[To see the Table of Contents, click here. A glossary of terms and acronyms appearing in the text will be found here. Translation by Richard Fidler, Life on the Left]
December 12, 2012
Capitalist Subsumption of the Amazon Indigenous Economy
Finally, in addition to the vertical nature of this despotic power there is a territorial dependency of the regional power structure itself. The major part of the Bolivian Amazon lies in the department of Beni, and the major productive activities in the region today are ranching, timber extraction and chestnut harvesting. →
Bolivian leader replies to critics of the Morales government’s development strategy
Álvaro García Linera is one of Latin America’s leading Marxist intellectuals. He is also the Vice-President of Bolivia — the “co-pilot,” as he says, to President Evo Morales, and an articulate exponent of the government’s policies and strategic orientation.
The Environmental “Movement” Versus the Bolivian Morales Government
September 30th, 2011
by Cory Morningstar
Evo Morales is Bolivia’s first-ever Indigenous president. In his January 2006 inaugural speech, Morales’s focus was the years of discrimination against Indians, and he compared Bolivia to apartheid-era South Africa. Morales hailed the election as the end of the Colonial and Neo-Liberal Era. In October 2009, Morales was named “World Hero of Mother Earth” by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
In December 2009, the Morales government proved the most progressive of all states (in alliance with ALBA and the G77 nations) at the COP15 climate conference in Copenhagen. This union, led by Bolivia, aggressively pursued the scientific targets necessary in order for the world to avoid complete ecological collapse and a global genocide of unparalleled proportions. Ironically (and most revealing), these progressive states led leaps and bounds ahead of the environmental movement itself.
The institutionalized environmental “movement” was united under an umbrella organization/campaign titled TckTckTck, a social media giant, contrived by some of the world’s most powerful corporations and marketing executives.  One such TckTckTck partner (there are 280 partners made public) was the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change consisting of corporations such as Shell, RBF and Coca-Cola. (When this information was uncovered and made public, TckTckTck removed them from their website and scrambled to recover from the PR nightmare.) The Bolivian government’s leadership was so incredibly dignified and courageous that it even put the more legitimate Climate Justice movement to shame.
To get a sense of exactly who the corporate greens really represent (hint – it is not you), consider this: Bolivia, ALBA and the G77 demanded that states not exceed a 1ºC global temperature rise. In stark contrast, the NGOs “demanded” that temperatures not exceed a +2ºC and further “demanded” that world emissions peak by 2019 (meaning that emissions would continue to increase, business as usual, until 2019 at which point we would begin an effort to decrease). TckTckTck includes over 200 international partners including Avaaz, Conservation International, Greenpeace International, World Wildlife Fund (and many more pro-REDD advocates and profiteers) as well as Climate Action Network International  who represents (and speaks on behalf of) over 700 NGOs.
Regarding the issue of human rights, the hundreds of corporate NGOs – by campaigning to get the public to accept the global average temperature further rising up to a 2ºC limit – thereby sanctioned/sanctions most all species on this planet to an unprecedented annihilation within decades. [Note: Consider that at under +1ºC, we are already committed to a minimum +2.4ºC not including feedbacks: Ramanathan and Feng 2008 paper. Further, note climate scientist James Hansen’s warning that even 1ºC now looks like an unacceptably high risk.]
Considering that the corporate NGOs are leading us to certain species eradication, one must consider what constitutes criminal negligence. In the United States, the definition of criminal negligence is compelling: “Crimes Committed Negligently (Article 33.1) A crime shall be deemed to be committed with clear intent, if the man or woman was conscious of the social danger of his actions (inaction), foresaw the possibility or the inevitability of the onset of socially dangerous consequences, and willed such consequences to ensue.” “A crime shall be deemed to be committed with indirect intent, if the man or woman realized the social danger of his actions (inaction), foresaw the possibility of the onset of socially dangerous consequences, did not wish, but consciously allowed these consequences or treated them with indifference.” “A Crime Committed by Negligence (Article 33.1): A criminal deed committed thoughtlessly or due to negligence shall be recognized as a crime committed by negligence.” “A crime shall be deemed to be committed thoughtlessly, if the man or woman has foreseen the possibility of the onset of socially dangerous consequences of his actions (inaction), but expected without valid reasons that these consequences would be prevented.” “A crime shall be deemed to be committed due to negligence if the man or woman has not foreseen the possibility of the onset of socially dangerous consequences of his actions (inaction), although he or she could and should have foreseen these consequences with reasonable.”
After the massive failure/corruption of COP15 in 2009, in 2010 Bolivia organized and hosted the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, which produced The Cochabamba Accord (April 2010), specifically rejecting REDD: “We condemn market mechanisms such as REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and its versions + and + +, which are violating the sovereignty of peoples and their right to prior, free and informed consent as well as the sovereignty of national States, the customs of Peoples, and the Rights of Nature.”
The ‘buen vivir‘ (“good life”) ideology, also enshrined into Bolivia’s constitution, was yet another visionary philosophy that secured Bolivia as the conscience of the world on climate change and moral principles. The buen vivir philosophy was presented by the Bolivia delegation at the United Nations in April 2010. In December 2010, the revolutionary “Law of the Rights of Mother Earth” (“Ley de Derechos de la Madre Tierra”) was passed by Bolivia’s Plurinational Legislative Assembly. Bolivia’s ideas, positions and beliefs under the leadership of Morales, were in fact, so advanced both intellectually and philosophically – that most often Bolivia stood alone in the International arena while those lacking courage, ethics, or both, were left behind within the flocks of sheep. In a world where compromise of human life has become status quo – Bolivia, under Morales, has consistently refused to abandon their principled positions. This from a country that emits approximately one quarter of the CO2 emissions than that of green-house gas leading obstructionist states such as United States and Canada.
