Thursday, December 14, 2006
ITS GETTING TENSE IN SANTA CRUZ!
Churches Pray In The Streets
With just one day to go before the Cabildo, its getting tense in Santa Cruz. The government sent a cabinet minister (2nd from the right, flanked by high ranking military officers) to try and smooth things over with the civic leaders. He was gently rebuffed. A few days ago the President railed against the separatist tendencies of those behind the Cabildo at a public function organised by the military. The officer corps not unlike Bolivian society are deeply divided over issues facing the country. Some support the president; the others identify with the aspirations of their regions. If push comes to shove, the latter will not obey the president and might even take matters into their own hands. We have not come to this precipice and my reading of the present situation does not foresee such a collision. The current volatile situation however has the potential of undoing social constraints, unleashing acts of violence.
People in the streets are buying the Santa Cruz flag, T-shirts and other paraphenalia for the huge open air meeting tomorrow (a million might just show up!). Some of the words on the T-shirts are very provocative and highly disrespectful of the government.
Cabildos are also scheduled to be held in 3 other Bolivian States in the East - Tarija, Beni & Pando- tomorrow.
Many churches are praying for peace to prevail. Various christian groups are moving around the town centre praying for the city and for revival. A group of churches committed to unity of the nation also put together an open air service (we are part of this group). Revd Federico Bascuñan, the Vicar of Christ Light Of The World was interviewed by one of the TV Channels.
Pray that the Cabildo tomorrow will be peaceful!