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    Default Re: Turmoil in Bolivia

    Facts Now Reveal How OAS Lied About Bolivian ‘Election Irregularities’

    By 21wire
    November 21, 2019
    Opinion: The OAS lied to the public about the Bolivian election, and covered-up the subsequent military coup. Facts show there was nothing suspicious about the re-election of President Evo Morales.

    According to data compiled in the report below, but also from the recent study available at CEPR, there was no election fraud in Bolivia, which means that the ouster of President Evo Morales was indeed a coup d’etat…


    Mark Weisbrot Market Watch

    What is the difference between an outright lie — stating something as a fact while knowing that it is false — and a deliberate material representation that accomplishes the same end? Here is an example that really pushes the boundary between the two, to the point where the distinction practically vanishes.

    And the consequences are quite serious; this misrepresentation (or lie) has already played a major role in a military coup in Bolivia last week. This military coup overthrew the government of President Evo Morales before his current term was finished — a term to which nobody disputes that he was democratically elected in 2014.

    More violent repression and even a civil war could follow.

    OAS mission
    The Organization of American States (OAS) sent an Electoral Observation Mission to Bolivia, entrusted with monitoring the Oct. 20 national election there. The day after the election, before all the votes were even counted, the mission put out a press release announcing its “deep concern and surprise at the drastic and hard-to-explain change in the trend of the preliminary results…”

    Here is what the OAS was referring to: there is an unofficial “quick count” of the voting results that involves contractors who upload results at intervals, as the tally sheets are available. At 7:40 p.m. on election day, they had reported about 84% of the votes and then stopped reporting for 23 hours (more on that below).

    When they resumed reporting results at 95% of votes counted, Morales’s lead had increased from 7.9% before the interruption to just over 10%.

    This margin was important because in order to win without a second-round runoff, a candidate needs either an absolute majority, or at least 40% and a 10-point margin over the second-place finisher. This margin — which grew to 10.6% when all the votes were counted in the official count — re-elected Morales without a second round.

    Morales’s lead grew steadily
    Now, if you had any experience with elections or maybe even arithmetic, what is the first thing you would want to know about the votes that came in after the interruption? You might ask, were people in those areas any different from people in the average precinct in the first 84%?

    And was the change in Morales’s margin sudden, or was it a gradual trend that continued as more vote tally sheets were reported?

    You might even want to ask these questions before expressing “deep concern and surprise” about what happened, especially in a politically very polarized situation that was already turning violent.


    This graph shows that the lead held by President Evo Morales (light blue dots) and by his party in parliamentary elections (dark blue dots) rose at a steady rate for most of the vote counting. There was no sudden surge at the end to put him over the 10% threshold.

    A look at that data shows that the change in Morales’s lead was actually gradual and continuous, and started rising many hours before the break in reporting of the quick count. You can see that in a graph of the results.

    It’s geography
    Why did it happen? The answer is simple and not that uncommon: the people in later-reporting areas were more pro-MAS (Morales’s party, the Movement Toward Socialism) than those in areas that reported earlier. Hence the gradual and continuous rise in Morales’s lead, in which the votes after the interruption put him over the top.

    The OAS has published two press releases, one preliminary report, and one preliminary audit on the election. How many of these contained the disparagement of the election results implied by the “deep concern and surprise” quoted above? Three. How many contained anything about the difference between the percentage of MAS/Morales voters in areas with later returns versus earlier? Zero.

    As it turns out, the interruption in the quick count was not a sign of foul play either.

    Quick count has no legal status
    The quick count is separate from the official count, and has no legal status to determine the results. It’s never been intended or promised to be a complete count; in prior elections it did not even near 84%.

    It’s just a quick series of snapshots, done by contractors, to provide early results before the official count is done. It makes sense that the electoral authorities might not want two sets of voting results, which are inherently different, coming out at the same time in a violently polarized political situation.

