Bolivia – Repression against the anarchist movement


[in Spanish:]

Translated from Italian by act for freedom now/B.pd


Against indifference, delation and complicity with the State. Talking about repression in Bolivia

From anarchists of the Chilean region
11th October 2012

While witches are being burned.
Against indifference, delation and complicity with the State.
Talking about repression in Bolivia.

On May 29 2012, in the land under the dominion of the Multinational State of Bolivia, a repressive operation was unleashed against ‘libertarian’ and anarchist circles, which meant to hit the alleged responsible for direct actions against the symbols of Power.

Relying on a strategy similar to that characterizing repressive raids in other parts of the world, a dozen houses were raided. This hunting operation was aimed at creating a precedent rather than carrying out an investigation. As is becoming normal and unimaginative practice, they make mass arrests and then they see what they can do with the people arrested.

So well known and easily identifiable people of anarchist circles were arrested, with the usual pretext of dismantling some organization. Three of these people were identified as ringleaders of the attacks.

A pompous press conference was the set up to demonstrate how the powerful act when their interests are under attack. Once again the evidence consisted in magazines, books, posters, patches and masks.

At first, there was no explanation on this operation and no one was sure on how the repressive measures had originated. However, a few weeks later, conter-information channels started reporting about the collaboration of three prisoners, all of them members of a platformist organization called OARS, whose website clearly shows that its principles are not at all anarchist or ‘libertarian’.

As they were being questioned, these three people gave names, addresses and information about the other people arrested. In particular, they gave the names of Nina Mancilla and Henry Zegarrundo and pointed at them as the main responsible for the attacks. This is why they were imprisoned amid charges, confusion and rumours. Later on a third person, Mayron Mioshiro, was arrested and taken to prison.

Through anonymous texts we discovered that none of the arrested have ever formed any cell of direct action, but they had simply claimed to be anarchists. So we read that the name of Mauricio Morales, mentioned in the claims of some actions, was sufficient to stir hysteria; and that the name of  Luciano Pitronello, painted on a banner, was sufficent for them to talk about terrorism and imaginary international organizations.

But in the following days information became scarce and confusion started spreading. As a result, very few people have really understood what is behind the repressive attack in Bolivia.

In their texts, OARS have accused other comrades of being collaborators in order to decline all responsibility on their part. They even made a call for solidarity with the comrades arrested (after giving names to the police), and in the meantime they presented themselves as an organization under repression, a victim of the current ‘desmedido’ of the police. They even published a bank account number to be used for donations in support of their members now under house arrest.

As anarchists, we don’t recognize borders and we don’t want to stay silent. For this reason we decided to write this text as a solidarity message with the imprisoned comrades.
Unfortunately we found more information on the press of the regime than in counter-information sites. So we invite the comrades of that country to be more active in the spreading of news on this case.

The witch hunt has started…

On the internet we found a recent letter of Nina Mancilla (1), where she writes about her judicial situation. We feel it is important that we have a say on it.

Her letter clearly shows that she is trying to demonstrate her innocence by accusing another person who is free, and she suggests a kind of exchange should be made: she gives the identity of this other person in order to be released. Nina doesn’t point at the State, the police or Renato Vincenti’s statement (which openly accuses her) as the responsible for her imprisonment. She prefers to accuse a person who allegedly appears in a video footage and who doesn’t look like her. Her words reproduce the most basic police tacticts. Moreover, the fact she doesn’t look like the person in the video is no evidence of anything.
We understand that prison creates anguish in the prisoner. After all its aim is to destroy those who are inside, physically and morally, emotionally and politcally. We understand the pain, anguish and anger of a prisoner; but as anarchists we can’t understand or justify the fact that this pain can lead to collaboration with the police and to give other people’s names.

From a historical point of view prison is the punishment inflicted on those who oppose dominion. From a historical point of view rebels are given revenge sentences, and history also wants it that there are people behind bars who don’t surrender or stay silent, but continue to struggle with strength.

It is not sufficient to claim to be anarchist in order to be such. You must also be coherent with anarchist principles, and in this sense the struggle for the distruction of prison is crucial for the defence of freedom. To protest in order for another person to become a prisoner instead of you is denigrating; but to make an open call so that this person give themselves in to the police is even worse.

This is a form of blackmail, it is to be servant of Power and of the interests of the State, it is an authoritarian act because you are forcing someone to make a choice through media pressure, to give themselves in. In other words it is snitching and acting as a cop.

Sadly this repulsive attitude was not opposed, on the contrary it is being taken as truth. In fact we found another text (2), in which a person called Virginia Aillón takes the chance of stating that those who carried out direct actions should be ‘coherent’ and surrender to the police. We would never expect this by Garcia Linera (3) or anyone claiming to be ‘libertarian’ or anarchist.
Of course we don’t expect that anyone who is in prison claims actions they didn’t carry out. The lies of Power must not be accepted as true. But this doesn’t mean that one can give names or openly accuse another person and claim this person is not anarchist because they don’t give themselves in.
We don’t accept this behaviour, which we think is despicable, because not only does it make confusion on the real enemy but it represents all the values of the culture of the powerful. This kind of behaviour has nothing to do with  ‘libertarian’ or feminist values, according to the definition these people give of themselves.
As concerns the discussion on methods, we believe that it is important to always maintain anarchist ethics, to be able to locate the enemy and to bear it clear in mind that those who carry out illegal actions are not ‘guilty’ of the repressive attack of the State. This has been clear to all the anarchists who have always defended so called imprisoned illegalists. If one claims there exist defence for the not guilty and guillotine for the ‘guilty’, then one repudiates anarchist views and only places oneself as a friendly dissident of the State.
Both the texts of these alleged Bolivian feminists only light the fire used to burn the witch. These calls for giving oneself in don’t trim any shot to Power, the bosses, the State, the police and the patriarchal order. On the contrary, they reaffirm and guarantee the latter. All those who are hit by State repression deserve solidarity, not deletation or isolation.
The Bolivian trial has been largely compared to the Bombas case in Chile, but there is a significant difference. The comrades imprisoned in Chile, even if they risked sentences up to 25 years, never played the game of the State, never asked the perpetrators of direct actions to give themselves in. They made it clear they didn’t carry out those actions and were not part of any illegal organization, but never asked anyone to submit to Power and this is maybe the biggest act of solidarity
The message is clear to us: solidarity without borders with those persecuted by Power destruction of all prisons and total liberation.
An accomplice hug to Henry and Mayron, freedom for all, down with all prisons their jailers and false critics.

A few anarchists of the Chilean region.
Santiago, beginning of October 2012.

(1) Nina Mancilla’s letter can be found here:

(2) Virginia Aillon’s text can be found here:

(3) Alvaro Garcia Linera is the current vice-President of  Bolivia. As many other former Latin-American fighters he moved from being a guerrilla man (he was one of the founders of Guerrilla Army Tupak Katari) to occupying an important post in the State he had fought in the past. Remembered by his ex comrades as one who gave information on the members of the guerrilla, he’s now one of the most important characters of Evo Morales’ government. We can say he is the government’s ‘brain’, whereas Evo is the ‘charismatic man’.

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