Leopoldo Fernandez Ferreira (born 22 May 1952) is a Bolivian politician. A member of Social and Democratic Power (PODEMOS) Fernandez was Prefect (Governor) of the northern Bolivian department of Pando from 2006 to 2008.
Fernandez was the first elected Prefect of Pando, an office which had previously been appointed by the President. He won the elections of December 2005. Fernandez survived the August 2008 vote of confidence referendum, though he had over 14,000 votes against his governorship.
Fernandez's government strongly backed autonomy for the department, in alliance with other governors of the eastern "media luna" provinces Santa Cruz, Beni, Tarija. Nationwide referenda on autonomy held on July 2, 2006, were approved in all four departments. A second referendum to approve a statute of autonomy was held by each department in mid-2008, despite being declare illegal by the Natonal Electoral Court in March. Left-wing and pro-Morales social movements boycotted the votes. Pando's referendum, held on June 1, 2008, won 82% approval among those who voted, but 46.5% of the registered electorate did vote, the highest abstention rate in the four departments holding such referenda. Two more Bolivian provinces favour more autonomy, Monsters & Critics, 2 June 2008.
Prefecto Leopoldo Fernandez was arrested on 16 September 2008 on charges of Acts against the state of emergency. Additionally, other charges for "genocide" are expected from Evo Morales' government for allegedly organizing the Porvenir Massacre, an ambush in which 15 peasants were killed and 37 wounded at El Porvenir on 11 September 2008. Landelino Rafael Bandeira Arze was appointed his interim successor by President Evo Morales and assumed office as prefect on 20 September, 2008.
Bolivian autonomy referendums, 2008
Bolivia 9/11: Bodies and Power on a Feudal Frontier by Bret Gustafson, July 14 2009
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