    For those who like numbers better than graphs: Morales’s margin after the first 84% of votes was 7.9%, as noted. If we look at the remaining 16% of precincts, and we ask, what is Morales’s pre-interruption margin in the areas where these later-reporting precincts were located? That margin is about 22%. Again, a simple explanation of how his margin increased as it did with later returns.

    For a more powerful statistical analysis, we can project the remaining (and thus total) vote count on the basis of the first 84% reported. And — no surprise here — Morales’s projected final margin based on the first 84% of votes turns out to be slightly more than 10%.

    It is difficult, almost impossible, to believe that this OAS mission, or those above them in the OAS Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation, felt “deep concern and surprise” and yet were too incompetent to even look at this data.

    Three lies
    That is why I would say that they lied at least three times: in the first press release, the preliminary report, and the preliminary audit. And that is why I would regard with great skepticism the allegations presented in their preliminary audit, and further publications — unless these can be verified by independent investigators from publicly available data.

    And the OAS isn’t all that independent at the moment, with the Trump administration actively promoting this military coup, and Washington having more right-wing allies in the OAS than they did just a few years ago.

    Not to mention that the U.S. supplies 60% of its budget. But the OAS has horribly abused its mandate in election monitoring before, helping to reverse election results as the U.S. and its allies wanted: most destructively, in 2000 in Haiti; and also in the same country in 2011.

    More evidence: in the last three weeks, the OAS has refused to answer questions from journalists, on the record, about their statements or reports since the election.

    Maybe they are afraid that a curious reporter would ask questions like these: Is there a difference between the political preferences of people who live in later-reporting areas as compared to earlier ones? Doesn’t this explain how Morales’s lead rose to more than 10% as votes from more pro-Morales areas came in? Did you even look at this question?

    Since I am an economist, I believe in incentives: I am offering a $500 reward for the first journalist who can get a substantive answer to these questions from an OAS official, on the record. Even if turns out to be a lie.
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Bolivia

    They’re Killing Us Like Dogs: A Massacre in Bolivia and a Plea for Help

    “The military has guns and a license to kill; we have nothing.” – A Bolivian mother


    by Medea Benjamin

    Mintpressnews.com
    November 19, 2019


    I am writing from Bolivia just days after witnessing the November 19 military massacre at the Senkata gas plant in the indigenous city of El Alto, and the tear-gassing of a peaceful funeral procession on November 21 to commemorate the dead. These are examples, unfortunately, of the modus operandi of the de facto government that seized control in a coup that forced Evo Morales out of power.

    The coup has spawned massive protests, with blockades set up around the country as part of a national strike calling for the resignation of this new government. One well-organized blockade is in El Alto, where residents set up barriers surrounding the Senkata gas plant, stopping tankers from leaving the plant and cutting off La Paz’s main source of gasoline.

    Determined to break the blockade, the government sent in helicopters, tanks and heavily armed soldiers in the evening of November 18. The next day, mayhem broke out when the soldiers began teargassing residents, then shooting into the crowd.

    I arrived just after the shooting. The furious residents took me to local clinics where the wounded were taken. I saw the doctors and nurses desperately trying to save lives, carrying out emergency surgeries in difficult conditions with a shortage of medical equipment.

    I saw five dead bodies and dozens of people with bullet wounds. Some had just been walking to work when they were struck by bullets. A grieving mother whose son was shot cried out between sobs: “They’re killing us like dogs.” In the end, there were 8 confirmed dead.

    The next day, a local church became an improvised morgue, with the dead bodies–some still dripping blood–lined up in pews and doctors performing autopsies. Hundreds gathered outside to console the families and contribute money for coffins and funerals. They mourned the dead and cursed the government for the attack and the local press for refusing to tell the truth about what happened.

    The local news coverage about Senkata was almost as startling as the lack of medical supplies. The de facto government has threatened journalists with sedition should they spread “disinformation” by covering protests, so many don’t even show up. Those who do often spread disinformation.

