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November 29, 2001

Narco News 2001

The "Terrorist" is

Manuel Rocha

Bolivia Regime, in Desperate Move,

Labels Bolivian Protests as "Terrorist"

US Ambassador Participates in

"Terrorism" Fest, but Only Provokes:

Businessmen, Labor, Farmers

Call National Strikes/Blockades

Manuel Rocha's Strategy of Terror Shows the Illegitimacy of Quiroga Regime

Narco News Commentary: The US State Department says there are no "terrorist organizations" in Bolivia. So it is a sign of the illegitimacy of the current regime of President Jorge Quiroga, and the inherent weakness of the strategy of the Viceroy who runs Quiroga, US Ambassador to Bolivia Manuel Rocha, that the two participated in this week's name-calling fest posing as an "anti-terrorism" conference, in a publicity ploy, now, to label all social movements in Bolivia as "terrorist."

Adding injury to insult, the accusations were made by the very same Bolivian military officials who presided over recent massacres of unarmed civilians, inadvertently calling the question: If there are "terrorists" in Bolivia, are they the unarmed civilians, or are they those who have relied upon force, assassination and intimidation to get their way?

The Terrorism-Fest was scheduled to coincide with the government's strategy against the coca growers of the Chapare region, and on a week when Bolivian authorities arrested globally respected labor leader Oscar Olivera as a tactic to intimidate social movements. And it came days after US Ambassador Manuel Rocha labeled the military's violent behavior as "heroic" and "sacrificial," and then attacked the social movements that engage in sit-ins and blockades on the nation's highways.

No sooner did the Viceroy and his minnions criticize the blockades by coca growers and begin their campaign to label such protests as "terrorist," when Civil Society in Bolivia responded by embracing the very tactics that the authorities tried to label as terrorist:

-- Today, Thursday, taxi and bus drivers have now paralyzed the country through a nationwide strike, blockading all the major thoroughfares in Bolivia.

-- The business leaders, nationwide, gave the government an ultimatum of 10 days to meet their demands to salvage the nation's economy -- which has been destroyed by the US Embassy's insistence that all other social agendas be scrapped so that resources go to the "war on drugs" -- that, if the government doesn't comply, the conservative business sector will begin, next month, a National General Strike and a boycott of paying taxes.

-- Indigenous Farmers in the high plains region, representing the nation's largest ethnic group, protesting the government's broken promises in agreements signed last summer, and announcing their solidarity with the coca growers of the Chapare region, announced a national blockade of roads and highways that could begin as soon as December 6th.

-- Landless peasants, whom the government had hoped to begin a Land Summit with today, announced they are boycotting the sessions.

-- And the coca growers of the Chapare, who will meet in large assemblies on Friday and Saturday, are expected to launch the fiercest resistance yet to the military occupation of their region.

These are the consequences of a regime that has lost legitimacy with its own people.

The Quiroga regime has lost its legitimacy because, in recent days, in the manner in which it addressed the Coca Summit talks in Cochabamba, the Bolivian government revealed that it is not sovereign, that it is a satellite regime that takes orders from the US Embassy and that it has surrendered the sovereignty of the nation.

This dysfunctional situation was preventable, but US Ambassador Manuel Rocha -- his desperation stoked by the global realization that his feifdom, Bolivia, can no longer be considered a lonely US "success story" in the war on drugs -- gambled on repression over dialogue, on dictatorship over democracy.

The blame for the dark days and events to come lies solely with the US Ambassador, who took power by force and threat, and abused it with hubris and in a manner that destroys, not strengthens, democracy.

Today's press briefing includes many articles and translations from the Bolivian and international press. Each story builds on the next. There is a lot of information here. Add it up, and it becomes clearer than ever that Ambassador Rocha's State-Sponsored-Terrorism has resulted in a failure of US policy in Bolivia, caused the collapse of a national economy, and now brings a destabilized nation into an unpredictable immediate future.

