Bolivia terror plot: An attorney’s intriguing revelations, and some more intriguing revelations about the attorney

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No translation required, I trust…

My, oh my, oh my. Something mighty interesting is going down in Bolivia, no? Here comes your latest installment, kiddies:

Denver Pedraza, the defence attorney for the Santa Cruz Youth Union (UJC) members Carlos Gueder Bruno and Alcides Mendoza Masavi, implicated in the activities of a presumed terrorist cell dismantled in Santa Cruz, linked Senator Walter Guiteras to the suspected trafficking of weapons in 2006, which were to be used against the government.

“Senator Guiteras, of the Podemos opposition party, was one of the persons allegedly trafficking weapons through the zone, via one of his properties,” Pedraza revealed in an interview with a local TV station.

Pedraza named a family, the Farfáns, as suspected ringleaders of an organization which trafficked weapons in the department of Beni, although he did not specify a precise location of the property in question.

“This terrorist event has a name and surname. As of 2006-7, a great many weapons entered Bolivia, especially in the departments of Santa Cruz and Beni,” Pedraza said.

[…]

Pedraza also revealed that as of 2006, when the weapons began coming into the country, and in 2007-8, “the ‘lodges’ Toborochi, Caballeros del Oriente, and a group of members who ran the companies CRE (electricity), COTAS (telecommunications) and SAGUAPAC (water) began to react [against the Morales government].”

[…]

Pedraza said that these “lodges” immediately organized, and that there was a hunger strike in Santa Cruz, “and then the idea arose among some people there to kill Dr. Hugo Salvatierra, who was Minister of Agriculture, and Dr. Chato Peredo.”

These declarations come as the Public Ministry investigates events relating to a terrorist cell which operated in Santa Cruz, which intended to divide Bolivia and made attempts on the life of President Evo Morales. In previous declarations made last week, Pedraza had already made known that he possessed much important information relating to the terrorism case, and asked to meet with President Morales.

Translation mine.

You’ll want to read what Otto has found about the Toborochi and Caballeros Del Oriente “lodges” mentioned above, which are shunned like lepers by mainstream, respectable Bolivian freemasons for reasons all too compelling. There is some extensive and damning documentation (at the moment, in Spanish only) on these two very shady secret societies. If more on them comes to light later on, I’m going to translate key bits and post them here, as I agree with Otto that they are significant–they appear to have provided cover for some serious terrorist plotting and other criminal activities as well.

Meanwhile, I’m doing the old Googly-moogly on Denver Pedraza, the attorney for these two accused, who are suspected bagmen and/or weapons suppliers to the cell. Here are a few things I’ve found so far:

According to a May 1 news item on a Canadian Bolivia solidarity site, Pedraza is himself under corruption charges. The charges stem back to when Pedraza was district chief of DIRCABI Santa Cruz, the district directorate of the national registry, controller and administrator of confiscated property. For this reason, according to the juridical director of the Ministry of Government, Rubén Gamarra, Pedraza “has no moral authority to summon any governmental authorities”–this in reference to his wanting to meet with Evo. Instead, he’s been asked to hand over the information to the Public Ministry to be processed according to established legal procedure.

Pedraza was made district chief of DIRCABI Santa Cruz on July 21, 2006, and fired just nine months later, after Alfredo Rada, the Minister of Government, found irregularities in his management of the office. Pedraza is accused of having taken a confiscated car and then crashed it in a state of intoxication. Several bottles of wine were found inside at the scene. It wasn’t the only confiscated car he took, either–he is accused of having given two armored vehicles, a Fiat and a Citroën, worth $50,000 US apiece, to the mother of a man charged in a drug-trafficking case. He only returned one–“totally dismantled”. The other is still unaccounted for. Yet another confiscated vehicle, a Suzuki, was also “irregularly used” and involved in a traffic accident; Pedraza was found to have ordered the transfer of some persons in it, and to date has not paid for the repairs incurred as a result of the incident. He also rented out a confiscated building, on the corner of San Aurelio Avenue and Segundo Anillo in the city of Santa Cruz as a billboard for large advertisements. The renters were charged $700 US for a year’s use of the space. This money did not go to DIRCABI, but to Pedraza’s own pocket, even though he had been fired. Several pieces of confiscated jewelry were also found to be missing from the safe at DIRCABI headquarters, and Pedraza later admitted that they were in “a secure location”, and returned them after they were found in his home!

Gee, he sounds like quite the character, doesn’t he? But nonetheless, he’s entirely par for the course if you’re talking about crooked bigwigs in the city of Santa Cruz, which has no shortage of those. (Why do you think so many of them are banding together in clandestine “lodges” to kill Evo? Among other things, he’s cracking down on corruption. Duh!)

According to this piece in the very right-wing (and smelly) Bolivian news site El Deber, Pedraza claims there are persons in the federal government and the National Police linked to weapons trafficking. Could this be what he wanted to meet with Evo about? Or is he accusing Evo, and trying to drag him into court? This might explain why his “requests” for a “meeting” were rejected on the grounds of his lack of moral standing. Oh, and get this: Pedraza claims to be a MAS supporter (that is, of Evo’s party, the Movement Toward Socialism)! He also points the finger at Alfredo Rada (mentioned above), and Major Johnny Tapia, former federal police officer (and head of Delta Squadron) and currently chief of police in Plan 3000, a mostly-indigenous suburb of the city of Santa Cruz. Tapia of course denies it, and I have yet to see anything worth crediting pertaining to charges against Rada, either. The same piece also uncritically characterizes the far-right astroturf group, the “Human Rights Foundation”, as “apolitical”, which is the dirtiest joke I’ve heard all week. (I did say El Deber was smelly, did I not?)

BTW, I’m looking for the video in which Pedraza gives the interview mentioned in the ABI article at the top of this piece. If anyone knows where I can find it, drop me a note in the comments section and I’ll post it here so you can see him for yourself and judge how trustworthy/noteworthy/whatever you find him.

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