«by Kirsten Francescone A thesis submitted to the Faculty o f Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the ...»
elaboramos una propuesta de seguro agrario, yo lo elabore y tenia esas bases, digamos, ^no? Bueno, entonces la Decada iba por un lado y la Revolucion Productiva era otra propuesta no estaban vinculados...
Here, Comacho identifies the obligations that the Bolivian state has to encourage and strengthen community production and that support should be provided universally and without question, food production should be socialized. But he is also m aking a statement that reflects a much larger contradiction within the NCPE, and B olivia’s Economic Development Plan. The contradiction is the idea o f a harmonic balance, not only between nature and people but also between capitalism and com munity production, the “economia mixta.” Lie Gonzalo Vargas R ivas,1 5 coordinador de autonom ias departamentales de Cochabamba, similarity echoed Com acho’s concerns with regards to
the possibilities of the LPRCA:
Con lo que mi temor como servidor publico, es que esta ley vaya dando mas pabulo, vaya dando mas cuerpo justam ente a una econom ia... a una forma de organizacion economica para la produccion, que ha ido arrinconando la economia comunitaria y que es coherente con esto que el presidente Evo M orales permanente dice, “Defensa de los derechos de la M adre Tierra”, no es cierto. O sea, la economia capitalista, el m odelo de intercambio y la acumulacion, es adversa a los derechos... en defensa de los derechos de la M adre Tierra. Y ahi ya vamos un poquito en ciertas contradicciones de nuestras politicas publicas, a no ser que vaya a complementarse esta ley con unas acciones que provengan de los pueblos indigenas, que revitalicen y fortalezcan sus estrategias de produccion economica comunitaria. Por que el vivir bien, no es una consigna, el vivir bien justamente establece los criterios basicos de esa economia comunitaria. ^Por que?
porque las logicas de redistribucion y reciprocidad implican una adecuada relacion de la sociedad humana, con el medio ambiente, con la naturaleza. Si no vamos a poder vivir bien, si estamos afectando el medio ambiente, si estamos afectando la naturaleza, entonces por eso se dice vivir bien, por que tiene una esencia comunitaria. En cambio, m ejorar las condiciones de vida es parte de la logica capitalista, uno puede m ejorar sus condiciones de vida independientemente de que la mayoria de la gente se empobrezca, independientemente de que estamos afectando y esquinando el medio ambiente, ^no es cierto? Entonces, esa es la 183 He requested that I em phasize that this statement does not reflect the official position o f the m unicipality o f Cochabamba, nor o f his office, but rather reflects his personal opinion based on his experiences working with indigenous communities.
diferencia sustancial, por tanto, creo yo, que la ley de la Revolucion Productiva Comunitaria si bien va a tender aspectos y requerimientos de los pequenos productores campesinos, pero, lo que esta haciendo en el marco, o se a... en m ayor proporcion en el marco de lo que son las logicas del intercambio y la poblacion capitalista.
In Decreto Supremo No. 29272, the legal document introducing the National Development Plan “Bolivia Digna, Soberana, Productiva y Democratica Para V ivir Bien” the MAS outlines the importance o f finding a balance, or armoma, between capitalist and
non-capitalist, public and private interests:
Desarrollar la convivencia equilibrada y la complementariedad con equidad de la Economia Estatal, la Economia Comunitaria -que se asienta en procesos productivos, impulsados por organizaciones sociales, comunitarias, y micro y pequenos empresarios, artesanos, organizaciones economicas campesinas, organizaciones productivas, comunidades y asociaciones urbanas y rurales-, la Economia Mixta y la Economia Privada.1 6 8 Similarly, in the LRPCA, it is emphasized that, instead o f actively working towards dismantling private production or capitalist production the law identifies the economia plural as “ las distintas formas de organizacion economica existentes en el pais, compuesta por las formas de organizacion economica comunitaria, estatal, privada y
social cooperativa” '87 which the law continues to confirm that food sovereignty:
...se sustenta en la concurrencia de todos los esfuerzos, iniciativas, principios y politicas del Estado, las naciones y pueblos indigena originario campesinos, comunidades interculturales y afrobolivianas, otros actores de la economia plural y la poblacion en general, quienes actuaran conjuntamente para la satisfaccion de las necesidades alimentarias de las bolivianas y los bolivianos.1 8 The capitalist model o f agricultural development does not have the prim ary goal o f achieving food sovereignty or food security. The primary objectives o f the capitalist 186 Article 5.4.