History repeated itself in 2010 when, at the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP16), which took place in Cancún, Mexico, Bolivia again stood alone in the International arena as the only one of the UN’s 192 member countries to vote against a deal which effectively sanctioned a global suicide pact.The suffering and devastation that will result from the greatest heist in history is unparalleled desperation, starvation and death on a massive scale.
Compare the Morales Leadership to NGO Avaaz, Which has Launched an International Campaign Against Morales
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund also acts as an incubator for in-house projects that later evolve into free-standing institutions – a case in point being The Climate Group, launched in London in 2004. The Climate Group coalition includes more than 50 of the world’s largest corporations and sub-national governments, including big polluters such as energy giants BP and Duke Energy, as well as several partner organizations, such as NGO Avaaz. The Climate Group are advocates of unproven carbon capture and storage technology (CCS), nuclear power and biomass as crucial technologies for a low-carbon economy. The Climate Group works closely with other business lobby groups, including the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), which works consistently to sabotage climate action. The Climate Group also works on other initiatives, such as the Voluntary Carbon Standard, a new global standard for voluntary offset projects. One marketing strategist company labeled the Climate Group’s campaign “Together” as “the best inoculation against greenwash.” The Climate Group has operations in Australia, China, Europe, India, and North America. It was a partner to the Copenhagen Climate Council.
The Environmental movement? It’s a movement, alright. A movement to protect the world’s wealthiest families and corporations who fund the movement via tax-exempt foundations.
Morales Position on REDD
Morales produced a statement on REDD (September 2010) explaining in more detail his opposition to REDD (available here in Spanish, pdf file – 734.6 kB).
NATURE, FORESTS AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES ARE NOT FOR SALE
Indigenous brothers of the world:
I am deeply concerned because some pretend to use leaders and indigenous groups to promote the commoditization of nature and in particular of forest through the establishment of the REDD mechanism (Reduction Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) and its versions REDD+ REDD++.
Every day an extension of forests and rainforest equivalent to 36,000 football fields disappears in the world. Each year 13 million hectares of forest and rain forest are lost. At this rate, the forests will disappear by the end of the century.
The forests and rainforest are the largest source of biodiversity. If deforestation continues, thousands of species, animals and plants will be lost forever. More than three quarters of accessible fresh water zones come from uptake zones in forests, hence the worsening of water quality when the forest condition deteriorates. Forests provide protection from flooding, erosion and natural disasters. They provide non-timber goods as well as timber goods. Forests are a source of natural medicines and healing elements not yet discovered. Forests and the rainforest are the lungs of the atmosphere. 18% of all emissions of greenhouse gases occurring in the world are caused by deforestation.
It is essential to stop the destruction of our Mother Earth.
Currently, during climate change negotiations everyone recognizes that it is essential to avoid the deforestation and degradation of the forest. However, to achieve this, some propose to commoditize forests on the false argument that only what has a price and owner is worth taking care of.
Their proposal is to consider only one of the functions of forests, which is its ability to absorb carbon dioxide, and issue “certificates”, “credits” or “Carbon rights” to be commercialized in a carbon market. This way, companies of the North have the choice of reducing their emissions or buy “REDD certificates” in the South according to their economic convenience. For example, if a company has to invest USD40 or USD50 to reduce the emission of one ton of C02 in a “developed country”, they would prefer to buy a “REDD certificate” for USD10 or USD20 in a “developing country”, so they can they say they have fulfilled to reduce the emissions of the mentioned ton of CO2.
Through this mechanism, developed countries will have handed their obligation to reduce their emissions to developing countries, and the South will once again fund the North and that same northern company will have saved a lot of money by buying “certified” carbon from the Southern forests. However, they will not only have cheated their commitments to reduce emissions, but they will have also begun the commoditization of nature, with the forests
The forests will start to be priced by the CO2 tonnage they are able to absorb. The “credit” or “carbon right” which certifies that absorptive capacity will be bought and sold like any commodity worldwide. To ensure that no one affects the ownership of “REDD certificates” buyers, a series of restrictions will be put into place, which will eventually affect the sovereign right of countries and indigenous peoples over their forests and rainforests. So begins a new stage of privatization of nature never seen before which will extend to water, biodiversity and what they call “environmental services”.
While we assert that capitalism is the cause of global warming and the destruction of forests, rainforests and Mother Earth, they seek to expand capitalism to the commoditization of nature with the word “green economy”.
To get support for this proposal of commoditization of nature, some financial institutions, governments, NGOs, foundations, “experts” and trading companies are offering a percentage of the “benefits” of this commoditization of nature to indigenous peoples and communities living in native forests and the rainforest.
Nature, forests and indigenous peoples are not for sale.
For centuries, Indigenous peoples have lived conserving and preserving natural forests and rainforest. For us the forest and rainforest are not objects, are not things you can price and privatize. We do not accept that native forests and rainforest be reduced to a simple measurable quantity of carbon. Nor do we accept that native forests be confused with simple plantations of a single or two tree species. The forest is our home, a big house where plants, animals, water, soil, pure air and human beings coexist.
It is essential that all countries of the world work together to prevent forest and rainforest deforestation and degradation. It is an obligation of developed countries, and it is part of its climate and environmental debt, to contribute financially to the preservation of forests, but NOT through its commoditization. There are many ways of supporting and financing developing countries, indigenous peoples and local communities that contribute to the preservation of forests.
Developed countries spend tens of times more public resources on defense, security and war than in climate change. Even during the financial crisis many have maintained and increased their military spending. It is inadmissible that by using the needs communities have and the ambitions of some leaders and indigenous “experts”, indigenous peoples are expected to be involved with the commoditization of nature.
All forests and rainforests protection mechanisms should guarantee indigenous rights and participation, but not because indigenous participation is achieved in REDD, we can accept that a price for forests and rainforests is set and negotiated in a global carbon market.
