Bolivia on Red Alert

Andrés Sallari months after the coup in Bolivia, the persecution is intensifying. The Andean Amazonian country is undergoing a conservative restoration, supported by part of civil society, that during the government of Evo Morales was duly stimulated by the hate campaigns so well known in our region.

We will review some cases that demonstrate this statement.

On December 27, the chargé d’affaires of the Spanish embassy in La Paz visited the residence of the Mexican embassy, where nine former officials of Evo Morales remain in exile. Naturally, in view of the context, she was accompanied by an elite group of her country’s security forces.

Upon leaving the embassy, a group of enthusiastic civilians attacked the diplomatic vehicle in the belief that former presidential minister Juan Ramon Quintana could be found there. The local police did not intervene.

Mexico had previously denounced official harassment of its diplomatic mission before the International Court of Justice; Bolivia expelled the Mexican ambassador and the Spanish chargé d’affaires. When the Mexican ambassador left the residence for the airport, her diplomatic immunity was violated by the same civic groups that seized her vehicle, again without police intervention. None of this merited any unfavorable comment from the press or the government.

A new witch hunt was unleashed, but this time with transcontinental scope. The regent of the Ministry of Government, Arturo Murillo, held another stakeout accompanied by two deputies from the ultra-right-wing Spanish party VOX, in which he revealed that there was a new international drug trafficking ring involving the supporters of Evo Morales and Pablo Iglesias.

The Eurofascists looked ecstatic when cowboy Murillo ordered the Bolivian public prosecutor’s office to summon the new Vice President of Spain (Iglesias), along with Íñigo Errejón, Juan Carlos Monedero, former judge Baltazar Garzón and former head of government José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, to appear in court.

MAS deputy Sonia Brito characterized the Bolivian crusader precisely: “Murillo is telling a lot of lies that he will have to prove. He is a judge, a prosecutor, a witness, he already judges and sanctions the people he hates, making absolute abuse of power, that is called dictatorship”.

Hours earlier she had been falsely accused of committing various crimes when confronted by a journalist, without the capacity to question.

The media backing that provides the necessary umbrella to consolidate this whole string of outrages contains a fascinating chapter, embodied by the special envoy of the Spanish ultra-right-wing media, OKDIARIO, Alejandro Estrambasaguas, who came to Bolivia to “investigate” Evo Morales’ financing of Pablo Iglesias’ political party.

As a first step, the reporter set about harassing Spanish security agents who left Bolivia from El Alto airport. There, the journalist presented himself as an indignant citizen and mounted his own performance. Among other accusations, he questioned the fact that the agents fled the airport at half past one in the morning.

The scene was worth watching.

El Alto’s international airport has few international flights and the one that leaves daily at 2:30 a.m. for Bogota is one of the most used to connect with Europe.

Behind the scenes at the airport, Estrambasaguas interviews Defense Minister Fernando Lopez, who was in charge of convincing the military to carry out the coup against Evo. The following headline emerged from the meeting: “Pablo Iglesias forms the common thread of the seditious terrorist mafia”.

Estrambasaguas’ next mission was to follow in the footsteps of Evo Morales’ former government minister, Carlos Romero. The journalist found the building where the former authority was “hiding” and stood guard, looking more like an intelligence operative at the service of the Bolivian dictatorship than a professional journalist. He reported that Romero left his home on December 27, and stated that he visited two homes in the southern part of the city and the Argentinean embassy on several occasions.

Did his guard hold out that long or did he receive information from the Bolivian police led by Murillo?

According to his press release: “He went by taxi to the residence of the Argentine Embassy in La Paz on Macario Pinilla Street, very close to the apartment where he is hiding, where he spent several hours meeting with high-ranking Argentine diplomats and even, on one occasion, slept in the embassy’s offices”.

The journalist finally accosted Romero at the entrance to his home and hours later Murillo appeared on TV again to report that Romero had been summoned to testify.

In the midst of the whole plot, VOX deputies visit the TV stations during prime time. Congressman Hermann Tertsch affirms: “We have them, we have the people who later form Podemos, we have them in other countries too, we have them in Ecuador, but above all we have them in Venezuela. We have them engaged in techniques of repression, disinformation and psychological warfare in the university, engaging in all kinds of communist penetration and creation of communist cadres precisely for repression…”.

Before launching Podemos, the group of its main cadres belonged to a kind of left-wing think-tank called CEPS (Center for Political and Social Studies). This foundation advised the constituent processes in Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia. Of course they did not do this for free.

On November 11, the Argentinean activist and journalist Facundo Molares Schoenfeld was admitted to the Alfonso Gumucio Reyes Santa Cruz de la Sierra Municipal Hospital in critical condition. The origin of his illness is dubious, some said he suffered acute kidney failure and others that he had injuries from fighting with groups opposed to Evo Morales. The Argentine citizen had belonged to the FARC and reported that he was doing journalistic work. He was treated at the hospital, arrested and transferred to a prison in the Altiplano. There has been no news about his condition for more than a month.

During the night of Saturday, January 4, Dr. Mirtha Mery Sanjinez Alcócer, the head of the hospital, was arrested because she had been caring for the patient.

On January 7, the Ministry of Communication seized equipment from Radio Kausachum Coca, which has been the voice of the Six Federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba for decades.

Communication Minister Roxana Lizárraga reported that the coca growers’ radio station does not comply with the objective of informing and educating about the truth. “We respect freedom of expression, but we will set limits if they try to misinform”.

The same official accused Rolando Graña and the TN team of sedition.

A few days before the coup, Lizárraga visited Miami where she was invited to the programme of Jaime Bayly, who welcomed her with “the good offices of my friend Carlos Sánchez Berzaín”.

Sánchez Berzaín, better known as “el zorro” or “el chulupi” (cockroach in Guaraní), is a CIA collaborator who served as Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada’s government minister and is a fugitive from Bolivian justice for the massacre of October 2003.

Currently, 592 former officials of Evo Morales are under investigation by the Bolivian justice system. My sources inform me that prosecutors are competing to see who will put more people behind bars.

During the week, Donald Trump was in charge of providing the right framework for this entire operation.

“The provision of U.S. assistance to Bolivia in fiscal year 2020 is vital to the national interests of the United States”.