by Max Barry

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Region: United Forum of Nations

Meridujo wrote:Nova Meridujo
Santa Kruz protests shut down by local authorities

For the past several days, protesters against the commune's leadership, Governor Evola Maidano, have been raging on in the streets of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Demanding the immediate resignation of the Governor and an instant election for the post, the protests have so far been peaceful, with participants occupying the Independence Plaza in front of the Santa Cruz Congress building.

Last night, however, armed police were ordered to disperse all protesters from the plaza while suppressing mobile communication devices in the local area. Reports from the raid suggest that the protesters did not put up resistance against the police. Despite this, the reports also state that the police violently attacked all present, including non-participating civilians in the area. Footage of two policemen chasing one student several hundred metres away from the plaza leaked on Pekker during the raid, causing outrage online. Many of the protesters were detained by the police, including one La Universalo cameraman and photographer, with 42 detainees released this morning, according to the official police records.

In an official statement, police spokeswoman Olga Mendoza justified the raid by saying that the protesters were interfering with local business and the city's maintenance plans for the plaza's water pipeline network. Further, Mrs Mendoza accused some of the protesters of throwing rocks and logs at public buildings and the police shortly before the raid. The Santa Kruz attorney-general has issued a report, detailing that 39 people were injured during the raid, including 12 students, 2 reporters, and 1 tourist from Montevento. 10 people are currently being hospitalised. In addition, 7 officers were injured.

Governor Maidano addressed the situation via public television, calling the protesters "rioters" and accusing the Communist Party and United Front of paying protesters in order to inflate the numbers and "topple this democratically elected government and seize our commune by force." He added that "should these demagogues call for further mass disturbances, we will react with full force, harshly."

The Communist Party denies involvement with the protesters, though several members of the local United Front branch have declared support for the movement against Maidano and have visited the hospital in which many of the protesters are being hospitalised.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs | Human Rights Council official Communiqué
Maxim Switek, State Minister for Foreign Affairs
Johannes Grant, Chairman of the Nanakian Human Rights Council

In view of the latest tragic events that took place in Meridujo, we officially call, in our capacity as Human Rights Council of Nanako, to appease the police repression initiated by the government of Governor Evola Maidano. The brutal repression of a demonstration with a legitimate aim, carried out peacefully, goes against the principles of freedom of assembly and expression, founding values of the undeniable rights of humanity which, in no case, should be abrogated, even in case of force majeure. We are deeply shocked by this rise in violence and ask that the government question its actions and decisions, for the respect of the undeniable human rights.

Medoynia, Beyo, and Montevento

ContextReport