June 24, 1967, entered the memory of the Bolivian people and of the entire world as one of the cruelest episodes in history. At about 5 in the morning the sound of sirens announced the beginning of the bloodiest massacre, while the miners and their families where still celebrating around the traditional Saint John bonfires. The Mineworkers Trade Union Federation of Bolivia (FSTMB) had called for a National Enlarged meeting in the miners' town of Llallagua SXX. The Military Junta had hid soldiers in cargo trains. The taking over of the miners' radio stations and the San Juan festival by the Army meant that there was no time for the miners' proletarian vanguard to react when the military boot massacred workers, women, old people and children without mercy.
This is just one more example of the cowardly behaviour of US imperialism and its local stooges, which act as a fig-leaf to capitalist policies. This brutal attack took the lives of more than twenty workers, amongst them one of the most outstanding miners' leaders, Rosendo Garcia Maismann. But these actions did not manage to shut up this militant people; on the contrary, the FSTMB issued a call for a state of emergency to all other miners' districts which allowed the miners to organize in the underground, facing persecution, arrests and jail sentences.
These events are one of the reasons, together with their ideology and principles, that Bolivian history considers mine workers as the vanguard of the Bolivian people. This is why today, mine workers pay tribute to our comrades who fell in this brutal massacre by making a promise to continue the steadfast struggle in defence of the highest principles of the nation, against the Santa Cruz oligarchy, regional governors, "Civic Committees", members of the Assembly or any politician which attempts to go against the interests of the people. We will be there with our raised fist and putting our chest in the defence of our beloved Bolivia.
La Paz, June 24, 2007
Mineworkers Trade Union Federation of Bolivia (FSTMB)
See also the original in Spanish.