U.S. Trying to Bribe Bolivian Social Movements?
Mamani Conde: U.S. Trying to Bribe Bolivian Social Movements?
June 7, 2005
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A major scoop has come our way, thanks to our friends at the El Alto Press Agency (Agencia de Prensa Alteña). We reprint and translate Julio Mamani Conde's report for you today, in The Narco News Bulletin. In it, the Bolivian authentic journalist reveals that, according to social leaders from the indigenous metropolis of El Alto as well as his own investigations, a Bolivian government agency connected to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been attempting to bribe El Alto neighborhood leaders in exchange for political concessions.
Mamani Conde reports:
"Leaders of remote neighborhoods of the city of El Alto have complained that representatives of the government agency Democratic Initiatives, who work with resources from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), offered much needed equipment for their neighborhood committees' social centers, on the condition that their committee presidents lift the general civic strike now in its 15th day."
"According to the leaders, people working for the current administration offered some of the leaders between 200 and 500 bolivianos ($25 to $65 dollars, several weeks' income for many El Alto families) if they would propose the suspension of the indefinite civic/labor strike."
Read the full report, here:
Acting Publisher Luis Gómez is in La Paz investigating, together with Julio Mamani Conde, the extent of USAID's interference in what is clearly an internal Bolivian affair. Of course, if recent experience in Venezuela is any guide (where, as we have reported here, USAID, the National Endowment for Democracy, and other benign-sounding organs of U.S. policy, have bankrolled nearly the entire coup-plotting elite opposition), this may just be the tip of the iceberg of USAID's sleazy, underhanded subversion of the struggle of the Bolivian poor. USAID claims to fund "international development," but when that development (gas nationalization and industrialization) doesn't follow Washington's plan for Latin America, the agency will stoop to bribery of neighborhood leaders to prevent it.
Further results of Mamani Conde and Gómez's investigations are eagerly awaited...
From somewhere in a country called América,
The Narco News Bulletin