The Narco News Bulletin
Name of Our Country is América"
September 30, 2000
Government "Narco-tizes" The Conflict
from the daily Los Tiempos
Saturday, September 30,
La Paz | Los Tiempos.-
The central elements of the message of president Hugo Banzer
thursday night were that the eradication of coca will not be
stopped and he will not permit resistance to the construction
of military bases in Chapare. In this, the government narco-tizes
the conflict. He received the support of the United States for
this, that newly backed the fight against drug trafficking. In
previous days, the president made a pilgrimage to the armed forces
to secure explicit support for the anti-blockade actions....
The US Embassy already
knew what he would say; it had nothing left to do but listen
to the reiteration of it in the voice of the same President.
The eradication of coca will not stop, not now that only remain
2,000 hectares (5,000 acres) of the 38,000 that there had been
three years ago, an action for which he received much praise
and millions of dollars.
29 September 2000
US State Department Press
United States Supports Bolivia's "Plan Dignidad"
assistance will contribute to Bolivian anti-drug efforts)
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
September 29, 2000
STATEMENT BY RICHARD BOUCHER,
UNITED STATES SUPPORT
The United States and
the international community fully support
Bolivian President Banzer's Plan Dignidad to rid the country
illegal coca. As President Clinton told President Banzer in New
the United States has matched word with deed in this support.
We have a considerable
assistance package for Bolivia in the next
year, much of which will go to alternative development and to
the rural poor. In addition, over the course of the last decade
(1991-1999), the United States has forgiven nearly $450 million
Bolivian official debt under various reduction programs. The
States also provides in excess of $40 million annually in
counter-narcotics assistance for Bolivia, and an additional $110
million is earmarked for this purpose out of the recent supplemental
appropriation for Colombia and the region. We will continue to
international fora to garner even more support and assistance
In that regard, the debt
reduction process is well underway in Bolivia
and the Government of Bolivia has launched discussions at the
roots level on what can be done to alleviate poverty. We believe
these are responsible actions on the part of the Banzer Government,
which is intent upon ridding Bolivia of illegal coca and attracting
foreign investment in order to generate jobs.
For these reasons, we
believe both the demands and violent tactics of
the coca growers are destructive to Bolivia's national interests.
share and fully support President Banzer's call for communication
reconciliation and urge all Bolivians to take heed of the plea
10,000 women in Cochabamba for peace, dialogue and cooperation
achieving a brighter future for all Bolivians.
From the daily Los Tiempos,
September 30, 2000
Will be Radicalized in All Areas
Five thousand workers
of different sectors of the state solicited the resignation of
prefect José Orías Arredondo for the deaths in
Parotani on September 24, and decided to radicalize the blockades
in the neighborhoods and the historic zone of the city. The human
mass concentrated at 10:30 a.m. in San Sebastián Plaza
and marched through the principal streets and avenues of the
city shouting slogans against the government "for its incapacity
to resolve the demands of the different social sectors in conflict
in this country."
The union movement once
again ratified its solidarity and support to the coca-growers,
peasants, teachers and the demands to defend water and life.
From Los Tiempos
September 30, 2000
Why hasn't the ruler Banzer
yet crushed the movement?
This story indicates:
not even the soldiers will follow all orders....
is Prohibited!" "Soldiers, Shoot Them!"
Villa Tunari Los Tiempos.-
The journalists had been covering the trip of coca-growers leader
Evo Morales, who, at 2 p.m., boarded a helicopter in the airfield
of Villa Tunari to go to Santa Cruz and participate in the dialogue
with government representatives and the Church. Upon returning
and passing by the corner of the office of the National Highway
Service, where they found military units, the photographer of
ATB began to film the building that was guarded by two soldiers.
One individual, for his short hair and camoflage shirt, presumed
to be a mid-ranking military official, came to the door and shouted:
"Filming is prohibited!"
"Why? What crime
am I commiting? I am in the street," responded the journalist.
