Indigenous Bolivians from the National Park and Indigenous Territory Isiboro Secure (TIPNIS) won a major concession from President Evo Morales today.
The President announced he would change the text of a proposed law so it prohibits construction of a controversial government-backed road planned through the TIPNIS. The new text must be approved by the Senate, but appears to signify victory for the hundreds of protestors who walked 350-miles over 66 days from Bolivia’s tropical lowlands to the government seat of La Paz.
Protestors arrived in La Paz Wednesday to a huge outpouring of support and made their way toward the city center. After two tense and bitingly cold nights sleeping outside the president’s offices, protest leaders entered into talks with Morales today. While Morales has moved to meet the marchers’ principle demand that the road not cross the park, there are other key points to be resolved.
Marchers are hopeful that negotiations with the President will be successful, despite their loss of confidence in the government after police tried to block their way and attacked them with tear gas over a month into their journey.