From somewhere in a country called América,

Al Giordano, publisher

The Narco News Bulletin

Today's Press Briefing

From the daily Opinion, Cochabamba, Bolivia
November 29, 2001

Translated by The Narco News Bulletin

Government Proposal Will

Have a Response on Saturday

The coca growers don't rule out sitting at the dialogue table with the government again to continue discussing the proposal of a salary of 500 Bolivianos with price and market guarantees for alternative products. In a press conference held yesterday in the offices of the Coca Growers' Federation, Evo Morales condemned the intransigence of the government which led to the failure of talks begun last Sunday, but he said that his group will be ready to resume negotiations after Saturday, December 1st, when the communities will give the last word on the government proposal.

For now, new blockades and mobilizations in the Chapare region have not been announced, but neither has a climate of tranquility been guaranteed. "Each coca producer that feels threatened by the eradicators will react how he wishes, and if there is violence the only party responsible will be the government for its refusal to continue the dialogue," said growers' leader Silvia Lazarte.

Evo Morales explained that the coca growers' leaders, after meeting in their offices, will head to the Chapare to organize assemblies in their respective unions and regional offices. There, they will review the government proposal and take a position to decide what their response will be to the government, although the talks have broken down. "They did not want to widen the dialogue and only provoked the growers with the announcement that eradication will not be stopped for any reason."

Given the failure of the talks, an assembly of coca growers decided yesterday that the free cultivation of coca will continue, even if it becomes the cause of conflicts in the region. "We don't believe everything the government says about its proposal because if the 40,000 families subscribe to its plan, the government will need $44 million dollars to comply with the 500 Bolivianos salary, and the Government doesn't have any money," he said…

To the Armed Forces, who accused the coca growers' leader and also indigenous leader Felipe Quispe of being terrorists, Morales responded: "Whether in dictatorship or in democracy, those who have provoked more deaths are the Armed Forces, but nobody has been imprisoned for that," he said. The Congressman said that lamentably the defense of his sector of farmers, "the most hated, the most disregarded and exploited, is considered a crime by the US Embassy" and he isn't bothered by the threat of losing his congressional immunity from prosecution. "At very least, Evo Morales will not be remembered as corrupt, but as one who fought on the side of the peasant farmers and did not negotiate with the political parties nor mount a legal defense against charges by a businessman (Banana magnate Zambrana) that the North Americans consider to be a patriot but who in reality comes from narco-trafficking." He warned that the coca growers will seek international contacts to denounce to the world that the government and the political parties care more about the wellbeing of the Yankee Ambassador than about achieving the peace for the Bolivian people.

The Ambassador's Pressures

By Grover Cardoso Alcalá

Editorial in the daily Opinión

From the daily Opinion
November 29, 2001

Translated by The Narco News Bulletin

Bolivia must be the only country in the world whose government is so disrespectfully pressured by the US Embassy and where the concept of diplomacy has been abandoned.

During the negotiations between the Government and the coca growers in recent days, nothing had more influence than the subtle threats from the US Embassy through its plenipotentiary Ambassador Manuel Rocha.

Each time that the government minister Fernandez, the coca leader Evo Morales and the mediators advanced a few meters to find a solution, the sword of Damocles embodied by the Ambassador appeared. Without any thought or consideration he said "coca or nothing," that is to say, eliminate the last coca leaf in the Chapare or US aid will cease.

The political and economic relationships between governments involve an inevitable interdependence by both sides when those countries respect the truth. They attempt to work for their own rights without harming those of the other. This interdependence and respect in the case of Bolivia and the United States has, for many years, been in only one direction and has become an almost absolute dependence. This submission provokes political losses for us that certainly affect the economy of the country. That is the only explanation for the social crisis of Chapare that now threatens to become an explosion.

The Bolivian economy has lost $500 million dollars due to the eradication of coca. These crops should be substituted but there should also be compensation for the losses. Without abandoning the principals of peaceful coexistence between the two countries, it is urgent that the Government level the playing field. Only in better conditions will national solutions be found for the problem of coca. Everything else has been genuflections, submissions and humiliations that affront us, the Bolivian people.

