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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Aug 22, 2017, 01:31 AM

4. Article published to highlight: Return of Bolivia's Drug-Stained Dictator

By Jerry Meldon

A Latin American ghost from Washington's Cold War past is reappearing this summer. On Aug. 6, one of South America's most notorious drug-tainted military dictators, Hugo Banzer Suarez, will don Bolivia's presidential sash. That will make him responsible for battling cocaine traffickers in one of the world's top drug-producing nations.

The 71-year-old Banzer, a long-time U.S. favorite because of his anti-communism, forged the coalition that gave him the presidency after his Accion Democratica Nacionalista party won 22 percent of the vote in the June elections. Banzer's latest ascendancy set off alarms in Washington, despite the old Cold War ties.

A State Department spokesman warned of possible diplomatic strains if Banzer appointed Bolivian officials who "in other eras have been directly involved in narco-trafficking." In Latin America, however, the U.S. statement was viewed as an indirect reference to Banzer, who could not have survived politically in the violent world of Bolivian politics without the timely intervention of South America's drug lords.

In July 1980, for instance, while most Bolivians were enjoying a rare hiatus of non-military rule, Banzer was hiding out in exile in Argentina. Bolivia's civilian government was set to indict him for human rights violations and corruption during his 1971-78 dictatorship. But Banzer saw his political life saved when a grotesque band of old-time Nazis and younger neo-fascists -- financed with drug money and aided by the Argentine military -- overthrew the government in La Paz.

The coup was spearheaded by two men whom Banzer had introduced: Roberto Suarez, Bolivia's coca king, and Klaus Barbie, the Gestapo chief of Lyons whom Banzer had protected from French war crimes prosecutors. The victorious putsch -- known as the Cocaine Coup -- established Bolivia as a kind of narco-state. Saved by this mix of drug trafficking and anti-communism, Banzer returned home to resume his political career.

. . .

https://consortiumnews.com/archive/story40.html

~ ~ ~

7 Fascist Regimes Enthusiastically Supported by America

The U.S. treated Cuba as an enemy while backing deeply oppressive Latin American regimes.
By Alex Henderson / AlterNet February 4, 2015, 11:37 AM GMT

, , ,

6. Bolivia: The Hugo Banzer Dictatorship, 1971-1977

When the policies of Bolivia’s socialist president, Juan José Torres, angered the Nixon Administration in the early 1970s, the U.S. helped to overthrow him and install the fascist military dictatorship of Gen. Hugo Banzer. The Banzer regime lasted until 1977, and during Banzer’s rule, torture and false imprisonment were common. Torres fled Bolivia after the coup and settled in Argentina, where he became one of the early casualties of the Dirty War: in June 1976, Torres was kidnapped and killed by one of the Argentinean junta’s death squads.

Torres’ killing was part of Operation Condor, an unholy alliance of fascist forces and military juntas whose stated goal was to eradicate any type of Marxism in South America. Pinochet, Guzzetti, Banzer, Bordaberry and Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner were all participants in the program, which the CIA enthusiastically promoted.


Hugo Banzer[1] Suárez (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈuɣo banˈseɾ ˈswaɾes]; May 10, 1926 – May 5, 2002) was a Bolivian politician, military general and President of Bolivia. He held the Bolivian presidency twice: from 1971 to 1978, as a dictator; and then again from 1997 to 2001, as constitutional President.

. . .

http://www.alternet.org/world/7-fascist-regimes-enthusiastically-supported-america

~ ~ ~
Wikipedia:

As plotter, 1970–1971[edit]
In 1970, President Juan José Torres was leading the country in a leftist direction, arousing the ire and mistrust of conservative anti-communist circles in Bolivia and, crucially, in the Nixon administration. He had called an Asamblea del Pueblo, or People's Assembly, in which representatives of specific "proletarian" sectors of society were represented (miners, unionized teachers, students, peasants). The Assembly was imbued with all the powers of a working parliament, even though the right-wing opponents of the regime tended to call it a gathering of virtual soviets. Torres also allowed labor leader, Juan Lechín, to resume his post as head of the Central Obrera Boliviana/Bolivian Workers' Union (COB). These measures, coupled with Ovando's earlier nationalization of Gulf Oil properties, angered his opponents even more, chief among whom was Banzer and his US supporters. In early 1971, a faction of the Bolivian military attempted to unseat the new president but failed, whereupon Banzer fled to Argentina, but did not give up his ambitions to the presidency.

