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Cablegate: Bolivia: July 9 March On Embassy Sitrep #1 1030 Est

VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLP #1290 1611428
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 091428Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO RHMFIUU/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7683
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION IMMEDIATE 8035
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA IMMEDIATE 5380
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA IMMEDIATE 9319
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES IMMEDIATE 6539
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS IMMEDIATE 3663
RUEHGE/AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN IMMEDIATE 0742
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA IMMEDIATE 3932
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO IMMEDIATE 5525
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO IMMEDIATE 6285
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO IMMEDIATE 0989
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA IMMEDIATE 1187

UNCLAS LA PAZ 001290

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

PLEASE PASS TO S/ES; OPS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC BL
SUBJECT: BOLIVIA: JULY 9 MARCH ON EMBASSY SITREP #1 1030 EST


June 9 2008

SITUATION REPORT. This is the first of three situation
reports planned for today. Subsequent reports will be sent at
1100 and 1400, EST. Should the situation warrant additional
updates, Post will provide them as needed.

-EMBASSY COMPOUND: Compound is currently secure with no
protesters.
-USAID Building: Currently there are no reports of any plans
to march to USAID.


1. (U) A scheduled march on the Embassy has begun, with
crowds leaving government-stronghold El Alto and heading into
La Paz as of 0900. Crowds are expected to arrive between
1000 and 1100. Currently the Embassy has additional police
protection with tear-gas and crowd control armor. The CAC
has been reinforced with steel shutters over the windows, and
Embassy is at minimal staffing. Press reports indicate that
miners in the crowd are throwing dynamite. They are also
reported to be carrying tires, gasoline and molatov cocktails.

2. (U) Over the weekend government rhetoric continued to
highlight the fact that former Minister of Defense Sanchez
Berzain has received asylum in the United States fifteen
months ago. President Morales made a public statement on
June 8, asking that the USG "help so that Bolivian justice
could proceed in an impartial manner" against Sanchez
Berzain, adding "We would wish that the U.S. government, not
only the ambassador, would help us to bring justice against
those who caused so much damage in Bolivia: economic damage,
damage to human rights. These individuals have to be
judged." Morales continued, "It is not possible that some
people with bad political histories could be protected by
Philip Goldberg and the government of the United States."
Cuban Ambassador Rafael Dauza, who was with President Morales
on June 8, said that the USG provides asylum to "refugees
from justice" not only from Bolivia, claiming that
"imperialism" does not respect "the justice of the people."

3. (U) Emboff based in El Alto reports that El Alto city
councilman Roberto de la Cruz has called upon Altenos to
march upon the Embassy and burn it, citing Sanchez Berzain's
asylum case. Estimates of the number of marchers vary
widely: some news reports suggest that there are currently
fewer than 10,000 marchers, while other reports suggest
higher numbers. Emboff reports that the participants are
"angry."

4. (U) Embassy La Paz expects to send another sitrep at 1100,
once the crowds have arrived. A third sitrep, either as
events escalate or as the march dissipates, will be sent in
the afternoon.
GOLDBERG

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