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. In May 2011, Bolivia's Law 139 established May 24 as Bolivia's National Day against Racism and All Forms of Discrimination.[1]

Trial[edit]

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.[2] 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.,[3] however the trials advanced slowly. An initial trial, held in Sucre, was dissolved in August 2012 after two of the presiding judges resigned from the case.[4] A second trial was then held in the town of Padilla.

The trial of fourteen people accused of orchestrating or participating in the May 24 violence ended in March 2016. Prosecutor Lisandro Álvarez sought 15 year sentences for the defendants, and the victims asked for 30 years.[5] The verdicts and sentences issued by judge Hoffman Padilla Blacutt were as shown below.[6][7] All sentences will be discounted for time already served in jail. On November 11, 2016, the Departmental Tribunal of Justice ruled on an appeal by the defendants, extending these sentences in 10 of the 13 cases.[8]

Accused Position in May 2008 Verdict Sentence by Judge Padilla Sentence by Departmental Tribunal
Jaime Barrón President, Inter-Institutional Committee Guilty of criminal conspiracy (coautores de Associación Delictuosa) 6 years imprisonment 7 years, 6 months imprisonment
Jhon Cava Former president, Civic Committee Guilty of criminal conspiracy 6 years imprisonment 7 years, 6 months imprisonment
Savina Cuéllar Candidate for Prefect, Inter-Institutional Committee Alliance Party Guilty of criminal conspiracy 6 years imprisonment 7 years, 6 months imprisonment
Fidel Herrera Municipal Council Member Guilty of criminal conspiracy 6 years imprisonment 7 years, 6 months imprisonment
Aydeé Nava Mayor of Sucre Guilty of criminal conspiracy 6 years imprisonment 7 years, 6 months imprisonment
Epifania Terrazas Guilty of criminal conspiracy 6 years imprisonment 7 years, 6 months imprisonment
Jamill Pillco Student leader, San Francisco Xavier University Guilty of criminal conspiracy 6 years imprisonment 7 years, 6 months imprisonment
Juan Antonio Jesús Guilty of criminal conspiracy 6 years imprisonment 7 years, 6 months imprisonment
Álvaro Ríos Guilty of criminal conspiracy 6 years imprisonment 7 years, 6 months imprisonment
Franz Quispe University leader Guilty of criminal conspiracy

Acquitted of attempted homicide

6 years imprisonment 7 years, 6 months imprisonment
Cristian Flores Guilty of serious assault (lesiones graves) 6 years, 3 months, 3 days imprisonment Confirmed existing sentence
Juan C. Zambrana Guilty of serious assault 6 years, 3 months, 3 days imprisonment Confirmed existing sentence
Flavio Huallpa Flores Guilty of fabricating, selling, or possessing explosives. 3 years
Rodrigo Anzaldo Acquitted.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Diputados declaran al 24 de mayo como Día Nacional contra el Racismo". Los Tiempos. 2011-05-20. Retrieved 2016-03-02. 
  2. ^ The indictment was presented on April 24, but was not formally certified until May. "Savina Cuéllar y 17 dirigentes son acusados". Los Tiempos. 2010-04-25. Retrieved 2011-03-21. 
  3. ^ "Sucre: Barrón se va e impulsa elecciones". Los Tiempos. 2010-07-20. Retrieved 2010-07-21. 
  4. ^ "Caso 24 de mayo tiene escaso avance". Los Tiempos. 2014-01-27. Retrieved 2016-03-02. 
  5. ^ "Caso 24 de Mayo: 12 personas reciben condena de 6 años". Erbol Digital. 2 March 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "Condenan a seis años de cárcel a exautoridades por caso 24 de mayo". Página Siete. 2 March 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2016. 
  7. ^ "Condenan a 13 dirigentes por el caso 24 de mayo". El Deber. 2 March 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2016. 
  8. ^ "Justicia amplía sentencia para implicados en caso 24 de mayo". El Diario. 2016-11-12. Retrieved 2017-02-21. 

Further reading[edit]