Protest #2 Forebears of democracy 20-03-12

This was my second day shooting protests in Bolivia, this time of a group of people who had been exiled, tortured or imprisoned during the military dictatorships of the 1964-1982 period–or who had been the family member of someone who had suffered.

Many of these people were now at retirement age, and had been promised a type of pension by the current Evo Morales government. When it came time to collect, however, many found that they were deemed ineligible because they lacked the correct type of documentation to prove their claim. It seems that the dictatorships of old didn’t fill out and provide the right paperwork when torturing them or disappearing their children, and so now the government doesn’t believe their stories. Such is the case with one man I photographed here, who received only his son’s body when the regime killed him illegally.

Lacking such paperwork, they resort to handmade lists of friends and events, photocopies of old newspapers, and just plain sitting in front of the Ministry of Justice until someone came out to dialogue. The last I knew, they had been in front of the Ministry for over two months, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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