Friday, February 18, 2022

INRA now says Mennonite colony is legal and was 'victim' of land trafficking

 The agrarian entity affirms that the colonists must move back more than 2,000 hectares because they occupy a property ceded to Iniaf and a community of which there are no records of activity. It gave 15 days for the Mennonites to vacate this space.

Contradictions arise that cast doubt on the real motives for the eviction of the Valle Verde Mennonite community, located in the locality of Quimome in the municipality of San José de Chiquitos. After describing this group as illegal and calling them foreigners, yesterday the National Institute of Agrarian Reform (INRA) assured that their settlement is legal, but that it exceeded its extension, so they will only have to move their colony to more than 2,000 hectares. In addition, it implied that the group was a victim of land trafficking and urged them to follow the corresponding legal measures.

However, the entity was categorical in stating that the community must abandon the disputed space that was granted as usufruct to the National Institute for Agricultural and Forestry Innovation (Iniaf) (860 hectares) and another part ceded to the 19 de Noviembre community with 1,400 hectares.

It is legal

In declarations to Bolivia TV, the national director of INRA, Eulogio Núñez, assured that the Mennonite colony is legal, but that it extended its limits over a fiscal property and that the solution to the conflict is to move its community.

"They simply have to move back a little bit to their colony, which is legal. What has happened is like an overflow of this colony, which suddenly also encroached on lands that were in usufruct of the Iniaf and of this community that is authorized," he remarked.

In another interview with Bolivia TV, the director of INRA in Santa Cruz, Adalberto Rojas, like Núñez, recognized that the Mennonite community is legal and that it has more than 7,000 hectares.

He assured that the eviction is from the occupied public lands and that they will not be left without land, because "nobody will take anything from them".

By means of a communiqué, yesterday the entity reiterated the measure and said that "there are pending tasks concerning inventories and removal that in a maximum period of 15 days must be concluded, according to the commitment subscribed by the occupants. These actions will be carried out under the supervision of INRA and police protection".

In addition, the entity assured that if some of the evicted Mennonites were victims of land trafficking, they must make the corresponding resignation.

"If the evicted Mennonites had been victims of land trafficking, they should go to the ordinary justice system for investigation and application of criminal sanctions, if appropriate," the entity assured in its statement.

It also assured that the 19 de Noviembre community has a Settlement Authorization Resolution issued on February 18, 2016.

However, the Mennonites' lawyer, Alejandro Altamirano, specified that INRA itself revoked this settlement. 

"The same agrarian entity carried out an on-site inspection and found that the farmers did not work the land, so it totally annulled the settlement permit," he explained and maintained that

the expansion was not irregular, but in 2009 they bought the 2,000 hectare property called Guayacanes from a couple.

This couple even had documentation dating back to 1992, when Iniafa did not exist. So, he assured that the communities have all the documentation that supports the operation.

"This is a political issue and what is intended is to settle an intercultural community November 19. That is what is happening. The community has not been able to be evicted," he said.

He added that if what Núñez said was true, "the agrarian file should have been annulled". "Subsequently, the cancellation of the registry where the name of the legal representatives of the registry is registered in the Real Rights Registry should have been made". 

INRA now says Mennonite colony

36 former ministers say Evo is not a drug trafficker

On the other hand, at least 40 former ministers of the former president, among them Quintana, Huanacuni, San Miguel, Aguilar and Heredia, who are very close to Morales, did not sign the document supporting the former president.

Through an official communiqué, 36 former ministers of Evo Morales "closed ranks" yesterday around the former president and assured that he is not involved in drug trafficking, despite the fact that there is no formal accusation. Former minister Teresa Morales affirmed: "I put my hands in the fire (for him)".

Meanwhile, at least 40 other former ministers, among them the presidents Luis Arce and David Choquehuanca, did not sign the letter, nor did others such as Juan Ramón Quintana, Wálker San Miguel, Claudia Peña and Nila Heredia, among others.

