Bolivia: Evo bars DEA overflights

President Evo Morales said Oct. 4 that he has rejected a request from the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to fly over Bolivian territory. “Two days ago I received a letter…asking a government institution for permission to fly over national territory,” the Bolivian Information Agency quoted the president. “I want to say publicly to our authorities: They are not authorized to give permission so that the DEA can fly over Bolivian territory… No DEA or American [agency] can be overflying our national territory. Under the pretext of fighting drug trafficking, under the pretext of monitoring coca leaf crops they want to overfly, and we are going to make it clear that we monitor domestically. We don’t need anyone spying.” (BBC, AFP, Oct. 4)

See our last post on Bolivia.

  1. Evo’s False Propaganda Needs Improvement
    Like all the news agencies have already reported, the DEA’s plane is for TRANSPORT of DEA and Bolivian officials. TRANSPORT. Bolivian officials too. Has anyone checked to see what type of plane it is? Is it a plane that can be configured for spying like Evo suggests?

    You’d think that Evo’s Cuban and Venezuelan advisors down here could help guide this glorified cocaine trafficker a bit better in coming up with false propaganda to feed the international community. I guess it doesn’t matter really to his unfortunate indigenous supporters. Most don’t know any better; they just see one of themselves. And it wouldn’t matter to the well fed romantic Che fans. They just think it’s chic. But every time the glorified cocaine trafficker opens his mouth, he says something that doesn’t add up.

    To see more of wonderful Evo and where he and his MASistas are taking Bolivia, check out Utube for them first hanging live dogs, and then sawing off their heads! They couldn’t even do THAT right. At least they could have used sharp knives, cut the jugular vein immediately, had someone hold the poor creatures’ legs, etc. It looks more like coca leaf intoxicated MASistas playing pinyata.

    Evo and his followers are full of so much hate they’re sick in the head. And all that dope money sure is nice!

    1. So does yours
      It is entirely likely the DEA is seeking to carry out surveillance flights. What would they “transport”?

      And the charge that Evo is a “cocaine trafficker” is a very serious one. Do you care to provide some evidence?

  2. just a comment, not propaganda
    This site invited readers to comment. I provided that; not propaganda. But the gentleman made a nice try to be cute and witty.

    Evo says the plane is for spying. I asked if it’s a plane configured to do so. The gentleman said “probably”. No answer for us there. Not expecting one either; Just giving us something to think about. And, what would they transport? Well, a US official in the articles I read said, as I mentioned before, DEA and Bolivian officials. That’s an answer I think, because air planes can do that sort of stuff.

    The gentleman asks about evidence of Evo being a trafficker. Like any rational person would, I let people with those jobs acquire and present it in judicial systems. This is a comment page and I provided one. BUT, I will further comment that Evo, being the coca federation president, pushes the growth of way too much coca than anyone could ever need for teas, soap, chewing, medicines, altitude sickness, etc. Cocaine production has skyrocketed, and prices have dropped in Brazil and Argentina, since he took office. Any rational person who can objectfully connect some dots could figure this one out. Being a cocaine trafficker doesn’t just mean you’re the one handling the finished product. Just look at all the money launders and other facilitators that are in prison. If you facilitate it, you’re a doper too. And although I think I’m correct, this is just my opinion that I provide as a comment, not propaganda. And I fully respect others’ opinions as well, even if I think they’re off base.

    To the gentleman, please give us readers something we can reflect on. Insults only bring us away from the healthy sharing of ideas and opinions.

    1. Propagandistic comment
      The fact that this is a comments page does not give you license to make baseless accusations. Multiple sources (BBC, RTT News, Oct. 3; AP, Oct. 2) are reporting Evo’s claim that he explicitly received a request for a “surveillance flight.” An Oct. 4 AP story quotes the US Embassy backing up your claim:

      U.S. Embassy spokesman Eric Watnik said the DEA makes periodic requests to fly a plane transporting U.S. and Bolivian anti-narcotics personnel around the country. The aircraft is not used for surveillance, he said.

      But even the State Department is not calling Evo a “cocaine trafficker”—and one would think if they had the goods on him they’d use ’em.

      “We’ve certified Bolivia twice before under the Morales government, even though they have taken a very different approach to counter drugs, especially to eradication, than previous governments,” Thomas Shannon, the top U.S. diplomat for Latin America, told The Associated Press on Thursday.

      “But what we’ve noticed over the past couple of months,” he added, “was a declining political willingness to cooperate, and then a very precise attempt by the part of some of the government ministries to begin to lower the level of cooperation and try to break the linkages” between U.S. and Bolivian anti-drug efforts.