Indigenous brothers, let us not be confused. Some tell us that the carbon market mechanism in REDD will be voluntary. That is to say that whoever wants to sell and buy, will be able, and whoever does not want to, will be able to stand aside. We cannot accept that, with our consent, a mechanism is created where one voluntarily sells Mother Earth while others look crossed handed
Faced with the reductionist views of forests and rainforest commoditization, indigenous peoples with peasants and social movements of the world must fight for the proposals that emerged of the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth:
1. Integrated management of native forests and rainforest not only considering its mitigation function as CO2 sink but all its functions and potentiality, whilst avoiding confusing them with simple plantations.
2. Respect the sovereignty of developing countries in their integral management of forests.
3. Full compliance with the Rights of Indigenous Peoples established by the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Convention No. 169 of the ILO and other international instruments; recognition and respect to their territories; revalorization and implementation of indigenous knowledge for the preservation of forests; indigenous peoples participation and indigenous management of forest and rainforest.
4. Funding of developed countries to developing countries and indigenous peoples for integral management of forest as part of their climate and environmental debt. No establishment of any mechanism of carbon markets or “incentives” that may lead to the commoditization of forests and rainforest.
5. Recognition of the rights of Mother Earth, which includes forests, rainforest and all its components. In order to restore harmony with Mother Earth, putting a price on nature is not the way but to recognize that not only human beings have the right to life and to reproduce, but nature also has a right to life and to regenerate, and that without Mother Earth Humans cannot live.
Indigenous brothers, together with our peasant brothers and social movements of the world, we must mobilize so that the conclusions of Cochabamba are assumed in Cancun and to impulse a mechanism of RELATED ACTIONS TO THE FORESTS based on these five principles, while always maintaining high the unity of indigenous peoples and the principles of respect for Mother Earth, which for centuries we have preserved and inherited from our ancestors.
EVO MORALES AYMA
President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia
WHAT MAINSTREAM MEDIA AND NGOs ARE NOT REPORTING
VIDEO: Sept. 30th, 2011: TIPNIS: Indigenous of Western Bolivia support Government (english subs)
“… political opportunists who have infiltrated this mobilization … they took advantage of it in order to discriminate and criticize the changing process … we will tell these political rascals in their presence … here is the people! Here are the real ones who have struggled to defend the changing process! … 20 or 30 years from now … Bolivia will be truly independent … without the intrusion of neo-liberal parties …”
As the uprising against neoliberalism grew in strength, overthrowing a neoliberal president in 2003, US imperialism sought to use money to increase divisions within the indigenous movements.
In late 2005, investigative journalist Reed Lindsay published an article in NACLA that used declassified US documents to expose how US government-funded agency USAID was used to this effect.
USAID was already planning by 2002 to “help build moderate, pro-democracy political parties that can serve as a counterweight to the radical MAS or its successors”.
The downfall in 2003 of president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada triggered a step-up in this subversive activity.
A particular target was CIDOB.
The group was in a crisis after Fabricano was accused of profiting from illegal logging and he accepted the post of vice-minister of Indigenous Affairs under Sanchez de Lozada.
Through USAID funding to the Brecha Foundation, an NGO established by CIDOB leaders, the US hoped to further mould the organisation to its own ends.
Referring to comments made by Brecha director Victor Hugo Vela, Lindsay notes that during this time, “CIDOB leaders allied with Fabricano have condemned the cultivation of coca, helped the business elite in the department of Santa Cruz to push for region autonomy and opposed a proposal to require petroleum companies to consult with indigenous communities before drilling on their lands”.
The CSUTCB (divided between followers of Morales and radical Aymara leader Felipe Quispe), CSCB, FNMCB-BS and organisations such as the neighbourhood councils of El Alto (Fejuve), and to a less extent worker and miner organisations, were at the forefront of constant street battles and insurrections.
CIDOB, however, took an approach marked by negotiation and moderation.
It was not until July 2005 that CIDOB renewed its leadership, in turn breaking relations with Brecha.
CIDOB was not the only target for infiltration.
With close to $200,000 in US government funds, the Land and Liberty Movement (MTL) was set up in 2004 by Walter Reynaga.
As well as splitting the Movement of Landless Peasant’s (MST), one wing of which operated out of his La Paz office, Lindsay said Reynaga, like Vega, tried to win control of the “MAS-aligned” CONAMAQ.
And it is also true that the demands of the Sub Central of TIPNIS, and in particular CIDOB, are far removed from any notion of communitarianism.
Although initially focused on opposition to the highway, protesters presented the government with an original list of 13 demands, then extended to 16, on the day the march began.
Among those were calls for indigenous peoples to be able to directly receive compensation payment for offsetting carbon emissions.
This policy, know as REDD+, has been denounced as the privatisation of the forests by many environmental activists and the Peoples’ Summit of Climate Change organised in Bolivia in 2010.
It has also been promoted as a mechanism to allow developed countries to continue to pollute while undermining the right underdeveloped to develop their economies.
Another demand calls for the replacement of functionaries within the Authority for Control and Monitoring of Forests and Lands (ABT).
This demand dovetails with the allegations made by Morales against CIDOB leaders, and never refuted, that they want to control this state institution.
Much focus has been made of the potential environmental destruction caused by a highway that would open the path to future “coloniser” settlements.
But these arguments have only focused on one side of the equation.
Much has been made of a study by Bolivian Strategic Research Program that concluded that 64.5% of TIPNIS would be lost to deforestation by 2030 as a result of the highway.
Few, though, have noted that the same study found that even without the highway 43% of TIPNIS would be lost if the current rate of deforestation continues.
The biggest cause of this is the illegal logging that continues to occur, in some cases with the complicity of some local indigenous leaders and communities.
An environmental impact studies by the Bolivian Highway Authority have found the direct impact of the highway on TIPNIS to be 0.03%.
