Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bolivia to USA: "Return 'Goni' to Justice"

Five years ago this month, Bolivian President Gonalo Sánchez de Lozada [everyone calls him "Goni"] ordered his military to suppress civilian protesters. They killed 67 and injured hundreds. Goni fled Bolivia, receiving asylum in the USA. The families of the victims of Black October, 2003 continue to fight for justice, despite numerous setbacks and obstacles.

The U.S. Embassy in Bolivia received this week official letters petitioning extradition of Goni (and two accomplices)--an important step toward ending the impunity they've enjoyed. The documents should arrive in Washington by the end of this week. The US State Department then will determine the fates of Goni and his two helpers.

Your help in the United States, and in other countries, is crucial. Public pressure must be strong on the State Department to respect the Bolivian judicial process and the nonpolitical, multi-party decision on the part of the Bolivian Congress to try Goni and his accomplices for the Black October massacres.

Help spread the word. Inform your organizations, networks, and other contacts. Blog, write letters to the editor, publicize the issue. Here's a useful summary by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs on the case for extradition and its context:
http://www.coha.org/2008/09/a-case-for-extradition-gonzalo-sanchez-de-lozada-and-carlos-sanchez-berzain/

Public actions of solidarity with Bolivia joined to the request for extradition are especially vital to draw attention to Black October, the families of the victims that continue to fight for justice, and the U.S. protection of accused authors of state violence.

Don't take my word for it. Listen to Eva Isabel Carvajal, an investigator with the Center of Superior University Studies in Cochabamba, Boliva, for just one minute:

16 comments:

FranIAm said...

I must admit that I did not know as much about this as I should... and now thanks to you I know more.

That video... wow, says it all.

He MUST be returned, without hesitation if any justice is to be done.

Border Explorer said...

What with our sparking news (cough) media, Fran, I'm not surprised you--or anyone--hadn't heard about this. Don't blame yourself. Thanks for your faithful readership here!

Mariamariacuchita said...

i had heard whispers about this, but not in the detail you provided. Thanks, BE. There is so much corruption in many governments. What are the odds of extradition?

Border Explorer said...

I suspect the recent break in relations between the US and Bolivia won't improve the chances of Goni's extradition. But it has taken much work to get the project this far, so here's hoping.

Video images of Goni strolling around his wealthy D.C. suburb, enjoying the good life vs. the poor, mourning families in Bolivia...it just isn't right.

Yeah, Sarah Palin--that's one reason why I don't feel especially pro-America.

Whoops, sorry Maria! I didn't mean to go off on you. Too much coffee!

seev said...

Let's just hope, if we have a new president by the name of Obama, that serious attention will begin to be paid to this horrendous injustice and that Goni and pals will be returned to Bolivia.

an average patriot said...

I would like to see some justice just once from this mis Government! I seriously doubt they will let anyone sway what they do! Bush has made a mess of the entire world and relations with all of South America are no exception!

DivaJood said...

I've been a bad blogger, not visiting anyone too much.

One of the reasons I feel Obama needs to be elected is to bring our nation back to a position of decency. Goni must be returned to Bolivia, and I think that Obama would comply.

Randal Graves said...

What is this 'justice' you speak of?

Sherry said...

thanks BE I was unaware of this situation. I'll look into it and do as you suggest.

enigma4ever said...

thanks for all you do Border..I admit...confess that I am not up to date on International, esp South American issues....

I will try to learn more....

susan said...

Weird isn't it that after WWII many Nazis fled to S. America to live in luxury under the protection of corrupt governments? Now corrupt S. American leaders come here for the same reason. It's disgusting and I agree it would be nice to have this country return to observing international agreements.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I didn't know about this either. When will this country ever learn not to prop up dictators and other oppressive rulers?

Carol said...

How is our government benefiting by keeping him here, free from consequences? Was he a dictator that we put into power?

Border Explorer said...

Carol, Goni is a grad of the U of Chicago so he has ivy-league US ties. See the movie Our Brand is Crisis, available on Netflix, to see how his election was manipulated using U.S. tactics. (A timely view for this election season!)

I want to sincerely thank everyone for the comments on this thread.

Aaron said...

Sánchez de Lozada hired U.S. Democratic political consultants James Carville, Stan Greenberg and Bob Shrum to advise his campaign.

And Obama has pro goni advisors like Greg Craig telling him about south america.

Border Explorer said...

Thanks, Aaron. I've added your website to my Reader.