Carlos Sánchez Berzaín
septiembre 28, 2017
(Interamerican Institute for Democracy) The situation that makes Bolivia a victim today goes back to the so-called “October`s agenda”, the political accord of October of 2003 to justify the overthrow of Bolivia`s constitutionally elected President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada through the so-called “gas war”.
In Bolivia, the jostling to secure the President`s indefinite tenure in power is underway –in spite of a resounding mandate in a referendum election of 21 February 2016 in which the people said NO. This is another Castroist-Chavist operation that seeks to continue simulating a democracy where none exists, placing at forefront a constitutional appeal so that its subjugated judges can manipulate the prohibition of reelection established by their constitution, which as a matter of fact, they have already violated twice before. There isn`t any possible legal way to enable Evo Morales to run again, or to legalize his government, because the entire constitutional structure that enabled the existence of his regime is illegal, since the Constitution of his Plurinational State is devoid of lawful merit and is only a fragile façade of a “de-facto” government.
The situation that makes Bolivia a victim today goes back to the so-called “October`s agenda”, the political accord of October of 2003 to justify the overthrow of Bolivia`s constitutionally elected President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada through the so-called “gas war”. The new holders of power; Evo Morales, Carlos Mesa, Felipe Quispe, and others along with the so-called social movements, established as an objective of the triumphant conspirator move “the convening of a constituent assembly”, “the nationalization of the oil based resources”, “the persecution of the ousted government”, “the disbandment of political parties”, “anti-imperialism”, and so on.
The Constitution of the Republic of Bolivia (CPE in Spanish) amended in 1994 –legal framework that was invoked to sign and implement the “October`s agenda” DOES NOT allow neither the “total amendment of the Constitution”, nor the convening of a Constituent Assembly, because it institutes a system of “partial amendment” which starts with a law for the need to amend within the constitutional period of session that may be approved or rejected in the next constitutional period of session, this procedure was implemented to keep the reformers from benefitting from the amendments, especially when it came to the reelection of the President.
Bolivia`s constitution (CPE) ordains in its Article 230; “This constitution may be partially amended, with a prior declaration of the need to amend, which will be precisely mandated in legislation approved by two-thirds of the members present in each of the two houses” and in its Article 231 states; “The matter will be taken up in the first sessions of a new congressional session at the house that sponsored the legislation, and if it were to be approved by two-thirds of votes, it shall pass for review to the other house in which two-thirds of votes shall be required for approval”. Complying with the aforementioned mandate, in August of 2002 (before the overthrow in October of 2003) legislation “for the need to amend the Constitution” would have been promulgated proposing the amendment of Articles 231, 232, and 233 within the “System of partial amendments of the Constitution” introducing the “Constitutional Referendum to approve or reject the amendment”, in such a way that instead of approving the constitutional amendment only in Congress it would be done through a referendum.
To implement the “October`s agenda” the law for the need to amend of August of 2002 was used supplanting its content and leading to the promulgation of Law 2631 on 20 February of 2004 “To amend the Constitution” ignoring the requirement of legislation for the need to amend and introducing the “constituent assembly” for the “total change of the Constitution”. Doing this they were committing falsehood, supplanting and violating the existing Constitution because a law to amend the constitution may only be “accepted or rejected” it is not modifiable and above it all “totally changing or amending the Constitution” is not allowed, and it is not possible. Therefore, Law 2631 of 2004 to amend the constitution is devoid of lawfulness by mandate of the very Constitution it sought to change which in its Article 31 states; “the acts of anyone who usurps the functions that are not their purview, as well as any act that alleges jurisdiction or applicability not stemming from the law, are null and void”.
When we compare the texts of the law for the need to amend with the law for constitutional change we see further proof of the crimes committed and the absolutely devoid nature of it. The proposed text for the law for constitutional change reads; “Art. 232 The Constitutional Change shall be approved by a simple majority of favorable valid votes cast in the Constitutional Referendum and shall be passed to the Executive for its promulgation and the President of the Republic may not modify it or veto it”. The approved text, however, of this same law reads; “Article 232 The total change of the Republic of Bolivia`s Constitution is solely the responsibility of the Constituent Assembly which shall be convened by a Special Convening Law and this assembly will ordain the manner and methods of electing its membership, and shall be approved by two-thirds of votes of those Congressmen present and may not be modified or vetoed by the President of the Republic.”
This way the trap was set and Evo Morales, as one of the first things he did after he was sworn in, was to promulgate Law 3464 on 6 March of 2006 convening a ”Constituent Assembly” on the basis of the illegally changed text of the Law for Constitutional Change of 20 February of 2004. The new law to convene the Constituent Assembly has mandates that were also violated, for example; Article 6 sets the city of Sucre –the capital city of the Republic- as the site for its meetings, however it was moved into a military garrison and after Evo Morales` ordered massacre at “La Calancha” the Assembly ended up in the city of Oruro; its Article 24 established the period of time for which it would be convened as “a period of uninterrupted and continuous sessions to be of no less than six months and no more than one calendar year after it is convened”, however, after one year of being in session it had not approved anything and therefore it no longer (not that it ever did) had the legal competence to continue, but they did; its Article 25 mandated “the Constituent Assembly shall approve the text of the New Constitution with two-thirds of votes…”, however, the text of the New Constitution ended up being drafted clandestinely and approved by Congress ignoring the legal mandates for the Constituent Assembly. And if like adding salt to injury, as if the crimes committed up to this point were not enough, Law 3941 was approved and promulgated by Evo Morales on 21 October of 2008 “interpreting” Article 232 (already supplanted in the law for Constitutional Change of 2004) adding to it the following text: “Upon the conclusion of the Constituent process and following the receipt of its constitutional proposal to be presented for the consideration of the sovereign people, the Honorable National Congress may modify it, as needed, on the basis of the popular mandate and of national interests, by a Special Congressional Law, approved by two thirds of votes of its members present…”
Having done this “they adjusted the constitution to their need” and along with political persecutions, massacres at La Calancha, El Porvenir, Las Americas hotel, Cochabamba and others, and incarcerations, political exiles, and rampant fraud, approved their “Constitution in the mold of the Castroist-Chavoist model” thus creating the “Plurinational State of Bolivia” supplanting the Republic of Bolivia, seeking to divide the “Bolivian nation”, promoting rivalry between indigenous nationalities to multiply confrontations between Bolivians, suppressing democratic institutions, and taking the total and indefinite control of power and restructuring everything in their new dictatorial order that now-a-days is labeled as a narco-state.
Currently, in Bolivia, the Castroist-Chavist apparatus manipulates its system “to enable the Chieftain Evo Morales” to take advantage of a despicable Judicial branch, preparing further electoral fraud to keep him in power to assure his impunity, to minimize the economic crisis, cover up the crimes, corruption, and the narco-state. Just like in Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua … but their Constitution is null and void, their governmental acts are criminal and the Bolivian people know it.
Published in Spanish by Diario las Américas on Sunday September 24th, 2017
Translated from Spanish by: Edgar L. Terrazas, Members of the American Translators Association, ATA # 234680.