The former ministers Javier Zavaleta, of Labor; Morales, of Productive Development and Alanoca, of Cultures, gave a press conference in which they declared their "indignation in the face of the attacks against former President Evo Morales. This campaign seeks to discredit Morales' image by maliciously linking him to illegal drug trafficking activities in which some former police chiefs and officials have been involved," read Alanoca.

On January 22, when he was being taken to jail, former anti-drug chief Maximiliano Dávila lashed out at the current Minister of Government, Eduardo del Castillo, whom he accused of wanting to incriminate Morales in the drug trafficking investigation.

In the document they also support former vice-president Álvaro García Linera and the current presidents. "Neither Álvaro nor Luis Arce and David Choquehuanca nor any of us (former ministers) ever had any relation with this type of crimes and such accusations are nothing more than a great infamy".

The statement was made public, despite the fact that there is no official accusation against the former president. The position of a sector of MAS comes at a time when the United States offered a reward of five million dollars for the former head of the anti-drug fight, Dávila.

On February 6, Morales declared that he feels persecuted by the US. "It is the Government's task and we cannot be persecuted by the right wing and the US embassy, we cannot continue to be persecuted".

In addition, yesterday it was learned that the Colombian-Venezuelan Álex Saab, alleged front man of the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, was a DEA agent and cooperated with the US for a year in a "proactive" way about his illicit activities and contracts with the Venezuelan government. He was going to turn himself in to US justice, according to disclosed court documents to which Efe had access. 

"Hands to the fire".

The former Minister of Productive Development Teresa Morales pointed out that the 36 former authorities "close ranks" around Morales, for whom they also "put their hands in the fire".

"Yes, we close ranks and put our hands in the fire for former President Evo Morales in this matter, which the media is unjustly accusing him of," said Morales, who was also head of the Financial Investigations Unit (UIF).

The former ministers believe that there is a persecution against the head of MAS "based on unfounded slander", then they call on the people "not to get carried away by the campaign of alleged investigators and media that with dubious moral interests lend themselves to the game". 

Paul Coca
Political Analyst
"The one who explains gets complicated".

The fact that former ministers of Evo Morales appear with this communiqué has logic that the one who explains is complicated and so it will always be, the one who explains is complicated. 

And the ex-ministers who did not sign this document for whatever reason, does not mean that these ex-authorities are against Evo Morales, because later when the public opinion says that they have not signed, they will appear saying for this reason, for distance, any excuse.

Now, blaming the press, the public opinion, the right wing, the United States is a MAS discourse that at the time had political impact, but it turns out that today it is tiring, repetitive, boring and does not generate any kind of impact, because it became a MAS cliché.

This communiqué to Evo Morales is going to harm him more, because former ministers come out to justify it, to explain something that is already in question before the national public opinion.

Besides, as there is no impartial justice, this helps to question Morales even more. In this issue of drug trafficking there are attacks against the Government and against Evo Morales, however, politically speaking Luis Arce can be a winner, because the political opposition does not have the absolute capacity to generate a gain on the issue.

Arce is the winner, because at the end of the day the president can take the case: whether or not to extradite Dávila or to make reforms to the anti-drug policy in Bolivia. Arce has more to gain than Morales.

