8 Handicapped Activists Released From Jail
Posted: Law & Justiceon Feb 26 |
The eight handicapped activists that were arrested in Thursday’s clash with police have been released from prison after one of them suffered epileptic seizures during a hearing. The activists and their families returned to their vigil on the corner of Plaza Murillo where they are surrounded by police officers. They are demanding a monthly payment from the government of Bs. 5,000 where they currently only receive Bs. 1,000. President Morales has refused to speak with the activists and has publicly dismissed them. The eight released activists are still facing criminal charges of attacking police officers and the government is asking for a Bs. 10,000 guarantee to be made for each of them in case they flee further legal proceedings. In addition they are being asked to repay damages of Bs. 4,350 for damaging a police vehicle.
Bolivia’s Minister of the Economy and Public Finance, Luis Arce Catacora, discarded the idea of a payment of anything greater than Bs. 1,000 per month to handicapped people and suggested that these people should receive training to get jobs. “We cannot achieve this payment of Bs. 5,000. We have emergencies and natural disasters to deal with, then we have social programs that are already under way and we cannot discontinue them. In sum, it would be a huge blow to the Treasury.” The total annual payments that the disabled marchers are demanding would amount to roughly 2.9 million dollars per year. Bolivia has a historic ten billion US dollars of international reserves and is spending over four hundred million to build a highly unpopular highway through the Isiboro Securé National Park in the Amazon rainforest despite the recent passing of a law preventing its construction. The money being spent on the highway would be more than enough to meet the disabled peoples’ demands for over one hundred years.