Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login

BOLIVIA: "This is what a coward/murderer looks like" (30 - 70 May Be Dead in Massacre)

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Places » Latin America Donate to DU
magbana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-08 09:24 PM
Original message
BOLIVIA: "This is what a coward/murderer looks like" (30 - 70 May Be Dead in Massacre)
(go to original article for pics) /

This is what a coward and a murderer looks like
September 14, 2008 No Comments

The man in the center of this photo, Leopoldo Fernndez, is on the run after paramilitaries in the Bolivian department he governs, Pando, ambushed and slaughtered at least 30 and possibly as many as 70 men, women and children.

Bolivia: Death Toll Reaches 30 in Massacre. Government Unable to Capture Fugitive Prefect

YVKE Mundial (Luigino Bracci Roa), with information from Erbol and ABI

Translation: Machetera

Bolivian military forces finally took control of Cobija, capital of Pando Department, but they have not apprehended the prefect, Leopoldo Fernndez, whose detention was ordered on Saturday. It's feared that the final number of those killed in last Thursday's massacre may be much higher.

Sunday, September 14, 2008, 8:27 a.m.

Early this morning the Bolivian Armed Forces took complete control of the city of Cobija, capital of Pando Department, where a state of siege had been declared last Friday after an ambush and slaughter that took the lives of many peasants.

The first unofficial reports indicated that armed separatist groups who controlled the city, at the command of Pando's prefect, Leopoldo Fernndez, did not offer much resistance. The operation took place between one and two in the morning today, September 14.

The first reports from the Erbol Network indicated that the military operation has taken control of practically the entire city and that shortly a commission will head for Porvenir where the massacre of peasants took place last Thursday. Until now, Pando's prefect, and the armed civilian groups that he commanded had obstructed the entry of humanitarian organizations to the scene, and while initial reports mentioned 8 deaths, the figure has increased as the days have gone by.

According to the first reports of certain authorities, there were no casualties among the Armed Forces this Sunday. Last Friday evening, the soldier Ramiro Taini Alvarado was killed, a shooting victim when the military forces faced off against armed civilian groups who were holding the Cobija airport.


On Saturday evening, the government minister Alfredo Rada, reported that the number of peasants killed in Porvenir had reached 30. "The magnitude of the massacre which took place in Porvenir surpassed that of the El Alto massacre in October, 2003, where there were 60 killed while in Porvenir the number approaches some thirty deaths. If a comparison is made between the population of El Alto and that of Pando, it will be evident that we are facing the most bloody slaughter in democratic times," said Rada, at Palacio Quemado.

Alfredo Rada

In a press conference, Rada indicated that Pando's prefect, Leopoldo Fernndez, is mainly responsible for last Thursday's massacre. "Today we've confirmed another 10 deaths," he indicated and added that this act would not remain unpunished, "it should be dealt with by the first power of the state, the Congress."

The government fears that the death toll will grow with each passing day, and has demanded that the national Congress begin an investigation into the bloodiest genocide of recent times in Bolivia.

According to constituent Veimar Becerra, the figure could be higher. "According to my calculations, I who am familiar with the place, there are around 70 dead," he told the Erbol Network. He said that "the accounts I collected indicated that they were practically stabbed like animals, including those killed in the Tahuamanu river, when many people threw themselves into the river and tried to flee."

"It's not a movie, it's the truth: there were children, women, we don't know how many were killed, the attack, the ambush began at 10 and went on until 5 in the afternoon. I got away because I hid in the bushes," a survivor of the Porvenir massacre told the Erbol Network.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-08 02:19 AM
Response to Original message
1. The photo shows Fernandez to be an old gray-haired man with a big gut--
mid-60s maybe--and not healthy looking. He will not be able to run long or hard. The Bushwhacks may have spirited him out, and he's enjoying beers with his fat-bellied mafia cohorts in Miami, as we speak. They put Guido into "protective custody." They can hide people real good in Miami. I would expect the route to be thru Peru. Lula da Silva is really mad about all this, and wouldn't tolerate this asshole fleeing to Brazil, if he could help it. Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Chile--none of their leaders would collude with this. They would instead arrest him, if they could. But Alan Garcia is another story--corrupt "free tradist," Bush ass-kisser, opportunist. Peru is the only potential friendly government to killers of peasant farmers, on Bolivia's border. The region of the massacre is very close to the Peruvian border.