    The main TV station reported three deaths and blamed the violence on the protesters, giving airtime to the new Defense Minister Fernando Lopez who made the absurd claim that soldiers did not fire “a single bullet” and that “terrorist groups” had tried to use dynamite to break into the gasoline plant.


    Gloria Quispe mourns next to the body of her brother Antonio, killed by security forces, in El Alto, Bolivia, Nov. 20, 2019. Natacha Pisarenko | AP

    It’s little wonder that many Bolivians have no idea what is happening. I have interviewed and spoken to dozens of people on both sides of the political divide. Many of those who support the de facto government justify the repression as a way to restore stability. They refuse to call President Evo Morales’ ouster a coup and claim there was fraud in the October 20 election that sparked the conflict.

    These claims of fraud, which were prompted by a report by the Organization of American States, have been debunked by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a think tank in Washington, D.C.

    Morales, the first indigenous president in a country with an indigenous majority, was forced to flee to Mexico after he, his family and party leaders received death threats and attacks–including the burning of his sister’s house. Regardless of the criticisms, people may have of Evo Morales, especially his decision to seek a fourth term, it is undeniable that he oversaw a growing economy that decreased poverty and inequality.

    He also brought relative stability to a country with a history of coups and upheavals. Perhaps most importantly, Morales was a symbol that the country’s indigenous majority could no longer be ignored.

    The de facto government has defaced indigenous symbols and insisted on the supremacy of Christianity and the Bible over indigenous traditions that the self-declared president, Jeanine Añez, has characterized as “satanic.” This surge in racism has not been lost on the indigenous protesters, who demand respect for their culture and traditions.

    Jeanine Añez, who was the third highest-ranking member of the Bolivian Senate, swore herself in as president after Morales’ resignation, despite not having a necessary quorum in the legislature to approve her as president.

    The people in front of her in the line of succession – all of whom belong to Morales’ MAS party – resigned under duress. One of those is Victor Borda, president of the lower house of congress, who stepped down after his home was set on fire and his brother was taken hostage.

    Upon taking power, Áñez’s government threatened to arrest MAS legislators, accusing them of “subversion and sedition”, despite the fact that this party holds a majority in both chambers of congress.

    The de facto government then received international condemnation after issuing a decree granting immunity to the military in its efforts to re-establish order and stability. This decree has been described as a “license to kill” and “carte blanche” to repress, and it has been strongly criticized by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

    The result of this decree has been death, repression and massive violations of human rights. In the week and a half since the coup, 32 people have died in protests, with more than 700 wounded. This conflict is spiraling out of control and I fear it will only get worse.

    Rumors abound on social media of military and police units refusing the de facto government’s orders to repress. It is not hyperbole to suggest that this could result in a civil war. That’s why so many Bolivians are desperately calling for international help. “The military has guns and a license to kill; we have nothing,” cried a mother whose son had just been shot in Senkata. “Please, tell the international community to come here and stop this.”

    I have been calling for Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and former president of Chile, to join me on the ground in Bolivia. Her office is sending a technical mission to Bolivia, but the situation requires a prominent figure.

    Restorative justice is needed for the victims of violence and dialogue is needed to defuse tensions so Bolivians can restore their democracy. Ms. Bachelet is highly respected in the region; her presence could help save lives and bring peace to Bolivia.


    Feature photo | Mourners carry the coffins that contain the remains of people killed by security forces in El Alto, outskirts of La Paz, Bolivia, Nov. 21, 2019. Natacha Pisarenko | AP

    Medea Benjamin is the co-founder of CODEPINK, a women-led peace and human rights grassroots organization. She has been reporting from Bolivia since November 14.