But the arguments didn't seem to convince the soldier that continued
insisting in the restriction. "You continue with your work
and I with mine," the cameraman said as he continued filming
the soldiers and the threatening individual.
This infuriated the military
official, who, looking at the soldiers gave the order that nobody
wanted: "Shoot!" The journalists, of Los Tiempos, Opinión
and ATB looked perplexed during the order. The soldiers couldn't
believe it either. "Go ahead an shoot, I am filming,"
was the cameraman's response. "Soldier! Shoot!" repeated
the order of the military official. The soldiers loaded their
arms, but could not bring themselves to aim and fire. Another
military official exited from the building and begged calm of
the first. Both returned inside and it was not possible to see
what they were doing.
from the daily La prensa,
La Paz, Bolivia
September 30, 2000
and Coca-Growers Find a Few Points of Agreement
By Daniela Otero
Santa Cruz / There was
little advance in the dialogue iniciated yesterday in Santa Cruz
between the coca growers of Chapare and government representatives
with the mediation of the Church, the Public Defender and the
Permanent Assembly of Human Rights of Bolivia. "There is
zero progress, we have not advanced at all, except in the theme
of four wounded who were brought to Santa Cruz and whose medical
costs will be paid by the government for humanitarian questions,"
said Evo Morales seconds after he left the room...
The coca producers insisted
in demanding that the government suspend the forced eradication
of their crops and permit each family to maintain one garden
-- of 40 by 40 meters -- of the crop. But the government insisted
that "Plan Dignity," that has as its goal "Zero
Coca by 2000" is not negotiable. "We want the government
to tell us how the peasant families are going to live when they
take away the coca crops," said the coca growers leader,
and he announced that there is neither any possibility that the
coca growers will back down from their demands... Their alternative
proposal is that no family can plant more than one garden of
coca and if they exceed this limit they will be punished by being
banned from growing coca in that terrain "for life."
from Bolivian Libertarian Youth
Tuesday, September 26,
Overwhelmed by the current
conflicts, and with no idea of what to do next,
the government shows signs of losing control. The President and
the areas of conflict are relying on the military and police
to unblock the
roads. This has resulted in more than seven deaths.
Meanwhile, in the political
arena, there have been increasing numbers of
calls for the President's resignation. A former government official,
Remedios Loza, who belongs to a condepista faction, has suggested
General Banzer leave office. And the MNR--an opposition party
increasing representation in the parliament--has questioned whether
President and his allies are capable of governing.
After eight days of intense
conflict, the main highways of the country
remain paralyzed. Long-distance transport has been suspended
(September 25) because of the highway blockades, according to
military and police officials, and reports by correspondents
of the news
agency Agencia de Noticias Fides.
The highways connecting
the seat of government, La Paz with Oruro,
Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Tarija, Sucre (legal capital and seat
and Potosi are completely blocked by millions of stones and tree
with profound social, political and economic consequences. The
the military troops on all the roads has not resolved the grave
In the city of Valle,
the coalition against the water privatization plan has
held a public meeting and called on the population to increase
blockades of bridges and streets. In the city of Cochabamba,
onward barricades were erected in the main streets. Meanwhile,
people from various districts increased the pressure with more
and blockades on several parts of the Cochabamba-Oruro highway.
Nine days ago, the rural
and urban teachers went on strike, demanding a 50
percent increase in their salaries, cancellation of the plan
to tighten the
central regulation of the education system, and some other things.
people oppose the Water Resource Law (for the privatization of
supply) and are calling for it to be reconsidered, along with
The coca growers are mainly requesting a stop to the building
barracks in Chapare and an end to the coca eradication program.
coalition supports these demands, and is also calling on the
break the contract with Aguas del Tunari, the local affiliate
multinational Bechtel Corporation.
On September 25, the government
of the bestial Banzer again bared its claws.
When the blockaders permitted a stranded transport of chickens
goods to pass Parotani, one hundred heavily armed military troops
placed in the trucks and snuck through the barricades.
