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Cablegate: Eac Meeting - La Paz

R 271852Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5761

UNCLAS LA PAZ 003094

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR DS/IP/WHA, DS/IP/ITA, DS/CC, WHA/EX AND BL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC AEMR AMGT PGOV PREL BL
SUBJECT: EAC MEETING - LA PAZ

REF: A) 07 La Paz 3077 B) 07 La Paz 3078

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED (SBU) - PROTECT ACCORDINGLY

1. (SBU) During severe civil unrest over the weekend in the city of
Sucre (due to constitutional issues), several Bolivians were killed
and hundreds wounded. By late afternoon, Bolivian National Police
(BNP) had abandoned the city and local prisoners had escaped from
nearby prisons. A 'warden message' was released late Sunday
afternoon advising all US citizens to take precaution, seek safety
off the streets and to avoid Sucre all together. On Saturday, there
were 20 Peace Corps volunteers in Sucre for the Thanksgiving
weekend. Thirteen (13) were safely evacuated, but seven (7)
remained behind, having declined to be evacuated. However, all are
safe and accounted for. The situation in Sucre is quiet for now,
but tensions are high.

2. (SBU) On Monday morning, 11/26/2007, RSO La Paz learned from
police contacts that a rally/manifestation (approximately 2,000)
from the area known as El Alto, was to be led by President Evo
Morales himself to the Congress (central La Paz) as a 'show of
force' to force the Congress to accept a new pension plan and the
new constitution approved in draft ("en grande") over the weekend in
Sucre (Reftel B). As the procession descended down from El Alto and
arrived in central La Paz at approximately 11:00, supporters
throughout La Paz joined the rally/manifestation. The crowd was
estimated to be approximately 8,000. One group of supporters,
approximately 1,000, peacefully proceeded past the US embassy to
join the rally. The rally/manifestation ended late in the afternoon
with no incidents reported. There were no anti-US rhetoric or
accusations made against the US embassy. BNP provided security for
the Congress and nearby Palace. There were no opposition protests,
nor were there any military presence to be found.

3. (SBU) In addition to the 'warden message' released Sunday
afternoon, Post is scheduling a "Town Hall" meeting for Post
personnel Wednesday afternoon, 11/28/2007 to discuss security
arrangements and emergency planning preparations. The US Department
of State issued a statement deploring the violence in Sucre late on
November 26; the UN, the OAS, the European Union and Spain also
issued statements, reducing prospects that the Embassy will be
targeted by government supporters in retaliation.

4. (U) POC is RSO Patrick J. Moore; IVG 547-8903; e-mail:
(moorepj@state.gov). Regards.

GOLDBERG

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