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EVA GOLINGER: BOLIVIA-Newly Declassified Docs Show USAID $97 M Funding to Separatist Projects

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magbana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 07:42 AM
Original message
EVA GOLINGER: BOLIVIA-Newly Declassified Docs Show USAID $97 M Funding to Separatist Projects
TOPIC: US funds $97 Million to destabilize Bolivia
http://groups.google.com/group/Cuba-Inside-Out/t/3cc833...
==============================================================================

== 1 of 1 ==
Date: Wed, May 13 2009 9:44 pm
From: "Karen Lee Wald"


Fwd: US funds $97 Million to destabilize Bolivia


NEWLY DECLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS REVEAL MORE THAN $97 MILLION IN FUNDING FROM USAID TO SEPARATIST PROJECTS IN BOLIVIA

From: Eva Golinger <evagolinger@hotmail.com >

By Eva Golinger
12 May 2009

Recently declassified documents obtained by investigators Jeremy Bigwood and Eva Golinger reveal that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has invested more than $97 million in "decentralization" and "regional autonomy" projects and opposition political parties in Bolivia since 2002. The documents, requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), evidence that USAID in Bolivia was the "first donor to support departmental governments" and "decentralization programs" in the country, proving that the US agency has been one of the principal funders and fomenters of the separatist projects promoted by regional governments in Eastern Bolivia.

DECENTRALIZATION AND SEPARATISM

The documents confirm that USAID has been managing approximately $85 million annually in Bolivia during the past few years, divided amongst programs related to security, democracy, economic growth and human investment. The Democracy Program is focused on a series of priorities, the first outlined as "Decentralized democratic governments: departmental governments and municipalities". One document, classified as "sensitive", explains that this particular program began when USAID established an Office for Transition Initiatives (OTI) en Bolivia during 2004. The OTIs are a division of USAID that function as rapid response teams to political crises in countries strategically important to US interests. The OTI only address political issues, despite USAID's principal mission dedicated to humanitarian aid and development assistance, and they generally have access to large amounts of liquid funds in order to quickly and efficiently achieve their objectives. The OTI operate as intelligence agencies due to their relative secrecy and filtering mechanism that involves large contracts given to US companies to operate temporary offices in nations where OTI requires channeling millions of dollars to political parties and NGOs that work in favor of Washington's agenda. After the failed coup d'etat against President Chvez in April 2002, USAID set up an OTI in Venezuela two months later, in June 2002, with a budget over $10 million for its first two years. Since then, the OTI has filtered more than $50 million through five US entities that set up shop in Caracas subsequently, reaching more than 450 NGOs, political parties and programs that support the opposition to President Chvez.

In the case of Bolivia, the OTI contracted the US company, Casals & Associates, to coordinate a program based on decentralization and autonomy in the region considered the "media luna" (half-moon), where the hard core opposition to President Evo Morales is based, particularly in the province of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Casals & Associates was also charged with conducting a series of training seminars and workshops to strengthen oppositional political parties that were working against then presidential candidate Evo Morales in 2004 and 2005. After Morales was elected president at the end of 2005, OTI directed the majority of its funding and work to the separatist projects that later produced regional referendums on autonomy in Eastern Bolivia. Their principal idea is to divide Bolivia into two separate republics, one governed by an indigenous majority and the other run by European descendents and mestizos that inhabit the areas rich in natural resources, such as gas and water. After 2007, the OTI, which had an additional budget of $13.3 on top of USAID's general Bolivia program funding, was absorbed into USAID/Bolivia's Democracy Program, which since then has been dedicating resources to consolidating the separatist projects.

USAID's work in Bolivia covers almost all sectors of political and economic life, penetrating Bolivian society and attempting to impose a US political and ideological model. The investment in "decentralization" includes all the support and funding needed to conform "autonomous" regions, from departmental planning to regional economic development, financial management, communications strategies, departmental budget structures, and territorial organization designs - all prepared and implemented by USAID representatives and partners in Bolivia. As part of the program titled "Strengthening Democratic Institutions" (SDI), USAID describes its work to "enrich the dialogue on decentralization; improve management of departmental budgetary resources; and promote regional economic development." Through this program, USAID has even created "territorial organization laboratories" to help regional governments implement their autonomy successfully.