According to the Human
Rights Assembly, once the military troops were
discovered violence erupted, and some people were killed.
There have been six people
murdered by the army, dozens injured by gunshots,
and more than four people are unaccounted for. Today, a unionist,
Plata was brutally beaten and detained. Other leaders have gone
Meanwhile, the government has begun to dismiss striking teachers,
to replace them with scabs. The education minister has been told
to get new
graduates and retired teachers to fill the vacancies.
In addition to the struggles
of the teachers, rural people and coca growers,
there are twelve other groups of people who are supporting them,
as well as
having their own demands. Among these are the settlers of Hernando
Chuquisaca, who have surrounded an oil field owned by Pairimiri,
making various demands.
The health care workers
announced a twenty-four hour strike for Tuesday, to
protest the privatization of the National Health Fund and to
demands of the other groups. The Civic Committee of La Paz called
stoppage for Wednesday to support the demands of all groups.
The rural people are demanding
the end of the Water Law project, including
rural electrification. They are also supporting the rural teachers.
In several struggles,
ordinary people have gone beyond their reformist
leaders. For example, the rural people of the high plateau (altiplano)
the car of their leader, Felix Santos, and threatened to beat
he was attempting to break their strike.
The workers of the cement
plant in Sucre declared a strike on September 24,
and occupied the airport of the city. They stopped the landing
industrialist Doria Medina, who is attempting to totally privatize
The situation is very
serious, not only because of the direct
confrontations, but also because of the scarcity of agricultural
the cities, which are virtually blockaded.
Because of the situation,
the Minister of the Economy, Ronald MacLean had to
cancel his trip to Prague, where he was to attend the summit
of the World
Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
On September 26, Bolivian
anarchist groups mobilized to protest both the
Prague summit and the fascistic government.
from the Libertarian
Updated at 5:34 p.m. EST September 30, 2000
Tourist in Bolivia Finds Slave Working Conditions
...Juan Mamani considers
himself one of the luckier men in Cerro Rico. A few years back,
he was carrying 50kg sacks of rocks up and down these passages,
all day, every day. Then one day he slipped on one of the wooden
ladders between levels, and fell beneath a full bag, badly injuring
his back. He had been on the verge of qualifying as a full member
of the co-operative. "Thank God for that accident,"
says the 28-year-old, who now works here only part-time as a
guide for tourists. "If I'd been here three months longer
I would have been here for life."
Life here is usually rather
short, due to the cocktail of lethal chemicals and gases which
circulate in the unfiltered air. Juan's father has done well
to make it to 53, having already lost 80 per cent of his lung
capacity to silicosis. Most die within ten years of starting
work, helped along by the constant breathing of acetylene vapour,
asbestos particles and silica dust. "What is that smell?"
asks a Canadian woman, as an unfamiliar, sickly-sweet odour envelops
us. Juan rubs the low rock above us with his fingers, and shows
us a white residue left on them. "Arsenic," he replies,
chuckling nervously. "Useful for your mother-in-law!"
This proves too much for the woman. At an altitude of 4330 metres
- roughly equivalent to the summit of Mont Blanc - it is already
hard enough to breathe. Now, gasping through her handkerchief,
she begins to hyperventilate. A Dutch woman also begins to panic,
and Juan quickly escorts them both back through the dark tunnels
towards the exit....
September 29, 2000
vs. The People
Ready for the "Clenched Fist" of President Banzer
Vows "Clenched Fist" Against Popular Movement
is Negotiable Except the War on Drugs says Bolivian Ruler
A Narco News Global Alert
from The Economist of London
Sep 30th - Oct 6th 2000
P A Z
road for Banzer
AS BOLIVIA's president, Hugo Banzer, watched
a civic parade in
his home city of Santa Cruz on September 24th, he was surprised
by a curious demonstration. Striking teachers held aloft the
green and white flag, dirt-smeared and crumpled, and then
ceremoniously scrubbed it in a bucket of water. Their message
was that Mr Banzer's administration had sullied the country with
corruption and misgovernment.
