If you read the Reuters or even the Al Jazeera account of the arrests of the would-be assassins of Evo Morales, you’d think, ah, well, someone hauling a gun around, that probably happens all the time in Bolivia, big deal. Maybe those Morales people are paranoid.
There’s a little more to it than that. And yes, it involves the Nazis from the Santa Cruz Youth Union. Let’s see what Telesur reported.
(Two men arrested carrying a rifle with a telescopic sight were later liberated by authorities in Santa Cruz.)
Those close to the arrest of two members of the ultra-rightwing Santa Cruz Youth Union (UJC), detained this Thursday in the El Trompillo airport in Santa Cruz for carrying a firearm, have concluded that they meant to kill President Evo Morales.
This was the denunciation made on Friday by the Vice Minister of the Office of Governmental Coordination with Social Movements, Sacha Llorenti, who explained that those arrested were caught with a rifle with a telescopic sight and 300 shells, in a place where minutes later the Bolivian president arrived for an event in the town of Bicito in Santa Cruz.
Llorenti explained that “apparently these people were to go to the “Center” cinema, which is the highest in the area, with a roof that offers a panoramic view of the El Trompillo airport.”
“What we’re talking about is a situation of extreme danger for the President of the Republic, all of which indicates that this was an assassination attempt,” said Llorenti.
The Vice Minister pointed out that one of the detainees went by the name of Junior Vaca, and along with his companion, was set free by the Santa Cruz Public Minister, after special forces had detained them.
“The most striking thing, and one that we still have not received an answer about, is that they were turned over to the Santa Cruz prosecutor and immediately set free,” he said, with regret.
“We believe that this is a very serious act that must be completely investigated,” he insisted.
Violence Preceded the Arrests
According to the story of the presidential delegate in Santa Cruz, Gabriela Montaño, before the two men were arrested, a dozen members of their shock troops were protesting at El Trompillo against the arrival of the head of state.
The ultra-rightwing protesters chanted and threw firecrackers. Furthermore, according to the Bolivian Information Agency (ABI), pictures were taken of members of the shock troops, carrying weapons.
This Thursday, the government minister Alfredo Rada denounced the existence of a destabilization plan organized by the departmental authorities of the “Media Luna,” who during recent months have promoted illegal and unconstitutional autonomy referendums.
Rada said that the opposition is trying to create social conflict and violence in the country through strikes and mobilizations in certain regions.
As an example, he said that certain groups were trying, in a violent way, to impede the arrival of President Evo Morales in different parts of the territory, such as occurred last May when far-right groups attacked campesinos in Sucre, stripping them, forcing them to their knees, and shouting slogans against the President.
He said that this Friday the details of this “destabilization plan being put together by the ‘Media Luna,'” specifically by the prefects of Beni (North), Ernesto Suárez; Pando (North), Leopoldo Fernández; Tarija (South), Mario Cossío; and Santa Cruz (South), Rubén Costas, along with other opposition and civic leaders, would be announced.
However, he offered that “it is a plan that begins and escalates through civic strikes,” such as that which took place this Thursday in Cobija (Pando) where opposition groups mobilized for a demonstration called by the Civic Committee.
Machetera is a member of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity. This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author, and translator are cited.