How they killed the campesinos at Porvenir

This is what occasioned that emergency meeting of the Unasur leaders–the Porvenir massacre in Bolivia, perpetrated by an opposition prefect who has since been captured and now faces at least 30 years in prison.

Video and story from YVKE Mundial:

A video disseminated by Channel 7, the Bolivian state station, reveals how paramilitaries and assassins in the service of the prefect of Pando, Leopoldo Fernández, conducted the massacre of defenceless peasants in the Tahuamanu River.

The images show how the peasants drowned in the river, trying to cross it while armed men shot at them. “There are some more Indians” can be heard at least twice, coming from one of the persons on the shore of the Tahuamanu, while machine-gun bursts ring out.

The video, compiled by Televisión Boliviana in Cobija, also shows a man, presumably a medic, who says, “Listen, it’s terrible, that’s a shotgun, we’re attending to the people, but really, this situation has passed its limits. This is terrible, it’s the worst, we have no security at all.”

While the video runs, one of the probable killers, whose hand you can see, says ironically, “They’re scared”, while his companions keep firing. “There are plenty of hidden Indians here,” says another paramilitary, while the victims desperately swim towards the other shore of the Tahuamanu River, fleeing the gunfire.

Translation mine.

I guess this explains why the body count was so imprecise, and why it took a couple of days to get to the bottom of it (assuming, of course, that we have seen the bottom of it yet). Recall that the death count jumped from an initial toll of eight to fourteen, fourteen to sixteen, and sixteen to thirty. The explanation? They were fishing all those bodies out of the river.

Maybe they still are.

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