Wednesday, August 08, 2007
INTERCESSION AVERTS DISASTER IN SANTA CRUZ
Folk in Santa Cruz, Bolivia were expecting violent clashes between indigenous people and local groups at the annual independance day parade in Santa Cruz.
President Evo Morales decided to hold the parade in Santa Cruz; he invited for the first time a huge contingent of indigenous people from the highlands to participate in the annual military parade on the 6th of August. The presence of the Army and their support for the president raised the anxiety level of many. Many of his opponents in Santa Cruz viewed this as an attempt to intimidate them. Santa Cruz and the central government are at loggerheads over the question of Santa Cruz's push for autonomy. Civic leaders felt provoked and raised the temperature with their speeches.
The president is unpopular in Santa Cruz and unruly elements normally hurl insults and spew foul language at him during public meetings. Many feared violence between his followers and some of these elements in Santa Cruz.
I tracked the worsening situation through emails from friends in Bolivia and newspaper reports in the internet. My heart went out to those I had left behind. At one point I was close to tears and prayed for God's mercy to take control of the situation. Churches in Santa Cruz gathered together and began to intercede in homes and church grounds.
The president sounded a conciliatory tone in some of his comments as indigenous people together with the Army descended onto Santa Cruz for the parade. The newspapers reported a massive turnout from the populace. There were insufficient police to manage the crowds. The atmosphere had all the makings of a disaster.
God's mercy thru the intercession of His people however averted the scuffling and chaos many expected. Trouble makers thankfully did not agitate the crowds. Some however suffered the effects of being crushed by the crowd. On the whole, the parade was peacefully held without any incidents.
Praise The Lord!