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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-10 05:12 PM
Original message
Charges filed in alleged plot to overthrow Bolivian President Morales
Source: Associated Press

Charges filed in alleged plot to overthrow Bolivian President Morales
By Associated Press
4:49 p.m. EST, December 18, 2010

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) Bolivia's chief prosecutor has filed charges including terrorism and sedition against 39 people accused in an alleged armed conspiracy against President Evo Morales.

The charges stem from a 2009 raid at a hotel in the city of Santa Cruz in which police killed three alleged mercenaries, including a Bolivian-born veteran of Croatia's independence war.

Morales said at the time that the men were plotting his assassination.

Most of the accused have fled Bolivia. They say the charges are a politically motivated attempt to silence Morales' opponents.

Read more:
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-10 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
1. Branko Marinkovic proclaims his innocence from the outside (google translation)
Branko Marinkovic proclaims his innocence from the outside
Updated at 04:40

The former chairman of the Committee for Santa Cruz Branko Marinkovic communicated through a video conference with the PAT television network to proclaim his innocence in this case and ensure that we never met the late Eduardo Rzsa Flores. "I am pursued by the Bolivian government and out of my beloved Bolivia, because in my country, my life is in danger, I have no guarantees of a fair trial and have denied me my constitutional rights."

The businessman said he will wait for clarification of "the murder of the hotel Las Americas so that we can from that point to a fair and impartial investigation and carried out by the judge is appropriate."

He lamented the situation where is Juan Alberto Kudelka Zalles, currently detained in the prison of San Pedro, who said: "He was a person of my confidence. When did campaigns, which were many and with continuous effort, we took to the streets "to promote the Yes to autonomy statute of Santa Cruz. "If he was involved or not is an issue that should answer it, but no way I had something to do with it and John himself says so."

He admitted having given money, but for campaigns, not for anything else. "That's what needs to be very clear. I regret that he's being used and is in jail. For me, remains a friend of mine. "


Bolivian political cartoon of the Bolivian newspaper from which I took this article.

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ChemDork Donating Member (15 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-10 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Any indication that Bolivian-born Gusanos are setting up shop in Miami?
I understand that the Venezuelans and the Hondurans are well established already.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-10 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. One of those scumballs lives there now, a former Vice-President to a US-approved
(James Carville's group advised the campaign of the US-educated President, Goni, along with Bob Schrumm, etc.) President who originally didn't endear himself to voters when they learned he had an AMERICAN accent in his Spanish language. He went ahead to destroy 67 human lives instantly and some who lived on, in mutillated states, (like huge non-healing, paralyzing holes in their backs which claimed their lives MONTHS after the shooting) before the people rose against him and he fled, along with his dirty vice-president to the U.S.
Sixty-Seven Killed, More Than 400 Injured During Popular Protests in 2003

September 26, 2007, New York, NY - Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) announced that it, along with other human rights lawyers, has filed two lawsuits charging former Bolivian President Gonzalo Daniel Snchez de Lozada Snchez Bustamante and former Bolivian Minister of Defense Jose Carlos Snchez Berzan for their roles in the killing of civilians during popular protests against the Bolivian government in September and October 2003.

The suits, which seek compensatory and punitive damages under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) and the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) charge Snchez de Lozada and Snchez Berzan with extrajudicial killings and crimes against humanity for their roles in the massacre of unarmed civilians, including children. In September and October 2003, Snchez de Lozada and Snchez Berzan ordered Bolivian security forces to use deadly force, including the use of high-powered rifles and machine guns, to suppress popular civilian protests against government policies.

In all, forces under their leadership killed 67 men, women, and children and injured more than 400, almost all from indigenous Aymara communities, during those two months.

Each of the ten plaintiffs, who are Aymara natives of Bolivia, are survivors of individuals who were killed by forces under Snchez de Lozada's and Snchez Berzan's command. The ten plaintiffs include among them: Eloy Rojas Mamani and Etelvina Ramos Mamani, whose eight-year-old daughter was killed in her mother's bedroom when a single shot was fired through the window; Teofilo Baltazar Cerro, whose pregnant wife was killed after a bullet was fired through the wall of a house, killing her and her unborn child; Felicidad Rosa Huanca Quispe, whose sixty-nine-year-old father was shot and killed along a roadside; and Gonzalo Mamani Aguilar, whose father and uncle were shot and killed while hiding to avoid gunfire.