In one document dated November 30, 2007, just months before the separatist referendums held in Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando and Tarija during early 2008, the Democratic Initiatives Program of OTI/USAID worked closely with the Prefects (regional governments) to "develop sub-national, de-concentrated" models of government. In those regions, those promoting such "sub-national, de-concentrated" models, or separatism, have made clear that their objective is to achieve a political, economic and territorial division from the national government of Bolivia, so they can manage and benefit solely from the rich resources in their regions. It's no coincidence that the separatist initiatives are all concentrated in areas rich in gas, water and economic power. The multi-million dollar funding from USAID to the separatist projects in Bolivia has encouraged and supported destabilization activities during the past few years, including extreme violence and racism against Indigenous communities, terrorist acts and even assassination attempts against President Morales.

STRENGTHENING POLITICAL PARTIES IN THE OPPOSITION

Another principal priority of USAID in Bolivia as outlined in the declassified documents is the extensive funding and training of oppositional political parties. Through two US entities, the International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI), both considered international branches of the republican and democrat parties in the US that receive their funding from the Department of State and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), USAID has been feeding - with funding and strategic political aide - political groups and leaders from the opposition in Bolivia. During the year 2007, $1.250.000.00 was dedicated to "training for members of political parties on current political and electoral processes, including the constituent assembly and the referendum on autonomy." The principal beneficiaries of this funding have been the opposition political parties Podemos, MNR, MIR and more than 100 politically-oriented NGOs in Bolivia.

INTERVENTION IN ELECTORAL PROCESSES

An additional substantial part of USAID's work in Bolivia has been devoted to intervening in electoral processes during the past few years. This has included forming a network of more than 3,000 "observers", trained by USAID grantee Partners of the Americas, a US corporation that also receives funding from major companies and entities that form part of the military-industrial complex. The creation of "networks" in "civil society" to monitor electoral processes has been a strategy utilized by Washington in countries such as Venezuela, Ecuador and Nicaragua, to later use such apparently "independent" observers in an attempt to discredit and delegitimize elections and denounce fraud when results are not favorable to US interests. In the case of Venezuela, for example, the organization that has implemented this strategy is Smate, a Venezuelan NGO created with funding and strategic support from USAID and NED, that has presented itself in the public opinion as "apolitical" but in reality has been the principal promoter of the recall referendum in 2004 against President Chvez and later the leader in denouncing fraud after every electoral process in Venezuela lost by the opposition, despite that such events have been certified as legitimate and "fraud-free" by international institutions such as the Organization of American States, European Community and the Carter Center. These "networks" function as centers for the opposition during electoral processes to strengthen their position in the public opinion and through the mass media.

PENETRATION IN INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES

USAID's work in Bolivia is not just oriented towards strengthening the opposition to Evo Morales and promoting separatism, but also involves attempts to penetrate and infiltrate indigenous communities, seeking out new actors to promote Washington's agenda that have an image more representative of the Bolivian indigenous majority. One declassified document clearly outlines the necessity to give "more support to USAID and Embassy indigenous interns to build and consolidate a network of graduates who advocate for the US Government in key areas." The document further discusses the need to "strengthen democratic citizenship and local economic development for Bolivia's most vulnerable indigenous groups." Per USAID, "this program shows that no one country or government has a monopoly on helping the indigenous. The program shows that the US is a friend to Bolivia and the indigenous."

The declassified documents in original format and with Spanish translation are available at: www.jeremybigwood.net/BO/2008-USAID

http://www.chavezcode.com /


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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 02:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. I knew it! Go, Eva! I spent hours looking for THIS exactly
and didn't find anything. Even got at far as OTI but what Eva found is OUTSTANDING!

