As the coup leaders attempt to consolidate power in Bolivia, the 1,000,000-strong, indigenous-majority city of El Alto neighboring the capital La Paz shows signs of resistance. Martín Cúneo, a reporter with El Alto news, reports the following:
Neighborhood meeting in El Alto have declared war on the coup in Bolivia. Powerful organizations in El Alto, located 5 kilometers from La Paz, have called people to “form self-defense committees, blockades, and determined and permanent mobilization” against the coup. This organization was central to the downfall of neoliberal president Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada in 2003.
The report from El Alto includes a video of residents blockading streets, chanting, “Rifles, machine-guns, El Alto will not fall!“
Here, the leader of the Federation of Neighborhood Associations of El Alto, calls for resistance to the coup:
In the video, Federation leaders issue the following instructions:
- Maintain permanent mobilization in defense of democracy, peace, and respect for the majority.
- The coup leaders have 48 hours to leave their positions.
- Citizens are instructed to form self-defense committees, organize blockades, and maintain permanent mobilization.
- Demands the Bolivian police respect the constitution.
- (at 3:58 in the video) If the Bolivian police do not comply with the constitution, the Federation of Neighborhood Associations of Bolivia calls for the formation of a Trade Union-Civilian Police Force to safeguard our people and institutions.
- Calls on government institutions to obey the law.