Of course, with enough money you can arrange things almost anywhere. (Ask Guido!)

It's hard to make sense of this massacre, and the other mayhem. Is this just yet another Bushwhacky scheme gone wrong? What did they expect to accomplish? The white separatists have discredited their cause irreparably. They will never get anywhere with UNASUR, or the Rio Group, or the OAS, or whoever ends up mediating this. They are going to have to eat shit. They are not going to get what they say they want--control of Bolivia's major resource and independent governments. Could be they have lesser goals that were the real goals all along (say, a bigger share of the gas booty than anyone else gets). But even lesser goals are in jeopardy now. The collective economic/political clout (and fury) of Brazil, Argentina and others is about to come down on their heads. What they've done could almost be called suicidal. It's very reminiscent of the white segregationists in our own south in the 1960s--and the various murders, bombings and other brutalities against blacks that galvanized the nation to support black civil rights.

And what do the Bushites gain? Could be they wanted to stir the Morales government to violent repression. That's not likely to happen. Morales avoided it, almost to a fault, most of the week, and his response is measured and appropriate. So they haven't gained that (--although we can be sure that they and their Corpo 'news' will try to spin the least effort at "law and order" as "dictatorial"--they are such mind-boggling hypocrites). Did they gain anything? They are now as disgraced as the white separatists are. They gained nothing in terms of influence. They are NOT going to gain the fascist mini-state in control of the gas/oil that they wanted. I tend to think it was a "chaos" operation--I mean this part of it. Up to this point, they could spin it as a reasonable "independence" movement, to people who don't know anything about Bolivia. But they had to have known that a massacre, and blowing up a pipeline, etc., would expose that lie to all but the worst, fascist diehards in South America, and would even start to make some of our own, ill-informed people wonder.

"Chaos" is a Rumsfeld specialty. My guess: It's a distraction, and maybe a test-out of South American reactions, and of the fascist secession strategy. The main targets are further north--Venezuela's oil rich Zulia province on the Caribbean, and maybe Ecuador (lots of oil, and Chevron's about to get hit with a $16 BILLION environmental damage judgment in an Ecuadoran court--something the Bushites would like to install a dictator to get rid of). Bolivia is land-locked and surrounded by leftist democracies who are hostile to the white separatists. Venezuela and Ecuador are adjacent to Colombia (uber-militarized Bush Cartel client state), where fascists in the military, their death squads, and their government would welcome and would assist fascist coups in Venezuela and in Ecuador.

In his Dec 07 op-ed in the WaPo, Rumsfeld urged "swift action" by the U.S. in support of "friends and allies" in South America. We didn't see any "swift action" in land-locked Bolivia, where there is almost no way to get troops in--although they've probably been infiltrating guns and certainly were infiltrating death squad thugs. I suspect he meant "swift action" by the newly reconstituted U.S. 4th Fleet, now roaming off the coast of oil rich Zulia, Venezuela--and maybe "swift action" by the U.S. military base in Manta, Ecuador (before Rafael Correa evicts them from the country next year).

I hope that the white separatist supporters in Bolivia, who never intended murder and mayhem, feel really used today. Because I think that may be what happened. Their cause--never very viable to begin with--was merely used, and they were used, by the worst malefactors on earth, as puppets.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-08 04:39 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. No doubt you're right on Fernandez possibly heading for Miami.
You no doubt recall Bolivians are very angry because the recent President who has a Bolivian massacre on his hands, (whose campaign was assisted, oddly enough by James Carville and company) President "Goni," Gonzalo Snchez de Lozada, along with his officials hid out in Miami, too. (Not to mention Miami as the destination of the coup plotters from Caracas, and the author of the "Caracazo Massacre" in Caracas, former (and impeached) President Carlos Andres Perez, and the new home of the Bush puppet of Panama, Mireya Moscoso (who pardoned 3 bombers from Miami who had conspired to blow up an entire auditorium full of college students who were going to attend a speech by Fidel Castro in Panama) the day after she sprung these killers and left office. Not to mention the multitudes of S.O.A. trained military officers from the Central American countries involved in Reagan's genocide, and leaders of death squads.

Here's a reference to former Bolivian President Goni's influence from The Nation:
Bolivia's Indian Revolt By Tom Hayden
This article appeared in the June 21, 2004 edition of The Nation.