:woohoo:

This is subversion, pure and simple.
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subsuelo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Subverting democracy!
I wonder how much Obama is aware of all this going on...
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
2. This group is an important vehicle for USAID:
An additional substantial part of USAID's work in Bolivia has been devoted to intervening in electoral processes during the past few years. This has included forming a network of more than 3,000 "observers", trained by USAID grantee Partners of the Americas, a US corporation that also receives funding from major companies and entities that form part of the military-industrial complex. The creation of "networks" in "civil society" to monitor electoral processes has been a strategy utilized by Washington in countries such as Venezuela, Ecuador and Nicaragua, to later use such apparently "independent" observers in an attempt to discredit and delegitimize elections and denounce fraud when results are not favorable to US interests.

Might want to put that name away. They popped up for me when I was looking for USAID disbursements in Bolivia. Funneling $$$ through them gives the appearance of distance between USAID and the mendigos on the ground in other countries.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
3. In the 3rd paragraph of Eva Golinger's article, the name Casals & Associates appears.
Here's information on this "US company" contracted by the Office of Transition Initiatives, USAID:
Casals & Associates, Inc., headed by Beatriz Casals, is the sluice trough through which USAID money flows to undermine the Evo Morales government in Bolivia. And funny thingit all goes back to the ceaseless U.S. efforts to destroy the Cuban revolution. Nstor Garca Iturbe explains.

Translation from the Spanish: Machetera

Among the various mechanisms created by the United States government with the objective of trying to topple the government of Bolivia, an important role belongs to the actions developed by USAID in which a wide range of businesses and organizations are used to cloak the killer claw that gives money to take away life.

The strategy that is being employed in Bolivia seeks to divide the existing revolutionary forces within the country while strengthening the right-wing. A policy of regression which was successful in the Reagan era and as we indicated in an article titled Yankee Diplomatic Offensive in Latin America, published in Entorno in July of 2007 is being applied as follows:
Regression will be applied individually. Its application will begin after the successful provocation of a situation where ungovernability has been demonstrated in the country and democracy is in such a crisis, that in order to implement peace, order and security, a humanitarian intervention by the United States armed forces is necessary to ensure the establishment of a democratically legitimate regime.
The strategy to be followed was outlined in a report to the Armed Services Committee of the House of Representatives on July 11, 2007, at a hearing to assess global security. The report was presented by Thomas Fingar, Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Analysis at the Directorate of National Intelligence (DNI), accompanied by John Kringer, the CIAs Intelligence Director, and Robert Cardillo, Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence (DIA).

To perform its work in Bolivia, USAID decided to try to change its facade, as it had in Venezuela, through Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI). DAI was considered to be already burnt out and a new, fresh image, that might instill confidence and couldnt be linked to the subversive activities performed by DAI was necessary.

In the case of Bolivia, it was decided that it would be preferable to use Casals & Associates, Inc. (C&A). This business had been used by various U.S. government agencies, but because it had a Latin name (Casals) it was considered to be more accepted in Bolivia, and some might even consider it a Bolivian enterprise. All this would be beneficial for development activity, which when joined by the $25 million dollars assigned to it, would assure a successful operation.

In summary, Casals & Associates, Inc., has distributed $18.8 million dollars to more than 450 organizations, in its more than three years of operations in Bolivia. The beneficiaries of the USAID largesse have worked to fight the initiatives of the Constituent Assembly, foment separatism in Santa Cruz and Cochabamba, influence indigenous communities and undermine their support for the government of Evo Morales. Some projects have been dedicated to the dissemination of information that might create a negative image among the population of Evo, the countrys situation, and the revolutionary path he has taken.

Its interesting to understand why USAID chose Casals & Associates, Inc. for this work. This firm has around 40 clients, of whom at least 17 are distinctly dependent on the U.S. government. Among these dependents The Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio Mart), the Voice of America and Worldnet Television (TV Mart).