But this has to weighed up with the fact that the highway would provide the state with access to areas currently out of its reach.
This would enable not only access to services, but a greater ability to tackle illegal logging and potential narcotrafficking in the area.
At the same time, the government has asked the indigenous communities of TIPNIS to help in drafting legislation that would impose jail terms of 10 to 20 years on those found to be illegally settling, growing coca or logging in TIPNIS.
The manipulation by NGOs and corporations is clear in this interview (below) with Pirakuma Yawalapiti, the Xingu spokesperson speaking on the issue of carbon trading. This dialogue was filmed by Rebecca Sommer of EARTHPEOPLES, a global network for and by Indigenous Peoples. The interview is just one of hundreds that give documented testament to the deliberate manipulation of the threatened people most vulnerable to climate change. To view more videos and further understand the exploitation of Indigenous Peoples in pursuit of the profits behind REDD, please visitSommerFilms.
[In the interview, the NGOs/agencies who Yawalapiti speaks of (that are pressuring the Indigenous communities of Alto Xingu to agree to REDD projects they do not want) are FUNAI – National Indian Foundation Brazil / Fundação Nacional do Índio and IBAMA – Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Resources / Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis.]
 The following companies who have already come on board as partners includes Galeries Lafayette, Virgin Group, Yahoo! Music, iTunes, Google, Pernod Ricard, EDF, Microsoft, Zune, YouTube, USA Today, National Magazines, HSBC, M&S, Uniqlo, Lloyds Bank, MySpace, MTV, Bo Concept Japan K.K., Volvo, Kipa Turkey, Claro Argentina, Peugeot, NTV, Universal, Tesco, Sina.com, GDF Suez, Centrica, Oxfam, New Zealand Wine Company, 350.org, Handbag.com, Avaaz.org, Lesinrockuptibles, Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, EMap, Greenpeace, Commensal, The Atlantic, Fast Company, News Limited, Tesla, Wired Magazine, and RFM Radio.
 The founding of the Climate Action Network (CAN) in 1988 can be traced back to the early players in the ENGO community, including Michael Oppenheimer of the corporate NGO, Environmental Defense Fund. CAN is a global network of over 700 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The stated goal of CAN is to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. This goal is severely problematic in (at minimum) 2 fundamental ways: 1) There is no such thing as “ecologically sustainable levels” of climate change, and 2) as opposed to states having to respond to approximately 300 groups demanding action on climate change, states instead bask in the comfort of having to deal with only one (that of CAN), which essentially demands little to nothing. CAN has seven regional coordinating offices that coordinate these efforts in Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, Europe, Latin America, North America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Members include organizations from around the globe, including the largest corporate greens such as World Wildlife Fund [WWF], Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.
El vicepresidente Álvaro García Linera dijo que la estrategia usa la demanda legítima de la tropa policial y la vincula con la llegada de la marcha de la Cidob.
El Gobierno, ante el desconocimiento del acuerdo por parte de un sector de policías de base y la proximidad a La Paz de la marcha de la Cidob, confirma la aplicación de una estrategia subversiva denominada Plan Tipnis, que busca desestabilizar y crear las condiciones de un golpe de Estado en el país.
Citando reportes de Inteligencia y de prensa, el Gobierno, a través de un boletín del Ministerio de Comunicación, señala que el plan arrancó el 21 de junio con el motín de la Asociación Nacional de Suboficiales, Sargentos, Clases y Policías (Anssclapol) por demanda salarial, la que no se desactivó con el acuerdo de nueve puntos firmado la madrugada del domingo.
“La estrategia continuaba bloqueando y boicoteando la solución del conflicto policial con la posición intransigente de exigir como salario básico Bs 3.000, para luego convocar a maestros, trabajadores afiliados a la COB y activistas que marchan a La Paz con el apoyo del Gobierno Municipal paceño y funcionarios ediles”, señala parte de la denuncia gubernamental.
En rueda de prensa, el vicepresidente Álvaro García Linera confirmó que el Plan Tipnis tiene dos fases golpistas.
“Está en la fase inicial de apresto golpista, y en la segunda etapa buscan muertos (…) Hay comunicaciones radiales que vinculan (el conflicto policial) con el Plan Tipnis. Eso no es reivindicación, uno dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, diez veces hablan de bombas molotov, asesinar a militares, quemar unidades militares, de limpiar (matar) al ministro (de Gobierno) Carlos Romero y hacer golpe a Evo”, dijo García.
Los ideólogos del Plan Tipnis, a los que llamó “fuerzas oscuras”, se aprovechan de una demanda legítima de los policías y los manipulan. Denunció, por ejemplo, que el ex candidato político de Unidad Nacional, de Samuel Doria Medina, sacó armas de la UTOP el día del motín policial. El domingo, la ministra de Comunicación, Amanda Dávila, confirmó la circulación de comunicados públicos que señalan atacar con bombas molotov a ‘los plomos’ que custodian el Palacio de Gobierno.
La vinculación con el Tipnis tiene que ver con la coincidencia del arribo a La Paz, este miércoles, de la marcha de la Confederación de Indígenas del Oriente Boliviano (Cidob), liderada por el suspendido dirigente Adolfo Chávez. El domingo, el presidente Evo Morales, desde el centro minero Coro Coro, culpó a un grupo de policías de afanes de desestabilización que buscan su derrocamiento.
El dirigente de la Central Obrera Boliviana (COB) Simeón Jaliri denunció que el Plan Tipnis es la “sorpresa” de la que habló en pasados días Adolfo Chávez a su llegada a La Paz. “Este dirigente (Chávez), ha tenido varias reuniones con el ex asesor de Juan Del Granado, (Javier) Zárate y el ex candidato de UN Juan Carlos Soraide para coordinar”, dijo Jaliri.