187 Article 7.5.
188 Article 7.2.
system are to extract surplus, and maximize surplus production. The displacem ent o f indigenous and campesino communites into the larger workforce, and the incorporation o f more labour into the already bloated workforce enables the further expansion o f capitalism. Further, the maximization o f a capitalist industrial mode o f agricultural production simultanesouly makes national production for consumption difficult and subordinates bolivia’s position to regional and international food prices and production and geopolitical agendas.
When the MAS refers to the communitization o f the Bolivian economy, they are actually in practice, seeking to further expand small-scale capitalist development into campesino communities. In the LRPCA, OECOMS (Organizaciones Economicas Comunitarias) are recognized as “comunidades indigena orginario campesinas, comunidades interculturales y afrobolivianas, como Organizaciones Economicas Comunitarias- constituidas en el nucleo organico, productiva, social y cultural para el vivir bien.”1 9 Com m unities are recognized as economic units whose objective is in fact to produce for market. For Ormachea, “esta medida [comunitizacion] profundizara los procesos de diferenciacion campesina en las comunidades.” 1 0 On February 5, 2012, CAINCO proudly announced the new registration o f 251 new businesses (six month period) thanks to the campaign they launched called “CAINCO Soya.” The program, which encourages a production-for-profit model o f agricultural production, encourages not only the m ovement o f farmers away from subsistence farming 189 Article 8.
190 Urioste, R evolu tion A graria o C o n so lid a tio n, 90.
to market production, but does so through encouraging the production o f the cash-crop, soy. Since soy production renders the producer entirely subject to foreign m arket fluctuations, raising costs of chemical inputs, and the movement away from producing food-for-consumption it is a clear indicator o f the contradictions o f the “strengthening” o f the community, through community-business. The reference to and use o f “com m unity” merely propagates the expansion o f capital and the further destruction o f communal organization of land and production. Although distinct, the M AS’ policies have continued to promote capitalist development in ways that echo with those capitalist and colonialist policies of the past.
3.2 The LRPCA and the two sides of the capitalist coin The first half o f this project centered on ways in which the MAS are encouraging farmer/campesino production w ithout adequately redistributing land, or dealing with the latifundio system that still exists. We cannot forget however, the core foundation necessary for the capitalist mode o f production, the right to hold private property. Really, the MAS has continued to protect the rights o f large landholders to hold property and accumulate wealth, while simultaneously encouraging individual and now communitybusiness private property.
The political-economic relations I have revealed in previous sections dem onstrate the ways in which the LRPCA is constrained and limited by the larger economic and political movements at play. The LPRCA continues to encourage capitalist industrial productionthrough the promotion and appropriation o f imagined indigenous values like “community” to propagate a small-scale capitalist farmer model o f production while simultaneously encouraging (or neglecting) industrial cash cropping and perm itting the expansion o f land grabbing, and agro fuel production.
Between and beyond the rhetoric o f the LRPCA lies the forgotten but clearly central issue of land and property which being similar, but not exact to the MNR R eform a A graria has failed to adequately address the largest and most detrimental factor to both campesino and indigenous production and subsistence: access to and control over resources. The persistence and expansion o f the agroindustry system in the lowland region, particularly in Santa Cruz is continuing to an exacerbation o f human and environmental impoverishment in order to maximize short-term surplus extraction- and at the expense o f near m it’a like working conditions11 in a country where even child entertainers have jt)?
