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更新时间:2006/10/19
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Demonstrations in Bolivia
玻利维亚罢工大游行

In Bolivia, life is slowly returning to normal after almost a month of demonstrations. Thousands of mainly indigenous people -- from poor peasant farmers to miners have been demanding nationalisation of the country’s gas industry and calling for constitutional reform. The protesters are angry at what they see as the exploitation of Bolivia natural resources by foreign companies and governments. There's a long history of the country's rich natural resources being exploited by foreigners with little financial reward for the population, 60 per cent of whom are of indigenous origin. Many now hope the new president, Eduardo Rodriguez, may find a solution to the country's problems. Rebecca Hampson has been visiting La Paz and witnessed the protests.

"Put your hands over your ears!" shouted the boy in the hotel. A gang of miners was marching past the front door letting off sticks of dynamite as they went. A few minutes later the sting of police tear gas seeped under the door frame. That was three and a half weeks ago, then no one imagined that the protests and gradual shutting down of the country would last this long.

"It'll all calm down in a few days" people kept telling us. But we decided to avoid any further trouble and escaped, on what turned out to be one of the last buses, to Sorata, a small town in the beautiful Cordillera Real mountains.  Two weeks later the whole country had been paralysed by road blocks, and the only way we could get back to La Paz was to join a convoy of protestors.  Arrangements were made the night before with an official from the local Aymara -- the largest indigenous group in Bolivia. "You'll need to disguise yourselves with scarves and hats so that our brothers at the road blockades don't question you" he told us." and be here in the square at 4.30 in the morning". I had no idea how I, with my rosy complexion and short hair, could be mistaken for an Aymara woman with their bowler hats, long plaits and bright skirts with padded hips! But it was an offer we gratefully accepted.

Next morning we were eventually bundled into the back of a crowded bus. The few words of Aymara we'd picked up went down very well with our fellow passengers and the journey passed in jovial -- Spanish conversation. Eduardo, a high school teacher, explained how the local council leader had designated representatives from every organisation -- schools, hospitals, farms, tour agencies etc -- to go to La Paz to march. There was a long list of names, and anyone extra trying to sneak onto the buses would be kicked off. This list might also be checked at any of the numerous blockades between Sorata and La Paz. Our presence on the bus put everyone's integrity as dedicated protestors at risk so the warm welcome we received showed real generosity. Eduardo and his friends were very keen to start marching. "It's the only way to get the government to listen to us" they all said. They had two main demands -- first: nationalisation of Bolivia's oils and gas reserves "so that we can keep the revenue ourselves to improve health, education and reduce poverty". Second: a change in the constitution "to give equal rights and opportunities to us -- Bolivia's indigenous people." 

Halfway through the journey the bus stopped and everyone, except us, got out to have a rest and eat. An exhausted looking young couple with a baby boarded the bus. They were teachers from an isolated village and had been nominated to join the protests. They'd waited 4 days for transport and had finally walked the whole previous day to catch a bus. "we just don't want to go" said the mother, leaving us to mind her baby while she went to buy some food.

But they were being fined 50 Bolivianos each for every day they were not on a protest march and they'd already lost 400 Bolivianos -- at around 50 US dollars, that's more than a month's salary for many in this country. They'd also have to pay for accommodation and find their own way home -- once they had permission from their local official. It seemed not everyone shared the same level of enthusiasm for joining in the protests.

When we arrived in La Paz, there was still the boom of dynamite and stench of tear gas. The protestors were tired, the citizens of La Paz were tired, the markets nearly empty, it's been almost impossible to buy bread, prices have rocketed - the owner of our regular restaurant, one of the few to remain open, has been paying more than four times the usual for bottled gas, the streets are devoid of traffic, putrid rubbish is piling up at the road side. But through all this shared hardship and suffering, it seems the huge gulf in understanding between rich and poor, remains. As miners filed through the main street again on Friday morning and observed a minute's silence in respect for their colleague killed near the acapital the previous day, a neatly coifferred pale-skinned woman angrily said "They're still protesting then!" "They don't understand what we're struggling for" said the tiny old Quechua woman I'd been chatting to. The lives of these women are as different as the immaculate gardens of Zona Sur, the most wealthy suburb of La Paz, and the sprawling slums of El Alto, the township which perches high above the city. The new president will have more on his agenda than calling elections and deciding the future of Bolivia's natural resources. Overcoming the shocking inequality of life in this poorest country in South America in the most serious challenge, and it seems, the only way to ensure a peaceful future.

