A month of celebrations to mark the anniversary of the first Bolivian uprising against the Spaniards climaxed in the capital Le Paz, on Tuesday (15 July) and Wednesday( 16 July).
TGV AND PAN ACROSS Crowd gathering in Murillo square. (3 shots)
SV Parade through streets.
SV Members of American school orchestra.
GV Statue of Virgin Del Carman (patron saint) carried from cathedral
SV Religious procession following statue and CU of President Banzer. (2 shots)
SV Municipal band. (3 shots))
SV Civilians parade.
SV Coyas Indians marching.
SV Coyas carrying flag PAN UP TO President and members of government on balcony of Government House. (2 shots)
SV Torchlight procession and fireworks display. (4 shots)
Initials VS 15.05 VL 16.05
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Background: A month of celebrations to mark the anniversary of the first Bolivian uprising against the Spaniards climaxed in the capital Le Paz, on Tuesday (15 July) and Wednesday( 16 July).
The celebrations commemorate Pedro Murillo's unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the country's Spanish rulers in the early 19th century and began on 1 July.
But the highlights came with a mass parade through Murillo square, the traditional procession of the status of the Virgin Del Carmen, a huge torchlight march and a fireworks display.
President Hugo Banzer attended all festivities. His military government has now been in power for four years, a long time for a country that has had 187 abrupt changes of government in 150 years of independence.
Independence was achieved some 15 years after the hero of the celebration -- pedro Murillo -- had been executed by the spaniards, but he is still remembered and honoured as the man who founded Bolivia's freedom.
The statue of Virgin Del Carmen is also treated with due reverence..... as an early political di???senter and activist. The statue was presented to the people of Bolivia -- while it was still under Spanish rule -- by King Carlos V of spain.
Pedro Murillo and his followers were the first to start the tradition of carrying it from the cathedral through the streets of La Paz, and when Murillo was arrested for rebellion against the King, the statue was also arrested...tried....and sent to prison. It was released soon after, however, no doubt for good behaviour.
SYNOPSIS: Throughout Bolivia this month, people have been commemorating the anniversary of the first Bolivian uprising against the Spanish, early last century. In La Paz, on Tuesday and Wednesday, the festival's highlights were staged. A parade of thousands from Murillo Square -- named after the man who led that first unsuccessful rebellion, Pedro Murillo -- was accompanied buy members of the La Paz American School orchestra. Everyone joins in the display of nation pride.
The procession of the status of the Virgin Del Carmen.... a time-honoured part of the proceedings. The statue is a much-loved symbol of Bolivia's struggle. President Hugo Banzer was among the processions members. He's been in office now for four years.... quite a time in Bolivia's history of rapid changes of government since independence one hundred and fifty years ago this year.
These are Coyas Indians, members of the Aymara and Quechuas tribes. Indians form three-fifths of Bolivia's total population...but are almost unrepresented in the country's government. But there are signs that Mr. Banzor's administration is changing its policies, aware of potential Indian strength.
The celebrations in honour of Murillo -- Bolivia's first freedom-fighter -- ended on Wednesday night with a torchlight parade through La Paz....and a spectacular fireworks display. It was on this day in 1809 that Murillo began his historic revolt.