Novel in Bolivia, such flag-washing protests
have been regularly
held in Peru by opponents of President Alberto Fujimori. Now
Banzer, too, is facing demands that he should follow his Peruvian
colleague and step down. Since mid-September, for the second
time in six months, Bolivia has been almost paralysed by protests.
Barricades have closed the trunk roads. In clashes between
protesters and police, at least five people were killed, and
than 50 injured.
Several different groups have been involved.
They include coca
farmers, angry at an American-backed anti-drug programme under
which more than 30,000 hectares (74,000 acres) of coca have
been forcibly erradicated since Mr Banzer was elected in 1997.
But the coca farmers, who enjoy less public sympathy than in
past, are not alone. Many Bolivians have been angered by the
government's apparent complacency in the face of a stagnant
economy and widespread poverty. Peasant farmers, transport
workers and civic groups have staged their own protests.
Teachers, who typically earn $100 a month, are striking for a
Similar blockades in April forced the
government to concede a
wage increase of that order to the police, who had mutinied,
scrap the privatisation of the water company in Cochabamba,
Bolivia's third city. The government had hoped to avoid further
trouble with a consultation exercise, begun in June. Its aim
draw up a national anti-poverty plan using some $1.3 billion
relief under an international scheme to alleviate the debts of
countries. But the protesters are unimpressed. "Nothing
changed," says Oscar Olivera, a Cochabamba civic leader.
The coca farmers want at least 6,000 hectares
of coca in the
Chapare, an area north-east of Cochabamba, to be preserved for
traditional use (many Bolivians chew the leaves, or drink infusions
of them). And they want the government to drop its plans both
build three army barracks in the Chapare and to start erradicating
coca in the Yungas region north of La Paz. Backing down on these
issues would get Mr Banzer into trouble with the United States.
The president has cancelled a trip to
Japan. The government has
accused the opposition National Revolutionary Movement (MNR)
Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, Mr Banzer's predecessor, of plotting
to overthrow him. The MNR denies the charge, though smaller
opposition parties have called for the president, whose term
to 2002, to step down. Unlike Mr Fujimori, Mr Banzer, who ruled
a dicatator in the 1970s but is now a democrat, enjoys legitimacy.
But his competence is another matter.
A Pro-Government Communiqué
from the Associated Press, which has mainly been AWOL in the
day-to-day coverage of this mounting conflict. Note that this
story has no voice from the opposition quoted. The last story
filed by AP, on September 26, was about Bolivian military actions
against the uprising. But when
the people act, AP is mute. Banzer speaks, and AP files a story...
President Addresses Nation
By PETER McFARREN, Associated Press Writer
LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) - Bolivia's president
blamed a rash of violent protests on cocaine traffickers, saying
Thursday that they're trying to destabilize Bolivia in order
to protect their drug crops.
President Hugo Banzer said in an address
Thursday evening that the government will stand firm in its effort
to eliminate cocaine trafficking in the country. But violent
protests of the government effort has left 10 people dead and
more than 100 injured in the last week.
"For us to stop the eradication of
coca leaves is to turn over the nation to cocaine traffickers,"
Banzer said. "We will not surrender in our fight against
cocaine trafficking, and those who believe we will are wrong.
We will not tolerate any more violence and disorder."
His remarks were the first since coca
leaf growers and farmers began setting up roadblocks throughout
the country to protest the eradication effort. On a separate
front, public school teachers went on a general strike this week
to protest government layoffs.
"We are facing acts of sedition that
are being led by sectors backed by cocaine traffickers,"
the president said.
A clash with soldiers Thursday killed
two farmers and a school teacher in the Lake Titicaca border
town of Huarina. Two coca farmers were killed Wednesday in the
Chapare region. Confrontations between soldiers trying to lift
roadblocks and protesting coca producers, farmers and teachers
left five others dead this week.