From the daily Opinion
November 29, 2001

Translated by The Narco News Bulletin

Strong Military Presence in the Chapare

With the resumption of coca eradication in the Chapare after a truce of almost one week, the state of Cochabambe was under a heavy military patrol yesterday from Chocolatal to Bulo Bulo, to stop the coca growers from resuming the blockade of the highway that connects Cochabamba and Santa Cruz cities. The presence of military and police troops in the region was already noticed on Tuesday afternoon, while the coca growers and the government were still in talks to find solutions to the conflict.

The coca growers' leader Andrés Cheka reported to the ANF news agency from Ivirgarzama that soldiers and police were already in Villa Tunari, in Chimoré and in other towns, a report confirmed by Feliciano Mamani. The state of Cochabamba awakened yesterday with torrential rains that impeded the eradication efforts. But the eradicating troops already have the order to continue with their mission.

Given the failure of the dialogue with the government, the board of the Six Coca Growers' Federations, on Wednesday, called for the communities to radicalize the protest with strategic blockades and the planting anew of coca. The growers denounced that the government had again militarized all the roads and bridges of the region where more than 3,000 troops resumed the eradication of coca.

The Protest Spreads

To All Social Sectors

From Reuters Latin American News Service
November 28, 2001

Translated by The Narco News Bulletin

Conflicts with farmers, threats from businessmen and the announcement of new strikes and road blockades were the news on Wednesday in Bolivia, in the most critical moment for the government of President Jorge Quiroga.

But the president, a young technocrat who in August replaced General Hugo Banzer, who is ill with cancer, seems resolved not to lower his guard and to preserve the principle of authority in his country.

On Wednesday, the government resumed the eradication of illegal coca plantations, after the failure of a fragile dialogue begun Saturday with farmers who insist that cultivating this leaf is their only way to make a living in the Chapare.

Quiroga suggested a national referendum on the proposal of allowing a "cato" (1600 square meters, or a 40 by 40 meter plot) of coca that 35,000 coca growing families in the region demand.

The president declared that each "cato" equals one kilo of cocaine, exclusively produced for narco-trafficking.
Bolivian law permits only 12,000 hectares of coca plants in the los Yungas region, north of La Paz, for pharmaceutical use and consumption as food by the indigenous population of the country.

Evo Morales, federal congressman and the principal coca growers' leader, reiterated on Wednesday the slogan of the Chapare, "coca or death," while the dialogue broke down.

Three farmers died and another 40 were wounded last week during confrontations with military and police forces who control the Chapare.

At the same time, Quiroga seemed to sense a direct confrontation with business leaders on Wednesday, who he repudiated as "absolutely irresponsible" for their threat of a boycott on paying taxes due to their allegations that they are in a situation of virtual bankruptcy.

"Some business leaders say that they must take audacious measures... saying they won't pay taxes, they won't pay the bank. That is not audacious. It is absolutely irresponsible," the president said on Wednesday, according to the government's ABI news agency.

Quiroga's government last week dictated a series of measures, including offering incentives to the banks to reduce its interest rates for new loans to 9.5 percent, due to the crisis in a productive sector "on the verge of collapse," according to its leaders.

Businessmen of the eastern state of Santa Cruz, the largest weight in the Bolivian economy, announced that protests will begin on Monday with a hunger strike by various members of congress and a general strike on December 5th.

Meanwhile, the Confederation of Bus and Taxi Drivers of Bolivia confirmed that all public transportation services, in cities and across state lines, will be paralyzed on Thursday for 24 hours.

Their protest demands new fares, budget expenditures for the maintenance of highways and credit for the transport worker unions.

And an even more serious announcement was made by the Confederation of Bolivian Farm Workers: It confirmed that it is preparting, for December 6th, a "national blockade of highways" to reject the official economic policies and to back the coca growers of the Chapare.

The powerful rural organization is led by Felipe Quispe, known as El Mallku (supreme chief), an Aymara indian of wide leadership among indigenous sectors and who the government criticizes for his membership, years ago, in a guerrilla organization.

