Search

 

Cablegate: Cejis: Leftist Land Lawyers' Influence in the Gob

VZCZCXYZ0009
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLP #0411/01 0461116
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 151116Z FEB 07
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2489
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 6542
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 3865
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 7750
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 4995
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 2234
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 2330
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 3320
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 4410
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 4877
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 9465
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 0165
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 0746
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
RHMFIUU/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUMIAAA/USCINCSO MIAMI FL
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0150
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS LA PAZ 000411

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/AND
TREASURY FOR SGOOCH
ENERGY FOR CDAY AND SLADISLAW
LIMA FOR EPHILHOWER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR ECON PGOV SOCI BL
SUBJECT: CEJIS: LEFTIST LAND LAWYERS' INFLUENCE IN THE GOB

REF: A. 2006 LA PAZ 1517

B. 2006 LA PAZ 3244

-------
Summary
-------

1. (SBU) Three former employees of the Center for Legal
Studies and Social Research (CEJIS), a non-profit
organization in Santa Cruz working to promote indigenous land
rights, were named members of the GOB's cabinet in January,
indicating the government's focus on land reform. A CEJIS
representative said that the new land reform law passed in
November (ref B) "opened the dykes" for free access to land
and argued that the changes would benefit the people who work
the land and help resolve social inequities. CEJIS' next
step will be to work with Constituent Assembly members to
promote constitutional reforms, including the creation of
indigenous territorial entities that would have their own
governmental and legal systems, without the interference of
departmental governments. End summary.

---------------------------------
CEJIS Affiliates Join GOB Cabinet
---------------------------------

2. (SBU) The Center for Legal Studies and Social Research
(CEJIS) is a non-profit organization founded in 1978 in Santa
Cruz to promote human rights and democracy. Since 1985, the
organization has focused on indigenous land rights, offering
legal aid for titling procedures, and drafting proposals for
legal reform. The organization receives funding from the
European Union, Holland, Sweden, and Oxfam International. On
January 23, President Morales named seven new members to his
16 person cabinet. Two of the new members -- Minister of
Government Alfredo Rada and Minister of Rural Development
Susana Rivero -- plus existing Mining Minister Guillermo
Dalence were previously affiliated with CEJIS. The inclusion
of three CEJIS affiliates as cabinet members indicates the
government's focus on land reform issues. Another CEJIS
affiliate, Carlos Romero, heads the Constituent Assembly's
Commission on Natural Resources, Land, and Territory.

--------------------------------
Violent Tendencies on Both Sides
--------------------------------

3. (SBU) CEJIS has close links with the Landless Movement
(Movimiento Sin Tierra), which has frequently been involved
in violent clashes with land-owners resulting from movement
members' attempts to take over lands by physically occupying
them. Amnesty International reports that CEJIS lawyers,
including Tamburini, have been threatened and harassed by the
police and cattle ranchers when attempting to provide legal
services to local indigenous communities and migrant
peasants. It is unclear if CEJIS supports the use of
violence as a means to an end, but several posters of Che
Guevara hanging in its office suggest that it supports a
revolutionary approach.

----------------------------------
CEJIS Involved in GOB Land Reforms
----------------------------------

4. (SBU) In a meeting on February 8, CEJIS President Leonardo
Tamburini told Econoff that the organization was involved in
negotiating the seven decrees issued by the GOB in June 2006
to redistribute 4 million hectares of government land (ref A)
and the revisions to the land reform (INRA) law that were
passed by congress in November 2006 (ref B). He said that
the productive sector had been involved in negotiating the
reforms, but that large landowners had politicized the
process and stopped discussions.