Casals & Associates also works with USAID not only in Bolivia, but with the Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean (Cuba), the Office of Democracy and Governance, as well as the Office of Transition Initiatives (Transition to what? This is the new name for regression.) It works for the International Trade Administration within the Department of Commerce (blockade against Cuba).

Other clients include the Department of Defense, especially the Army and the Marines. The recently created Department of Homeland Security has also contracted its services, in particular for the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration (Cuban exiles).

In case anyone reading the word Cuba or Cuban repeatedly in this article should think that Im being paranoid about Casal & Associates, Inc., keep in mind that the president of this business is Beatriz C. Casals, something which caught my attention, and upon searching for a few details about her I found that she isCUBAN.

I found furthermore that Beatriz is the President of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy, located at the University of Texas (Bush?) where she has presented various research studies, one of them in conjunction with Sergio Daz Brisquets who was born inCUBA and also has worked with Casals & Associates, Inc.

Without going into an analysis of the possible links between Beatriz and Sergio and the Cuban-American mafia in Miami, the terrorist organizations which act against Cuba, or their contacts in Washington with the congressional members Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Lincoln and Mario Daz Balart, we should remember that Casals & Associates Inc. is involved in a good part of the U.S. government efforts to destroy the Cuban revolution.

Here I return to the article I cited earlier, published in Entorno. I believe that the ending can be applied here (without any paranoia whatever).
The principal objective of this plan is the elimination of the ALBA (Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America and the Caribbean) coalition. Every government that falls would be considered a blow against Cuba, its international relations, its possibilities for economic development and the well-being of its people. This is the chimerical Yankee reasoning behind the formula to be applied to try to crush the Cuban people and their revolution.
Nstor Garca Iturbe holds a doctorate in Historical Sciences. He is a member of the Advisory Council and the Scientific Council of the Higher Institute of International Relations in Havana.
~~~~ link ~~~~

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magbana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 06:16 PM
Response to Original message
5. I'm just getting the chance to look into the files . . . slimy bastards
This is from a January 2008 memo (it's the third document from the bottom of Jeremy's list)

So Bolivia doesn't have a monopoly on helping its indigenous?? Bolivia's indigenous belong to the US, too??

magbana

Priority #5
Strengthen democratic citizenship and local economic development for Bolivia's most vulnerable indigenous groups. This program
shows that no one country or government has a monopoly on helping the indigenous. The program shows that the US is a friend t
Bolivia and the indigenous. The design is well advanced. ($" M)
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magbana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-14-09 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
6. This Chemonics Int'l. is a spy nest. They are all over the world
and well entrenched here in DC. I knewe a few people who worked there and I never quite understood what kind of work they do. No wonder. Look at the amount of money they got from USAID. this is from the first document on the list.
magbana

Nombre del Contratado: Chemonics International, Inc
Valor del Contrato: $ 9,266,911.00
Nombre del Proyecto: Actividad unilateral titulada: Fortaleciendo las Instituciones
Democrticas
Principales Actividades: A. Apoyando la consolidacin de la descentralizacin en
Bolivia B. Fortaleciendo la sociedad civil: i. educacin cvica ii. fortaleciendo la
capacidad del lobby iii. fortaleciendo los medios profesionales C. Apoyando la legislatura
i. Estableciendo una unidad de servicios legislativos dentro del Congreso ii.
Codificacin legal
Nombre del
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rabs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
7. Movement afoot to kick USAID out of Bolivia



Read in the Bolivian press the other day that civic organizations that support Evo are forming a movement to collect 300,000 signatures to boot USAID out of the country.

The signatures for USAID's ouster would be presented to Evo for action on his part.

The Eva-Evo combination might prove to be the downfall for USAID. :evilgrin:
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. As as been quoted often, the USAID is used for doing things openly now which the CIA used to do
covertly. It's really about time this underhanded way of working met some obstacles, at long last, instead of operating freely in strengthening internal opposition to democratically elected governments.

It would be appropriate seeing that organization have to put its oversized, extravagant Bolivian headquarters up for sale. They should never have gotten this pushy.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-19-09 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. P.S. You're so right. Eva-Evo could be a winning combination.
Sure hope they will have an easy time rounding up the needed number of signatures. What an outstanding idea.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-20-09 04:18 AM
Response to Original message
10. Bolivia Declassified: USAID Responds to Freedom of Information Act Request
