Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"War on Drugs" red herring

Is recent deadly violent conflict in tropical Cochabamba between indigenous peoples and cocaleros really the fault of Evo Morales' "permissive" or "much looser" coca regulation (feeding cocaine production) as put by Reuters and Jim Shultz at the Blog from Bolivia?

To get beyond rhetoric as Shultz put it, let's get some facts.

1. Coca cultivation has increase in recent years in Bolivia.

2. Evo Morales has pursued a demilitarized coca regulatory policy, to keep coca farmers from being murdered by the DEA.

3. Morales has shifted coercive man power to policing cocaine traffickers and producers.

4. Bolivian anti-narcotics police, FELCN, have since Morales taking office more than doubled cocaine seizures and continues to make seizures of large cocaine factories, all without the "help" of the DEA.

5. Morales' demilitarized coca regulations have resulted in the eradication of more coca cultivation per hectare than under previous neoliberal administration.

Now about the clash between indigenous groups protecting their territory and cocaleros deforesting and invading the land. It somehow got forgotten that this specific land dispute (the TIPNIS indigenous reserve) in tropical Cochabamba is nothing new, even to the Morales government, and goes back more than a decade; the subject of multiple land conflict studies and government intervention by multiple administrations.

A land conflict that has to be understood from different sides and relating to subjects beyond the "War on Drugs", such as deforestation, development in the Amazon, poverty, and indigenous and environmental rights, to name a few.

What journalistic enterprise did the best job covering this story? even interviewing some of the groups involved? As usual the Latin American Herald Tribune which continues its great coverage of the world "South of the Border".

And hey, look, we find out that from Deputy Interior Minister Marcos Farfan that the government considers the coca cultivation in the reserve "illegal" while vice president of the Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Bolivia, or CIDOB, Pedro Nuny accused the government of negligence, not intervening in time to halt the violent clash.

So why is this conflict seen as a part of cocalero Evo Morales vs. the US "War on Drugs"? Because that is what uninsightful gringos who suspect Evo is up to no good like to hear. Much rather than the complex muddle of decades old land problems and questions in Bolivia.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Men of the Lake

Short 2007 documentary on the indigenous Uru community, threatened by mining contamination from the Inti Raymi mine. The same mine seized by indigenous protesters last week. Made by SIT Study Abroad Bolivia participant Aaron Naar.

From Media Development

Friday, September 25, 2009

Our Free World

Tested in "liberated" Iraq and Afghanistan, ready for "free democracies" Honduras and the United States.

Get to know your dystopian future, present! The "Long Range Acoustic Device" (e.i. sonic weapon):

Capitalizing security: "Non-lethal" weapons and the market

Michelletti's newest US-Israeli toy

Sonic Warfare erupts in Pittsburgh, Honduras

(Hat tip: BoRev)
update: Including day light kidnappings by uniformed military of protesters. fun...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Shit! The Indians are coming back for their gold!

Now this whole "indigenous rights" thing is getting out of control, just check this out for the AP and Fordes:

Indian activists sieze big gold mine in Bolivia !!!!!

It is almost like these people think they have rights to the natural wealth of the land they have been living on for thousands of years. Haven't they heard about Columbus yet? I mean geez...

But it seems these savagas have been "emboldened by a new constitution" or some other crazy hippy ideas, better whip together a posse. Good thing in the United States recongition of indigenous liberties (they seem to have the strang idea that they lived on this land first) only extends to gold "liberty" coins nerdy white people and museums collect.

Evo calls out capitalism

The capitalist systems should recongize and pay for their climate debt

During a press conference at United Nations Headquarters this morning, Bolivian President Evo Morales Ayma declared that “capitalist lifestyles” were at the root of climate change problems, as he discussed key proposals to protect the environment and bring to justice those who contributed to pollution.

In New York to take part in the Secretary-General’s Climate Change Summit ahead of the General Assembly’s annual general debate, Mr. Morales focused exclusively on environmental responsibility, arguing that “Mother Earth” was sacred and should not be turned into private enterprise by the “capitalist system”.

“We must change the capitalist lifestyle,” he said, since the capitalist system favored obtaining the maximum profit possible, without taking into due consideration the lives of others or the environment.

continue reading...

NBC "investigations"

A recent visit:

Nbc Universal (

United States New York, United States, 0 returning visits

23rd September 200916:09:35 Page

Yes, that reads a Google search for "Evo Morales crazy". I hope they learned something.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Zelaya in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa!