On October 17, 2003, both Snchez de Lozada and Snchez Berzan fled to the United States. Snchez de Lozada now lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland; Snchez Berzan now resides in Miami, Florida. Two separate cases were filedone in U.S. federal court in the District of Maryland against Snchez de Lozada and the other in the Southern District of Florida against Snchez Berzanwith the same plaintiffs and charges of human rights violations in each.
More: /

Miami resident, Carlos Snchez Berzan, (a.k.a. "Chulupi", some kind of andean cockroach)
known to refer to native Bolivian citizens publicly as "####ing Indians."

Bolivian blood Goni spilled being swept away

"Goni, either you leave or we kill you."

As for the gusanos, I don't know anything about the Hondurans, yet, but I DO know Miami gusana Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen did a one-woman stampede to Tegucigalpa to throw her meaty little arms around the illegal coup President Roberto Micheletti as soon as "humanly" possible after the violent kidnapping of the elected President Zelaya.

As for the Venezuelans, they have bonded tightly with the "exile" gusanos, even throwing a joint parade during early Bush years, on the very day the entire rest of the world was conducting massive anti-war marches to protest the impending inavasion and destruction of Iraq. In THEIR Miami parade, their two guests of honor were Carlos Fernandez, the chamber of commerce President who had been a huge part of both the coup, and the oil industry's work lockout of their workers, along with the US-paid union leader, Carlos Ortega, also a big figure in both dirty assaults on the Venezuelan President, and the Venezuelan people.

Dirty US-paid union boss, Carlos Ortega, white shirt
Carlos Fernandez, dirty big business leader, to his right
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me b zola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-10 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Thankfully it seems that most of the Bolivian people see through the attempts to destabilize their
government. If that toon is any indication, the people will fight against US intervention. Ah, I so want to move to Latin America. If humanity is to be saved on this planet, it will happen in Latin America.
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molly77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #4
18. me b zola
I agree with you. Latin America is happening. Did you see South of the Border? Several presidents were interviewed...very very impressive people.
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a la izquierda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-10 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
14. Santa Cruz is extremely racist.
I watched a documentary called Cocalero, about Morales's rise to power. Morales campaigned in Santa Cruz and basically, the attitude of people there was "get outta here, you fucking Indian."
Apparently the US doesn't have a monopoly on ignorant, racist assholes.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 07:44 AM
Response to Reply #14
20. Native Bolivians were NOT allowed to walk along on the sidewalks until 1952,
after there was a revolution. At that time they also gained the ability to vote.

They were allowed to walk across the sidewalk to enter stores, but not to stand on them, or walk along them.

This was only 58 years ago, I think. It really doesn't seem possible.

Here's an article I looked up to remind DU'ers of the racism shown to Bolivia's first citizens only a couple of years ago (not counting, of course, the filthy slaughter by machine guns mounted on truck flatbeds in Pando to murder them as they tried to cross a creek, on September 19th, also a couple of years ago):
BOLIVIA: Local Indigenous Leaders Beaten and Publicly Humiliated
Thursday, 29 de May de 2008
By Franz Chvez

LA PAZ, May 27 (IPS) - Bolivia may have its first-ever indigenous president, but racism is alive and well in this country, as demonstrated by the public humiliation of a group of around 50 indigenous mayors, town councillors and community leaders in the south-central city of Sucre.

The incident, which shook the country but received little attention from the international press, occurred on Saturday, when President Evo Morales, an Aymara Indian, was to appear in a public ceremony in Sucre to deliver 50 ambulances for rural communities and announce funding for municipal projects. But in the early hours of Saturday morning, organised groups opposed to Morales began to surround the stadium where he was to appear a few hours later. Confronting the police and soldiers with sticks, stones and dynamite, they managed to occupy the stadium.

The president cancelled his visit, and the security forces were withdrawn, to avoid violent clashes and bloodshed. But violent elements of the Interinstitutional Committee, a conservative pro-autonomy, anti-Morales civic group that is backed by the local university and other bodies, continued to harass and beat supporters of the governing Movement to Socialism (MAS) and anyone who appeared to belong to one of the countrys indigenous communities.

A mob of armed civilians from Sucre, partially made up of university students, then surrounded several dozen indigenous Morales supporters, including local authorities who had come from other regions to attend the ceremony and were unable to leave the city after the event was called off.

The terrified indigenous people, who had sought refuge in a poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of Sucre, were stripped of their few belongings, including money, identity documents and watches, and forced to walk seven kilometres to the House of Liberty, a symbol of the end of colonial rule in Bolivia, which was declared there on Aug. 6, 1825. In the citys main square in front of the building, they were forced to kneel, shirtless, and apologise for coming to Sucre. They were also made to chant insults to Morales like "Die Evo!"