    Full article

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    Default Re: Turmoil in Bolivia

    Evidence Talks: US Government Propelled Coup in Bolivia

    By W.T. Whitney Jr. Global Research
    November 25, 2019


    A coup on November 10 removed the socialist government of Bolivian President Evo Morales. The U.S. government made preparations and orchestrated the final stages of the coup. It was in charge. In power for almost 14 years, Morales and Vice President Álvaro García Linera had won elections taking place on October 20. The two leaders would each have been serving a fourth term in office.
    Evidence of the U.S. crime appears below. It’s about money, U.S. influence within the Bolivian military, and U.S. control of the Organization of American States (OAS):
    1. For many years the Santa Cruz Civic Committee and its proto-fascist Youth Union received funding from the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy. According to analyst Eva Golinger some years ago, the USAID provided $84 million to Bolivian opposition groups.

    U.S. Embassy officials conspired with and paid the “civic committees” of Bolivia’s four eastern departments. Representing the European- descended elite of Bolivia’s wealthiest region, these groups promoted racist assaults. They concocted a separatist movement and tried to assassinate Morales. In response, the Bolivian government expelled the U.S. ambassador, Drug Enforcement Agency, and U. S. Agency for International Development.



    2. Bolivian armed forces commander in chief Williams Kaliman Romero on November 10 “suggested” that Morales resign. That was the coup de grace. Within three days, Kaliman himself resigned and moved to the United States. Sullkata M. Quilla of the Latin American Center for Strategic Analysis explains that Kaliman and other military chiefs each had received $1 million and that top police officers received $500,000 apiece. U.S. Chargee d’affaires Bruce Williamson allegedly arranged for monetary transactions that took place in Argentina’s Jujuy Province under the auspices of Governor Geraldo Morales. The story first appeared on the website www.Tvmundus.com.ar.

    3. Money flowed freely prior to Morales’s departure. Bolivian ambassador to the United Nations Sacha Llorenti – a Morales supporter – reported that, “loyal members of [Morales’s] security team showed him messages in which people were offering them $50,000 if they would hand him over.”

    4. According to the respected Argentinean journalist Stella Cattaloni, Ivanka Trump arrived in Jujuy on September 4-5 ostensibly to honor a small group of women entrepreneurs. Some “2,500 federal agents” and Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan accompanied her. At the same time, Governor Gerardo Morales was informed that the United States would be delivering $400 million supposedly to pay for improvements to a big highway in Argentina. Cattaloni suggests that a freight train running through Jujuy en route to Santa Cruz, the center of anti- Morales plotting in Bolivia, was transporting military equipment to opposition groups.

    There’s media speculation as to how Governor Morales may have facilitated the transfer of U.S. money to Luis Camacho, leader of the coup and head of the Santa Cruz Civic Committee. He may have done so in Santa Cruz, where he visited on September 4, or in Jujuy Province where Camacho may have showed up later that day or the next.

    5. According to analyst Jeb Sprague:
    “At least six of the key coup plotters are alumni of the infamous School of the Americas, while [General] Kaliman and another figure served in the past as Bolivia’s military and police attachés in Washington.”
    For decades, Latin American military personnel have received training and indoctrination at that U.S. Army school now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.

    Sprague notes also that the top commanders of police that mutinied had received training at the Washington-based Latin American police exchange program known by its initials in Spanish as APALA.

    6. The OAS played a crucial role in the coup. Votes were being tallied on October 20 when the OAS, having audited preliminary results, announced that they showed irregularities. The U.S. government echoed the findings and street protests intensified. On October 24 the Supreme Electoral Tribunal declared first-round victories for Morales and García Linare. Protests mounted. The government, under stress, requested another OAS audit.

    The OAS made its conclusions public on November 10, earlier than expected:
    The OAS couldn’t “validate the results of this election [and called for] “another electoral process [and] new electoral authorities.”
    This was the tipping point. Morales convoked another election but shortly thereafter General Kaliman forced him to resign.

    The OAS findings were false. Walter Mebane and colleagues at the University of Michigan, having examined voting statistics, indicated that fraudulent votes in the election were not decisive for the result. The Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research performed its own detailed study and reached the same conclusion.

