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Cablegate: Courts Overturn Barring of Hiv Positive Naval Cadet

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 311635Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4501
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 6965
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 4320
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 8205
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 5450
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 2677
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 2852
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 4754
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 5311
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 9917
RUMIAAA/USCINCSO MIAMI FL
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0442
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

UNCLAS LA PAZ 002092

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM BL
SUBJECT: COURTS OVERTURN BARRING OF HIV POSITIVE NAVAL CADET


1. (U) In a case that set a precedent for the Bolivian
military, the La Paz Superior District Court ruled that HIV
positive naval cadet Richard Condori should be reinstated to
the naval academy. Condori is also alleged to suffer from
lymphatic cancer. The Navy claimed Condori, a fifth year
student at the academy, was released after he missed numerous
classes during the 2006 academic year for health reasons.
Condori and his lawyer argued that he was expelled from the
school based on discrimination against his HIV status. After
the ruling, Condori stated, "I believe in the justice of my
country."

2. (U) Following the court's decision, Commanding Admiral of
the Navy Jose Alba stated that the Navy would respect the
court's ruling. The ruling permits Condori to return to the
academy in 2008, if he obtains a medical certificate stating
he is physically capable to attend. Shortly after the
decision, Condori's lawyer, Ricardo Rocabado, announced that
he would be filing a damage claim for USD 200,000 against
Alba and the naval academy's director Cesar Aliaga.

3. (U) Comment: According to a recently published report by
Bolivia's human rights ombudsman, people living with HIV and
AIDS are the most discriminated against group in all of the
country, ahead of indigenous peoples, peasants, and the
handicapped. The case was not without controversy as people
for and against Condori's reinstatement argued in front of
the court; police were forced to intervene. However, Condori
received much support from the public as well as politicians.
UN Deputy Guillermo Mendoza, President of the lower house's
Social Policy Commission, was one of the public (but not
legal) faces of Condori's defense. End Comment.


GOLDBERG

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