wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06LAPAZ732 2006-03-17 19:46:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy La Paz
Cable title:  

MAS DISCREDITING STRING OF EX-PRESIDENTS

Tags:   ECON PGOV PREL BL 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO3663
PP RUEHLMC
DE RUEHLP #0732 0761946
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 171946Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8466
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 5691
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 2958
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 6840
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 4070
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 1391
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 1309
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 3641
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 4033
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 8552
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUMIAAA/USCINCSO MIAMI FL
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L LA PAZ 000732 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/18/2016
TAGS: ECON PGOV PREL BL
SUBJECT: MAS DISCREDITING STRING OF EX-PRESIDENTS

REF: LA PAZ 647

Classified By: Amb. David N. Greenlee for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).



1. (SBU) Summary: Bolivia's MAS-friendly Attorney General
Pedro Gareca (who recently resigned and then withdrew his
resignation) is instituting proceedings against four of
Bolivia's ex-presidents: Eduardo Rodriguez for the Chinese
MANPADS transfer to the U.S., and Jorge "Tuto" Quiroga,
Carlos Mesa, and Gonzalo "Goni" Sanchez de Lozada for failing
to obtain congressional approval before signing state
contracts with hydrocarbons companies. Most analysts believe
that while the cases may allegedly have some legal merit,
they are a well-planned maneuver intended to discredit
potential political rivals (principally Podemos and MNR) in
the current campaign season. End summary.



2. (SBU) On March 9, Attorney General Pedro Gareca, a known
MAS sympathizer who recently resigned and then withdrew his
resignation, indicated his intent to file criminal charges
against former President Eduardo Rodriguez, former Minister
of Defense Gonzalo Mendez and ex-Commander of the Armed
Forces Marco Antonio Justiniano for their role in turning
over Chinese-made MANPADS to the United States (see reftels).
The Attorney General is considering charging the defendants
with total or partial submission to foreign influence,
espionage, issuing orders contrary to the Constitution,
negligence, and destruction/suppression of evidence. Gareca
presented the case to the Supreme Court's criminal division;
next it must be approved by Congress before formal charges
may be filed.



3. (C) Gareca instituted similar proceedings on March 16
against former Presidents Jorge "Tuto" Quiroga, Carlos Mesa,
and Gonzalo "Goni" Sanchez de Lozada for failing to obtain
congressional approval before signing state contracts with
hydrocarbons companies. Article 59 (5) of the Constitution
provides that Congress must authorize and approve all state
contracts that relate to the exploitation of natural
resources. Gareca alleges that the three former presidents
(and many of their ministers and the state oil company)
violated the Constitution by signing a total of 107
hydrocarbons contracts during their respective
administrations.



4. (C) Comment: While the charges may or may not have legal
merit under the Constitution, there is little doubt about the
political motivation behind these charges, particularly given
the upcoming Constituent Assembly elections. Many analysts
believe that Gareca is stretching back in time to charge
Quiroga, who was president for only one year, because he is
the leader of the political party best poised to oppose the
MAS in the Assembly. Especially egregious is the attack on
Rodriguez, the man responsible for preserving Bolivian
democracy and the opportunity for the MAS to win the December
2005 elections. Some had suggested that Rodriguez, Bolivia's
most respected jurist, would be an excellent choice to
preside over the Constituent Assembly. The MAS strategy
appears to be to tie up potential opposition leaders with
personal crises and distract them from the CA. Given the
already weak state of the opposition, the MAS plan just might
work. End comment.
GREENLEE