AT ROUNDTABLE MEETING ROUNDTABLE MEETING WITH OPPOSITION LEGISLATOR JIMENA COSTAS LISTENING TO SPEAKER (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) OPPOSITION LEGISLATOR, JIMENA COSTAS, SAYING: "It's symptomatic to see that in the commission that approved this law - which is manipulated by the government with the signature of some of the community members in the TIPNIS, that there was no town hall, no assembly to announce it - that (in the commission) there is precisely the Movement to Socialism (MAS, the political party in power in Bolivia) legislator that was head of the legislative group of coca producers in the tropical region of Cochabamba."
- Embargoed: 16th August 2017 22:55
- Keywords: road law indigenous Morales build anti-government protests Amazon forest project TIPNIS
- Location: LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
- City: LA PAZ, BOLIVIA
- Country: Bolivia
- Topics: Environment,Nature/Wildlife
- Reuters ID: LVA0016SGSK03
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A controversial project to build a highway through a Bolivian National Park took a step forward in Bolivia's legislature on Tuesday (August 01) leading to protests from a coalition of indigenous and environmental groups. The Legislative Commission of the Amazon of Bolivia's Legislative Assembly on Tuesday (August 01) approved a law that will annul the protection of the Indigenous Territory and National Park of Isiboro Secure (known in Spanish by its acronym, TIPNIS). The law could now be taken up and passed by the full Assembly at any time.
On Wednesday (August 02), representatives of indigenous communities along with human rights organizations protested in the streets of La Paz against the change to the park's status.
The road has been at the heart of the Bolivian President Evo Morales' drive to boost infrastructure investment in the impoverished nation. The government has said communities in the TIPNIS had been consulted over the 185-mile road project, but opposition legislator Jimena Costas stated that, "there was no town hall or assembly (in the TIPNIS) to announce it."
The actions this week follow attempts going back years to develop land within the park. In October 2011 Morales, signed an "intangibility" law of the natural park and reversed the construction of the road in the region pressure culminating in an indigenous march from the Amazon to La Paz.
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