From the daily La Razon, La Paz, Bolivia
November 29, 2001

Translated by The Narco News Bulletin

Government Seeks to Suffocate

Problems, but New Fronts Open

The transport workers will today paralyze the country and hold protests in the cities. The private businessmen give a deadline of ten days for their demands to be met. There is uncertainty in the Chapare. The government-sponsored "Land Summit" is born lame without the participation of the landless peasants.

The government finds itself working in a minefield. After the weak truce achieved in recent days in the Chapare, the tension has returned to that region; today the transport workers are on strike, the Santa Cruz civic movement escalates its tactics and the private businessmen have given their ten day ultimatum.

November was a black month for the term of Jorge Quiroga. His ministers had to put out fires, not only in the state of Cochabamba, but also in El Chaco, where the President traveled after the Pananti massacre (by authorities against landless peasants). In Santa Cruz the regional protest continues in spite of everything, and in the north of La Paz state the peasants closed the highway for more than six days.

But the last straw came from the private businessmen, who decided to give a 10 day ultimatum for the presidency to "demonstrate whether or not it has the capacity to confront the crisis and avoid the collapse of the national economy," according to their communiqué.

Economic Development Minister Jacques Trigo, responded to the businessmen's threat arguing that the Presidency does not work according to fatal deadlines and he lamented the intransigence of the business leaders.

The crisis ends up tying the hands of Quiroga, who, in practice, has been unable to attend to the demands of the different social sectors due to a lack of resources. The demands of the businessmen, the state of Santa Cruz, the landless peasants, and the farmers require money.

The extreme situation has caused the authorities to reduce the sale of tractors that it promised to the farmers in the Pacurani Accords. According to the farmer's federation, the government is thinking of only providing 500 of the 1,000 tractors it had promised.

Among all this, the government resumed the job of eradicating coca in the Chapare, but hopes the coca growers will accept its proposal for more alternative development. But the congressman and coca growers' leader Evo Morales announced that he will instruct his communities to "grow coca freely in the Chapare."

For his part, the Minister of Sustainable Development Ramiro Cavero made gestures, without sucess and against the clock, to convince the peasant farmers and the indigenous to attend the Land Summit that begins today in La Paz and that was considered a card to play to calm the dissent in the farming, indigenous and business sectors. The meeting is born in the middle of an argument, while the Confederation of Felipe Quispe and the homesteaders said that they will not attend the meeting and instead announced confrontations.

Quispe warned that given the level of noncompliance with the Pucarani Accords, the farmers will meet in mid-December to take up protest tactics.

The wheels of discontent do not cease…

Interview with Evo

From the daily La Razon, La Paz, Bolivia
November 29, 2001

Translated by The Narco News Bulletin

Congressman Evo Morales Explains:

Why Farmers Rejected the Government's Offer

Q. You chose coca even though there is effective alternative development?

A. If there had been alternative development, the coca is equally important for its legal consumption as a food. In this moment, with the total failure of alternative development, 40,000 hectares of coca had to be planted. However, we are not thinking that way; all that we've proposed is a cato (much less than a hectare) of coca, on a subsistence level, for medical and cultural use and its legal sale as a food.

Q. If the alternative development was efficient, would you stop cultivating coca?

A. If the program was a success, the farmers would abandon the cultivation of coca, because it would only be produced for local consumption and not for sale to the high plains nor the valley. If there had been alternative development, the coca would have already stopped growing.

Q. Why did you reject the Government's proposal?

A. Initially, because everything is based on their demand of "zero coca." However, on Saturday, being responsible, we will have an assembly in Lauca Ñ. We want to listen to the growers. Now we believe that there will never be zero coca and we don't want to deceive the international community.

Q. Why didn't you accept the proposal immediatey? Are you distrustful?

A. In the Alternative Development Law, and the compensation, the Government simply makes promises then doesn't comply with them. The good thing about their proposal is that it guarantees markets. But this is also stated in Law 1008.

Q. You're not undervaluing a good proposal?

A. During the meeting this was explained. When Congressman Carlos Quiroga Blanco asked the government when it would buy the products, when it would pay the 500 Bolivianos, the Agriculture Minister said tomorrow, the Interior Minister said at the end of the month, and another official said that the money is still not there. Thus, it was not a serious proposal. That's why we asked for two months for this to be studied and for the government to make its plan. We have not rejected it outright. We have accepted to discuss and to study the plan.