Los analistas políticos Marcos Domich y Hugo Moldiz coinciden en que se trata de una estrategia de la derecha para gestar un golpe de Estado.
• La opositora Unidad Nacional (UN), a través del diputado Jaime Navarro, según radio Fides, confirmó la estrategia de ese partido para llegar al Gobierno, pero “por votos y no un golpe”.
• El Gobierno denunció que en el motín de un sector de la tropa policial, que comenzó el jueves, se incrustaron actores políticos, como el ex mayor de policías David Vargas y el ex policía militante de Unidad Nacional Juan Carlos Soraide, entre otros.
Domich apunta a la derecha y al imperio
El analista político Marcos Domich considera que los aprestos subversivos contra el Gobierno y la democracia boliviana se gestan desde hace tiempo y detrás de éstos está el imperio a través de sus operadores de la derecha boliviana, como Unidad Nacional (UN) y el Movimiento Sin Miedo (MSM).
“Hemos afirmado antes el plan golpista que se liga con la marcha de la Cidob contra la consulta en el Tipnis”, dijo. En su análisis, el objetivo final de estos afanes políticos es tomar el Palacio de Gobierno y en su opinión eso sería “grave”.
“Sin embargo, el pueblo no debe amedrentarse en salir a defender el proceso revolucionario que tuvo un elevado costo recuperarlo”, afirmó. “No hay duda de que es parte de la ofensiva imperialista de carácter global”, agregó. →
In Bolivia, CIDOB and COICA continue to undermine the Morales (MAS) Government’s position on REDD.
WKOG ADMIN: This text was provided by independent investigative journalist and ecological activist Cory Morningstar:
“JUNE 22, 2012: In Bolivia, CIDOB and COICA continued to undermine the Morales (MAS) Government’s position on REDD in Rio. This document (below) was sent to me. When I shared it with an anti-REDD documentary filmmaker who was in Rio working with the grossly marginalized Indigenous in Brazil, etc. she replied ‘What? That never came up at the Free Land Camp !!! They must have done that behind closed doors.'”
COICA PLANTEA CREAR UNA REDD INDÍGENA PARA EL RESPETO DE SUS TERRITORIOS PDF
Escrito por administrador
Viernes, 22 de Junio de 2012 09:59
La Coordinadora de Naciones Indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica (Coica) plantea en los foros de la Conferencia sobre Desarrollo Sostenible de las Naciones Unidas Río+20, que se realiza en Brasil, la creación de una Redd Indígena para el respeto de los territorios originarios, informó Carlos Mamani de la delegación boliviana que participa en el evento internacional.
“Es una propuesta de los pueblos indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica que está siendo presentada en los foros internacionales. Redd Indígena es una alternativa que se enmarca en el cumplimiento de los derechos de los territorios indígenas, especialmente al respeto de derechos de los pueblos indígenas”, señaló Mamani. →
“the American foreign policy objectives are these things and if you want to bid on them submit your proposal but you’re gonna do what we want done and we’re gonna pay for it”
This lecture, uploaded Feb. 5, 2009, by the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies titled “Have International NGOs Gotten out of Hand?” (Part 4) provides the following description: “A panel discussion with Professor Richard Falk, Professor Helmut Anheier, President and CEO of Direct Relief International Thomas Tighe, Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Foundation Chuck Slosser, and Dean Melvin Oliver discusses the nuances of globalization and civil society actors’ role in shaping world order.”
“If I can just say one thing, that in terms of International NGOs, I think there are those who, I think the source of the funding is important too. There’s a lot of, the way the Us government, foreign assistance program has evolved, they don’t have the capacity to actually do anything except fund and oversee those funded. So I think that the United States Agency for International Development is a funder itself and I think they basically put out a tender, the American foreign policy objectives are these things and if you want to bid on them submit your proposal but you’re gonna do what we want done and we’re gonna pay for it”
Tighe goes on to say:
“I think it’s really been a kind of papered over compromise that’s gone on for 30 years as the U.S. government lost the ability to have access and the nonprofits needed access for funds, they found each other and backing out of that dynamic where most of the US foreign aid is administered through either contract services or non-profit organizations I get frustrated because with some of the big boys, and I used to, you know, run the Peace Corps, and we were a government agency with all that that meant, but there are private groups that receive more federal money than the Peace Corps does & no one knows it …
So I think that dilemma of the source of the funding dictating how it is going to be described and the accountability channel that’s going to flow from it is a really hugely unresolved issue in this country, particularly in the realm of foreign aid.”
The full video can be viewed in it’s entirety, here.
The Destabilization of Bolivia – USAID
Note: In late 2011, the Democracy Centre, Avaaz and Amazon Watch, three international NGOs heavily influenced/funded by U.S. interests (Rockefellers, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Ford Foundation and Soros to name a few), led an International campaign in which they denounced and demonized Bolivian Indigenous leader Evo Morales and his government. This destabilization campaign focused on the TIPNIS protests. A violent confrontation between TIPNIS protestors (influenced/funded by U.S. NGOs/USAID/CIDOB) and the police was the vital opportunity needed in order to execute a destabilization campaign that the U.S. has been strategically planning for decades. This most recent attempt failed. Unlike westerners, Bolivians are today, far advanced in their intellectual understanding of global politics and carefully orchestrated propaganda, having been on the receiving end of Imperialism/colonialism and the capitalist economic system itself, for what surely must feel like an eternity.
For more than a decade Bolivia has been rocked by mass upsurges and mobilisations that have posed the necessity and possibility of fundamental political and social transformation.1 In 2005 the social movements that led the country’s water and gas wars managed to elect a government that since then has presided over a process of change that has brought major advances.