Weve Got to Kill These Indians

On May 24, Sucre once again exploded in racist violence. During Independence Day celebrations, groups associated with the Inter- Institutional Committee detained, robbed, and beat with sticks several dozen indigenous peasants, including the mayor of a rural municipality, who had come to the city to attend an event planned by MAS. The victims were marched around Sucres plaza half-naked, holding the flag of Chuquisaca, in front of the press and hundreds of spectators and were then forced to get on their knees and beg for forgiveness for supporting Morales. They then watched in shock as their ponchos and indigenous flags were burned amid shouts of Dirty Indians, Long live the capital and Weve got to kill these Indians. /


Page last updated at 17:09 GMT, Thursday, 21 May 2009 18:09 UK
Colonial scars run deep in Bolivia

At a local Quechua language radio station, Marianela Paco Duran, one of their journalists has just come off air.

She was attacked as she covered last year's Independence Day celebrations, along with other Indians who were beaten and stripped as they tried to march to Sucre's main square. They had been trying to demonstrate their support for President Morales' constitutional reforms, which give Indians many rights and which recognise their culture.

Merianela Duran still weeps as she recalls the humiliation inflicted on her people by those she considers colonialists.

"They said to us: 'Go back to your pigs, to the countryside and your cows.' We must never let them humiliate us like that again. It is still in their psychology. They behaved as if there were defending their own, as it if was their right," she said.

Bolivia, like many Andean countries, is struggling to address the imbalance at the heart of its society; here a minority seems unable to accept that the majority Indians are equal.


Autonomous" fascism in Bolivia

Aporrea reports:
Last Saturday, far-right groups attacked, punched and battered a group of peasants who had come to a stadium in the city of Sucre, where president Evo Morales was to deliver 50 ambulances and several thousand homes to local residents. About 20 Quechua peasants were humiliated and forced to march semi-naked toward the central square of Sucre, where they were forced to kneel and chant slogans against President Morales. These violent events left 27 wounded, according to local authorities.
Aporrea calls Sucre "the kingdom of the Ku Klux Klan in Bolivia"; a somewhat confusing take, since the ringleaders of this violence are not white but mestizo. It is difficult to tell them apart from their victims just by looking; I could only tell who was who by who was standing and who was kneeling; who was yelling triumphantly, and who was silent and miserable; who wore a shirt, and who did not. That's not a whole lot of outward difference. And yet these mestizos identify more with their white ancestors than their indigenous ones, no matter how much their own appearance says otherwise. In Bolivia, it seems, your socioeconomic status is directly dependent on how much European blood you have. Which explains why the local white oligarchy hates the president so; he's a full-blooded indigenous. In their eyes, he's not a popular, elected leader; he's just a dirty Injun.

Here's Nick Buxton's take, from Bolivia Rising:
Whilst in Lima, I talked to Wilmer Flores, a MAS deputy from the Sucre region who recounted how he had been chased from the public square and cornered by a group of students who stamped on him, beat him, shouting "Kill the Indian. Let's kill them all one by one." It was as one of them started with broken glass to try and scratch his eyes out that a policeman happened to pass and the group escaped. His attempts to find his potential murderers have met a brick wall of complicity and evasion from all Sucre's legal authorities.

Watching TV, I noticed that the brutalised campesinos were kneeling in Sucre's central square, in front of the "Casa de Libertad" (Freedom House) from where Bolivia's independence was declared. It was the same square where Deputy Wilmer Flores was seen, chased and almost lost his life. Similarly in Santa Cruz, various attacks have taken place in its main central square.

The choice of location for the Right's violence is no coincidence. It was here in the heart of Sucre that Bolivia as an exclusive state which marginalized its indigenous majority took shape. It is from key municipal and state buildings in Santa Cruz and Sucre that a coterie of privileged families has led a vitriolic backlash against even the possibility of social justice in Bolivia. In Sucre these families, including Jaime Barron, the Rector of the University and the city mayor Aydee Nava have instigated violence, egged on by a rabid media, in an attempt to stop the constitutional assembly last November.

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ChemDork Donating Member (15 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-10 05:23 PM
Response to Original message
2. Good.
Croatians stirring up trouble in Bolivia? No way!
I am sure Mr. Branco Marinkovic has had little to say about these types of things ...

A danger with immigration is that, along with talent and energy, you are also importing problems that are often intractable.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-10 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
5. Bolivia: 39 people accused of operating as mercenaries against the government (google translate)
Bolivia: 39 people accused of operating as mercenaries against the government
By Raul Burgoa (AFP) - 5 hours ago

LA PAZ - A Bolivian prosecutor charged 39 people, including the soldier who in 1967 captured the legendary guerrilla Ernesto Che Guevara, had maintained links with foreign mercenaries, according to the indictment, planned to kill President Evo Morales and the balkanization of the country.

Of the 39 persons indicted by the prosecutor Marcelo Soza, 18 are fugitives or outside the country and 13 custody and keep the rest for now remains at large.

After twenty months of investigation, Soza 10 and acquitted acquitted of 61 other research, highlighted on Saturday, local media.

Among the defendants are Elod Toas (Hungarian) and Mario Francisco Tadic (Bolivian-Croatian), detained at a jail in La Paz.

One of the main defendants is Paul Costas, brother of the governor of Santa Cruz, Ruben Costas, who is a fierce opponent of President Evo Morales' leftist whose region together with those of Tarija, Beni and Pando, was hit in September 2008 by a wave of violence against the president.

(Put the URL in google translate to read the rest of the article.)
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The abyss Donating Member (930 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-10 05:54 PM
Response to Original message
6. Good to hear. Recommend!
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-10 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Thanks, The abyss, so much! There is so much MORE to this story
than the original article could explain. All of it so creepy.

Very kind of you to add the background here. :hi: Much appreciated.
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The abyss Donating Member (930 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-10 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. For you - my wish of "always"

May we continue to disagree from time to time on a particular facet of the stone.

May we always agree on what a fine specimen this stone beholds.

To you and yours this 21st, 2010, full moon. Keep well - as always!

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me b zola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-10 05:56 PM
Response to Original message
7. I stand with Evo
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One Fly Donating Member (16 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-10 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
8. It's like this.
I believe Evo!
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killbotfactory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-10 07:13 PM
Response to Original message
12. I look forward to seeing how this is spun
And how human rights groups treat this.

My guess is that they will add this to the list of oppressive actions by the Bolivian government.
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Frisbee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-10 07:24 PM
Response to Original message
13. How long until Wikileaks...
exposes US involvement in this (or have they and I just missed it).
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-10 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
15. The background is that the U.S. (Bushwhack) ambassador was funding/organizing white separatist...
...rioters and murderers right out of the U.S. embassy, and also using the DEA and the Peace Corps to collude with rightwing groups and for spying. The white separatists were trying to split off Bolivia's eastern provinces--including Bolivia's main gas reserves--into a separate state. This was in September 2008. Morales threw the U.S. ambassador, and the DEA, out of Bolivia, and meanwhile his leftist allies in other countries rallied for an emergency meeting of UNASUR--a prototype EU-style organization and common market--which had been formalized only a few months before, and they forged unanimous action in support of Morales. (That effort was led by the socialist president of Chile, Michele Batchelet, who even got Colombia to sign on. Batchelet took them on a tour of the Pinochet Museum in Chile!) Brazil and Argentina--Bolivia's chief gas customers--were also important. They made it clear that they would not trade with a separatist state. And several other actions were taken to bolster Morales, including Brazil and Venezuela pledging money to connect Bolivia to the new superhighway coming across the continent, and Batchelet settling a long dispute with Bolivia over Bolivia's access to the sea (--an action that the new rightwing president of Chile has already partially undone).

The white separatist riots were quelled. (They had not only trashed a number of government and NGO buildings, taken over an airport (preventing Morales' plane from landing), sabotaged a gas pipeline and beaten up a lot of Morales supporters, they open fired on 30 unarmed peasants). Bolivia, which had just elected Morales with over 60% of the vote, was thus able to hold a peaceful vote on the new Bolivian constitution, which also was passed by an overwhelming vote.

Did the U.S., frustrated by the unanimity in South America against U.S. interference, then turn to these scumbag assassins and their racist Bolivian allies to get back at Morales for surviving their assault, by killing him, and sending Bolivia into another U.S.-induced crisis?

It sure looks like it. But, as with the anti-Assange operatives in Sweden and so many dirty U.S. operations--the connectors may have disappeared (or been 'disappeared,' if they were low level). In short, it may be hard to prove it, even though it couldn't be clearer that the U.S. wanted Morales out, by whatever means.

