June 03, 2008

What's Happening to the Rule of Law in Bolivia?

MABB © ®

I am reading this report from La Razón and I cannot believe my eyes. Simultaneously, I am having horrendous flash backs.

The Minister of Government, Alfredo Rada, is talking, as if it were something natural, about the arrest of a person (a sucrense activist) with some "special unit of the national security forces" (alone the name gives me the creeps).

It turns out that the government has apprehended this person without an arrest warrant and its holding him, not in Sucre, where he lives, but in La Paz. This operation was not conducted by the police, but by the security forces or intelligence (as Bolivians like to call these groups). These people are not police officers and do not wear uniforms.

Rada alleges that the prisoner was involved in various criminal activities.

Here is the article.

What I find scary is that this guy (Rada) does not find problematic to arrest someone without an arrest warrant, by people dressed as civilians and then transports the person to another place other than the city where he lives.

11 comments:

Gringo said...

Following Pravda’s phrasing when it was in its prime, perhaps it is no accident that this flouting of legal procedure and human rights occurred around the same time that Chavez issued a decree law that will obligate Venezuelans to become informants. Pravda would not have added, “perhaps,” but I will. This shows that the autonomy movement of the media luna is quite justified. Will Chuquisaca also have an autonomy referendum?

Evo and Hugo appear to have the same view of the law: Yo soy la ley.

Miguel said...

Sucre is working on its own statutes, but they are some way from a referendum. However, at the same time, they are well in the opposition camp.

mcentellas said...

Now there is a petition for an Oruro autonomy referendum as well. That should be interesting ... But, yes, the arrest/kidnapping was a bit on the creepy side.

JF said...

Miguel says:

What I find scary is that this guy (Rada) does not find problematic to arrest someone without an arrest warrant, by people dressed as civilians and then transports the person to another place other than the city where he lives.

A previous poster suggested that these are methods of the Chávez government. I respectfully disagree. I think that they are directly inspired from the Bush administration methods of kidnapping, secret prisons and extraordinary renditions. People like Cheney do not find that problematic either, and they talk about it quite naturally as well. This is the moral leadership that the US has been providing.

I find that very scary too.

Miguel said...

Definitely, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and co. are the creepy figures in US politics, at the moment.

Frank_IBC said...

Oruro???? I thought that was solid MAS territory.

Miguel said...

The intricacies of Bolivian politics.

JRO said...

EXTRAORDINARY RENDITION... Bolivian style.

Take an activist you dislike, smear some lies on him, snatch him or her from his family (black-bag, unofficial contractors, a beating, the works..) and take him to a holding cell in "friendly" territory.

Hold a press conference.

JRO said...

Oh yeah... I wouldn't classify Evo & Co. actions as "inspired" by Bush & Co.

You can draw a parallel, but not a connection.

entiendes?

Gringo said...

A previous poster suggested that these are methods of the Chávez government. I respectfully disagree. I think that they are directly inspired from the Bush administration methods of kidnapping, secret prisons and extraordinary renditions.

Undoubtedly, as Evo has shown himself time and again to be Dubya's poodle. Such as the "cheap and easy entry" program for US passport holders. Such as US corporations dominating the petroleum and minerals sectors of the Bolivian economy. Such as Evo's refusing to propose any new laws until they previously receive the approval of the US ambassador. Such as Evo's saying last month at a UN forum that capitalism, especially capitalism as practiced by multinational corporations, was the salvation of mankind.

Frank_IBC said...

LOL, I had to read that one twice. :)