Bolivian UU continues fight for justice

By UUA International Resources

Vigilia Apoyo Olga
Olga Flores - a Unitarian Universalist from La Paz, Bolivia - is continuing her leadership in the struggle to have Bolivian Army records of human rights abuses made public. Of central concern is the implementation of court orders allowing special prosecutor Milton Mendoza access to records of "disappearances" during the Garcia Meza dictatorship.

Last May, Olga and three other Bolivians joined together in a Hunger Strike to push the Bolivian military's hand. Last Thursday they began another hunger strike - though they have now halted it and are focusing their attention instead on the Bolivian Supreme Court of Justice.

The UUA will join with the International Convocation of UU Women, the UU Partner Church Council, the UU Women's Federation and the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists in supporting Olga and her partners in this courageous work.

For more background, see the story published by the Andean Information Network about this continuing struggle for justice:

Armed Forces leadership informed the Attorney General’s team upon their arrival at headquarters that “the institution had already turned pertinent documentation over to the Judicial Branch and will continue to do so through appropriate channels.” Team member Milton Mendoza called the decision “absurd.” These diversionary tactics represent yet another chapter of the Bolivian military’s consistent strategy to block investigation and prosecution for human rights violations in civilian courts, although they are bound by Bolivian and international law to do so. Historically, Bolivia’s armed forces have only provided limited information for the “Black October” case against ex-president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, ex-military commanders and his cabinet. In spite of affirmations to the contrary, the military have refused to testify or provide information in all other cases, citing a variety of excuses.
And, remember Olga and her compatriots as their brave struggle continues.

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