Q. Your organizations have ceded on various demands. Why do you insist on the cato of coca?

A. We have said that in order to avoid confrontations and to end the forced eradication, that the cato of coca must be resolved, while the legal market, nationally and internationally, is studied. Because the government has problems with the United States, we have decided, voluntarily, to end all excess coca harvest, but they did not accept that either. Thus, the government seeks violence in the Chapare. If the government does not accept the cato, the free cultivation of coca will come. We want to avoid violence, but the United States is sitting on top of all this. The Ambassador has already said that if there is any coca there will not be economic aid, that we are not sovereign.

Q. With this situation, what is the future for the coca growers?

A. With the cato of coca we can eliminate all the violence. This is our proposal. This provocation of militarizing the state could end up in an armed military conflict, and that is our worry.

Q. Do you want to continue being coca growers?

A. By unanimous decision, we are going to continue growing coca by any means.

Q. Even though the coca produced will go to narco-trafficking?

A. That's false. That's why at the same time we have said that we are going to study the legal market in the country and in Cochabamba.

Q. What solution do you propose for this problem?

A. The only solution is that the government meet our demand of a cato of coca per family. I don't see any other. If not, this begins to smell like Colombia, because the government is organizing paramilitaries and hitmen and calling them Expeditionary Forces.

Narco News Commentary: Washington's obsession with the failed "war on drugs," beyond the misery and injustice it has caused in Bolivia and Latin America, has severe economic consequences at home. One of them is mentioned in the following story from today's New York Times: the harm to US workers and industries....

Excerpts From the New York Times
November 29, 2001

Andean Trade Renewal Stalls

By Anthony DePalma

The Bush administration wants to renew and expand a trade agreement with four financially troubled South American nations, but with just days to go before the pact expires, on Dec. 4, a last-minute split in Congress has put the deal into question.

For the last decade, the agreement, the Andean Trade Preference Act, has helped Bolivia , Colombia, Ecuador and Peru fight narcotics trafficking by lowering tariffs on flowers, clothing and other exports to the United States. The aim was to bolster local economies and encourage local farmers to plant legitimate market crops instead of the coca and poppies used to make cocaine and opium.

Despite opposition from American farmers and textile manufacturers, who say that the agreement has cost thousands of jobs, the Bush administration has been determined not only to renew it but to expand it to cover a broader range of products, including canned tuna and clothing made from fabrics produced in the four Andean nations. …

The leaders of the four Andean countries have made it clear that if the agreement is not renewed, they will find it difficult to stabilize their economies and offer their citizens a viable alternative to drug trafficking. They have also made reauthorization a test of the administration's commitment to Latin America.

American companies, particularly textile manufacturers, have lobbied against renewing the agreement, saying that it has not been effective in combating drugs. They also say that expanding it to include other goods would be a setback for already battered American industries.

''What sense does it make for Washington to be pursuing a domestic economic stimulation package while at the same time pursuing trade policies that put more textile workers out of work?'' said Carlos Moore, executive vice president of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute, an industry association.

In contrast to free-trade agreements, like the one the United States has with Mexico and Canada, the Andean Trade Preference Act lowers tariffs only on exports to the United States, not on imports from the United States. That, Mr. Moore said, has hurt the textile industry without giving American workers a chance to increase sales to the South American countries.

Expanding the products covered by the pact could cost America's textile industry thousands of jobs, Mr. Moore added…
All four Andean nations have a lot riding on a renewal of the pact, which was set in place in 1991, during the first Bush administration, as part of the war against drugs.

Since then, there have been some small successes. Peru and Bolivia have reduced their coca leaves harvest, though they have not ended the cultivation of coca plants. ''Progress has been made,'' President Alejandro Toledo of Peru said in a recent interview, ''but the problem has not been resolved.''

Ecuador and Colombia cannot report even that modest advancement, and some United States senators, including Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, complained at hearings in August that the trade pact has not worked as envisioned, sometimes at the expense of American farmers.

