AMERICA/BOLIVIA – More violence in the TIPNIS, the Church at the side of the indigenous peoples

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Cochabamba (Agenzia Fides) - After the clashes which occured last weekend between the 2 groups that control the representation of the Isiboro Secure National Park and Indigenous Territory (TIPNIS), the Catholic Church and other sectors of society have renewed the appeal for dialogue to prevent further violent clashes.
The Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Bolivia (CIDOB) is divided into two factions, one that defends the TIPNIS and calls for the Villa Tunari highway - San Ignacio de Moxos not to cross the center of the natural park, and the other faction led by Melva Hurtado, allied with the government, which is in favor of the construction of the road (see Fides 29/11/2012).
Apparently, the quarrel, which ended in a violent confrontation between the two groups was caused as a result of the intervention of the President of the Indigenous Council of Sur (CONISUR), seen from one of the two factions as an interference in the internal affairs of the indigenous peoples.
"CONISUR lives a different situation from TIPNIS. CONISUR is a settlement area which has been occupied for 30 years. The settlers came to occupy the lands and probably the indigenous were marginalized," said Mgr. Tito Solari, Archbishop of Cochabamba, who has asked the parties to dialogue."As a Church, we know the reality of the area and ask the population in general to respect the indigenous people living in the plains", concludes the Archbishop. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 27/06/2013)