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A secret pact to tackle Bolivia’s elections

Washington was the location for a meeting between opponents Carlos Alarcón (Civic Community, CC, led by Carlos Mesa), Zvonko Matkovic (representing Creemos, led by Luis Fernando Camacho), and the businessman Samuel Doria Medina (leader of the National Unity Front, UN).


Jorge Petinaud Martínez


 The goal, with nuances that so far nobody is denying, is to achieve an “alternative” unit to defeat the government of Movement Toward Socialism – Political Instrument for the Sovereignty of the Peoples (MAS-IPSP) in next year’s elections.

It was Ronald MacLean, the former chancellor (1997-2002) of ex-dictator Hugo Banzer’s government and the ex-director of far-right Camacho in the 2020 elections, who revealed the meeting of the conservative politicians in the US capital, without giving more details. “Two or three traditional candidates”, in the US capital have agreed “a secret political pact” of an electoral nature, he stated during an interview on the programme, Asuntos Centrales.

The leader of CC in the Chamber of Deputies in the Plurinational Legislative Assembly (ALP), Enrique Urquidi, was the first person to confirm the truth of this secret meeting in Washington.

Nevertheless, soon the leadership of the alliance headed by Mesa minimised the attempts at coordination in a statement, and attributed everything to a trip by two of its representatives by invitation from the Jucumari Foundation, led by Jhanisse Vaca.

This Bolivian resident of Washington was the co-founder of the Ríos de Pie platform, supported by the Human Rights Foundation, the latter being financed by the United States Government.

Ríos de Pie was an active part in the coup d’état against former president, Evo Morales, in 2019. Vaca also tried in vain in the 2020 general elections to promote a “single opposition front” against the MAS-IPSP.

The conservative activist now presides over the so-called Jucumari Foundation, created a little over a year ago in Washington, and invited Bolivian opposition politicians and others such as the Venezuelan extremist Leopoldo López and the Nicaraguan Félix Maradiaga to speak at the Democracy and Human Rights workshop in the region and in Bolivia.

According to MacLean, Doria Medina, a billionaire businessman, former minister of Jaime Paz Zamora, as well as a failed presidential and vice-presidential candidate, was one of the signatories of the “secret pact” in the United States.

“I know that Samuel (Doria Medina) was here in Washington, and that he has signed a secret pact between two or three traditional candidates to do their business. Well, this thing cannot be behind closed doors, it cannot be ‘I give you this, you give me that, this ministry is for you.’ No. It has to be open, public, transparent and democratic,” MacLean declared, from the US capital.

Approached by the press in Bolivia to find out about his side, Doria Medina limited himself to saying that it is not about political issues.

Confirmed meeting

When referring to the meeting in the United States of opponents of the Government of Bolivia, the head of the Civic Community (CC), who is very close to its leader, Carlos Mesa, confirmed that the meeting took place in Washington and reproached them for “discrediting and demonising” them.

“What people have been legitimately demanding for such a long time is that the opposition parties talk, dialogue and generate a serious alternative with regard to 2025,” he said.

He added that at this moment, they are working along these lines and discrediting or demonising this type of meeting, reconciliation or dialogue, “is not good for democracy, much less for the possibility of fostering unity.”

Following his statements, in an official announcement and without naming names, CC confirmed that two of its representatives were in Washington between 20-24 April, but denied that “any agreement or accord” had been signed regarding the 2025 elections, as MacLean revealed. For his part, Carlos Alarcón admitted in statements to Radio Panamericana that during his stay in Washington “he met with some Bolivian politicians,” including Doria Medina and Zvonko Matkovic, and denounced the hypothetical assumption that an agreement or a pre-agreement for the 2025 general elections was signed as “speculation”.

“This was not a planned meeting, but a coincidence at an event and in a workshop, and those who were there are the ones you have mentioned (Doria Medina and Matkovic) because it was actually the institution that distributed the invitations,” he justified.

The radicals of Creemos

Unlike the CC version, far-right Matkovic confirmed the meeting and placed it in the context of the will of the radical governor of Santa Cruz, Luis Fernando Camacho, preventatively imprisoned since the end of 2022 in the Chonchocoro maximum security prison in La Paz. He was accused in the Coup d’état I criminal file.

In this case, the conspiracy that forced the resignation of former president Evo Morales, imposed by a de facto government led by Jeanine Áñez and which gave rise to massacres such as those committed in Sacaba, Senkata and El Pedregal, with 37 dead and thousands injured, is being investigated. “The unity of the opposition is being sought to defeat the MAS government in 2025,” Matkovic blurted out when questioned about it by the media. PL

(Translated by Donna Davison. Email: Pixabay

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