According to the State Department's latest drug control report, Ecuador ''continues to be a major transit area for drugs,'' and Colombia ''produces and distributes more cocaine than any other country in the world.''

Wednesday's Press Stories

From the daily Opinion

November 28, 2001

Translated by The Narco News Bulletin

Coca Talks Broke Down

Due to Lack of Political Will

The coca growers ceded most of their demands, including for a cato of coca per family. Evo Morales said he will not be responsible for what happens now in the Chapare. Luis Cutipa indicates that the Army of the People will radicalize its tactics.

North American pressures counted more than the will to solve the Chapare conflict. The talks on Coca and Economic Development of the Tropic broke down yesterday at 11:30 p.m., after the government announced the resumption of forced eradication of crops beginning today.

That the coca growers ceded in most of their demands, including that of a cato of coca per family, didn't solve anything, because the governmental representatives were not empowered to negotiate over the counterproposals of the farmers of the Chapare, say the mediators.

Evo Morales warned that he can not be responsible for what happens today in the Chapare, as the government chose violence so as to not invoke the opposition of the US embassy and its demands.

The leader Luis Cutipa went even farther and said that Self Defense Committees could start up again at any moment, and that the Army of the People will radicalize its tactics.

The government ministers of Interior and Agriculture, Leopoldo Fernandez and Walter Nuñez, practically fled from the Don Bosco coliseum through the back door, during the 11 p.m. break. They promised the mediators to return to the dialogue table but did not do that, and instead sent three assistants who were not empowered to negotiate anything and who returned only to announce that the forced eradication will continue, rejecting the counterproposals of the coca growers.

Incredible though it may seem, the coca growers abandoned their demand of a cato of coca per family and accepted the governmental proposal for a salary of 500 bolivianos and the price guarantees on alternative crops. The only thing they asked for was that the truce continue until Saturday, so they could inform their communities and confirm their response, and participate in the elaboration of a law that would guarantee compliance with the deal. They asked for a two-month pause in forced eradication, while the coca growers' leaders facilitate the response between the communities and the Congress to create the new law. In exchange, the coca growers offered to engage in voluntary eradication and to not plant more coca.

Although the proposal by the coca growers seemed coherent to the mediators, business sector and some members of Congress, the government did not want to accept it, due to international pressure.

Yesterday afternoon, government technicians received orders to leave the Chapare region immediately because the eradication scheduled to resume today could become violent. However, the government ministers did not want to speak further on this subject, nor on others. The mediators said that the dialogue was not broken and that they are ready to continue mediating when the parties want to resume talks.

From the daily La Prensa, Santa Cruz, Bolivia

November 28, 2001

Translated by The Narco News Bulletin

No Peace Accord:
Violence Looms

With the phrase, "this is useless," the Agriculture Minister Walter Nuñez declared the negotiations with the coca growers of the Chapare as "terminated." Hours before, President Jorge Quiroga said that he will not back down over the eradication of coca. The military is ready to act and the farmers poised to resist.

The mediators of the talks - the Church, the Public Defender, and the Human Rights office - worked overtime until midnight to evade the imminent return of violence to the region. They did not succeed.

The negotiations that began on Saturday at Don Bosco college in the city of Cochabamba, abruptly failed. The government maintained its policy of "zero coca," and Evo Morales' farmers said, "A cato of coca or death."

The dialogue was born stumbling, amidst discrepancies between the positions of the Bolivian government and the US Embassy.

The temporary suspension of the eradication of coca in the Chapare, with the goal of permitting peace talks, was interpreted as an error by Quiroga's government because it was supposed to show the United States an invincible policy of eliminating every last coca bush.

Agriculture Minister Walter Nuñez was in charge of presenting, on Monday, an offer that disarmed Evo Morales' strategy of a cato of coca, and the latter asked for a truce until Saturday to consult the base communities.

Nuñez offered to pay 500 bolivianos monthly over 15 months - a total of $15,000 bolivianos in income and technical support for farmers, a price stabilization fund for alternative crops and program to sell the crops in order to guarantee the production and the sale.

