Cochabamba: Evo agrees to meet with Table 18

As the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth (CMPCC) convened for a third day April 21 at Tiquipaya, outside the central Bolivian city of Cochabamba, Aymara indigenous leaders and their supporters continued to meet just outside the official summit at the dissident “Table 18,” on social conflicts related to climate change. Greivances centered on ecological impacts of mineral projects, including the Japanese-owned San Cristobal mine in southern Potosi department and the state-owned Corocoro mine in La Paz department.

The official proceedings continued to refuse to recognize this “eighteenth table” as among conference’s working groups or “tables.” However, at day’s end, the Aymara elders who convened the dissident table held a final meeting, where Rafael Quispe, leader of the National Council of Ayllus and Markas of Cullasuyu (CONAMAQ), announced that President Evo Morales had agreed to meet with the Table 18 leaders and hear their demands. The meeting is scheduled for the morning, at Tiquipaya’s Hotel Regina. Quispe said the Table 18 representatives will demand “the expulsion of all extractive resource industries” from Bolivia, and the adoptation of a new development model based on the “Andean cosmo-vision” of ayllus (traditional collective land-holdings) and local self-sufficiency.

World War 4 Report on the scene in Cochabamba

See our last posts on the Bolivia climate conference and the mineral cartel in Latin America.

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  1. Cochabamba: police bar Ecuadoran indigenous march
    Ironically, as Evo Morales was scheduled to meet with the “Table 18” Aymara leaders at Tiquipaya’s Hotel Regina, a contingent of Bolivian national police blocked a group of marchers from the National Confederation of Campesino, Indigenous and Black Organizations of Ecuador (FENOCIN) from marching on the hotel to present a list of demands to the international representatives meeting there. (Opinion, Cochabama, April 23)

    Perhaps even more ironically, that same day, Bolivia’s Economy and Finance Minister Luis Arce was in New York, to meet with investors. “There is a role for the private sector”, he told a meeting of the Council of the Americas. “The message I bring you is that you can come to Bolivia, and you will be protected as private investors if you follow the very clear rules established by our constitution.” (EFE, April 23)