statement, which evaluates the annual state of the country, the bishops
criticized the government for using force and pressure to implement its
policies and for the lack of respect for human rights. They also
pointed out the contradictions between the statements and actions of
different government officials as reasons for “uncertainty and
confusion” in the country.
“It is dangerous
to think that the new Bolivia is going to be created by ignoring the
basic principles of respect for laws and agreements. Only through
interior change and renewal in each individual will we be able to
reverse this situation of inertia, desperation, slavery and death,” the
bishops stated, in response to the Bolivian government’s announcement
that it would review contracts with foreign businesses in the country
to give more power to the state.
Terrazas, who read the statement, also mentioned the upcoming election
of a Constitutional Assembly, called for by President Morales, in order
to draft a new Bolivian constitution.
encouraged all Bolivians to participate in this initiative, but he
warned this would not be a magic solution to the problems facing the
country, such as poverty.
This was the
first time the bishops have publicly criticized the new government,
coming at a time when President Morales has been in Havana meeting with
Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Fidel Castro.
Bolivian bishops began their annual assembly last weekend with an
urgent call to the new government of Evo Morales to avoid reviving “the
same ways of acting that in the past produced death and suffering.”