The Road to Zelaya's Return

Ben Dangl

Nearly three months after being overthrown in a violent military coup, ousted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya has returned to Honduras. "I am here in Tegucigalpa. I am here for the restoration of democracy, to call for dialogue," he told reporters. The embattled road to his return tested regional diplomacy, challenged Washington and galvanized Honduran social movements.

continue reading...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Spot the difference



Now I understand why the United States believes Bolivia is "failing demonstrably" in its policing of cocaine trafficking. Take this "journalist" Arthur Bruzzone of the SF Examiner look at Bolivia's lithium, "Like Bolivia's cocoa crops, it's all about demand. And like cocoa and cocaine, with regard to lithium, the U.S. remains an energy addict."

You guys can't tell the difference between coca (industrially processed to make cocaine) and cocoa (used to make delicious chocolate!). Explains a lot.

Maybe it is best we just leave the whole subject of lithium behind until this confusion gets straightened out.

Update: Looks like Arthur Bruzzone or the editors have cleaned up their idiocy, without a corrections citation. (Thanks Andrew)

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Want to know which country won't be getting multi-billion dollar energy firm deals with Bolivia any time soon?

Obama reaffirmed Bush's decision to put Bolivia on the "drug blacklist" for "failing demonstrably" in its anti-narcotics measures. Funny, I would have thought doubling cocaine seizures and maintaining coca eradication would have qualified. I wonder why the US nixed that Czech surveillance plane purchase if Bolivia needed more help.

But don't worry, Obama has signed an exemption for Bolivia and Venezuela allowing the US "to continue certain bilateral aid programs in the two South American countries." (In plain speech: continue support for rightwing opposition groups and coupmongers).

Isn't it weird that the world's three largest narcotics producing countries (Afghanistan, Colombia, and Peru) are all US allies and do not appear on the "blacklist"? What do you think that is all about, eh?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How smart countries do business with Bolivia

Evo with the Spanish royal family

Craving all the profits to be made in South America's leading economy? Well, when Evo says Bolivia wants partners and not bosses, to be treated with respect and as equals, you might want to listen. The Spanish seem to be starting, and they are not know for their history of treating the their former colony very well.

Spain has suspended 60% of Bolivian debt to the country, offered157 million euros in aid, and then wouldn't you be surprised, the Spanish oil firm Repsol gets to invest 1.6 billion dollars in Bolivia's state energy firm. Does not look like Spanish capital is getting the short end of the stick to me. But if you read the loser English language press Morales is all communism somehow.

Hey whitey, maybe it is time you woke up and realized you are living in a different world.

Todos somos Guerreros

A documentary on political hip-hop in El Alto. Part 1:

continue viewing...

Why Evo opposes US bases

Put simply, "Where ever a US base exists, there are military coups." (Hint: Honduras)
In front of 5 thousand Bolivians and citizens of other nationalities, the head of state recalled that the constitution of his country “does not allow any foreign military base, less so one belonging to the US.”
Ben Dangl is on the ball with the details on why US bases in Colombia would be a threat to countries in the entire region:
One US military document cited by the AP explains that the Palenquero base in Colombia – which the US plans transform with a $46 million upgrade – would be a stopping off point for the US military and air force so that "nearly half the continent can be covered by a C-17 (military transport) without refueling."

"This ongoing cooperation is much more important than direct military presence, as current military technology allows troops to concentrate in any given area within a matter of hours."
The excellent Dangl piece (go read) then quotes Evo directly demystifying the US policy excuse for these new bases in the "War on Drugs";
Morales spoke of his experiences as a coca grower and union leader facing the brunt of US militarization. "I witness this," he said, when describing repression. "So now we're narcoterrorists. When they couldn't call us communists anymore, they called us subversives, and then traffickers, and since the September 11 attacks, terrorists," Morales said. "The history of Latin America repeats itself."

Morales said the root of the drug problem lies in the US, not in South America. "If UNASUR sent troops to the United States to control consumption, would they accept it? Impossible!
Evo has a way of getting to the basic heart of the matter, no?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

If only it were true

So I guess it has been too long since I have been in the States because from abroad you are beginning to look seriously crazy, like really. Maybe it is time to ask for some help. Castro has some thoughts.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

And the carnival clowns start their parade

One year after the massacre of campesinos in Pando by rightwing paramilitaries reasonable people like the United Nations and Morales spent the day honoring the dead, reflecting on the destructive racist and separatist politics behind the violence, and demanding justice for the dead.

But if you are remnant subscriber to the rightwing opposition, the Presidential candidate Manfred Reyes Villa, or if wicked saddism just happens to float your boat, you sent the day listening to encarcerated ex-Pando Prefect Leopold Fernandez's attractive daughter Pamela Fernandez insist that her daddy really didn't kill all those Evo supporters!