unions. " The political relations are those which I will explore in the remaining sections, the ways in which the popular classes, the majority o f B olivia’s poor (which according to the latest world bank statistics is the vast majority o f the country) are continuing to fragment between indigenous and campesino while the larger political project or the proceso de cambio is being lost in the process. Instead o f a decolonization and socialization o f the 191 Fabricant, “Ocupar, Resistir, Producir.” 192 When living in the vigil, tw ice a w eek until the conflict w as resolved the child entertainers dressed up as clow ns would com e to the vigil to express solidarity with the T1PNIS. Holding their union shield they w ould march around cheerfully chanting “ cQne queremos? jPronta Solucion!” callin g for peace for the children o f the TIPNIS. This is a subtle yet beautiful exam ple o f som e o f the accom plishm ents that the labour m ovem ent has succeeded to achieve in B olivia, and also exem p lifies the w ays in which workingclass alliances, even child entertainers, em erged in solidarity.
means of production, we are seeing a re-emergence o f racialized tensions betw een the lowland indigenous “salvajes” 1 and the m odem campesino and colonizadores populations, which surfaced and became particularly salient during the TIPN1S conflict but have continued to bubble with the Pacto de Unidad split.
These fractions, however, are also contributing to a re-mobilization o f politics and emerging strategic alliances between historically distinct sectors. The dangers o f the popular class divisions, and the re-colonization o f politics within the ‘have-nots’ is that the popular bases that unified to remove the neoliberal and fascist governm ents o f the past are splitting. This is leaving room for the political and economic elites o f the country, particularly in the lowland regions, to re-mobilize and re-organize to provide and manipulate the politics o f possibility for Bolivia. The political implications can thus be put much more simply: while the popular classes are negotiating and m anifesting conflict from within, the right wing and regional geopolitical interests are patiently awaiting the eruption.1 4 The LRPCA and later the T1PNIS conflict reveal the interactions, m anifestations, and contestations that emerge in particular moments to shed light on larger political processes, tendencies and motives. As such, the previous three chapters have provided the foreground necessarily for analyzing the ways in which these particular “m om ents” manifested a much larger and broader economic and political history- the terrain o f 193 On September 7 2011, Roberto Coraite the president o f the CSUTCB in a national press conference referred to the indigenous marchers as "salvajes " who were im peding on the developm ent o f the nation.
194 Kirsten Francescone, “Internal Fractions and the right in B olivia,” The Bullet 548 (2011).
struggle. The following two chapters will explore the development o f politics and its possibilities for the proceso de cambio in Bolivia.
Chapter 4: The Complexities between “The State” and “Civil Society” The previous sections have been set out to lay the foundation for the analysis o f the ways in which popular mobilization against the LRPCA and later the TIPNIS conflict can be seen as products of, but also contributing to a re-mobilization of social m ovem ent politics and a rupture in the political conjuncture.
The section that follows will explore the Pacto de Unidad and the ways in which it has served to simultaneously de-mobilize and re-mobilize popular political organizing. In this section I will explore the emergence o f the Pacto de Unidad and explore some o f the key tensions that have continued to surface with regards to its institutionalization. Here I will draw primarily from observations and conversations collected during m y fieldwork regarding the questionable approval o f the LRPCA by the majority o f the Pacto de Unidad organizations and the TIPNIS conflict which as a moment represents a m uch larger rupture in the political conjuncture in Bolivia at present.
4.1 Popular (?) political participation and the Asemblea Constituyente
193 As cited in: Pablo Reglasky, “ Political Processes and the Reconfiguration of the State in B o liv ia,” L atin Am erican P erspectives 172 (2008).
In order to understand the Pacto de Unidad, it is essential that we move back to the indigenous and popular mobilizations o f the 1990’s and the demands for a new Asamblea Constituyente as the foundation for the national-populist mobilizations that escalated to expulsion o f the neoliberal governments in the 2000’s. These uprisings propelled the popularized unification o f popular, indigenous and urban sectors, which lead up to the election o f the MAS in 2005.1 6 These mobilizations raised, along with the large lowland indigenous mobilizations o f the nineties,1 7 the idea o f the reconstruction o f the Asamblea Constituyente continued to gain momentum. The Asamblea Constituyente viewed as the ultimate response to demands for the cultural, economic and political decolonization o f the nation was based on a culmination o f extreme colonial marginalization.