The 36 former ministers who signed the endorsement

Among the former ministers who signed the document backing Evo Morales are Sacha Llorenti, Teresa Morales and Javier Zavaleta.
The list: Amanda Dávila, Carlos Romero, Alberto Echazú, Javier Zabaleta, Vladimir Sánchez, José Pimentel, Wilma Alanoca, Celima Torrico, Hugo Moldiz, Casimira Rodríguez, Teresa Morales, Susana Rivero, Marco Machicado, Óscar Coca, Alfredo Rada, Daniel Santalla, Sacha Llorenti, Fernando Vincenti, Tito Montaño, Nélida Sifuentes, Milton Claros, Nardy Suxo, Pablo Groux, Noel Aguirre, Rafael Alarcón, Iván Canelas, Nemesia Achacollo, Juan José Sosa, Guillermo Dalence, Patricia Ballivián and Ariana Campero. 
The 40 former ministers who did not sign
The list: Luis Arce, David Choquehuanca, Elizabeth Salguero, Juan Ramón Quintana, W. San Miguel, Abel Mamani, R. Aguilar, José Zamora, Juan C. Calvimontes, F. Huanacuni, Mariana Prado, Alicia Muñoz, Milton Gómez, Carmen Trujillo, Héctor Arce, Elisabeth Arismendi, Saúl Avalos, Víctor Cáceres, Magdalena Cajías, Viviana Caro, Wilfredo Chávez, Calixto Chipana, C. Cocarico, Reymi Ferreira, Santiago Gálvez, Mario Guillén, José L. Gutiérrez, Sandra Gutiérrez, Nila Heredia, Gonzalo Hurtado, Hernán Larrazábal, Pablo Menacho, Jorge Ledezma, Wálter Delgadillo, Ramiro Tapia, Julia Ramos, Jerjes Mercado, Mabel Monje, Claudia Peña and Hugo Salvatierra.

Pronunciamiento Evo No es narco
Pronunciamiento Evo No es narco

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Health plans to perform seven bone marrow transplants on children with cancer this year

 According to estimates by Bolivian specialists, out of 100 children who could suffer from leukemia in the country, only five require or are candidates for transplants.

Seven bone marrow transplants are scheduled for this 2022 for the benefit of children suffering from cancer, announced Wednesday the Minister of Health, Jeyson Auza.

"On December 24, a bone marrow transplant treatment was performed on a 3-year-old boy, which was successful. We have three in the pipeline and we plan to perform seven hematopoietic progenitor transplants (bone marrow) for this year," announced the authority.

According to calculations made by Bolivian specialists, out of 100 children who could suffer from leukemia in the country, only five require or are candidates for transplants, which is why we will start with that number "in relation to autologous transplants".

Auza remarked that about Bs 39 million have been invested in infrastructure, equipment and highly qualified personnel.

"Our children will no longer have to travel abroad and they will not have to invest those 80 to 100,000 dollars, the treatment will be completely free for them", he added.

He emphasized that this is the beginning of a long way to go in order to solve the great problem of the advance of cancer in the country, which is why this service is now available free of charge for the entire population. 

Bone marrow transplant or Hematopoietic Progenitor Cell Transplant (HPCT) is a widely accepted procedure for the treatment of congenital and acquired bone marrow diseases, solid tumors and metabolic alterations.

niños con cancer

2019 crisis versions reach relator and Añez weakens

Ribera asked the jurist to visit her mother. The government reported that the former president's vital signs are within "normal parameters".

The versions about what happened at the end of 2019 yesterday dominated the second day of the visit of Diego García-Sayán, Special Rapporteur of the United Nations (UN) on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers. The representative met with authorities of the Departmental Court of Justice of La Paz (TDJ) and a letter from the former president Jeanine Añez to the jurist on the subject was made public.

García-Sayán held a meeting with representatives of the TDJ of La Paz, at its headquarters in downtown La Paz. In the meeting, according to information provided by this media, the representative had planned to learn about the so-called coup d'état case.

After the meeting, the TDJ of La Paz limited itself to disseminate photographs of the meeting through its social networks.

García-Sayán left the premises without making any statement to the press.  A group of people from the Fejuve led by Jesús Vera held a demonstration in the vicinity of the judicial headquarters. When the UN rapporteur was on his way to a vehicle, they shouted "justice!".

Vera, in statements to the press, asked García-Sayán to receive them to know "the truth" of the neighbors of the city of La Paz about the crisis at the end of 2019. "When there has been the coup d'état by Mrs. Añez, in the city of La Paz, the first social organization that has been intervened in an irregular way and with paramilitary groups has been the Fejuve La Paz", indicated the leader. 