The 2006 Pando Carnival Queen exclaimed that her daddy, now the VP running mate with Manfred, is really the victim of vicious political persecution by Morales' government. (As I said, the start of many clowns Manfred will use in his campaign)
The government needs him in jail, the government knows that LeopoldoFernandez is not guilt, but they need him because there only exist two options: either Leopold Fernandez or the government under the hand of Minister Quintana who organized all of this, so they need Leopold guilty.
Confused, what has Government Minister Quintana got to do with the Pando massacre?

Well, after Fernandez's paramilitary goons went nuts the Bolivian corporate press came up with a theory to explain their murderous behavior while blaming Morales for the deaths of his own supporters. They dug up an old tape of Minister Quintana at a Pro-Evo rally in Pando prior to the August 10th Recall Referendum, in which the mandates of both President Morales and the Departmental Prefects were put up to a vote.

At the rally Quintana called for supports to "politically bury" Fernandez, which any sane person would interpret as to mean voting against Fernandez in the recall, but if you are a clinically insane oppo this statement by Quintana in August was actually an order to violently rise up September 11th and murder all white women being valiantly protected by Fernandez or something of the sort.

This delusion builds on the disinformation campaign by corrupt Bolivian journalist (many of them on Fernandez's payroll) immediately following the massacre to confuse the public. The President of Bolivia's Permanent Human Rights Forum explained, "From the start there existed and exists persons trying to hide the deliberate fire of leaders in El Porvenir [site of the massacre], side by side with a methodic campaign of the media to make it appear not as a massacre but rather a confrontation."

These fantasies play perfectly into the racist psychology of the rightwing in whose world Pando's campesinos were always happy and obedient living as peons on a feudal frontier until those nasty commies from La Paz started stirring up agitation with talk about "land reform", "racial equality", "democracy" and other such crazy ideas. (Yes, it is essentially the same logic segragrationists used during the civil rights movement in the US) So when these campesinos got up to march and protest the massacre was a natural outcome, for their own good, Fernandez is not responsible, they should have known better. It was Quintana's fault for giving them such ideas in the first place.

Manfred and the Butcher 09!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Victor Jara this 9-11

One year after the fascist coup attempt and the massacre of Pando, life and democracy overcomes death and fascism. Victor Jara's voice remains just as prophetic forty years later.

Vientos del Pueblo

Canto Libre

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Watch where you point that finger haters

You know what they say about people living in glass houses? Well it seems the Evo haters have yet to hear it.

Not too long ago the Bolivian daily La Razon decided they wanted to demonstrate Evo's disasterous economic policies in the mining sector with hard data. Problem was there are no figures showing problems, quite the opposite actually. So what is a reputable paper, endorsed by The New York Times, to do?

I know, just make up some fake figures showing declining production at state mining operations. Like anyone will notice. It is not the first time La Razon has made up stories.

Oops! It turns out the Bolivian Mining Minister reads! He is filing suit against La Razon.

And then there is the fascist Branko Marinkovic who has announced he will file libel suits against two Bolivian journalists for publishing claims that he financed the neonazi mercenary group broken up in April.

Problem is he did bankroll the bastards (one of nazi punks has already said so) and with the question put back in the public eye, Bolivia's Public Prosecutor has stated that a arrest warrent exists for Marinkovic in connection to the mercenaries but has yet to be acted upon. (Read: Santa Cruz police have not acted upon the warrent.)

So it goes to show you... You know. It's like Lenin said, you look for the person who will benefit and... ah... you know...

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Capitalists sort of admit Bolivia's success

With Bolivia's economy leading Latin America, with most sable financial macros, Fitch Rating decided to upgrade Bolivia's credit grade to "B".

From the Wall Street Journal online edition:
The approval of a new constitution in January eased some tensions, Fitch noted, while "increased discretionary public spending and conditional cash transfers may continue to mitigate social pressures arising from economic deceleration and declining remittances."

Fitch noted Bolivia has been able to navigate slumping commodity prices and exports while "limited foreign participation in Bolivia's banking system as well as the absence of toxic assets or sizable international funding has shielded the country from fallout from the global crisis through direct financial channels."Despite increased spending by the Morales administration, Bolivia's government has continued to run surpluses.

But I still would not plan on reading about such an economic miracle (unless you are named Peru) outside of China.

Your game is getting tired whitey.

P.S. The Dude slept in as he often does and Otto beat him to the headline.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Bolivia: "It is possible to build a better world"

Federico Fuentes

As Bolivia heads towards its December 6 national elections, the right-wing opposition has again turned to violence and disinformation to try to halt the process of change led by the country’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales.