Among these are: the adoption of a plurinational state structure that for the first time recognises the country’s indigenous majority; regaining sovereign control over vital natural resources and initial steps towards endogenous industrialisation; an ongoing agrarian reform; and the development of social programmes that have substantially improved the lives of ordinary Bolivians. Democratic rights have been reinforced; forms of self-government by indigenous communities established; and electoral processes expanded to include popular election even of the judiciary. Not least in importance, Bolivia has also become a prime participant in the movement for Latin American anti-imperialist unification and sovereignty and emerged as a major leader in the international fight against capitalist-induced climate change.
In his recent article in this journal, “Revolution against ‘Progress’”,2 Jeffery Webber offers a harsh critique of the MAS government, illustrating it by reference to recent conflicts between the government and some indigenous groups involving environmental and development issues. His conclusion: the government remains committed to a neoliberal programme based on “fiscal austerity”, “low inflationary growth”, “inconsequential agrarian reform”, “low social spending” and “alliances with transnational capital”, among other policies. As such, it shares “more continuity than change with the inherited neoliberal model”.
These are sweeping assertions, and many are questionable. Webber criticises the government’s supposed “fiscal austerity”, yet omits the fact that budget spending has increased almost fourfold between 2004 and 2012. He attacks the government for seeking “low inflation” and “macroeconomic stability”, but what is his alternative: high inflation and macroeconomic instability? These were certainly traits of previous neoliberal governments. Furthermore, is it “inconsequential” that in its first five years the Morales government presided over the redistribution or titling of 41 million hectares of land to over 900,000 members of indigenous peasant communities?3 And if the government’s policy can be simply defined as one of forming alliances to benefit foreign transnationals, why is the Bolivian state currently facing 12 legal challenges in international courts initiated by these same companies?
Profile of neoliberalism
Simply put, Webber ignores the real progress made by the Morales government in rolling back the neoliberal project in Bolivia. Neoliberalism is best understood as a class project that sought to reassert capital’s dominance internationally in the wake of the 1970s economic crisis. Neoliberalism, as Webber himself previously noted, was “set in motion on an international scale largely under the tutelage of the US imperial state” and had as its fundamental strategy not only the “privatisation of formerly state or public resources but their acquisition by transnational capital in the US and other core economies”.4
Furthermore, current Bolivian vice-president Álvaro García Linera has noted that neoliberalism rested on three additional “pillars”: “the fragmentation of the labouring sectors and worker organisations…the diminished state, and impediments to people’s decision making”.5
The impact of neoliberalism in Bolivia includes:6
l The sell-off or dismantling of Bolivia’s largest state-owned companies. In the hydrocarbon sector, which accounted for 50 percent of government revenue, privatisation was accompanied by a drop in royalties companies had to pay from 50 percent to 18 percent. The workforce of YPBF (Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos) was reduced from more than 9,000 in 1985 to 600 by 2002.
l The state’s dependency on foreign imperialist governments, transnational corporations and their institutions was deepened. International loans and aid covered “roughly half of Bolivia’s public investment”, with each budget deficit bringing further IMF-imposed structural adjustment programmes.
l The removal of state subsidies sent Bolivia’s small industrial sector into crisis. Some 35,000 jobs disappeared in the manufacturing sector alone.
l By 1988 the informal sector had ballooned to 70 percent of Bolivia’s urban workforce, and the few jobs created in the formal sector were subject to labour flexibilisation practices.
l The establishment of power-sharing pacts among traditional parties and restrictions on electoral registration for alternative parties consolidated the grip that neoliberal politicians had on political decision making.
Compare this disastrous record with that of the Morales government. While Bolivia’s state continues to be capitalist, “and the government functions within the framework of deeply entrenched capitalist culture and social relations”, it is equally true that through a combination of successful electoral and insurrectional battles, indigenous-popular forces today are in control of important positions of power within the state.7 From these positions, they have used the increased state revenue, generated through nationalisations undertaken across various strategic sectors, to begin breaking its dependency on foreign governments. This strong economic position has allowed those running the Bolivian state to dictate their own domestic and foreign policy, free from any impositions placed by imperialist governments and international financial institutions in return for loans. Ties of the US military to the Bolivian army have been cut.
A constituent assembly wrote a new constitution that for the first time recognises the previously excluded indigenous majority and has recuperated
state control over natural resources. Since the referendum ratifying the new constitution the process of “decolonising” the state has continued, most recently in October 2010, with the holding of Bolivia’s first popular elections to elect judicial authorities. The result was a record number of women and indigenous people flooding into the judicial branch of the state.
The Morales government also initiated a significant shift in Bolivia’s foreign policy, leaving behind the traditional subservient stance towards the US. Instead Bolivia has spearheaded initiatives in the direction of seeking unity with anti-imperialist forces—both at the level of governments and social movements—within the context of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our America (Alba), and increasing regional collaboration, through institutions such as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). Another key focus has been the construction of an international alliance to fight for real solutions to the climate crisis, as evidenced by the World Peoples’ Summit on Climate Change held in Cochabamba in April 2010.
An alternative model
Webber ignores most of these achievements and instead focuses on the MAS industrial strategy and the social tensions that have been expressed around this. But he misrepresents the strategy. Let us look first, then, at what this strategy comprises, as it is a central component in the government’s economic vision. A succinct presentation may be found in a recent article on Bolivia’s economic model by Luis Alberto Arce Catacora, the minister of economy and public finance.
For Arce, “the New Economic, Social, Communitarian and Productive Model” that the government is implementing “does not pretend to immediately change the capitalist mode of production, but instead to lay the foundations for the transition towards a new socialist mode of production”.8
Unlike neoliberalism, in which surplus value and rents are appropriated by transnational capital, this new model, as the introduction to his article notes, has taken steps towards:
stimulating the internal market and reducing dependency on the external markets. Similarly, it has given the state a watching brief, endowing it with functions such as planning the economy, administering public enterprises, investing in the productive sector, taking on the role of a banker and regulator and, among other things, redistributing the surplus, with preference to those sectors that were not beneficiaries under previous governments.
