NewsThe leader Cesar Apaza is arrested in Bolivia for the attack on...

    The leader Cesar Apaza is arrested in Bolivia for the attack on a conflictive coca leaf market in La Paz

    According to his lawyer, Gualberto Cusi, the arrest occurred in the early hours of this Thursday.

    Cesar Apaza, president of the Self-Defense Committee of the Departmental Association of Coca Producers (Adepcoca), was arrested by the police this Thursday, accused of his alleged responsibility in the burning and attack on a coca growers’ market in La Paz, at the beginning of this month.

    “We want to confirm that in the morning hours, at approximately 03:30, the comrade who is presiding over the Self-Defense Committee (of Adepcoca), Cesar Apaza, would have been arrested,” reported one of his lawyers, Gualberto Cusi, details the press. local.

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    The procedure was carried out in the Villa Fatima area by members of the Bolivian police, who transferred the leader to the offices of the Special Force to Fight Crime (FELCC) in El Alto, confirmed the departmental commander of the Special Fighting Force. Against Crime (FELCC) of La Paz, Rolando Rojas.

    The charges against Apaza are similar to those attributed to Freddy Machicado, arrested last week for the alleged commission of the crimes of public incitement to commit a crime, theft and deterioration of private property.

    The detainee’s sister, Miriam Apaza, said that she had gone to the police headquarters this Thursday to hear from her relative, but received no response. According to her, the leader was arrested when he arrived at the Adepcoca headquarters in Villa Fatima: “They kidnapped him and tortured him. They took it like (If i were) an animal“, denounced the woman, according to La Razon de Bolivia.

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    Why was the market attacked?

    The arrest of the leaders occurs as a result of the violent takeover of a coca market in La Paz, on September 8. The arson attack occurred because, according to recently arrested leaders, the Villa El Carmen establishment was operating “parallel” to that of Adepcoca, in Villa Fatima.

    The problem is that currently there are two factions in Adepcoca: one led by Machicado and backed by Acaza, who is against the functioning of the Villa El Carmen market; and another headed by Arnold Alanes, who defends that building and claims the legitimacy of its leadership.

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    The conflict over who holds the reins of the coca organization dates back to 2015. Although Franklin Gutierrez was elected president of Adepcoca that year, in 2018 the leader was arrested, accused of orchestrating an ambush on the police in Los Yungas.

    His entry into prison caused a new internal election in the organization, which was won by Elena Flores. However, her triumph was not recognized by the followers of Gutierrez, who was still in prison.

    In 2019, after the coup d’etat against Evo Morales, Gutierrez was released and immediately took over as head of Adepcoca, despite the fact that Flores had won the elections.

    The following year, the arrest of Flores – accused of taking over a health center in 2019 – allowed Gutierrez to continue leading the organization until Armin Lluta was elected as his successor. But at the end of 2020, the woman was released from prison and, thanks to a court ruling, she too self-proclaimed head of Adepcoca.

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    In 2021, the Luis Arce government called for a dialogue to settle the conflict and both blocs agreed to go to new elections, but in the end Lluta did not want to participate. However, the election was held and the winner was Arnold Alanes.

    The results provoked the discontent of the Lluta group, who ignored the election and prepared to take the Adepcoca headquarters in the Villa Fatima market. After controlling the building, other elections were held, which left Machicado as the winner.

    Alanes, meanwhile, maintained the leadership of his block and began efforts to open the other market, which was inaugurated in Villa El Carmen, and was attacked earlier this month by the faction led by Machicado.

    Source: RT

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