Reposted from ChileBoliviaWALMAPU
On May 29, 2012, 13 people were arrested by police in La Paz, Bolivia. All of them were connected to anarchist participation in the defense of TIPNIS, an indigenous territory and national park.
The 13 were accused of a series of arsons, bombings, and sabotage claimed by the Informal Anarchist Federation-International Revolutionary Front (FAI-FRI). The actions, occurring from September 2011 to May 2012, targeted government buildings, banks, car companies, fast food restaurants, supermarkets, and animal industries. Some of the attacks were claimed in solidarity with the struggle to defend TIPNIS, others in solidarity with comrades facing repression in Chile, others in support of animal liberation.
Faced with lengthy prison sentences for the charges of Terrorism and Attempted Murder, five people decided to snitch on others to save their skin. The snitches were rewarded with release or house arrest. Other detainees were released due to lack of connection with the case. Only one detainee refused to give a statement to the police. Two anarchists remain in prison, awaiting trial. According to Bolivian law, they may wait as long as three years.
The leftwing government of Evo Morales is intent on continuing the same capitalist development projects of its predecessor, often on a greater scale. In this case, they are building a bioceanic highway through the rainforest, destroying indigenous territory in the process. In the fall of 2011, the government repressed the 8th Indigenous March in defense of TIPNIS with beatings and arrests. Now they are trying to portray the fiery sabotage of the anarchists as “terrorism.”
This is one of the first usage of antiterrorist laws by the Bolivian state, and as elsewhere, it is being used as a tool for political repression. The only evidence the government has are the words of snitches, anarchist literature, and the fact that those arrested participated in protests in solidarity with TIPNIS. The government prosecution has also been based in xenophobia, using connections with “foreigners” as proof of wrongdoing.
On May 29, one year will have passed since the arrests. We are calling for a day of international solidarity to show the Bolivian government, and all governments, that we do not forget. Our actions must show our determination to win the immediate release of the two comrades still in prison, absolution for all those facing charges, and an end to the highway. We will continue struggling as long as anyone is behind bars.
Absolution for the May 29 defendants! No highway through TIPNIS! Freedom for all prisoners!