Bolivia: The Bolivian Red Cross asks that all respect the work of its volunteers

As a result of the tense situation throughout the country, with the city of La Paz being at the heart of the conflicts, the Bolivian Red Cross's National Directorate called upon all protesting groups and governmental organisations to respect the work of their volunteers and, in addition, to facilitate the passage of Red Cross ambulances in order to allow them to provide first aid relief to all those affected by the confrontations. The National Society stated that all its personnel and methods of transportation would be clearly identified by the Red Cross emblem and that their function would be to provide neutral, impartial and independent aid.

According to the Bolivian Red Cross's President, Abel Peña y Lillo, the Red Cross and Red Crescent emblems are the foundation of all humanitarian work: "they protect both victims and those that help them". The Red Cross emblem is protected by agreements and international treaties and in Bolivia by Law number 2390, passed the 23rd May 2002, which stipulates its use and protection, "drawing up sufficient prerogatives to protect it as a neutral and impartial symbol of unity and hope, if we know how to use and respect it", he added.

"The Red Cross emblem at both local and international levels, whether it be in times of peace or war, is the visible manifestation bestowed by the Geneva Convention for the protection, especially in times of war, of all combatants, Red Cross personnel and health services and transportation. This should in turn provoke respect and abstinence in the combatants", concluded the President.