参考译文:

在经历了一个多月的游行以后,玻利维亚的生活又恢复了平静。以本土人为主的上千人组成的队伍——从穷困的农民到矿工,都来游行,要求国家的天然气工业国有化,同时要求进行宪法改革。抗议者对于目前这种本国自然资源被国外的公司和政府开采的情况十分不满。玻利维亚的自然资源被外国公司开采已经有相当长的历史了,这样的采集并没有给玻利维亚带来什么利益,而开采者中有六成都是玻利维亚后裔。很多人期望新总统爱德华多·罗德里格斯能够设法解决这些问题。雷贝卡·汉姆森正在访问玻利维亚,并亲眼目睹了这个情况。

“把手举起来,放到头上!”酒店里一个男孩喊道。一伙矿工正游行经过该酒店的前门,同时留下了一些炸药。几分钟以后,警察使用的催泪瓦斯的气味从门缝中渗出。这是三个多星期以前发生的事情。那时,没有人会想到这次的游行和全国的罢工会持续这么久。

“过几天就平静下来了”人们总是这样告诉我们。但是我们为了避免更多的麻烦,还是决定搭乘很罕见的一班公交车,到了科缔利尔·雷亚尔山区的一个美丽的小城——索拉塔。两个星期以后,整个国家都处于瘫痪状态,道路被封堵。回到拉巴斯的唯一的途径就是搭乘一辆游行护送车。我们前一天晚上就同一个艾马拉人官员商量好了,这是玻利维亚最大的一个当地组织。“你需要用围巾和帽子把自己装扮成我们的兄弟,这样路边那些我们的封锁人员才不会质问你。明天早晨四点,在这个广场集合。”我怎么也不明白,拥有红润的肤色和短发的我,怎么可能简单地经过投手帽,长辫子和打着补丁的浅色裙子的装扮,就被当成是艾马拉女人了呢。但是我们还是欣然接受了这个主意。

第二天早上我们终于挤上了一辆拥挤的汽车。用仅会的几句艾马拉语言同其他的乘客交谈,而整个交谈是用艾马拉语和西班牙语穿插进行的。一个名字叫埃杜阿多的中学教师向我们解释了地方游行班子是怎样从学校、医院、农场、旅行社等地方选取代表去阿巴斯参加这次游行的。有很多很多的人都想要参加这次游行,除了我们车上的这些人以外的其他人都被淘汰了。我们车上这些游行者的名单还会被索拉塔和拉巴斯之间的封锁站检查。所以我们出现在车上就会让这些虔诚的游行者承担一定的风险,但是他们还是对我们很热情,这就说明这种热情是真心的。爱德华多和他的朋友们非常积极地参与这次游行,他们说:“这是我们让政府听我们的话的唯一途径。”他们的主要要求有两个:第一,玻利维亚的石油和天然气国有化,这样国家才能有收入来改善教育,卫生同时改善贫困状态。第二,宪法改革,来给予我们玻利维亚本土人同等的权利和机会。

中途停车了,大家纷纷下去休息一下或者吃点东西,只有我们没有下去。一对看上去很累的年轻夫妇抱着孩子上了车。他们是一个偏僻的小村庄的教师,被提名参加这次的游行。他们等车等了四天,一直步行,终于在今天乘上了一辆车。“我们并不想去游行”这位母亲边说话边下了车,让我们帮她看一下孩子,他们去买点东西吃。

但是由于他们没有参加游行队伍,已经被处以每天五十玻利维亚元的罚款。目前为止,罚款的总额已经是400玻利维亚元——大约是50美元,这个数目对于这个国家来说,已经超过了很多人每月的工资。此外,他们还要自己承担住宿费和交通费——如果地方官员同意他们回去的话。看来不是每个人都对参加抗议游行一事有着相同的激情。

当我们到达阿巴斯以后炸弹爆炸事件和使用催泪瓦斯事件还是随处可见。游行者们都累了,拉巴斯的居民也累了,市场已经空空如也,几乎不可能买到面包了,物价也疯涨起来。为数不多的几家餐馆中的一家的老板说,他的进货价格已经增长了四倍。路上没有了车辆,取而代之的是堆积如山的垃圾。但是即使大家同样面临着这样的痛苦和困难,似乎富人和穷人之间仍然无法相互理解。当游行者于星期五再次经过主街道时,他们看见了大家在为前一天死去的矿工默哀一分钟。一个发型很整齐的脸色苍白的老妇人气愤地说:“他们居然还在游行!”同我聊过天的一个盖丘亚族妇女说:“他们根本不了解我们游行的目的是什么。”这两个人的命运截然不同,好像一个居住在完美的Zona Sur公园——阿巴斯最富有的地区,而另一个生活在乱七八糟的El Alto贫民窟中。新总统将会用大量的时间号召大家投票,决定玻利维亚的自然资源的未来发展。在这种严峻的考验下,南美最穷困的国家克服这种惊人的不平等,这似乎才是保障一个和平的未来的唯一途径。

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