Last night, Evo Morales said that the government proposal had improved, but that he alone could not make the decision for 35,000 Chapare families who grow a cato of coca.

Morales, shortly before the rupture in the negotiations, said gave signals of agreement with the government. Toward this end, he demanded two conditions: a 30-day truce and a law to codify the government's offer.

The ministers negotiating for the government did not bother to give Morales a response. They left the meeting hall… The coca growers, at 11:30 p.m. reacted with a protest through the streets near Don Bosco College. They pledged "resistance" to the eradication of the coca crops.

Eradication Will Not Stop

President Jorge Quiroga yesterday called upon Bolivian society to oppose a cato of coca per family in the Chapare and announced that, in spite of all, forced eradication will return to the Cochabamba region starting today.

"All the people should speak out, as the Bishops Conference did, without shades of doubt nor qualifications. The cato of coca brings a stigma. It makes a kilo of cocaine. It harms the country through consumption. It brings corruption and threats of decertification," said the Commander in Chief…

The Military is Ready to

Suffocate Protest Movements

The soldiers and police of the Joint Task Force and the Expeditionary Task Force have not abandoned the Cochabamba region. The Defense Minister Oscar Guilarte explained that it is possible that the soldiers will begin today to prevent blockades on the highways…

Congressman Evo Morales said that if the eradication of coca resumes, the growers of the leaf will immediately organize to resume the blockades of roads.

In the event of confrontations, the leaders said that they will hold the government responsible for the consequences.
Although he did not confirm nor deny that the highway blockades will begin today, Morales explained that the decision will be made by the Six Growers Federations of the Cochabamba region.

Before the Coca Summit, the confrontations in the Chapare took the lives of three farmers and caused more than 20 injuries through bullet wounds.

Military: El Mallku and

Evo are "Terrorists"

From the daily La Prensa, Santa Cruz, Bolivia

November 28, 2001

The Narco News Bulletin

To the Armed Forces, terrorism in Bolivia has a name: Felipe Quispe and Evo Morales. However, to the mentioned leaders, this evil dresses in a uniform and lines up in military formation.

The international conference, "National Security and Terrorist Threat," opened by President Jorge Quiroga, was the stage upon which military officials revealed their strategy for the fight against evil and identified the potential enemies of the country.

Two Congressional committees organized the meeting after the September 11th attacks in the United States.
The military position was clear: Popular movements are the instruments used by national and international terrorism.

"Globalization and the growing situation of economic problems that challenge the country create our new threats, new risk factors, sources of instability. This context is a fundamental factor in the increase of crime, subversion and terrorism," said the director of Intelligence, Colonel Felix Torrico.

General Victor Hugo Garcia, who gave the presentation on behalf of the Army, went even further. He identified Felipe Quispe and Evo Morales as the visible faces of terrorist activity.

"I am going to point to two organizations that are in action: the coca growers' movement and the indigenous movement. They are in the most likely conditions to associate with a terrorist movement," he said.

Felipe Quispe was connected in the past with the Guerrilla Army Tupaj Katari. That relationship - according to General Garcia - is enough proof to confirm that the peasant leader is immersed in terrorist activity.

The strategies announced by the union leader during the blockades of roads in the high plains are interpreted by the officer as military tactics that prove his connection with illegal forces.

Quispe's group is advised by middle-class terrorists, including Alvaro Garcia Linera.

Evo Morales is another of the accused parties. "The sector (the coca growers) have a much more expressive form in terms of terrorism and subversion," said General Garcia.

The leader of the farmers of the Chapare spoke, during the recent conflict, of the possibility of creating a coca growers' army to respond to the aggressions of the military troops deployed in that region.

That warning was taken by the National Army as proof of the terrorist tendency of the union leader.

"The blockade of the principal highways of our country is the basis to execute terrorist and subversive plans," he argued.

Garcia did not hesitate to state the possibility that narco-trafficking is financing the protests of the farmers of the Chapare.

To Felipe Quispe, the State is the principal terrorist, because it uses the Armed Forces as an instrument to violate the rights of the populace.