The priority, Arce says, is promoting communitarian, cooperative and family-based enterprises (together with increasing social spending). Such a strategy is vital to rebuilding the strength of the working class and communitarian forces, pulverised by two decades of neoliberalism.
In summary: reassert state sovereignty in the economy and over natural resources; break out of Bolivia’s traditional position of primary materials exporter through industrialisation and promoting other productive sectors such as manufacturing and agriculture; redistribute the nation’s wealth in order to tackle poverty; and strengthen the organisational capacity of proletarian and communitarian forces as the two vital pillars of any possible transition to socialism in Bolivia today. Such a perspective, which seeks to advance the interest of Bolivia’s labouring classes at the expense of transnational capital, may be decried by some as mere reforms, but it is certainly not neoliberalism. →
“I am convinced that some NGOs, especially those funded by the USAID, are the fifth column of espionage in Bolivia, not only in Bolivia, but also in all of Latin America,” Morales said during a press conference in Oruro, a southwestern Bolivian city.
LA PAZ – Bolivian President Evo Morales on Thursday accused the United States of spying on his and other Latin American countries.
The Bolivian president said the spying is done under the cover of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
“I am convinced that some NGOs, especially those funded by the USAID, are the fifth column of espionage in Bolivia, not only in Bolivia, but also in all of Latin America,” Morales said during a press conference in Oruro, a southwestern Bolivian city.
Morales said the United States, through the cover of development aid operations of those organizations, knows “all the details of the activities of the social sectors and union leaders” in those Latin American countries.
The president regretted that some union leaders were allegedly used by these NGOs to stir disputes such as the one over a highway project in an indigenous territory in his country. →
“Al-Jazeera, which started out as a credible news agency, has become the whore of international journalism and is as credible as the scrawlings of a demented simpleton on the walls of a football stadium. What is really happening in Syria, we shall be reporting in the forthcoming days. Meanwhile let us tell the story of Libya, which you will not see on Al-Jazeera, nor indeed on the British Bullshit Corporation, its friend and bedmate.” —Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey, Pravda.Ru, from the articleThe West, Syria and Libya.
Camba image, used by the Bolivian Right to cultivate hatred towards the Colla
One of the more surprising decisions of Bolivian indigenism is the obvious alliance between the leaders of the Indigenous Confederation of Eastern Bolivia (CIDOB, acronym in Spanish) and the conservative Green party (Verdes) of the governor of Santa Cruz, Ruben Costas, against a process of change that defends the indigenous. It is an inconceivable decision, the logic of which can be understood only by taking into account, aside from the foreign million-dollar investment that stands behind it, the extensive campaign of manipulation that made it possible.
It began before World War II, during the revolutionary government of the camba Germán Busch, when, in Washington, Enrique Sanchez de Lozada was able to warn Nelson A. Rockefeller of the rise in Bolivia of revolutionary and nationalist intellectuals who sought to represent an indigenism that was beginning to claim its own political space. He proposed to get ahead of events by influencing the indigenous people through programs of social assistance. Rockefeller disseminated the proposal to the political circles of Washington using the enormous power that he exercised at the State Department.
In the economic sense, the Bohan Mission, sent to project the economic diversification of Bolivia, reached the foregone conclusion of empowering Santa Cruz. In the political sense, this was how the United States countered highlands anti-imperialism, transforming the Cruzan landowners into a modern dominant conservative class that it strengthened with agricultural and cattle-raising credits in the millions, aside from programs for irrigation and industrialization.
The manipulation had little effect in the highlands, simply because it arrived too late. The human concentration in mining centers and the support of the revolutionary governments had already united the indigenous people in powerful trade unions whose class consciousness was consolidated. In the east, to the contrary, control was absolute, due among other things to the fact that the indigenous people, called Cambas with a negative implication, lived separate from each other and in a state of absolute dependency on the agricultural and cattle-raising economy of the hacienda.
As Sanchez de Lozada had anticipated, the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (MNR), which promoted the emancipation of the indigenous people, reached power through the revolution of 1952. But, so prepared was the United States for that possibility, that immediately the fighter and leader Hernan Siles Suazo was made to hand over the government to Victor Paz Estenssoro, the intellectual leader who negotiated with Washington the recognition of his government and who ended up by surrendering the revolution, fracturing the MNR into two opposing factions.
There arose in Bolivia the political practice of pretending to be revolutionary, to satisfy the people, while respecting the oligarchic interests in order to satisfy the United States, which financed everything. Fulfilling the promises of the emancipation of the indigenous people, the MNR incorporated the latter into civil society, but that did not go beyond rhetoric, because, at least in Santa Cruz, the new dominant class had not only captured the new electorate, but induced it to become part of the Right wing of the MNR that had surrendered the revolution.
From the time of colonialism, the whites had taken away the culture of indigenous peoples, completely alienating them from their warrior’s identity, respectful of nature and loving liberty. They did this by fighting them into submission, then instructing them in the catechism of a religion that conceived of slavery, and later incorporating them into the European culture based on social castes, leaving the indigenous to occupy the bottom level –precisely that of the slave, in its Latin version called servitude.
When universal suffrage turned the indigenous people into an attractive electorate, and the U.S.-supported Cruzan oligarchy took control of the right wing of the ruling party, they decided to re-acculturate themselves in order to better justify their representation of the indigenous. The word “Camba” went from being an insult to being cultivated as an adornment that humanized the whites. The oligarchy appropriated the identity of the Cambas, and that explains why the culture, the folklore, the religion, and even false beliefs were promoted by the power centers of the city of Santa Cruz, until there was implanted the aberration that the Cambas are the white leaders who set the political course, and the indigenous are the flock who follow them blindly for “religious” and “cultural” reasons.
