Monday, April 04, 2005

Bolivian Human Rights 0 : US Mining Rights 1

The US authority has refused entry to a prominent Bolivian human rights lawyer, Fernando Rodriguez, because they claimed he has met with Bolivian terrorists. His US visa which was valid for the next 10 years has been cancelled. With that, he was immediately put onboard a plane back to La Paz.

However, the US authority has not provided any details of Rodriguez’s connection with so-called Bolivian terrorists, nor has it identified any terrorist groups in that country. Maybe that's due to the fact that there is NO terrorist activity in Bolivia.

Oh, incidentally what was Rodriguez going to the States for?

Well, he is the co-founder of the Bolivian chapter of the Inter-American Platform of Human Rights, Democracy and Development. He was to present evidence of abuses by US petroleum, mining and logging companies against indigenous groups before the Inter-American Human Rights Commission in Washington. The Commission is an arm of the Organization of American States. Rodriguez had made a similar presentation to the Commission last year.

Looks like he won't be able to do that now - how fortuitous for the US companies.

It has also been known that the former US ambassador to Bolivia had threatened Bolivians against voting for Evo Morales, the indigenous leader of a major opposition party on the eve of the 2002 presidential elections. Evo Morales is an indigenous rights campaigner, and a thorn in the side of the US companies.

Maybe there is an al Qaeda link, or WMDs in Bolivia? Perhaps Osama bin Laden is lurking there? On the other hand, the Iranian ayatollahs could have a secret nuclear enrichment plant in La Paz?

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