Statement From Anarchists in Bolivia in Solidarity with the March of Indigenous Communities (La Paz, Bolivia)

This statement comes from a group of anarchists in so-called Bolivia, expressing their solidarity with the march of Indigenous people from Sucre to La Paz, Bolivia. The statement critiques all governments—whether they call themselves Indigenous, ecological, populist or socialist—and shows support for Indigenous communities’ resistance against state subjugation and capitalist exploitation. The original in Spanish was published on the Contra Info site and can be found here.

This march is made up of Indigenous communities who are rejecting individual land titles that eliminate communal land tenure. These are communities that fight against the subjugation of their territories by the extractive companies. The plurinational state of Bolivia, in complicity with these transnationals, are destroying nature, displacing Indigenous communities in favor of capitalist development, and forcing them to break with their relationship to nature.

Thirty-five days ago the march left the city of Sucre in route for the city of La Paz. The ayllus (sub-communities) of the Indigenous Nation of Qhara Qhara had taken the initiative, joined by representatives of the Uchupiamonas Nation, who are struggling against a hydroelectric project in El Bala-Chepete. The brothers and sisters of the communities of Rio Beni and Quiquibey, along with community members of Tariquía, all have joined the march. (Tariquía is a region located in the department of Tarija, the state and capital seek to carry out hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation, deforestation and the elimination of wild animals. The resistance of the population is strong and consistent). Something important to note is that right opposition groups who want to take advantage of the situation have not contaminated the march. The state has overwhelmingly rejected the march. The march continues, in spite of the persecution by drones and the expansion of fear on part of the powerful. Nevertheless, the caravan continues on its way, toward La Paz in spite of the cold, rain and indifference.

The Qhara Qhara Nation rejects the imposition of state power through the INRA (National Institute of Agrarian Reform) seeking to eliminate the collective possession of land, turning it into individual titles. This way, exploiters and capitalists can dominate the land.

In this territory known as the state of Bolivia, they repress us for being poor, Indigenous or disabled peoples, to satisfy power and enrich themselves at the expense of what capital calls, “natural resources.” For us it is preferable to talk about nature, because we are part of her. Apart from not sharing the organic structures of the Indigenous peoples, we stand in solidarity with any struggle that seeks to preserve coexistence with nature. Furthermore, we stand in solidarity with those that seek to expel transnational and exploitative companies from their territories. These companies come to contaminate and destroy with the support of the state employing its police and military.

Many think that in Bolivia we live in a paradise because we have a supposed Indigenous president who speaks of respect for the Earth, or who at the UN declared the “rights of mother earth.” In reality, the government of Evo Morales is no different than that of Maduro, Bolsonaro or Macri. It is a bourgeois government that lives with all the luxuries while many people die of hunger or of slavery working to survive. These states have as a common denominator, state repression and capitalist exploitation, through which they seek to control and dominate us. Therefore, we want to make it clear that states are all the same, whether they are Indigenous, populist, socialist, right or left.

Against extraction and in defense of land.

Different Indigenous people of the territory dominated by the Bolivian state are marching to demand their recognition as people that pre-existed the state and in defense of land, water and life.

Solidarity with the March of Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples

No government or power seeks to preserve nature, no matter how left-leaning environmentalist they may be. Sooner or later, these governments end up colonizing, dominating, exploiting and destroying nature. The logic of progress is related to human ambition, to generate more wealth at the cost of exploitation and suffering.

The territory dominated by the Bolivian state is no exception and clearly shows us how the expansionist logics function through an ecological, Indigenous, multiracial and/or gendered veil. The dispute is always power and domination, and the powerful will always do the bidding. While these governments seek to show themselves as benevolent or benefactors in the eyes of the outside world, showing and strengthening an idea of a good left and bad right, deep down they are two arms of the same destructive machinery.

Examples of this are the Plan Puebla Panama, which changed its name to the TLC, to then transform itself into the IIRSA, and now ending up camouflaged under the name COSIPLAN.

Our solidarity is with the march of the people that are arriving from different Indigenous territories to make visible the extractive expansion of the current government.

We do not forget the repression of Chaparina during the 8th march of the TIPNIS.

We do not forget the persecution and detention of our compañeros.

We do not forget the repression of disabled peoples.

We do not forget the subjugation, colonization and marginalization of the people that don’t adapt to the extractivist model.

We do not forget nor forgive and we position ourselves in permanent conflict with the state, its defenders and false critics.

Strength to the brothers and sisters, compañeros and compañeras, that rebel against the subjugation and destruction of the land, here and throughout the world.

For the destruction of the carceral and dominant society.

– Some anarchists