An historical event that illustrates the resistance that the revolution found in Santa Cruz took place in 1957, when a commission from Agrarian Reform, which in theory had returned the land to the indigenous, attempted to enter the locality of Huacareta, but its members were murdered by the landowners. Facing pressure from public opinion, the authorities arrested the guilty parties, but later freed them because they had the backing of the business elite of the MNR that was protected by the United States, whose goal was to consolidate the capitalist system of the hacienda, or agricultural and cattle-raising corporation.
But U.S. support never comes free, and the new entrepreneurial class had to comply with the political objective with which it had been created: to oppose the highlands anti-imperialism and to support Washington’s policies, no matter how abusive these might be. That explains how Santa Cruz was made into the Achilles’ heel of the Bolivian revolution, always on the side of the right-wing dictatorships and of every neoliberal government supported by Washington in favor of looting and of the exploitation of the Bolivian people.
In order to continue to mislead the Cambas, generation after generation, there was presented in Santa Cruz in 1976, during the dictatorship of Gen. Banzer, the monument to Chiriguano the Indian, ordered by the Ladies’ Civic Committee. It was placed as a sentinel at the entrance to the city, in the middle of the highway to Cochabamba, arrogant and bellicose, reminding all that the eastern indigenous never allowed themselves to be dominated by the Inca empire. The truth is that the bloodiest war carried out by the eastern indigenous peoples was that against the Spanish empire, as is demonstrated by history and by the significant fact that Captain Nuflo Chaves founder of the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, died at the hands of the indigenous, and the city had to be moved toward the west in order to escape from the hostilities.
The true history shows that the Guarani in effect drove the invaders from their lands, but it was not the Collas (westerners) who were expelled, as the Right insinuates, but the Spanish empire. Barely had the republican epoch began when a new invasion of white and mestizo land-seekers, backed by the army, was let loose upon the fertile territories of the indigenous. But the land theft was not easy, due to the combative spirit of the Guaraní, who resisted in a long and unequal war whose battles invariably ended in massacres, such as those of Karitati in 1840, Tiritati in 1862, Machareti and Ibague in 1874, and Kuruyuqui in 1892, in which 1,000 people died including men, women, and children. After the subjugation of the indigenous, servitude and forced labor were perpetuated until the present as an open secret that the Right and the Catholic Church denied, but that the International Labor Organization and the United Nations confirmed in 2005 and 2007.
The campaign of deceit carried out by the Right and its media, in which the Church always collaborated in complicit silence, continued with the pernicious planting of monuments around the city. In 1986, during the fourth administration of Victor Paz Estenssoro, during which, following the neoliberal mandate of the Washington Consensus, he handed the country over to the transnational corporations, the “Cambas” of the dominant class, sheltered within the Civic Committee pro Santa Cruz, inaugurated another monument as a symbol of separatism between the Cambas and the Collas: that of a little-known federalist called Andres Ibanez, fist raised high, defiant and looking also to the west along the same road to Cochabamba.
Just as was done with the warrior identity of the eastern indigenous, what was usurped now was the worthy image of a reformist leader who, inspired by the French revolution, died defending the interests of the indigenous in seeking equality in an oligarchic society. Ironically, the same social class that murdered him a hundred years earlier began to use his image as a symbol of separatism. The truth is that Ibanez raised his voice, fist and rifle against the oligarchy. He was killed for having abolished servitude, turned over unused land to the small farmer, and regulated the sugar industry, imposing the payment of taxes. Ibanez fought for a more just society and died for refusing to surrender his revolution. He was the precursor of the processes of change in Bolivia and Latin America. He turned to federalism only at the end of his government, as a last resort to defend his social reforms, as the Cruzan oligarchy, with its eternal campaign of intrigues, had managed to place him at odds with the central government.
It’s not strange that the Right, lacking all empathy for the Bolivian revolution that defends the country, continues to live politically from separatism. Neither is it strange that the million-dollar investments to seduce the leaders of CIDOB have yielded fruit. But this places the indigenous leaders in a paradox. They face a popular government that seeks to take the agrarian reform to the lowlands facing against the iron-clad opposition of the conservative green party of Gov. Costas, which, contrary to constitutional principles, has reserved to itself, through its Statute of Autonomy, the power to decide on the certification of ownership of those lands in order to continue to serve the dominant class that it represents.
What is strange, therefore, is that a few leaders in search of a leading role have decided to ignore that reality and to join with their historical enemies in an attempt to undo the process of change. By its origin, history, and nature, counter-revolutionary indigenism is a method of neocolonial submission that is imposing on the Bolivian people enormous social and economic costs.
There now exists an historic opportunity for the rest of the indigenous bases and for the Cambas in general, because, although the government of Morales has the political will to revert the looting that the landowners have imposed on the indigenous people, making real such a revolutionary act will not be possible so long as the oligarchy remains entrenched in the governorship of Santa Cruz, counseled by extreme-right U.S. Republicans and financed by the NED. Even less possible will it be, as long as the eastern indigenous remain under the control of the international Right, financed by USAID and the NGOs behind which lie hidden the interests of looting and of control of the planet.
The time has come for the Cambas to break free from the trauma of racism as to the Collas that the oligarchy has cultivated in their souls. Enough with the lies! Not only are the Cambas and Collas Bolivian brethren, we are by now so intermixed that separatism is irrational. There is no longer reason for such malice in the retelling of history, because the real war that Bolivians confront is the eternal war of looting by the Right against the resistance of the Left; the war between patriotic feelings of love for our nationality and the separatism that is indispensable for continuing the looting.
It’s time for the Cambas to represent themselves, to take over the political space that belongs to them, and to act in defense of their true class interest. In this way, the laws issued in La Paz in favor of the indigenous will be able to extend under better conditions to the eastern territories that until now continue to be unassailable redoubts of the transnational oligarchy.