Añez's defense, on the other hand, made public a letter from the former president addressed to the UN rapporteur, dated February 15, in which she informs him of "the public evidence of the flagrant interference of the political power and the Executive Branch in the Judicial Branch".

"In the official page of the Ministry of Justice, Minister Iván Lima Magne claims to have demonstrated that there was a coup in Bolivia, without there being to date any investigation framed in the Political Constitution of the State and in charge of the Maximum Supreme Court of Justice to assert such recklessness", reads the letter.

In the letter, Añez shows the "evidence" through four axes, which are: ordinary processes against a former President of the State, the interference of the Ministry of Justice, the interference of the Ministry of Government and the interference of the Attorney General's Office and the Executive.

In the case of the Ministries of Justice and Government, he cites at least eight declarations of authorities of those offices. Among those he mentions is the following: "In March 2021, the Minister of Justice, Iván Lima Magne, publicly confessed that 'because we did not have the 2/3 of the Assembly and we had to build a case, you could not go with such a serious accusation on day one...".

From Añez's Twitter account, it was reported that the former president would give García-Sayán 17 proofs of the interference of the Executive in the Judicial Branch and the Prosecutor's Office. However, the rapporteur did not visit her. 

The exmandataria completed her eighth day of strike yesterday. "I feel weak, with headaches," she tweeted.

Her daughter, Carolina Ribera, asked García-Sayán to meet with the former president. "Let her have an audience with my mother, let her visit her here in the Miraflores prison so that she herself can tell her about all the injustices that have taken place in these months, all the trials and the fabricated crimes," she maintained. 

Alain De Canedo, lawyer of the former president, said that Añez is weakening and regretted that nobody cares. "The former president is weak. Her life is running out, and nobody, absolutely nobody, cares. I really see with great impotence the indolence of the human being, especially of the Bolivian society, especially of the political class. This lady is dying and nobody cares".

The Penitentiary Regime, through a press release, indicated that Añez underwent three medical check-ups yesterday and that her vital signs are "within normal parameters".

García-Sayán also met with the presidents of the Senate and Deputies, Andrónico Rodríguez and Freddy Mamani, who gave him a plaque and a scarf. He also held a meeting with the presidents of the Justice and Constitution commissions of both chambers, all presided by MAS legislators.

The rapporteur was interested in the pre-selection of candidates for high positions in the Judiciary, said Deputy Juan José Jáuregui, president of the Constitution Commission. 

Garcia Sayan in La Paz

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

The Government of Potosí acquired another five vehicles in the "gray" market

 The Governor's Office purchased five vehicles for the Police. They entered the country as 'reconditioned'. With this modality they paid less taxes

In addition to the 41 ambulances acquired with irregularities, the Governor's Office of Potosí purchased another five vehicles from Estefals Logistics. Unlike the first case, the units are in the country and were paid for.

However, in both cases, the seller of the vehicles went to the "gray" market through a supplier operating from Chile, according to information compiled by EL DEBER.

The vehicles arrived on December 28 and 30, 2021 at the Police Maintenance Center (Cemapol), according to the two delivery certificates signed within the terms established in two other contracts signed by Governor Jhonny Mamani, between November and December 2021. The contracting was direct and only this company participated in the bidding process.

These vehicles were registered on December 31 in the RUAT of the municipality of Potosí with license plates: 5691-YDF; 5680-IGH; 5680-IFE; 5680-IHL, and 5691-YCC. 

In this system, the Governor's name appears as the legal representative of these assets, which are property of the Governor's Office.

The origin of these five vans is Thailand. They arrived in the country in October 2021 through the Industrial Free Trade Zone of Patacamaya with an "under-invoiced" price of US$ 25,000, less than what the Governor's Office paid for these goods. In addition, the vehicles paid a lower tax because they were treated as "reconditioned", according to their Single Import Declaration (DUI).

