Bolivia: after the strike and protests, the government withdrew the controversial bill against money laundering

“Listening to the Bolivian people, listening to their concerns, listening to their fears in relation to this bill, we have decided to withdraw this bill”

The Bolivian government withdrew the questioned bill against the Legitimization of Illicit Profits from the Plurinational Legislative Assembly, as reported today by the Minister of the Presidency, María Nela Prada, during a press conference, and assured that the motive was to avoid confrontation.

Listening to the Bolivian people, listening to their concerns, listening to their fears in relation to this bill, we have decided to withdraw this bill. That is what we wanted to inform the Bolivian people, so as not to give rise to a confrontation between Bolivians and Bolivians at all, so as not to lead to destabilization, to not lead to violence, so as not to lead to confrontation ” announced Prada.

The Bolivian opposition criticized that With this bill, “extraordinary powers” ​​are given to the Financial Investigations Unit (UIF), the Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of Justice and that could threaten freedom of expression. The Bolivian government, for its part, accused the opposition of lie about the implications that this project to prevent money laundering and profits through illicit markets would have on some sectors, such as carriers, merchants, and even journalists.

Constitutional lawyers indicated that according to the proposed text the assets of all citizens are under suspicion, in contradiction to the “presumption of innocence” that should prevail.

Among the observations made by the opposition is the prohibition to evoke the reserve, secrecy or confidentiality when the FIU requests some information that affects the journalistic union, which also rejected the norm.

The Confederation of Private Entrepreneurs of Bolivia (CEPB) had stated in a statement his “deep concern” over some articles that “affect constitutional rights and guarantees” and that due to the “ambiguity of some articles they helplessness to the businessmen, citizens and entrepreneurs who have created their wealth with honesty ”.

The Minister of the Presidency of Bolivia, María Nela Prada (Photo: EFE / Martín Alipaz)
The Minister of the Presidency of Bolivia, María Nela Prada (Photo: EFE / Martín Alipaz)

“You cannot justify the impairment of fundamental rights such as the presumption of innocence, privacy, professional secrecy, freedom of the press, protection of personal data”, indicates the communiqué issued last week by the CEPB.

The Chamber of Exporters also expressed concern that this rule may violate some rights such as the investigation of personal accounts without the need for a court order.

“A simple complaint they are going to want to investigate the merchants and our stalls and they are going to want to put us in jail or take away our real estate”Said the executive secretary of the El Alto unions, Antonio Siñani.

That is why the merchants mobilized this week to demand the cancellation of the project or that this sector be excluded from it.

Strikes and protests

The merchants mobilized this week to demand the cancellation of the project or that this sector be excluded from it (Photo: EFE / Juan Carlos Torrejón)
The merchants mobilized this week to demand the cancellation of the project or that this sector be excluded from it (Photo: EFE / Juan Carlos Torrejón)

The Bolivian opposition on Monday cut streets and avenues in three of the main cities of the country against the government of President Luis Arce, They accuse him of promoting political trials against opponents and seeking to pass the draconian law that has now been withdrawn.

One month after his first year in office, the political dolphin of former President Evo Morales suffers the first opposition protests against his administration.

The peaceful roadblocks were registered with the cities of Santa Cruz (east), Cochabamba (center) and La Paz, according to official police reports. The chief of police, Jhonny Aguilera, said that in the regions of “Cochabamba and Santa Cruz there are sporadic blockades that are being monitored”, while the Minister of Government (Interior) indicated that in the rest of the seven departments “there is absolute normality.”

In La Paz there were roadblocks in some parts of the city, while the riot police displaced dozens of troops to normalize vehicle traffic.

They also denounce a “political persecution” against the opposition, such as the criminal trials of former president Jeanine Áñez (2001-2002); the mayors of La Paz, Iván Arias, and of Cochabamba, Manfred Reyes Villa; the Governor of Santa Cruz, Luis Fernando Camacho, and former Presidents Carlos Mesa (2003-2005) and Jorge Quiroga (2001-2002).

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