Dictatorship, 1971–1978[edit]

n August 18, 1971, General Banzer, at long last, masterminded a successful military uprising that erupted in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, where he had many supporters. Eventually, the plotters gained control over the La Paz garrisons, although not without considerable bloodshed. The combined levels of United States and Brazilian involvement for the coup d'état have been debated but it is apparent that significant clandestine financial & advisory assistance existed at a critical level within the Nixon administration for Banzer.[1] With such backing secured, General Banzer emerged as the strong man of the new regime, and, on August 22, was given full power as president. Conversely, President Juan José Torres was forced to take refuge in Buenos Aires, Argentina where five years later he was kidnapped and assassinated by right-wing death squads associated with the Videla government and with the acquiescence of Hugo Banzer.[citation needed] His murder was part of Operation Condor. Interestingly, he received the political support of the center-right Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario (MNR) of former president Víctor Paz Estenssoro and the conservative Falange Socialista Boliviana of Mario Gutiérrez, considered to be the two largest parties in the country. For the next seven years, and with the rank of Army General, Banzer ruled Bolivia as dictator.

Frustrated by the political divisions and protests that characterized the Torres and Ovando years, and, traditionally an enemy of dissent and freedom of speech, Banzer banned all the left-leaning parties, suspended the powerful Central Obrera Boliviana, and closed the nation's universities. "Order" was now the paramount aim, and no means were spared to restore authority and stifle dissent. Buoyed by the initial legitimacy provided by Paz and Gutierrez's support, the dictator ruled with a measure of civilian support until 1974, when the main parties realized he did not intend to hold elections and was instead using them to perpetuate himself in power. At that point, Banzer dispensed with all pretenses and banned all political activity, exiled all major leaders (Paz Estenssoro included), and proceeded to rule henceforth solely with military support.

Human rights groups claim that during Banzer's 1971-78 tenure (known as the Banzerato) several thousand Bolivians sought asylum in foreign countries, 3,000 political opponents were arrested, 200 were killed, and many more were tortured. In the basement of the Ministry of the Interior or "the horror chambers" around 2,000 political prisoners were held and tortured during the 1971-1978 military rule.[2] Many others simply disappeared.[3] Among the victims of the regime are Colonel Andrés Selich, Banzer's first Minister of the Interior and co-conspirator in the August 1971 coup. Selich was accused of plotting to overthrow Banzer and died of blows sustained while in custody. Two other leaders with sufficient stature to potentially eclipse the dictator were murdered under suspicious circumstances while in exile: General Joanquin Zenteno Anaya and former President Juan José Torres, both in 1976.

More:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Banzer

~ ~ ~

Great resource for democratic posters who DO take the time to research:
http://thirdworldtraveler.com/Foreign_Policy/US_ForeignPolicy.html

(It contains material listed below, and more)



" America's inability to come to terms with revolutionary change in the The Third World...has created our biggest international problems in the postwar era. But the root of the problem is not, as many Americans persist in believing, the relentless spread of communism. Rather, it is our own difficulty in understanding that Third World revolutions are primarily nationalist, not communist. Nationalism, not capitalism or communism, is the dominant political force in the modern world. You might think that revolutionary nationalism and the desire for self-determination would be relatively easy for Americans - the first successful revolutionaries to win their independence - to understand. But instead we have been dumbfounded when other peoples have tried to pursue the goals of our own revolution two centuries ago.... "

Former U.S. Senator Frank Church, on the shortsightedness of 'rollback' as our foreign policy doctrine

Torture watch
http://thirdworldtraveler.com/Torture/Torture_page.html

. . .

"The greatest purveyor of violence on earth is my own government."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

CIA watch

" Covert action should not be confused with missionary work."

Henry Kissinger, commenting on the US sellout of the Kurds in Iraq in 1975

*****

" ...the CIA has overthrown functioning democracies in over 20 countries."