The manager of the Bolivian Automotive Chamber, Luis Encinas, explained that companies such as Logistics buy vehicles in "grey" markets and import them with an "under-invoiced price in Iquique (Chile)", lower than the real cost, in order to avoid taxes.


The Governor's Office of Potosí signed four contracts with Estefals and Governor Jhonny Mamani announced that these would be annulled. However, in the case of the motorcycles for the Police, these were already delivered and have license plates with the proper registration before the RUAT.

Camionetas Policias

Rapporteur García-Sayán receives a stream of complaints against the judicial system

 Relatives of policemen, wives of military and civic members of Potosí demonstrated. The Vice President, the Chancellor and the Minister of Justice met with him, as well as the Group of Independent Jurists and Conade.

A procession of complaints against injustice received yesterday the special rapporteur of the United Nations (UN) on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Diego García-Sayán, who will be in Bolivia until the 22nd.

Police family members, as well as military and civic wives of Potosí held a vigil in the South zone, in the vicinity of the offices of the international organization, demanding justice and freedom. They indicated that the police family, the military and the people of Potosí, among other sectors, are "the real victims".

Guadalupe Cárdenas, who leads the police wives, was also in the group. She presented a letter addressed to García-Sayán, to whom she pointed out "serious injustices" against police officers, "who were unjustly dismissed due to processes rigged by the government in power". 

Lieutenant Franklin Mamani Guarachi also sent a letter to the Rapporteur, in which he indicates that he is "unjustly" deprived of liberty. "I am a political prisoner, persecuted and victim of the dictatorship in Bolivia," he said in the letter.  

The Independent Jurists Group and the National Committee for the Defense of Democracy (Conade) met with García-Sayán and presented him with documentation on the lack of judicial independence.

Opponents, such as Creemos Senator Centa Rek, criticized the Movimiento Al Socialismo (MAS) for excluding them from the meetings that two Senate commissions have scheduled for today with García-Sayán.

A brief chronicle 

With a salute to the cameras, with his right hand and without giving statements to the press, García-Sayán began his agenda in Bolivia. This happened before entering a meeting with Foreign Minister Rogelio Mayta, scheduled for 9:00.

The meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs lasted approximately one hour. Afterwards, he went to the Vice-Presidency, where he held a meeting with the second in command of the country, David Choquehuanca. The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Justice, Iván Lima.

At approximately 3:00 p.m. he met with the Independent Jurists Group and at 7:00 p.m. with Conade leaders. These last two meetings were held in the facilities of the international organization in the country. 

Reports and letters

The former mayor and lawyer Juan Del Granado, representing the legal advisors, said that they delivered to the Rapporteur a dossier, in which they show that justice was subordinated to the three recent periods of government: to the current government of Luis Arce and to the administrations of Evo Morales and Jeanine Añez.

"We have been able to convey to the rapporteur the serious difficulties that our administration of justice is going through, with emphasis on the lack of independence (...). We have given him a complete dossier on the situation of judicial independence," he said.

For its part, Conade gave the UN rapporteur documentation showing that the justice system acted favorably in processes involving members of the MAS.

"We have exposed the lack of judicial independence, we exposed the most emblematic cases: from Tipnis, Fondioc, to cases of political persecution. We presented a registry of a list of judges who are linked to processes where the norms have not been complied with and the MAS was favored", indicated the representative of Conade, Lizeth Veramendi.

The head of the Creemos senators' bench, Centa Rek, and the Comunidad Ciudadana legislator Andrea Barrientos denounced that the opposition members of the Senate Constitution and Justice Commissions were not notified about today's meeting with García-Sayán.  "This makes us see that in reality the agenda of the Rapporteur is being managed, trying to make only the official voices heard," he indicated.

Meeting and observations

García-Sayán is scheduled to have a meeting today with the presidents of the Senate and Deputies, Andrónico Rodríguez and Freddy Mamani.