About 5,000 acres of coca leaf remain
in the Chapare, a lush tropical region 380 miles east of La Paz.
It's about 5 percent of what existed four years ago. Farmers
are feeling the loss their main cash crop - the base ingredient
used to make cocaine.
Banzer has said Bolivia will no longer
be producing cocaine by the end of the year.
The roadblocks went up two weeks ago in the Chapare, after coca
farmers demanded the government stop its eradication of coca
plants and abandon plans to build three military barracks in
The roadblocks spread to the Bolivian
Andean highlands, where farmers demanded revision of land reform
legislation and an end to coca leaf eradication efforts.
They have interrupted traffic to Argentina,
Chile, Peru and across the country, and left hundreds of trucks
and buses stranded. Thousands of tons of food have been dumped
and left rotting because of the roadblocks.
Vegetables and fruit have nearly disappeared
from city markets. Meat, dairy and other food products have been
flown in from producing areas.
Government estimates of losses due to
protests have surpassed $100 million.
The government mobilized thousands of
soldiers and police to end the blockades, but new roadblocks
go up as soon as old ones are cleared.
from the daily Los Tiempos, Cochambamba,
September 29, 2000:
"Enough"; Announces Clenched Fist
President Banzer is sees himself persecuted
by the subversion of "adventurers" and drug traffickers.
Yesterday he said so in a message to the nation. He also commented
that the movement that convulses the country has other grave
motives such as racial differences. "This is inconceivable
and we are going to stop it," he said.
Unconfessable intentions are growing dangerously
but "make no mistake, the authority exists because there
is leadership and direction," said the President.
While the conflicts don't cease, 2,300
kilometers of inter-state highways in the state of Cochambamba
stay without maintenance for more than a week. The military and
trucking businesses lost almost $1.5 million dollars.
The threat: We are before a sedition.
We will not tolerate more violence. Enough with the disorder,
the adventures, and "uprisers," said Banzer in a message
to the nation.
The justification: There are reasons to
act, the citizens demand this action. We will defend democracy
with our firmest decision," said the president.
Order will be imposed: Our conciliatory
attitude has been confused with a lack of authority. Until now
we have acted prudently.
Zero coca: We will not negotiate the (coca-eradication)
goals of Plan Dignity. The fight against drug trafficking is
not negotiable. Those who are against eradication are the drug
More dialogue: Banzer left the door open
for dialogue. Social leaders "El Mallku" and Evo Morales
asked for guarantees to be included in the talks.
Three people died yesterday in Huarina,
during a blockade. Soldiers shot without measuring the consequences.
Banzer is convinced that his troops act with proper "responsibility
and caution." They have his backing.
Human Rights organizations, the Church
and the Public Defender announced the beginning today in Pucarani
a dialogue will start to address the peasant issues. In La Paz
the pay raise conflict will be analyzed and the coca growers
problem, in Santa Cruz.
The blockade has caused losses of $13.5
million dollars in exports. Sales of quinine, soy, hardwood,
cotton, palm and banana dropped considerably.
Take the Bases
"Take the bases", "bullet
for bullet," "equal for equal", "we don't
fear the tactic of bullets" by the government nor the "fascist
positions" of the businessmen, were some of the phrases
that the congressman and coca-growers' leader Evo Morales, during
an intense calm that was seen yesterday in the tropic of Cochabamba.
In a press conference after the conclusion
of an assembly of the six coca-growers federations, Morales reiterated
their ultimatum to the national government and added that one
of the first means the coca producers will take next week will
be to take the sub-military bases and governmental institutions
of the state of Cochabamba
Morales also exploded against private
businessmen in Santa Cruz who he called "fascist hypocrites"
because they receive contracts and loans from the government
but do nothing to create jobs nor solve the country's problem.
later in the day...
is your war. This is your war on drugs. Any questions?
Taking the Bases
from the Corrupted Media