John Stockwell, former CIA official and author

http://thirdworldtraveler.com/CIA/CovertActivities_CIA.html

~ ~ ~

The Hidden Torture
Cells of Bolivia
REPORTAGE
BY RO B E RT P. B A I R D


. . .

The brutality that Marcos and Burgoa suffered at the hands of the Bolivian government
was, by that time, routine. Interrogations were directed by military offi cers
and carried out by civilians who had learned their trade from the prosecutors of
Argentina’s “dirty war.” Beating—with fi sts, belts, hoses, planks, and rifl e butts—
remained the preferred form of torture, but government agents seemed to take a
special pleasure in forcing needles under fi ngernails and applying electrical shocks
to sensitive skin. Other times they fl ooded a curbed cell in the ministry basement
and charged it with a live wire.

Physical torture was only the start: “They made permanent psychological war
against you,” Marcos says. “Every night they’d come, bang on your door at three in
the morning, and say, ‘Get your things ready.’ And so you got your blanket and your
clothes, and you spent a sleepless night waiting for them to take you to another part
of the prison, or another prison altogether, but they never came. Or maybe they
did. But you never knew, you never knew if they were going to take you to another
torture place or if they were going to take you to another prison just to move you
around.” Prisoners were held incommunicado and subjected to mock executions.
It was not rare for them to discover that their parents, siblings, and children had
been arrested and abused on their account.
A woman accused of ELN affi liation told a Peruvian newspaper that after she’d
been beaten so badly she could hardly respond, three of the ministry’s civilian agents
raped her. “But my case wasn’t the worst,” she told the paper. She knew a pregnant
woman who’d miscarried after a series of beatings. Another woman said that “the
light of day was the only rest” for the female prisoners at Achocalla, “because when
night came, we had to be ready for a new torment—whoever wanted could take his
turn. Rape was one of their favorite activities.”

In November 1972, Banzer announced—yet again—the existence of an “open
conspiracy to overthrow the government” and declared a national state of siege.
The proclamation made offi cial what had already been true in fact: citizens and
foreigners accused of terrorist activities could be detained indefi nitely. (Habeas
corpus had been ignored since the coup.) Widely accepted estimates would later
put the total number of political prisoners at fi fteen thousand, while another nineteen
thousand were chased into foreign exile. The cells under the Interior Ministry
and the prison at Achocalla were just two nodes of a countrywide network of detention
facilities and security houses operated by the government. Others included a
concentration camp in the jungle near Madidi, converted colonial-era catacombs
in La Paz, and an island prison in the middle of Lake Titicaca. (The latter was shut
down after an extraordinary jailbreak that began during a soccer game between
prisoners and guards.)

. . .

http://robertpbaird.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Narrative-Hidden-Torture-Cells-of-Bolivia.pdf

~ ~ ~


Klaus Barbie, the Nazi "Butcher of Lyon" and his association with Bolivia's Hugo Banzer.

This is information I just stumbled across, and want to share with DU'ers I respect. It comes from an investigation by Democratic Congresswoman Elizabeth Holzman and Joshua Eilberg:

RECRUITING NAZIS

GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATIONS. Numerous allegations about collaborating with the German Nazis -- during and after World War II -- have been leveled at the CIA.

~snip~
Fifth, the CIA evacuated Nazi war criminals and collaborators through "rat lines" in southern Europe, allowing them to escape justice by relocating them in South America.

~snip~
Seventh, the CIA covered up its these activities from congressional and other federal investigators.

