How did a ‘peaceful takeover’ in Santa Cruz end with a beaten assemblywoman and two deputies repressed by the Police?

June 9, 2023, 5:15 PM

June 9, 2023, 5:15 PM

What began this Friday morning as a peaceful protest at the entrance to the Santa Cruz Government building ended in violence, with a member of the MAS assembly who was the victim of a beating; two Creemos deputies repressed by the Policeprotesters chased and arrested.

Scene 1: The “peaceful takeover”

Yesterday (Thursday) a call without a signature circulated on social networks, especially WhatsApp groups, to gather at 7:00 this Friday at the entrance to the Governor’s Office and carry out “a peaceful takeover.” The conveners, who are called self-convened, even asked to make a common pot. The objective?: “Let’s not let our government be taken over by other parties… with the help of the masistas (SIC)”, the message read.

As announced, in the early hours of this Friday the presence of a group of people was recorded at the entrance of the Government building. Their posters read messages such as: “We demand that the ALD (Departmental Legislative Assembly) of Santa Cruz not to possess trout assembly members endorsed and imposed in a factual and legal manner by the Electoral Body (TED and TSE)”.

The group of people who came to protest at the entrance to the Governorate |  JC Torrejon
The group of people who came to protest at the entrance to the Governorate | JC Torrejon

It should be noted that on June 6, two new assembly members were to be sworn in (regular and substitute) dthe Guarani people: Ronald Andres Caraica and Isabel Ortiz, in the Departmental Legislative Assembly; however, the session could not take place due to a lack of quorum, so it was rescheduled for this Friday, June 9, at 10:30.

This act of possession He was the one who mobilized the self-convened, who accused the Movimiento Al Socialismo (MAS) of allegedly being behind the appointment of the new indigenous assembly members in order to take control of the Governoratenow that Luis Fernando Camacho is in preventive detention in Chonchocoro (La Paz).

Scene 2: Attack on an assemblywoman

Mid-morning passed quietly, but around 11:00 everything changed. A word exchange between the protesting group and the MAS assembly members, Muriel Cruz and Susana Vaca, ended in a violent scene. Cruz was tackled to the ground and assaulted.

According to the images that were disseminated on social networks, two women hit her on the head, kicked her and pulled her hair. Even, one person took a stick and hit Cruz.

Attack on the assembly member of the MAS, Muriel Cruz
Attack on the assembly member of the MAS, Muriel Cruz

EL DEBER tried to contact the assemblywoman at her two telephone numbers, but it was not possible.

The complaint of the ALD in the Felcc
The complaint of the ALD in the Felcc

However, this journalistic house agreed to a copy of the complaint that the lawyer Sebastián Dávila López filed in the Special Force to Fight Crime (Felcc), at 12:01 this Friday, for the crimes of serious and minor injuries against those who attacked Cruz and Vaca.

According to the document, Dávila represents the Departmental Legislative Assembly.

Scene 3: Police repress two Creemos deputies

Faced with this confrontation, the olive green institution that -according to a statement from the Government, had been guarding the building since 7:00 a.m.- sent its agents to end the violence.

However, the videos of that moment show that the uniformed men used excessive force, assaulted women, kicked the Creemos deputy to the groundÓscar Miguel, and they fired tear gas directly into the face of Carlos Arrien, another representative from Creemos.

The moment when a police officer fired tear gas directly into the face of Deputy Arrien
The moment when a police officer fired tear gas directly into the face of Deputy Arrien

Arrien, in telephone contact with EL DEBER, explained that he and his colleague, upon seeing the violence exerted especially against women, They decided to intervene and approached the Police but, despite identifying themselves, they were victims of violent repression.

Arrien reported that Deputy Michel, who was recovering from a health problem, He was thrown to the ground and kicked by the uniformed. He regretted that by intervening against a “new attack against the people of Santa Cruz” the Police have proceeded in this way.

In turn, the Government, through the Secretary of Citizen Security Paola Weber, denounced “the abuse of police authority for abusively detaining 12 peoplebetween officials and activists on the outskirts of the central building, while it is taken”.

Scene 4: Complaints from all fronts

Once the spirits calmed down and the police repression had ended, both the MAS, Creemos, the Legislative Assembly and the Governor’s Office announced the initiation of proceedings.

The Secretary of Citizen Security of the Government of Santa Cruz, Paola Weber, said that she will present a criminal complaint against the departmental commander of the Police, Erick Holguín, for leading this outrage. In turn, he asked the Ministry of the Interior and the Police “to stop creating instability in the departmental government and respect the autonomies.”

For its part, the ALD, through a statement, repudiated the aggression against Muriel Cruz and the deputies. It indicates that “he has filed a complaint so that the Police and the Prosecutor’s Office investigate and prosecute those responsible accordingly.”

Communiqué Departmental Legislative Assembly
Communiqué Departmental Legislative Assembly

The MAS Bench in the ASD, also through a statement, rejected the violence against Muriel Cruz, urged the authorities to find those responsible for the attack and asked to “provide protection” to its assembly member.

MAS pronouncement
MAS pronouncement

The one who also referred to this episode was President Luis Arce. Through his accounts on social networks, he maintained: “Violence must always be condemned. All our solidarity with our Santa Cruz departmental assembly member, Muriel Cruz, who was brutally attacked at the gates of the Santa Cruz Governor’s Office. We demand to identify and punish the responsible for this cowardly attack”.

Possession of the new indigenous assembly members

Despite the protest, followed by violence, the possession of the new indigenous assembly members took place. In this regard, andhe ALD president, Zvonko Matkovic Ribera, told EL DEBER: “This arose from an internal struggle in one of the indigenous towns. Now there are two new assembly members who were installed by the vice president of the ALD, Óscar Feeney. Unfortunately, the five towns have similar problems and they argue that their representation has been politicized.”

He added that there is a resolution of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and that they, as departmental authorities, only have to abide by that provision and that is what they did.

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