June 3, 2004

The first of these postmodern revolutionaries I interviewed during a May visit to Bolivia's highlands was wearing a bright-yellow sweatshirt with a GUESS USA logo. Thirty-year-old Nstor Guilln Daza Mayta described how Bolivian soldiers stormed into his tiny barrio last October 12, the same date as Columbus's arrival in the indigenous world 511 years before. Nstor's barrio, Villa Ingenio, is the coldest and poorest neighborhood in El Alto, a ramshackle city of more than 1 million Aymara and Quechua people who migrated during the past two decades from Bolivia's altiplano, making El Alto the largest, most Indian city in Latin America.

Last year El Alto residents rose against a government plan that allowed foreign investors to exploit Bolivia's natural gas for Mexican and Southern California energy markets. While energy-hungry California consumers were being "gamed" by one of the pipeline sponsors, Sempra Energy (which made $518 million during the state's 2001 energy crisis), Nstor's people in Villa Ingenio were freezing at 13,000 feet without gas hookups. They joined a nationwide protest of Indians, workers and campesinos against the gas giveaway, against neoliberalism and against President "Goni" (Gonzalo Snchez de Lozada), the white mining executive and University of Chicago-trained free-market economist who had been privatizing the Bolivian economy since the mid-1980s. "Our economy was dead, there was no formal work and we were sick of it," Nstor remembers.

In his GUESS shirt, Nstor hardly appeared to be a militant subversive, but more like the young researcher that he is, meticulously saving clippings on the country's oil and gas reserves ("second to Venezuela in Latin America," he says proudly). But in October 2003, he was in the streets resisting the soldiers when they came through the small, sun-filled churchyard where our interview took place, killing twenty-six people in a three-hour spree. In that September-October uprising, sixty-five people were killed and hundreds wounded, bringing last year's cumulative death toll of indigenous protesters to 110; over a fourteen-month period, the total killed was more than during seven years of Hugo Banzer's military dictatorship of the 1970s.

As last year's Indian uprising and military repression intensified, La Paz's frightened white middle class finally opted for reform, forming a human chain of "hands for peace" that spanned the length of the Avenida Ballivian, which traverses La Paz. So broad was the outrage that an American-born social-science researcher, Tom Kruse, found himself arm in arm with a World Bank economist. While some Bolivian radicals felt that the middle-class intervention forced a moderation of their struggle, it also convinced the Goni government to give up.

On October 17, five days after the massacre in Villa Ingenio, Goni fled to Miami, where, through intermediaries, he sought a safe haven at Harvard's Institute of Politics, where I happened to be teaching a study group on globalization and social movements. Harvard rejected Goni's application, at least temporarily, after one insider noted that "the guy just killed a hundred people."

The American Embassy in La Paz was stunned by Goni's overthrow. Officials there had no Plan B. Not only was the architect of Bolivia's privatization gone, but so too was the $7 billion World Bank-backed natural gas project. "Let's just say, because of nationalist fervor," a Sempra consultant told me, "that the project is, well, not dead, but on hold." With breezy confidence, he added that Sempra was still "inking deals" in Australia and Indonesia.


Alan Garcia already has a few indigenous massacres under his own belt.

Looks as if he's still on the same path, too, sending some of Bush's troops up into the same area pretending to be "building hospitals," exactly squarely in the place where Garcia sent his own troops who got the villagers out of the mountain places where they had been hiding from them, put the men to work "digging a pond" they claimed the government would stock with fish so the villagers would have food, then, once it was dug, slaughtered the bunch of them and buried them in the hole over which the men had toiled only shortly before.

Now Bush troops are up there, where the survivors are very alienated, and they are pretending they are there on a humanitarian nature. Yeah, that sure sounds like Alan Garcia. He really knows from humanitarianism, doesn't he?

No doubt he has bunches of death squads he'd be only too glad to see make themselves useful knocking off some indigenous people in Bolivia.

You can be sure he'd be a gracious host for Bolivian racist mass murderers on the run from Bolivian justice, also!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
AlphaCentauri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-08 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Miami is the trash can of Latin America n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-08 04:09 AM
Response to Original message
2. 106 missing since Thursday massacre in Porvenir
106 missing since Thursday massacre in Porvenir
September 14, 2008 No Comments
Photo: El Deber, Bolivia (Some of the dead from Thursdays massacre)
106 Missing in Cobija; Commission Begins Search
Luigino Bracci - ABI, Erbol
Translation: Machetera
Sunday, September 14, 2008, 1:30 p.m.