The congressional investigations were launched by Congressmen Joshua Eilberg and Elizabeth Holtzman. After the INS's investigation appeared to be at a standstill. Congress demanded that the GAO determine whether the INS or any other government agency had conspired to obstruct legal action against alleged Nazi war criminals living in the United States. Congress made this request in January 1977, marking the beginning of the first GAO investigation. The Special Litigation Unit, a new office within INS and the immediate predecessor to the OSI, also started its separate investigation at the same time. (www.cia.gov/csi/studies/97unclass/naziwar)

~snip~
KLAUS BARBIE: THE BUTCHER OF LYON." The greatest asset to American security forces was Nazi officer Klaus Barbie, the "Butcher of Lyon." He worked his way up the Gestapo ladder during World War II. After the German occupation of France in 1942, Hitler named him commander of the SS office in Lyons in 1942 where he ordered the murder of 4,000 Jews. After the war concluded, Barbie was charged with war crimes at Nurenberg. Assistant Secretary of War John McCloy, formerly a Wall Street attorney, intervened in the executions of some convicted Nurenberg criminals. He arranged to have Barbie sheltered from prosecution by the 970th Counterintelligence Corps at Oberamergau. McCloy's motives were clear. He represented Standard Oil and Chase Manhatten Bank which were big investors in Nazi Germany. Before the war, McCloy was the legal adviser to I.G. Farben, the German chemical conglomerate, many of whose officials were elevated to high positions by Hitler. The company also prospered from Jewish slave labor at Auswitz and other concentration camps.

More:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/11087225

~ ~ ~

Trujillo Oroza v. Bolivia
ABSTRACT1
On December 23, 1971, Mr. José Carlos Trujillo Oroza, 21 years of
age, was arrested without competent authority and transferred to the El
Pari prison compound. Between January 15 and February 2, 1972, his
mother, Gladys Oroza, visited her son daily and observed evidence of
physical torture. When Ms. Oroza visited the prison on the afternoon of
February 2, she was unable to see her son and received differing stories
regarding his whereabouts. Ms. Oroza repeatedly attempted to learn
more information until the prison director, Ernesto Morant, produced a
radiogram ordering the liberation of Mr. Trujillo Oroza and three other
men. It was subsequently established, however, that the Ministry of the
Interior fabricated the radiogram to hide crimes committed against
these three individuals. Ms. Oroza proceeded to file various petitions
and complaints before the State's executive and legislative branches, but
was unable to file a complaint before the courts due to political
instability. Finally, on January 8, 1999, the State initiated a judicial
investigation, but failed to take any action because it did not recognize
forced disappearance as a crime. Although the case continued to sit
before the Constitution and Judicial Police Committee, Ms. Oroza
turned to the Inter-American Court to seek justice for her still-missing
son. The Court found that the State violated the American Convention
on Human Rights.
I. FACTS
1. Chronology of Events
August 19, 1971 – August 21, 1971: Colonel Hugo Banzer Suárez
carries out a coup d’état in Bolivia and establishes a military junta that
is to be commanded by himself, Colonel Andrés Sélich Chop, and
General Jaime Florentino Mendieta Vargas. The junta assigns full
powers of the Office of the President of the Republic to Banzer Suárez.
Under his authority as President, Banzer Suárez establishes the Political
Order Department, the function of which is to put an end to unrest
caused by political opponents.2
December 23, 1971: Without a court order, police arrest Mr. José
Carlos Trujillo Oroza, a twenty-one-year-old philosophy student at the
Universidad Mayor de San Andrés of La Paz, in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
They take him to a prison compound known as El Pari.3
January 15, 1972: Ms. Gladys Oroza, Mr. Trujillo Oroza’s mother,
goes to the head of intelligence of the Ministry of the Interior and learns
that her son has been captured. The Santa Cruz Chief of Police permits
Ms. Oroza to visit her son in the El Pari prison.4
January 15 – February 2, 1972: Ms. Oroza visits her son daily in the
El Pari prison. During these visits, she is allowed to speak to
Mr. Trujillo Oroza for only five minutes, is accompanied by an agent,
and is not allowed to ask him any questions.5 Nonetheless, she observes
that he has been subjected to physical torture.6
In the course of one visit,
she observes that Mr. Trujillo Oroza has lost three fingernails and has
been beaten by someone using an object with a sharp edge.7 Mr. Trujillo
Oroza indicates by signs that she should go to the Red Cross to ask for
help.8

More:
https://iachr.lls.edu/sites/iachr.lls.edu/files/iachr/Cases/Trujillo_Oroza_v_Bolivia/Trujillo%20Oroza%20v.%20Bolivia.pdf

ETC., ETC., ETC., ETC., ETC., ETC., ETC., ETC.,

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