Bolivia Declassified: USAID Responds to Freedom of Information Act Request
Written by Jeremy Bigwood
Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Over the past few years the government of Bolivia has been complaining that various entities of the US government have been meddling in its internal affairs. While this issue is still a point of tension between the two countries, it came to head during September of last year when Bolivia expelled the US Ambassador and the US responded in kind.

One of Bolivias consistent accusations is that the US government has been fueling a separatist movement in its eastern departments. While the mainstream media in the United States has been dismissive of these claims, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has recently released a response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request which appears to support many of them as we shall see below.

While USAID has done some excellent work in developing Bolivias roads and other worthy projects, it clearly also promotes some lesser-known political agendas. One of the more novel of these, according to the documents, is to "counter attacks on the USG (including USAID) from senior levels of the GOB (Government of Bolivia)." This is hardly the work of a development agency.

Regarding the Bolivian government claims that the US government is promoting a autonomous separatist movements in the departments, the documents state "USAID was the first donor to provide support to democratically elected departmental governments" and "The program strengthens Bolivias decentralized democracy and local regional governments" and "furthermore, USAID programs work closely with over 160 municipalities" No wonder the Bolivian government which was democratically-elected feels that it is being undermined.

USAID, the State Department and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) often promote their agendas through local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) some of them created in the first place through US government funding. How much funding? The documents state: "USAID manages about $85 million annually." Its "programs are implemented through different means," especially "via non-governmental organizations." How many NGOs does USAID fund? "The program provides support to a network of about 100 Bolivian NGOs" NGO funding is funneled through several "pass-through" entities, thus making detection of the recipients almost impossible. These "pass-throughs" include: Checchi and Company Consulting, Inc, Chemonics International Inc, Partners of the Americas and the standard bearers of US political culture: the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute.

I can only applaud the USAID FOIA office for releasing these documents - a major step towards needed transparency. I hope that this transparency continues so that the democratically-elected government of Bolivia, its citizens as well as those of the United States - can accurately assess the bilateral relationship for themselves and make any necessary adjustments.

http://upsidedownworld.org/main/content/view/1866/1/
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-20-09 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Isn't the Prefect of Santa Cruz directly named as a co-conspirator
Edited on Wed May-20-09 01:51 PM by EFerrari
in the last plot against Morales and the Bolivian government? This is the most direct link I can find:


In one document dated November 30, 2007, just months before the separatist referendums held in Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando and Tarija during early 2008, the Democratic Initiatives Program of OTI/USAID worked closely with the Prefects (regional governments) to "develop sub-national, de-concentrated" models of government. In those regions, those promoting such "sub-national, de-concentrated" models, or separatism, have made clear that their objective is to achieve a political, economic and territorial division from the national government of Bolivia, so they can manage and benefit solely from the rich resources in their regions.
. . .

In this case, it would be Ruben Costas.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-20-09 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. He's mentioned again in this article from yesterday:
Bolivia Terror Investigation Continues

La Paz, May 19 (PL) - Prosecutor Marcelo Sosa, who is leading an investigation into the Santa Cruz, Bolivia, terrorist plot, has called four witnesses to testify next Thursday in this capital.

According to a source of the Ministry of the Attorney General, those called include Ronald Alberto Suarez, legal representative of the gambling company Corhat Bolivia, which paid the Las Americas hotel costs for the extremist group that was neutralized last April.

The director of the Special Forces to Combat Crime in Santa Cruz, colonel Miguel Gonzalez revealed this new name of a person who should testify together with businessperson, Kathy Tabzuck and lawyer Alejandro Melgar Pereyra.

Also called to testify is Eduardo Guitarte, legal representative of the Aires Insurance company based in Santa Cruz.

The armed group was led by Bolivian-Croatian Eduardo Rozsa Flores, who died during the operation together with two other cohorts intending to destabilize the Andean nation, according to other witnesses.

Their plans also included the assassination of the Head of State Evo Morales and the members of his cabinet during a meeting in Lake Titicaca last April 3rd.

According to the prosecutor who heads this case, these violent acts are also related to Santa Cruz prefect, Ruben Costas and former president of the civic committee, affluent business person Branko Marinokovic.

The Bolivian members of the gang could be tried for treason, he pointed out.

http://www.escambray.cu/Eng/news/Wboliviaterror09051932...

~~~~~~~~~~

Here's one of the early articles mentioning him:

Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Opposition linked to alleged Morales death plot

TOM HENNIGAN in So PauloLEADING FIGURES in Bolivias opposition were involved with the group which included Irishman Michael Dwyer and allegedly planned to kill the countrys left-wing president Evo Morales, according to the prosecutor investigating the case.

Mr Dwyer and two other men were shot dead by police in a hotel in the eastern city of Santa Cruz on April 16th. Two others were arrested at the scene.

Bolivias authorities say they were supposedly plotting with regional separatists to set up armed groups to confront the central government as part of eastern Bolivias increasingly bitter struggle for greater autonomy.

On Monday night prosecutor Marcelo Sosa told a press conference that leading political and business leaders from the opposition stronghold of Santa Cruz provided aid to the group.

Among those named by Mr Sosa were Ruben Costas, the leader of Santa Cruzs regional government, and Branko Marinkovic, a prominent businessman and former leader of Santa Cruzs main autonomy movement. Others include a retired general and a former government minister.

Mr Sosa has summoned the men to testify about their alleged involvement.

Mr Marinkovic is a hate figure for Evo Morales and fellow leftists in Bolivia, accused of masterminding attempts by the eastern part of the country to split away from the poorer west. He has denied the accusations.

The prosecutor said his evidence is in part based on testimony from four witnesses: Mario Tdic, the Bolivian of Croatian descent and one of the two men arrested in the hotel where Dwyer was killed; Juan Carlos Gueder Bruno and Alcides Mendoza, both arrested last week in Santa Cruz and accused of supplying the group with a weapon; and Ignacio Villa Vargas, described by the prosecutor as his key witness.

Said to have acted as a local fixer for the group, Villa Vargas is a 51-year-old career criminal with a police record dating back to 1981 involving fraud, dealing in stolen cars and falsifying US visas. He is reportedly gravely ill with diabetes.