Cobija (ABI). - A humanitarian commission, headed by the Presidential Minister Juan Ramn Quintana and Health Minister, Ramiro Tapia, arrived at 5 p.m. this Sunday in Porvenir, Filadelfia, Puerto Rico and other conflict areas to undertake a search for missing people and attend to the wounded, victims of a massacre executed by hired assassins sponsored by Pandos prefecture.

The commission, previously in Cobija, inspected the health centers, above all, Hospital Roberto Galindo, to evaluate the wounded. After visiting the wounded and receiving a clinical report from the directors of these centers, the Health Minister, Ramiro Tapia, assured that all those who were part of the massacre at Porvenir are receiving medical attention.

To evacuate dead and wounded, three ambulances are making the rounds of Porvenir, Filadelfia, Puerto Rico and other communities. The situations of the people or bodies recovered from all these areas will be analyzed in order to bring them to La Paz or to Cobija.

The President has asked us to assist with the humanitarian support for people who are missing, wounded and have not had the necessary support, said Minister Tapia. The governmental humanitarian aid commission arrived this Saturday at 2:00 a.m. at the Anbal Arab airport in Cobija, headed by the Presidential and Health ministers in order to begin the work of helping and searching for missing peasants.

106 Missing

The Peasant Workers Federation of Pando reported that there are 25 dead and 25 wounded as well as 106 people missing after last Thursdays brutal massacre in the town of El Porvenir.

The leader Luis Adolfo Mayar, in statements to the Erbol Network, reported that nine dead had been identified, while 16 were still not claimed by their families. According to the government, the number of dead is at 30, since in recent hours additional bodies of peasants were found in the bushes and rivers of the area where the slaughter took place. /

Bolivian source:
YVKE Mundial :: Internacionales
Masacre de Porvenir
Hay 106 desaparecidos en Cobija, Comisin inicia bsqueda
Para evacuar a heridos, fallecidos y desaparecidos se emplea tres ambulancias que estn recorriendo las reas de Porvenir, Filadelfia, Puerto Rico y otras comunidades. Las personas o cuerpos que sean rescatados de todos estos lugares, se analizar su situacin para trasladarlos a la ciudad de La Paz o en su caso a Cobija.

Domingo, 14 de Sep de 2008. 1:30 pm
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-15-08 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
4. Rec'd.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-16-08 03:56 AM
Response to Original message
6. You really have to admire a bunch of heavily armed assholes hiding in trees,
shooting down at unsuspecting people who have only one place to walk coming across a bridge, with absolutely nowhere to hide. Perfect right-wing massacre conditions against helpless people, as always.
Fernndez Had Been Denounced Since 2006 For Training Paramilitaries

As far back as September, 2006, the then Government Minister Alicia Muoz denounced the Prefect Leopoldo Fernndez for training at least a hundred paramilitaries in Cobija, under the pretense of forming a citizens protection force. Although Fernndez denied the veracity of this denunciation, for which Muoz had photos and videotape proof, the head of Citizens Security for the Pando Prefecture, Alberto Murakami, admitted to the training of civilians.

Murakami claimed at the time that it was a hundred neighbors trained to perform monitoring, in the face of delinquency and a deficit of policemen. Muoz made the denunciation as proof that the opposition prefects were not acting as legitimately as they insisted. Time and the massacre of defenseless people, regrettably proved the ex-Minister correct.

Escape to the Bushes

In the middle of the massacre, the peasants had only one alternative to save their lives, and they ran for the bushes while the paramilitaries unloaded their weapons on the crowd. They are people from the Prefecture and the Departmental Roads Service who are well armed with machine-guns and snipers, because they shot freely at us from the treetops, said Tito.

The peasant leaders denunciation was corroborated by Senator Abraham Cuellar, who said that this Friday, 24 hours after the massacre, the paramilitary persecution of the Pando peasants continued. We know that the persecution has been relentless in Filadelfia and Cachuelita, which are provinces surrounding Cobija; the killings continue, they are continuing to murder people, unarmed people, said the legislator.

He accused assassins hired by the Pando authorities, who go about armed with automatic weapons, something which has forced at least a hundred people to cross the border into Brazil to seek refuge.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Thu Jan 18th 2018, 08:43 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]

Home » Discuss » Places » Latin America Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators

Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC