June 23, 2007

Coup D'Etat Rumors in Bolivia

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Several Bolivian newspapers have reported about rumors of a coup d'etat on the works (Erbol, Los Tiempos, Hoy Bolivia, and ABI, the Bolivian Information Agency). These reports cite Armed Forces General Wilfrido Vargas warning of "irregular movement of certain groups in some regions of the country". He said intelligence reports indicate that there were arms entering the country through some border points. At the same time, Army General Freddy Bersatti warned about "irregular movements" as well. Bersatti also noted that "some groups" were paying university students to organize demonstrations.

There could be two reasons for these reports, at this point in time. The most obvious would be to think the government, because of the Autonomic Junta's planned "mobilization", has decided to give itself some leeway to start mobilizing army troops. That way Morales would have an excuse if it were necessary to repress the mobilizations or demonstrations. They have already been qualified as extreme right motivated. Today, the President called on the civics not to divide Bolivia and not to err on their actions (he means the events next Thursday). Also, it sends a signal to the people of the Civic Committee that the government is getting ready. Perhaps, the civics will have a bit of fear.

Of course, it could also be that there really are some "irregular movements" along the borders and regions. I would think if push comes to shove, the opposition wants to be prepared. At some point, they have to start getting armed if their intentions are serious. And they seem serious.