On August 11, letter bombs sent to social movements were discovered and deactivated.

One of the bombs detonated in the hands of the wife of Fidel Surco, a leader of the National Coalition for Change, which unites most of Bolivia’s indigenous, peasant, worker and popular organisations. She was hospitalised and treated for severe damage to her hands and eyes.

Sergio Loayza, vice president of Morales’ Movement Towards Socialism party (MAS), said “[these] violent acts of terrorism are aimed at frightening our leaders” because the right wing knows “that they cannot win the elections”.

continue reading...

Monday, September 07, 2009

Opposition set to lose

December is lining up with the rightwing opposition putting on its best genocidal face with the Manfred-Fernandez ticket while all others without the manly balls to murder two or three dozen campesinos are bowing out. Victor Cardenas just got his wife beat up by some campesinos and Jorge "Tuto" Quiroga's terrorist stunts never matched up to that of his mentor dictator Hugo Banzer, so they both dropped out of the race. Morales has publically accused the Manfred-Fernandez campaign of recieving funds from the United States (USAID, ect.), which would be in keeping with previous US support (USSOUTHCOM, cough) for these violent thugs.

Those of you wondering who will take the perverbal "political center" in this year's elections should note that Morales already has the all bases covered in his stated attempt to include representatives from every social sector in his party's ticket. The first Senator on Morales' MAS ticket is Ana María Romero de Campero, Bolivia's ex-ombudsman (public defender) under previous neoliberal administrations and probably the most respected living woman in Bolivia for her work defending and advocating on behalf of human rights. That's right, even the professional middle class of Santa Cruz is getting behind Evo.

So what voters are left for the opposition? I guess whatever nutters still think Leopold Fernandez ought to have massacred a few more dozen campesinos while he was at it.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Hey John Enders, the Bolivian fascists want you dead too

Attention all racist apologist journalists. You know those "democratic" defenders of "liberty" and "free-enterprise" in Santa Cruz you have been writing nonsense on behalf of against the evil "authoritarian" Evo Morales?

Well it turns out they want you dead too- not just the poor little brown people you don't give a shit about, even if they are enslaved by your champions of "freedom". Yesterday, the Mayor of Santa Cruz Percy Fernández (who had previously called for a military coup to topple Morales) called for "traitor" journalists to die- but of "natural causes" so no one would blame him.

Great champions of liberty no? Like Jefferson in the flesh.

For idiots like John Enders who believe Evo is repressing free press in Bolivia. Morales has denounced Percy Fernandez for his threats against the press and ordered an investigation to pursue possible criminal charges.

Bolivia finds non-US market for textiles

What happens to the world when countries decide they actually don't need the US consumer to buy their shit anymore?

Remember how Obama cut Bolivia's trade benefits because they claimed Evo was running a coke factory in the Presidential Palace or some other nonsense? And how everyone was like claiming this meant Bolivia's economy would implode somehow and Evo was doomed?

Well, Lula of Brazil recently decided to lift tarriff barriers on Bolivian textiles equal to the value axed by Obama. However unknown is whether Bolivia can put up an effective tarriff barrier on all the bullshit "analysis" coming out of gringolandia.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Manfred gets us to talk about him

When I read President hopeful and corrupt neoliberal reject Manfred Reyes Villa had chosen Pando's genocidal ex-Prefect Leopold Fernandez (residing in San Pedro prison) as his running mate I figured it was a joke and I still do. Apparently the headline has not been retracted and everyone has something to say about it, but well, to me, it all just looks like Manfred desperately trying to get attention in a vain attempt to maybe pass 10% in the polls.

For one thing I could have sworn he had already chosen a running mate, a pretty girl named Adriana Gil. But I guess she is smarter than I thought and jumped ship at some point. I don't know. No one was paying attention.

And not too long ago the government wasn't all too certain Manfred even wanted the December elections to go forward. He might still not. I don't know. I wasn't paying attention.

Ever since he placed a razon-thin close third in the 2002 Presidental elections he has come to believe his Presidental destiny is divinely ordained, even with the collapse of traditional and neoliberal politics in Bolivia, and even after losing in this own hometown 35% to 65% in the August 2008 recall vote. It still hasn't sunken in yet for the guy. In his little mind, it is all just one stunt away.

So is this news really real for real? Eh. Manfred will be out in a few weeks with some other stunt to gain attention which will never translate into votes and will only further make a mockery of the disorganized and delusional opposition. Fail.

But at least it will be harder for dumbasses like John Enders to claim some kind of political oppression under Morales. Fernandez is a genocidal murder for fuck sake. Democracy doesn't get much freerer than that.