    The OAS served as U.S. handmaiden. Headquartered in Washington, the organization took shape under U.S. auspices in 1948 with the assigned task of protecting Latin America and the Caribbean from Communism. More recently the OAS, under Secretary General Luis Almagro’s guidance, has spearheaded U.S. efforts to expel President Nicolas Maduro’s progressive Venezuelan government.

    Paradoxically, Almagro in May 2019 gave Morales the go-ahead for a fourth presidential term. That was despite a referendum having been defeated that would have allowed the extra term. Almago’s intention may have been to lull Morales into cooperating with OAS overview of the election results.

    7. Other signs of U.S. coup preparations are these:
    • Prior to the October 20 elections President Morales charged that U.S. Embassy officials bribed rural residents to reject him at the polls. They traveled, for example, to the Yungas region on October 16 with pay-offs to disaffected coca farmers.
    • According to Bolpress.com, the National Military Coordinator (Coordinadora Nacional Militar), an organization of reserve military officers, received and distributed money sent from the United States to create social crisis prior to October 20. The United States also used embassies in Bolivia and the evangelical church as facades to hide its activities. Mariane Scott and Rolf A. Olson, U.S. Embassy officials in La Paz, met with counterparts in the embassies of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina to coordinate destabilization efforts and to deliver U.S. financing to opposition forces inside Bolivia.
    • Weapons shipments from the United States arrived at the Chilean port of Iquique on their way to the National Military Coordinator group inside Bolivia.
    • The State Department allocated $100,000 to enable a company called “CLS Strategies” to mount a disinformation campaign through social media.
    • The CIA station in La Paz assumed control of Bolivia’s Whatsapp network in order to leak false information. More than 68,000 fake anti-Morales tweets were released.
    • In mid-October “political consultant” George Eli Birnbaun arrived in Santa Cruz from Washington with a team of military and civilian personnel. Their job was to support the U.S. – preferred presidential candidacy of Oscar Ortiz and to destabilize the country politically after the elections. They provided support for Santa Cruz Civic Committee’s youth organization – specialists in violence – and supervised the U.S. – financed “Standing Rivers” NGO, engaged in spreading disinformation.
    • Sixteen audio recordings of the plotters’ pre-election conversations were leaked and showed up on the internet. Several of the voices mentioned contacts with the U.S. Embassy and with U.S. Senators Ted Cruz, Robert Menendez, and Marco Rubio. Sprague reports that four of the ex-military plotters on the calls had attended the School of the Americas.
    This presentation focuses entirely on the evidence. In a criminal investigation, evidence is central to determining guilt or innocence. Considerations of motive and context are of lesser importance, and we don’t deal with them here. But when and where they are attended to, they would logically fall into categories that include the following:
    1. A socialist experiment was showing signs of success and capitalists of the world were facing the threat of a good example.

    2. A people once held hostage by colonial powers was able to claim sovereign independence and in that regard had endeavored to retain much of the wealth provided through natural resources, lithium in particular.

    3. Throughout its existence the Morales government, headed by an indigenous president, was up against anti-indigenous prejudice, racist in origin, and social-class divisions.

    4. All the while, that government was the target of hostility, plotting, and episodic violence at the hands of the entitled classes.
    So the evidence is clear. It points to a controlling U.S. hand in this coup d’état. The U.S. government bears heavy responsibility. There were Bolivian instigators, of course, but the U.S. plotters fall within the range of our own political processes. That’s why our accusing finger points at them.

    In this instance, the U.S. government, as is its custom, disregarded international law, morality, respect for human life, and common decency. To stifle popular resistance the U.S. government evidently will stop at nothing, other than force in the hands of the people. What kind of force remains to be seen.