He says he was present at meetings involving the groups leader, Eduardo Rozsa Flores, Mr Marinkovic and the other prominent figures implicated. At one meeting he claims Mr Marinkovic rang Mr Costas, the regional governments head. Mr Costas supposedly offered the group a house and land where they could stay and train.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2009/0506/122...

~~~~~~~~~~

His name was brought up earlier in this article from Jim Shultz who lives in Bolivia, runs his own blog:
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Is the United States Funding Violent Opposition Groups in Bolivia?

~snip~
Written by Dan Beeton, Center for Economic and Policy Research

There's a fair amount of evidence that the U.S. has already funded violent actors among the Bolivian opposition, even from the relatively little that we know about recent grants through USAID and so on:We know that since President Morales election, the U.S. government has sent millions of dollars in aid to departmental prefects and municipal governments in Bolivia. See e.g.:

USAID DATA Sheet: Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance

USAID/OTI Bolivia Field Report

"OTI has approved 101 grants for $4,066,131 to help departmental governments operate more strategically." We know that Leopoldo Fernandez, as a prefect, received some of this money. As you know, he is not someone who has merely written "anti-Evo op.eds," he was found by the UNASUR commission that investigated the September violence in Porvenir to have led a "chain of command of perpetrators who acted "in an organized fashion to commit a "massacre."

From the "USAID/OTI Bolivia Field Report July - September 2006": "OTI activities are aimed at building the capacity of prefect-led departmental governments to help them better respond to the constituencies they govern.During the third quarter, OTI has continued to build on its activities designed to enhance the capacity of departmental governments. OTI isimplementing projects in coordination with all nine departmental governments, most recently collaborating with the prefectures of Beni,Pando, and Oruro. The projects provide technical support and training for prefecture staff in the areas of strategic planning, budgeting andproject management. They also build institutional capacity related to financial and administrative systems, transparency mechanisms,communications and outreach. In addition, OTI approved new projects designed to help prefectures more efficiently and strategicallyapproach their responsibilities in regional economic development, departmental infrastructure and social services.

We also know that USAID has similarly funded and worked with Ruben Costas in his capacity as prefect of Santa Cruz. To take one example, again from the "USAID/OTI Bolivia Field Report July - September 2006":

During the third quarter, OTI approved a total of 24 projects for $913,000. Thirteen of the new projects, totaling $465,800, are being implemented in support of the decentralization process through strengthened departmental governments. One newly-approved set of activities in the departments of Pando, Tarija, Potos and Santa Cruz will facilitate the transparent, efficient flow of information between the various offices and divisions within prefectures. Its goal is to improve communication between departmental governments and stakeholders
at the local government and community levels.

Ruben Costas has most recently been in the news again after witnesses told prosecutor Marcelo Sosa that Costas had offered a house and land to Eduardo Rozsa Flores and the other plotters in the terrorist cell broken up by Bolivian authorities on April 16, 2009. Whether this accusation turns out to be true or not, I would argue that Costas has clearly supported violence against both the Bolivian government and indigenous people in Bolivia in other ways.

Costas made numerous statements supporting the violence as it unfolded in September 2008. On September 9, 2008, the Andean Information Network reported that In response to the days violence, Santa Cruz Prefect Ruben Costas claimed that these outbursts reflected the 86% of people in his prefect who voted for departmental autonomy. Costas did not mince his words, according to AIN: This is not a coup dtat, nor a civic-prefectural coup, but rather a response to the violence and repression of a fascist Government.<. . .>What happened today in Santa Cruz is the consequence of State terrorism that the government exercises, of the blindness that impedes them from recognizing the peoples right, the free determination and sovereignty of the departmental autonomy.

Costas has also stirred up racial hatred by calling Morales a monkey, which is not trivial considering the ongoing racial violence against indigenous Bolivians by the UJC, Camba Nation, and various other groups.

Was Phillip Goldberg really surprised to be expelled after being caught having a clandestine meeting with this man?
http://democracyctr.org/blog/2009/05/is-united-states-f...

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Glad you mentioned this, and I saw his name in the last snip, because now I remember HIS NAME is the name which comes up again and again as the guy who offered to supply them (the hit squad) a house and money a long time ago. There are so many parts to this it's hard to keep a score card sometimes.

Costas seems to be right at the center of so much violence toward indigenous people.



Getty Images 17 months ago
(From L to R) President of the Civic Committee Branco Marincovik, president of the Autonomous Assembly Pablo Klinski, president of the Feminine Civic Committee Ruth Lozada and Santa Cruz governor Ruben Costas pose for photographers, 15 December 2007, in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Costas gave Marincovik the statute of declaration of autonomy of the region to be put under public consideration in an open meeting.



Getty Images 17 months ago
(From L to R) President of the Civic Committee Branco Marincovik, Santa Cruz governor Ruben Costas and president of the Autonomous Assembly Pablo Klinski during the declaration of autonomy of the region, 15 December 2007, in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Costas gave Marincovik the statute which will be put under public consideration in an open meeting.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-25-09 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
13. Kicking! Just ran across this material again: "U.S. Funding Bolivian Separatists"
in a different source:
http://agonist.org/nathan_wilcox/20090525/u_s_funding_b...

This should mean many people are getting a good look at it, hopefully.
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