The events around Morales throwing the U.S. ambassador out of Bolivia, and UNASUR's swift action, may be among the most important events of this century. Earlier in 2008, the U.S. had tried to instigate a war between Colombia and Ecuador/Venezuela. Latin American reaction was also swift in that case, and efforts led by Hugo Chavez headed off that war. (Lula da Silva called Chavez "the great peacemaker" in that context, and it must have been hard for Chavez because the U.S./Colombia had been especially treacherous toward him in the events leading up to a U.S./Colombian bombing/raid on Ecuador's territory.) Then, eight months later, came the U.S. effort to tear Bolivia to pieces. The unity of Latin America against U.S. interference was forged in these events. It was a truly historic moment. Never before had Latin American countries been able to pull together in this way, to protect each other.
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ChemDork Donating Member (15 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-10 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Indeed...
The Embassy Cables support this, as Amb. Greenlee was on record as having conversations with Mr. XXXXXXXX, who claimed to be worried that Cuban and Venezuelan regulars were going to be employed in suppressing this 'popular' revolt. My guess is that it was either Mr. Costas or Mr. Marinkovic.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-18-10 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Thanks for the info! One of the Peace Corps volunteers, outraged that he was told to spy,
ratted out the U.S. embassy, by disclosing this publicly. And it was Venezuelans and Cubans in Bolivia that Peace Corps volunteers were particularly told to spy on. The Peace Corps volunteer said this at the time. The context, that you have just provided, was missing from that event (the Peace Corps volunteer's public objections) when it occurred--that the spying that the Peace Corps was told to do was directly connected to the planned white separatist insurrection. I wondered what it was connected to, at the time and vaguely thought it might be Venezuelans and Cubans involved in social programs--such as the Cuban health care program--and maybe it was. (Did they think Cuban doctors and Venezuelan literacy teachers were going to take up arms against the white separatists?) (LOL!) I'm sure the U.S. embassy had an interest in keeping Bolivia's poor illiterate and unhealthy, which makes them easier to dominate and rob. But, beyond that, it looks like the U.S. embassy was doing an assessment of forces on behalf of their rich, racist, murderous Bolivian pals. This cable is written to sound as if Mr. XXXXXXXX could be "playing" the U.S. ambassador, and, in any case, that it was Mr. XXXXXXXX who brought up this notion about Venezuelans and Cubans. But we KNOW that the U.S. ambassador had told the Peace Corps to spy on Venezuelans and Cubans in Bolivia!

Thanks for supplying this piece of the puzzle. And I hope and pray that the Bolivian prosecutors are able to pin down what U.S. operatives may have done in both events--the white separatist insurrection and the later assassination plot. Not that I expect there to be any repercussions here. The Obama administration and Daddy Bush pal, Leon Panetta, our new CIA Director, have acted with extraordinary completeness to cover Junior's tracks in Colombia. I imagine they're alert to this one as well.
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 06:37 AM
Response to Original message
19. Great thread, folks...kick
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Tempest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. +1 n/t
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-19-10 10:52 PM
Response to Original message
22. Hmm, I wonder how many CIA operatives were involved.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-20-10 03:39 AM
Response to Original message
23. Bolivia charges dozens in destabilization complot
Bolivia charges dozens in destabilization complot

Submitted by WW4 Report on Mon, 12/20/2010 - 01:14. Bolivian prosecutors brought charges Dec. 19 against 39 people in an alleged plot to assassinate President Evo Morales and launch an armed rebellion last year. The accused include leading opposition politicians and Gary Prado, the ex-general who captured legendary guerilla leader Che Guevara in 1967. The supposed plot was uncovered in April 2009, when national police killed three suspected European mercenaries in the eastern lowland city of Santa Cruz. The accused deny the charges, calling them politically motivated. Most of those charged are already in custody, but 17 are now living outside Bolivia. The most prominent figure among the accused is Branco Marinkovic, a business leader and former head of the opposition Civic Committee of Santa Cruz, who is exiled in the US.

Prosecutors say they have e-mail evidence linking the accused to three European mercenaries killed by police in last April's raid. Two other Europeans were arrested in the raid, and arms and ammunition seized. The killed included Irish national Michael Dwyer and Eduardo Rozsa-Flores, a veteran of the 1990s Balkan Wars with joint Bolivian, Hungarian and Croatian nationality. Rozsa-Flores, alleged to have been the ringleader, said in a video interview that emerged in Hungary after his death that he had been called to Bolivia to form a separatist militia in Santa Cruz.

Branco Marinkovic and other opposition figures have denied any link to Rozsa-Flores. "I am persecuted by the Bolivian government and forced to live outside my beloved Bolivia because in my country my life is in danger. There are no guarantees I would get a fair trial," Marinkovic said from exile in the US.

Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera retorted that Marinkovic should come back to Bolivia to "defend his truth," and suggested his leaving the country amounted to a confession of guilt. He called the plot was "the most serious act of conspiracy against the unity of the country."

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