May 24, 2008 violence in Sucre
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The May 24, 2008 violence in Sucre, Bolivia, consisted of clashes, hostage-taking, assaults, and alleged public humiliation against primarily indigenous rural leaders and their supporters. The events arose from an announced visit from Bolivian President Evo Morales, during which he was scheduled to preside over the donation of amubulances to rural municipalities of Chuquisaca, the department of which Sucre is the capital.
Prior to the planned visit, the civic movement led by the Inter-Institutional Committee and the Chuquisaca Civic Committee demanded that Morales apologize to the families of three Sucre residents who were killed in November 2007 clashes outside the final meetings of the Bolivian Constituent Assembly. These organizations planned disruptive protests of Morales visit. However, under pressure from the protests, Morales decided on May 24 not to attend the presentation.
Participants in the civic movement protests then engaged in street clashes with peasants who had been brought to Sucre to counter the local protesters. During the afternoon, several dozen indigenous peasants were marched by civic movement protesters to Sucre's central square, the Plaza 25 de Mayo. There they were punched, threatened, forced to strip off their shirts and kneel, subjected to alleged racist insults, and supposeddly publicly humiliated in various ways.
The incident heightened political and racial tensions in Bolivia, then in the midst of a political conflict between Morales and the CONALDE group of governors. On the second anniversary of the violence, May 24, 2010, the first public draft of Bolivia's Law Against Racism was presented. A large number of officials in the Inter-Institutional Committee and Sucre's municipal government were indicted for conspiring in the violence in April and May 2010. Former Inter-Institutional Committee president Jaime Barrón, who had recently been elected mayor, was suspended by the City Council and later resigned in the wake of the indictments., however the trials have advanced slowly due lack of factual proof of their actions
- Nick Buxton, "Colonial backlash: Reflections on recent racist violence in Bolivia," 28 May 2008.
- Defensoría del Pueblo (March 2010). Informe Defensorial: 24 de mayo de 2008, Sucre.
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