"They're the terrorists. They have killed the farmers in the Chapare and in El Chalco, and they have raped the nation's women," he said.

But it is not the Bolivian soldiers who are, according to Quispe, the terrorists. It is the United States government.

The problem - said the leader - is the economic order, because the Bush administration wants to control Bolivian natural resources.

"The Yankees are trembling over what has happened to them. We have resisted for 500 years, and we will continue fighting."

The Dictionary of Modern Spanish defines terrorism as "A Method of political struggle based on terror" or "mystic radicalism of violence for violence's sake."

Last October, the General Assembly of the United Nations disputed during a long discussion about how to define terrorism, without confusing it with legitimate armed struggle or with social or national liberation movements.

The Bolivian military, that participated in the conference, characterized social pressure groups as terrorists. The Interior Minister is scheduled to give a presentation on "union terrorism."

But the governments are not in the habit of admitting the existence of a "terrorism of the State," defined as illegal action aimed to suppress social groups or resistance movements.

From Reuters Latin American News Service

November 27, 2001

Translated by The Narco News Bulletin

Quiroga: Terrorism and Narco-

Trafficking are "Siamese Twins."

The president of Bolivia, Jorge Quiroga, opened an international conference about security saying that the enemies of humanity in the 21st century are the "Siamese twins" of terrorism and drug trafficking.

The president made his comments as he opened the forum on "National Security and Terrorist Threat," that experts from 13 countries attended.

The conference, hosted by the Bolivian congress, is the first of its type in Latin America since the September 11th attacks against emblematic buildings of the United States in New York and Washington, that left close to 4,000 deaths.

"The new wall of the 21st Century separates those of us who firmly believe in freedom in all its expressions and those who want to destroy it," said Quiroga to delegates from Germany, Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Colombia, Spain, the United States, France, England, Israel, Mexico, Peru and Russia.

Quiroga, an engineer educated in the universities of the United States, replaced President Hugo Banzer who fell ill in August from cancer. He added that Afghanistan is the best example of how "terrorism and drug trafficking are Siamese twins."

The president cited an article published Monday in the New York Times, according to which the United States authorities believe that the production and traffic of opium helped to finance the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

The article that Quiroga apparently referred to stated, however, that the production of opium fell from 4,042 tons to barely 82 tons after the supreme leader of the Taliban, Mohammed Omar, decreed 18 months ago that the harvest of opium would be prohibited.

Quiroga's presidency will last for only one year more. He maintains a hard confrontation with some 35,000 family farmers who persist in growing coca leaves - the prime material of cocaine - in the Chapare region.

The president, supported by the United States, seeks to eradicate these crops and says that its production has a direct connection to drug trafficking, although the farmers defend it as their only way to make a living.

Bolivian law permits the cultivation of 12,000 hectares of coca in another region of the country for its use in the pharmaceutical industry and consumption as a food by the indigenous population.

The US Embassador in Bolivia, Manuel Rocha, expressed his gratitude to the 114 countries of the world that, he said, "stepped forward" with military, financial and humanitarian support to his nation after the attacks of September 11th.

The conference will last until Thursday.

Background Info

Nov. 28, 2001: Regime Arrests

Labor Leader Oscar Olivera

Nov. 27, 2001: Coca Growers

Study Government Proposal

Nov. 25, 2001: Bolivia Suspends

Coca Eradication; Talks Begin

Nov. 22, 2001: US Congress

"Disturbed" by Events

Nov. 16, 2001: Bolivia Burning

Archives of Last Year's Press Briefings on Bolivia:

10/5-10/2000: Five Days That Shook Bolivia

10/3-4/2000: Generals Don't Want to Fight Bolivian People

10/1-2/2000: Zero Hour in Bolivia

9/29-30/2000: Bolivia, US, "Narco-tize" the Conflict

9/28/2000: Spotlight on Bolivia, in Context of Perú and Colombia

The Fall of AP's Bolivia Correspondent:

McFarren Part I

McFarren Part II

Washington Post Report on McFarren's Fall

For More Narco News, Click Here

Terror Is As Terror Does