some interesting stuff has been going on down here and i'm not sure how much international coverage it is getting. even the national news is sketch and all over the place... you get a different story and perspective from each newspaper and channel and depending on who you talk to.
A quick look at the coverage in the NYTimes shows this reporting schizm. And details the basics: There are widespread strikes shutting down the major roads of the country. The President resigned on Monday. The Congress refused his resignation today. Protestors still don't think it will work out. And so on.
the common explanation for the strike in los altos, a city near la paz which is blockading most of the major roads into the city, is that a french water company is running the city's water and the citizens want them to leave. (are they french? belgian? ahh, let's just blame the US cause no one likes them anyways. or, wait, can we pin this on chile or peru and somehow get our coast back? bolivia has a history of getting screwed over.) the thing is, most people in la paz didn't even notice the blockades and weren't affected by them. just walking around you could easily forget about it (unless you're a tourist trying to buy a bus ticket to meet your brother in cusco and every company is telling you to wait a few days...)... until sunday, when the president resigned. immediately people gathered in plaza murillo (the main plaza, where the congress and presidential buildings are located... about 2 blocks from my hostel) most people were showing their support for the president, others criticizing him for trying to take the easy way out... he's a pretty popular president (i like him because he speaks slowly and clearly hehe) but he was just frustrated. every political analyst was saying that whoever they made president wouldn't last more than 72 hours. the whole conflict has demonstrated how divided the country is, and congress had a rough couple of days. last night, congress rejected the president's resignation, and carlos mesa is back. i was in plaza murillo for most of the day, with people chanting "carlos, amigo, bolivia esta contigo" (or a version of that, just showing their support). there was only one time when some one started giving a speech about bolivia not being for sale that the person i was talking to was like "it's cool that you're interested in our politics, but you should probably go," so i did.
With luck, her 2am "sneaky" bus will get through the barricades and get her back to Peru, and Cusco. Tomorrow afternoon I am entering the international air system, and hope to see her when I arrive in Cusco sometime the next day.
Otherwise I'll have to improvise something.