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Bolivian Congress postpones debate on controversial law against illegal profits

Bolivian Congress, Bolivian Congress postpones debate on controversial law against illegal profits

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The treatment of the questioned bill against the legitimization of illicit profits in the Bolivian Legislative Assembly was suspended “momentarily” to attend to the doubts and observations of the sectors that reject this norm, and that carry out protests.

The president of the Chamber of Senators, the ruling party’s Andrónico Rodríguez, announced this Tuesday in a press conference that given the “susceptibility” of several sectors to this draft law, “the possibility” will be opened to dialogue and receive the doubts and observations of the law from the industries that require it.

Read also: Check out our coverage on Bolivia

“It is not that the law is wrong as a whole; there are some articles in question that need to be clarified”, said Rodriguez.

Bolivia postpones consideration of controversial law against illegal profits
Bolivia postpones consideration of controversial law against illegal profits

The president of the Senate said that there is already a schedule for the Constitution Commission to go to the nine departments to collect the observations and explain the bill.

For his part, the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Freddy Mamani Laura, pointed out that this “momentary paralysis” is to be able to “reach a consensus” with the social sectors and explain to them that this law is aimed at “the gentlemen who have enriched themselves with millions of millions and who cannot justify these profits.”

THE MARCH

The announcement coincided with a protest of dozens of trade unionists from the city of El Alto, adjacent to La Paz, who marched through the streets of La Paz expressing their rejection of this bill, which this month was approved by the Chamber of Deputies and sent to the Senate for its consideration.

The executive secretary of the trade unions of El Alto, Antonio Siñani, said: “They will want to investigate the merchants and our stalls and they will want to put us in jail or take away our real estate.” For this reason, the merchants mobilized to demand the cancellation of the project or that this sector is excluded from it.

The union members announced other pressure measures such as road blockades if the Bolivian government did not listen to their request.

BACKGROUND

The Bolivian opposition criticized this month that this bill gives “extraordinary powers” to the Financial Investigations Unit (UIF), the Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of Justice and threatened freedom of expression.

Among the observations is the prohibition to evoke privacy, secrecy, or confidentiality when the FIU requests any information, which affects the journalistic guild, which rejected this norm.

The Confederation of Private Businessmen of Bolivia (CEPB) expressed in a statement its “deep concern” for some articles that “affect constitutional rights and guarantees” and that due to the “ambiguity of some articles put in defenselessness the businessmen, citizens, and entrepreneurs who have created their wealth with honesty.”

“The undermining of fundamental rights such as the presumption of innocence, privacy, professional secrecy, freedom of the press, protection of personal data cannot be justified,” says the statement issued last week by the CEPB.

The Chamber of Exporters also expressed its concern that this regulation may violate some rights, such as investigating personal accounts without the need for a court order.

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