      Coca tea is as ubiquitous in Bolivia as coffee is in the US, so there is a huge market for internal, legal consumption. The deal allowing limited coca cultivation in the Chaparé (where it was previously forbidden) was actually signed between growers and the government in 2004, well before Evo was elected. (Andean Information Network, Oct. 6, 2004) Evo has continued to eradicate coca crops in the areas of Chaparé where cultivation is still forbidden (most of the territory), leading to tensions with his supporters—as we have noted. So you are going to have to provide more evidence than the deflated price of cocaine in Buenos Aires. That says nothing about who is producing the stuff and controlling the shipment routes (even if the New York Times of Feb. 23 uncritically accepted your analysis).

      Finally, why would you “respect” opinions that you think are “off base”? Nobody does. Cut the hypocrisy.

  3. Popping Your Evo Balloon
    I don’t need a “license” to express my opinion or observation. You might consider being more careful with that one or even your fellow bleeding heart izquierdistas will disown you. Now, don’t cry to us readers because your romantic notions about Evo Morales and his MASistas have proven to be just that. Do you believe in media suppression? (Rhetorical question here; I don’t care what you believe in.) Evo does! He just throws in the word “democracy” every once in a while to mislead his unfortunately uneducated indigenous followers. You want to argue that one too I bet.

    Facts overwhelming show Evo facilitates cocaine trafficking in Bolivia. Living and travelling here one can’t help but see it as it is. To argue otherwise is irrational and a waste of time.

    Per the BBC article, the Bolivian Information Agency articulated “surveillance” flight. I would like to know if DEA or DOS used that word or anything like it in their request to fly. I’ll send a $100 to anyone who can show me.

    DOS is very very very careful with how they articulate everything, like saying “a different approach”. It is just a nice way of saying “yeah, right…por favor!” And well they should do this. Diplomacy is their mission in life. They’ll throw their own mother under a train to maintain it, biting their tongue for the sake of maintaining the peace and even a sliver of open diplomatic relations, so as to wait out Evo’s term, and move on from there. As for the decertification, those extensions are for the same reason I explain above. Nothing more.

    The coca leaf is a wonderful product when used in the “traditional” or non-abusive sense. Arguably, it is healthier for, or maybe better said, less destructive to, the body than coffee. But the amount of coca leaf being grown and harvested greatly overwhelms any legal demands of any kind. Evo’s “eradication” in the ChaparĂ© is smoke and mirrors. Whether one likes it or not, market prices tell all. The reason why cocaine prices have dropped is because the supply has grown. Plain and simple. Again, to argue otherwise is irrational and a waste of time.

    And I won’t even get into how much destruction the base lab precursor chemicals are causing in the ChaparĂ© ecosystem. So much for your childhood fantasies of indigenous folks caring about their beloved Pachamama.

    In closing for the evening, I respect others’ rights to express opinions, although their opinions in of themselves might appear, well, stupid. I think most rational and fair people feel the same way.

    P.S. Hey, how’d you like the Utube clip of the poor dogs getting their head’s sawed off by your MASista buddies? I didn’t hear you make a peep about that one. But I’ll bet you got a good reason for that too. I do. I call it sickness in the head and hate in the heart. That is what is “leading” Bolivia right now.

    1. Popping your propaganda balloon
      Calling Evo Morales a “cocaine trafficker” is not expressing an “opinion.” It is making an accusation. If there are “facts overwhelming” in support of this charge, we’d like to hear them. You don’t mention any. Ditto the charge of “media suppression.”

      I don’t doubt the coca supply has increased—but exclusively or even predominantly in Bolivia? And by forces controlled by Evo? With the funds going back into his pockets? That’s what you’re implying, and you’ve yet to demonstrate any evidence whatsoever.

      The Washington Post Sept. 3 cited UN figures indicating that coca cultivation has increased by 5% in both Bolivia and Peru last year—and far more dramatically in Colombia:

      In Colombia, where the United States has spent the most, coca cultivation rose 27 percent from 2006 to 2007, to about 245,000 acres. That accounts for more than 50 percent of all coca production in the region. Coca plantings in Bolivia and Peru also increased by about 5 percent each. Taken together, the United Nations reported a 16 percent increase in Andean coca production in 2007.

      The Oct. 4 AP story quoting the US Embassy on the overflight controversy also states (emphasis added): “Bolivia is the world’s third largest producer of coca…after Colombia and Peru.”

      I do not believe the processors contaminating Bolivia’s waterways with lab waste are Evo’s support base. They are more likely linked to the old oligarchy he is in the process of overturning. Remember the 1980 “Cocaine Coup”?

      We reported on the doggie-torture incidents not once but twice. It is indeed ugly, but we understand the centuries of oppression that underly the rage.