    *
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    Last edited by Hervé; 27th November 2019 at 16:33.
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Bolivia

    I find it very interesting that Mexican president AMLO is also indigenous and accepted Morales in Mexico, and now we hear Trump talking about labeling narco cartels as terrorists and have that guy from the LeBranon family pushing hard on this. Maybe what follows is a self-invitation into Mexico from the US government, to deal with the new terrorist groups

    How odd really, you know what i mean and i find it disturbing and so full of hypocrisy
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Bolivia

    Bolivian TV operator shuts down RT Spanish broadcasts

    https://www.rt.com/news/474513-rt-sp...taken-off-air/

    Quote RT Spanish broadcasts in Bolivia will be terminated starting next week, the country’ leading private TV operator has announced without a prior notice or clear explanation, citing only orders from its administration.
    Cotas, a non-governmental operator and the leader in the Bolivian paid television market, sent a notice to RT on Wednesday that the Spanish service would be taken off air on December 2.

    “This is a decision taken by the company’s administration, which tasked us with shutting down the channel’s broadcast,” said the statement, without going into any other details.
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Bolivia

    The Bolivian army destitutes 700 soldiers because they reject racism against their own people

    http://www.rtve.es/noticias/20140425...deCQnuYTeFOGpc

    English translation
    https://translate.google.com/transla...deCQnuYTeFOGpc
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Bolivia

    Quote Posted by Mashika (here)
    Bolivian TV operator shuts down RT Spanish broadcasts
    Oh of course. Russia is a Christian nation. The Italian game that these Spaniards worship, is not. They have been rejecting moderate Byzantine humanism for over a thousand years. I have no clue what makes them so successful as to be able to wage "the Seventh Crusade in Bolivia" in 2019...who supports this??

    Again I feel a need to mention that when moving, my new next door neighbor will be School of the Americas. They have bought an ordinary house and occupied much land and train with .50 cal and cannons and if you did not know it was there, you can't tell, there is no sign like Prop. U. S. D. o. D., no marker, nothing. On the one hand it makes me furious as I consider them bandits who have stolen our funds to do this, and, secondly, it is for real, a whole heap of training to do things to "a South American country". Just waiting for opportunity.

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    Default Re: Turmoil in Bolivia

    Lithium has been found in Mexico, how truly odd due to recent events in Bolivia, which now we know are related to Lithium right from the beginning

    https://aristeguinoticias.com/0512/m...-sonora-video/

    English translation
    https://translate.google.com/transla...onora-video%2F

    Just recently Trump decided to label Mexican drug cartels as terrorists, and now a sudden discovery of Lithium on Mexico makes the news

    You see articles like this one
    https://www.vox.com/2019/11/27/20985...illy-terrorist
    Quote Members of the National Guard patrol the Sonora mountain range, where nine members of the LeBaron community were killed on Monday in the municipality of Bavispe, Sonora state, Mexico, on November 8, 2019.
    Then this guy asking Trump to intervene in that exact same state "Sonora"
    "Cousin of Mexican cartel victims calls for help from Trump, says family was not caught in crossfire"
    https://www.foxnews.com/media/cousin...resident-trump
    Quote Daniel Lebaron, a cousin of Rhonita Maria Miller, says his family would not leave their home in Sonora, Mexico, after a deadly cartel attack earlier this week killed nine of his family members — including Miller.

    Quote We have the fortune, after Chile and Bolivia, of having Lithium deposits
    Said the Sonora governor

    LOL
    Last edited by Mashika; 6th December 2019 at 09:27.
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    Default Re: Turmoil in Bolivia

    Bolivia’s New Gov’t Targets Foreigners With “Anti-Terror” Death Squads

    The new move creating an unaccountable armed security force directly aimed at foreign terror will do little to quash fears that Bolivia is heading down the road to a totalitarian dictatorship.

    by Alan Macleod
    December 06th, 2019

    Bolivia’s new Interior Minister Arturo Murillo has unveiled a new battalion of heavily militarized, black-clad “anti-terror” police aimed at neutralizing what the government claims are foreign groups “threatening” the South American country.

