Narconews: First Death in Bolivian Conflict
First Death in Bolivian Conflict; Goni Behind Vaca Diez Presidency
June 8, 2005
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Breaking news: First, we have learned that former Bolivian president Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada’s son-in-law, political operator Mauricio Balcázar, arrived this morning in Sucre to support Senator Hormando Vaca Diez in his presidential aspirations. (Evo Morales denounced this in a press conference this morning from Sucre, the official Bolivian capital).
A half hour ago, the national director of conflict resolution from Carlos Mesa’ s government, Gregorio Lanza, confirmed on Radio Erbol that Balcázar traveled to Sucre on the same plane as Vaca Diez. Flying from Santa Cruz (a one-hour trip), Balcázar and Vaca Diez held a cordial conversation, according to the Mesa administration official.
But there’s more…
Apart from the information Gregorio Lanza has reported, it was also learned yesterday afternoon that Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR) ideologue Oscar Eid held a meeting with U.S. embassy officials to guarantee Vaca Diez’s succession and the demobilization of all sectors opposed to the government: Vaca Diez’s party already had ready a dishonest gas “nationalization” decree in order to achieve this. This information, obtained by journalist Walter Chávez (director of the local paper El Juguete Rabioso), has already further shaken the scenario.
Meanwhile, a rumor has been circulating that, shaken by the military’s statements this morning, Vaca Diez could take a step back. The Bolivian military leaders, though they defended the Constitution and said they would accept any constitutional successor to the presidency, also left this very clear: “the demands of the demonstrations,” which have occurred every day for nearly four weeks, “should be heard.”
Despite these doubts, Vaca Diez let out a Freudian slip during an interview in Sucre, where he said he was still “President of the Republic,” quickly correcting himself to say “…of the Senate.” Ten minutes ago, the Congressional president entered the House of Liberty and is expected to impede the meeting of the anticipated session, trying to buy himself some time.
In Sucre, soldures are carrying boxes of ammunition to the local government headquarters, and the tension is relentless. The miners’ contingents have already reached Yotala, a town less than 50 kilometers from the capital.
The murderous coalition from October 2003 is forming and arming itself once again. Hormando Vaca Diez has their support and is trying to take power… and meanwhile, the combatants are beginning to arrive in Sucre to stop him.
Don’t abandon your posts now…
AND THIS JUST IN:
A few minutes ago the miners that were headed for Sucre, to stop Hormando Vaca Diez from becoming president of Bolivia, faced repressive forces in the town of Yotala… and one of those miners has died.
It seems that a peaceful miners’ march was held back with gas and bullets by a combined group of military and police. Mineworker Juan Toro, president of the March 27 Miners’ Cooperative, received a gunshot wound and died on the spot. Four others are injured.
The Federation of Bolivian Miners’ Cooperatives (FENCOMIN) has confirmed that this came from an “order from Vaca Diez,” part of his plan to take power.
In several communities around Sucre, the military has begun to arrest social leaders and stop the demonstrators heading towards the capital to surround the National Congress, or join the blockades.
The first victim has fallen… the scenario has gotten much darker…
From somewhere in a country called América,
Luis A. Gómez
The Narco News Bulletin