--------------------------------------------- ---------
INRA Law Reforms "Opened the Dykes" for Redistribution
--------------------------------------------- ---------

5. (SBU) Tamburini described the INRA law reforms as "opening
the dykes for free access to land," as now there are three
tools for accessing land -- titling, reversion of
unproductive properties (which could benefit migrant, western
indigenous people), and expropriation of properties, with
compensation, for the benefit of the original, eastern
indigenous inhabitants. He explained that the World Bank Pro
Tierras program would provide funds for indemnifying property
owners. The changes, he argued, would benefit the people who
work the land and help resolve social inequities. He
indicated that CEJIS was in line with the government's idea
that only work, capital investment, or social purposes should
entitle one to land rights, not merely paying taxes.

---------------------------------
Legal Reforms Not Yet Implemented
---------------------------------

6. (SBU) Tamburini said that the government has granted
collective titles to three indigenous groups, based on the
June decrees, but has not completed the redistribution of
government lands and has not begun implementing the reforms
to the INRA law. The government is now drafting implementing
regulations for the law, he explained. He said that the
government is also adjusting the forestry regulations to
decrease asymmetries of access and distribution. In addition
to changes in the legal framework, the GOB's agrarian
revolution also includes efforts to open markets for small
producers -- he cited the People's Trade Agreement with
Venezuela -- and provide low-interest rate credit through
Venezuelan capital. He said that two communities in rural
Santa Cruz had already made sales based on the trade
agreement. (Note: Officials from the Santa Cruz Agriculture
Chamber told Econoff in September that the Venezuelan
government had purchased roughly one percent of total soy
production, although it planned to buy another 8 percent, but
that the soy was purchased for above market prices from small
producers who supported the GOB, creating disruptions in the
local grain market. End note.)

---------------------------------
CEJIS' Proposals for Constitution
---------------------------------

7. (SBU) Tamburini said that CEJIS' next step would be to
work with Constituent Assembly members to promote
constitutional reforms. CEJIS promotes the creation of
indigenous territorial entities that would have their own
governmental and legal systems (somewhat like reservations),
without the interference of departmental governments.
Tamburini said that in addition to these special territories,
private, individual lands for personal and business uses
would continue to coexist. Natural resources below the
ground would continue to belong to the state; however,
indigenous people living in effected areas should be
consulted regarding hydrocarbons and mining projects. CEJIS
also promotes the reform of the regulatory system through the
creation of administrative tribunals, like the agrarian
tribunals created by the INRA law reforms (ref B). CEJIS
also supports clauses in the new constitution that would
promote food sovereignty and ban the production of
genetically-modified food. (Note: GMO soy is currently being
produced in Santa Cruz based on a decree issued by President
Mesa authorizing the production. End note.)

-------
Comment
-------

8. (SBU) The small NGO CEJIS, with its humble office in Santa
Cruz, seems to exercise disproportionate power over GOB
planning and ideology. The government's inclusion of three
former CEJIS employees in the cabinet suggests that land
reform and the redistribution of properties will be an
important focus of the government this year. CEJIS' proposed
constitutional reforms seem to be in line with the
government's thinking, and thus, may indicate the changes
that are to come in the areas of land dominion, regulation of
natural resource industries, and food sovereignty. End
comment.
GOLDBERG

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Ramzy Baroud: Year in Review Will 2018 Usher in a New Palestinian Strategy

2017 will be remembered as the year that the so-called ‘peace process’, at least in its American formulation, has ended. And with its demise, a political framework that has served as the foundation for US foreign policy in the Middle East has also collapsed. More>>

ALSO:


North Korea: NZ Denounces Missile Test

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has denounced North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test. The test, which took place this morning, is North Korea’s third test flight of an inter-continental ballistic missile. More>>

ALSO:

Campbell On: the US demonising of Iran

Satan may not exist, but the Evil One has always been a handy tool for priests and politicians alike.

Currently, Iran is the latest bogey conjured up by Washington to (a) justify its foreign policy interventions and (b) distract attention from its foreign policy failures.

Once upon a time, the Soviet Union was the nightmare threat for the entire Cold War era – and since then the US has cast the Taliban, al Qaeda, and Islamic State in the same demonic role. Iran is now the latest example…More


Catalan Independence:
Pro-independence parties appear to have a narrow majority. More>>