Emeute à Cocchabamba en Bolivie février 2007

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These images were shot on the afternoon of Thursday January 11th in the city of Cochabamba, where tens of thousands of people collided in a massified riot between supporters of the national government, and supporters of the local government of the department of Cochabamba.
The conflict begun on Monday, when the governor of Cochabamba, Manfred Reyes Villa, proposed a referendum to determine whether departments in Bolivia should be autonomic or not. This caused an uproar from the coca producers and peasant population, who proceeded to burn down the local government offices in the city and rally in favour of the central government.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, there were massive protests from supporters of Reyes Villa’s government, countered by protests by the peasant population.
Thursday, was the most intense and violent day, when both sectors clashed in urban guerrilla combat throughout the entire city of Cochabamba.
This resulted in two deaths as well as hundreds of injured people. Armed forces took no violent action in this riot, limiting themselves to separating the clashes.
There is no clear solution to this conflcit, as both local and central governments remain obstinant in their positions regarding the autonomy of bolivian departments (states).

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Campesino groups march through the Plaza 14 de Septiembre demanding the resignation of allegedly corrupt Governor Manfred Reyes Villa.

~ par Alain Bertho sur 12 mars 2007.

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