Not Even Carnival in Bolivia Is Free of State Intervention

Sucre, Bolivia (Canal) – In Santa Cruz, Bolivia, Carnival is celebrated in February. However, in October, just months before the big Cruceño party, the carnival-planning team dismissed the “Queen of Carnival,” Valeria Saucedo, alleging that she didn’t complete the necessary requirements to be queen.

Shortly after, the mayor of Santa Cruz intervened in the matter and decided to put himself in charge of party planning, in tandem with the Association of Cruceña Carnival Groups (ACCC).

Due in large part to the support from the Santa Cruz community, Saucedo returned as queen, and the party planning appeared back on track.

But there was one problem: state intervention.

Days after the inauguration of various public projects under the mayor’s direction, we saw Saucedo standing side by side with City Council President Angélica Sosa and Mayor Percy Fernández.

The queen mentioned to the media that, when called upon, she would be present at all activities, carnival related or not.

She later went on to praise the mayor time and again. Did she really feel that the mayor deserved praise? Or was she praising the mayor simply as a condition to return to her place at the throne?

No matter how you look at it, the mayor intervened and things have become tense. It’s irritating enough to see the mayor impose laws that make life difficult for us, but now he’s involving himself in planning parties. And not just any party, but the most anticipated party of the year in Santa Cruz.

What’s next? Will he want to organize New Years Eve parties and “sweet 16” birthday parties too? I can already see it: “State Business of Parties and Animation, in conjunction with Mayor Fernández, the puppet, and City Council President Sosa, the magician.”

In past administrations, mayors repeatedly created and terminated projects in order to address the poor quality of previous government initiatives. And now, they will do what they want with Carnival. Perhaps they will decide to intervene in more things.

The worst is that, like children, our society continues to request state intervention in our daily problems.

Image Source: Studios, Flickr, Creative Coomons Bolivia Unidos 07

Image Source: Studios, Flickr, Creative Coomons
Bolivia Unidos 07

Translated by Scott Myers.

 Prepared by Ricardo Cardona López for The Canal, PanAm Post.