    “This anti-terrorist group has a mission of dismantling absolutely all the terrorist cells that are threatening our homeland,” Murillo said, at an official ceremony launching the force. The Interior Minister posed for photos in front of the masked and heavily armed force.

    Murillo justified the new creation based on a “grand conspiracy against all of the Americas” he claimed to have uncovered, asserting that the Venezuelan government had colluded with ousted Vice-President Alvaro Garcia Linera to flood the continent with narco-terrorists and drug runners.

    He went on to claim that Venezuelan politicians Nicolas Maduro and Diosdado Cabello “have financed all the terror we have seen in recent times” in Bolivia, referencing the massacres that claimed over thirty lives since the right-wing coup of November 10. Police Chief Rodolfo Montero claimed that the unit is designed to “dismantle the foreign groups who were trained and guided to sow terror among the citizenry.”

    Deposed president Evo Morales hit back at the new Interior Minister, stating that, “the coup plotters who seized power in Bolivia are now inventing incredible stories in order to blame others for the state terror they are imposing on others,” noting that the only terrorism in the country is their “blood and fire” attack on the Bolivian people.

    Murillo has filed a case at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Netherlands, against Morales, attempting to convict him of crimes against humanity. Morales faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

    While the new government has portrayed the battalion as a counter-terror unit, there are well-founded fears that the force will actually be targeted at foreign journalists and human rights activists that might present a different picture of the country to the outside world than the one the government wants. Murillo recently directly threatened a newly arrived human rights delegation from Argentina. “We recommend these foreigners who are arriving…to be careful,” he said, “We are looking at you. We are following you,” warning them that there will be “zero tolerance” for any “terrorism” or “sedition” they enact. He added that “At the first false move that they make, trying to commit terrorism and sedition, they will have to deal with the police.”

    The human rights group responded, “While the de facto government accuses us of being terrorists, we have started what we came to do, take testimony of the different human rights violations that the Bolivian people are enduring.” Murillo was true to his word: the police subsequently detained 14 members of the delegation.

    The irony is that it is precisely the new Bolivian coup government and the death squads Murillo controls that have been responsible for grave human rights violations across the country, including two massacres near the cities of Cochabamba and La Paz. Last month the military demanded newly elected president Evo Morales step down, handpicking Senator Jeanine Añez as president, in an action most mainstream media refused to label a “coup.” The move was hailed by the Trump administration but condemned by many of the Democratic Party’s left-wing, including Senator Bernie Sanders. Añez immediately exonerated all security forces of past and future crimes during what she called the “re-establishment of order”, widely understood as granting them a license to kill with impunity. Morales was forced into exile and Murillo began “hunting down” elected pro-Morales officials like the “animals” they were, in his own words.

    The new government has also attacked the press, forcing critical international media, like TeleSUR and RT en Español off the air. Meanwhile, an Al-Jazeera anchor was tear-gassed in the face live on air by a member of the security forces. Other journalists have simply been detained and disappeared.

    Throughout all this, the Organization of American States and the media have whitewashed events, claiming Morales’ election was fraudulent and supporting the new “interim transitional government.” More than 100 economists, statisticians and academics signed a letter Monday, confirming that, after careful analysis, the results of the October election Morales won were completely legitimate. They claim that the “OAS has to answer for its role” in supporting the coup, contributing to the human rights violations and state terror sweeping the country.

    The new move creating an unaccountable armed security force directly aimed at foreign terror will do little to quash fears that Bolivia is heading down the road to a totalitarian dictatorship with no freedom of expression.

    MintPress News has been extensively covering the situation in Bolivia. For more, click here.

    Feature photo | Armed police stand near the presidential palace in La Paz, Bolivia on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. Juan Karita | AP

    Alan MacLeod is a MintPress Staff Writer as well as an academic and writer for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. His book, Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting was published in April.

    Republish our stories! MintPress News is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.
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