"We are agreeing to the rapporteur's request (to meet) with the two presidents of both chambers," said Mamani.

Movimiento Al Socialismo senator Virginia Velasco confirmed that the Justice Commission will have a meeting with the rapporteur this Wednesday. 

Guadalupe Cárdenas, during the demonstration held in the vicinity of the UN offices, said: "We have presented the letters (to meet with García-Sayán), so that everyone knows about the political persecutions". 

Meetings to be confirmed

The opposition benches of Comunidad Ciudadana and Creemos requested a meeting with the UN representative. Date and time have not yet been confirmed.

Former President Añez requested that he visit her in the Miraflores prison to explain her situation. "They have not yet confirmed the visit", explained Carolina Ribera, daughter of the ex-president.

Sources close to Añez's defense indicated that if the meeting is confirmed, it could take place during the weekend.

The leader of the Central Obrera Boliviana, Nicanor Baltazar, opened the possibility that the union also requests a meeting with García-Sayán, although he expressed that he "does not have much confidence" in the Rapporteur, because he was minister of his country, for which he expects him to be impartial. 

Rapporteur García-Sayán receives a stream

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Marcelo Claure, faced with the challenge of unseating Netflix in the region

 The Bolivian executive will have to exploit 300,000 hours of content from TelevisaUnivision, in the future streaming platform that the company will launch.

At the beginning of February, Bolivian Marcelo Claure was announced as the vice president of TelevisaUnivision, the new company that was born from the merger between Televisa and Univision. A business in which the Mexican Televisa receives US$4,800 million, of which US$3,000 million would be in cash and the rest in shares, to become the majority shareholder, with a 45% stake in the nascent company.

The operation is also boosted by an investment of US$1 billion in shares purchased by SoftBank (a group in which Claure worked until mid-January 2022) and the current Univision investor, ForgeLight LLC. The executive is now part of a firm with tremendous potential that aims to conquer a market of 600 million Spanish speakers.

“TelevisaUnivision remains on track to launch, in 2022, its unified global streaming platform,” the company said in a statement issued at the end of January 2022. The new platform, the first large-scale one for the Spanish-speaking audience, aims to compete in the region with Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, Star +, Paramount + and Apple TV. To do this, you will have a free version and a premium version.

Televisa already tried something similar with its Blim platform in 2016, but it failed miserably. The nostalgia strategy, based on 13,000 hours of content, did not help him and as much as he tried to bring content like Cuna de Lobos to new generations, it did not work for him either.

In three years, the company relaunched the service under the name of Blim TV and added more than 30 live television channels to its content. In addition to the channels of Televisa Networks, Telemundo Internacional and Televisión Española. However, inside Televisa they know that the days of the platform are numbered.

One of Claure's tasks will be to exploit on the new platform the 300,000 hours of content available to TelevisaUnivision, as well as Televisa's four transmission channels, 27 pay television channels, the Videocine movie studio and the Univision and UniMás broadcast, nine Spanish-language cable networks, 59 TV stations, 57 radio stations and the PrendeTV AVOD platform.

"There are so many things to do I don't know where to start," Claure tweeted last week.

complex task

The competition that Claure will have to face will be tough, especially against Netflix. And it is that, in Latin America, Netflix, according to data from Statista, has 37.54 million paying users, a figure that represents 18.43% of its global subscribers. In the last two years, Netflix added 11.46 million new users; that is, 24.56% more than the number of new incorporations in the US and Canada.

Although the region is the one that generates the lowest average monthly income for the platform, with an average of US$7.12 per client, income from 2018 to 2020 grew by 35.65%, much more than services that they have money for content and a closed ecosystem closer to this type of audience, as is the case with Apple TV+.

Apple TV+ is an example of the challenge that TelevisaUnivision will face, since it is a company with money to invest in content, with a closed and faithful ecosystem that has not been able to convince users who demand content such as that available on Netflix or Disney +, according to experts.