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Cablegate: La Paz Input for President's Human Rights

VZCZCXYZ0005
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLP #2520 2570531
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 140531Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4986
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 7071
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 4441
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 8336
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 5565
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 2791
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 2972
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 4849
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 5425
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 0032
RUMIAAA/USCINCSO MIAMI FL
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0536
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL

UNCLAS LA PAZ 002520

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

FOR G, DRL/SEA, NSC/DEMOC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL BL
SUBJECT: LA PAZ INPUT FOR PRESIDENT'S HUMAN RIGHTS
ROUNDTABLE

REF: SECSTATE 125456

1. (SBU) Response keyed to paragraph 5 of reftel.

Bolivia is one of ten western hemisphere countries covered in
the Department of State's Supporting Human Rights and
Democracy (SHRD) report. Embassy La Paz's human rights and
democracy programs are covered in detail in the 2006 report.
The report is available at:

http:/www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/shrd/2006/80591 .htm

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Bolivian Government's Human Rights Priorities
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

2. (SBU) Response keyed to paragraph 6 reftel.

The Bolivian government under President Evo Morales views
human rights via a socialist and indigenous ideological lens.
Government officials have been known to state that human
rights programs are not necessary under the Morales
administration because, "the people" are now in power. The
initiatives that the government does couch under the rubric
of human rights typically have to do with re-distributing
wealth (resources and land) to previously marginalized
groups.

3. (SBU) The government is also advocating the creation of
a parallel judicial system (dubbed "communitarian justice")
for Bolivia's 36 distinct indigenous groups. Communitarian
justice is loosely defined as the system of justice that
existed amongst Bolivia's indigenous peoples prior to the
Spanish quest. Unfortunately the government has not
thoroughly explained how the different communitarian justice
systems will coexist with each other and with the more
traditional or "western" justice system. (Note: The push for
communitarian justice is largely a response to failures in
the current (western) system. The current system is
inefficient and fails to reach most Bolivians in rural areas.
End Note). Under the government's proposal local judicial
authorities will be allowed to organize themselves as they
wish according to their community's traditions. The
government states that communitarian justice sentences will
not exceed those of the formal legal system which excludes
the death penalty. Communitarian justice raises significant
concerns regarding the potential for human rights abuses,
violations of due process, and increased vigilantism.
GOLDBERG

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