Coup attempt in Bolivia?
by Luis Gomez
LA PAZ, BOLIVIA, APRIL 17 2004: It wasn't a secret, but for a while, nobody was paying attention: there are groups plotting to destabilize the government of President Carlos Mesa, that are considering a coup d'etat in order to finalize the sale of Bolivian gas to Chile despite the outpouring of popular will against such a deal expressed in last October's insurrection.
Of course, U.S. government officials have a lot to do with it (beginning with the Viceroy David N. Greenlee, his friends in the CIA, and even officials from the gringo agency USAID). It took a counterintelligence memo, put together by confidential Bolivian and Chilean sources, specifically accusing those foreign companies and politicians - to bring this matter to light. Then Congressman Evo Morales denounced the coup attempt, and the questions began.
In the midst of these pressures from the right (and from international capital), are several U.S. actors that, in recent weeks, have been putting public pressure upon both Mesa's administration and the social sectors, sticking their noses more and more into Bolivian affairs. A good example, to begin with, would be the recent conflict in Yungas, where the coca growers blockaded the roads and stopped the construction of an anti-drug base in La Rinconada financed by the Bush Administration. As Narco News South American Bureau Chief Alex Contreras reported as it was happening, the blockades begun on April 5th ended in an agreement between the farmers and government minister Alfonso Ferrufino. The focus of this agreement is a more profound dialogue between coca growers and the government, a freeze on forced eradication in Yungas, and suspension of the construction of the barracks at La Rinconada.
"Intelligence personnel at the US Embassy (CIA) are working with other intelligence agencies (Chile-Israel) to destabilize the government of President Mesa. Objectives: Stop the Referendum, the Constituents' Assembly, passage of a new Hydrocarbons Law and achieve the sale of gas through Chile," the counterintelligence report says. To achieve these objectives, agents of the CIA are working on "various hypotheses and action plans." In reality, there are three concrete plans, each of which not only attacks the government of Carlos Mesa and the sovereignty of Bolivia, but also shoots to kill against the will of the people."