Evo’s inaugurator arrested for drug possession in El Alto

valentin-mejillones.jpg

Aymara spiritual leader Valentín Mejillones, doing what he normally does best.

Oh dear. Panorama reports a story that will have a lot of faces red in La Paz:

The Aymara priest who four years ago blessed and handed over an indigenous ceremonial staff of office to the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, thus winning international fame, was arrested for possession of 240 kilograms of cocaine, according to police on Thursday.

The detention of the “amauta”, or Andean wise man, Valentín Mejillones, along with his son and a Colombian couple, took place on Tuesday, said the director of the Bolivian Special Force Against Narcotrafficking (FELCN), Colonel Félix Molina.

Vice-president Alvaro García said that there would be no official protection for Mejillones, who, according to him, had not been chosen by Morales himself for the indigenous inauguation ceremony, but by “the internal organizing structure of the Andean religious community”.

The anti-drug director said that the cocaine confiscated from the amauta’s house in El Alto was in liquid form, and is valued at over $240,000 US on the Bolivian market.

He also said that in Mejillones’ home there was a cocaine-purification laboratory “with Colombian technology”, but the amauta claimed he had been “tricked” by the Colombians.

“I had nothing to do with it, I did them a favor as a human being, they told me they would make herbal pills and creams,” said the amauta, according to the local news agency Fides.

Translation mine.

The Achacachi Post, reporting in English, puts the total drug haul (and its street value in Bolivia) a bit higher, at 350 kg and over $300,000 US. It’s hard to say precisely how much coke was in the house if it’s still in liquid form; a chemist might be able to give an approximate figure, based on the concentration of the solution, but until the powder is precipitated out, the amount can vary.

Still, great job on the part of the Bolivian FELCN catching such a large haul; before Evo and his reforms, it’s unlikely that the local police, working with the DEA, would have had nearly such a great success. The DEA is the worst drug-smuggler there is, after the CIA.

I suspect that the Colombian couple, unnamed in the Panorama piece I translated, will indeed prove to be ringleaders; I hope Mejillones is telling the truth when he claims he was deceived. It would be a dreadful thing for the Aymara, who are justly proud of Evo and his leadership, if things turned out otherwise.

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4 Responses to Evo’s inaugurator arrested for drug possession in El Alto

  1. Sumana says:

    Just spent 5 weeks in Bolivia. I went there with the idea that Evo was a hero. It was obvious that he has caused major polarization…sort of reverse racism. If you are not 100% indigenous you are subject to all kinds of crap. This theme was repeated over and over in sundry bars and restaurants. Not only that, there is an air of paranoia (result of too much cocaine use by Evo and his administration?) We’re told he hardly sleeps! Now we know why.

  2. This is just bullshit on SO many levels. Starting with the basic fact that you could not possibly have been there, because the climate you describe DOES NOT EXIST. I’ve got at least two friends down there who are whitey-white like me, who keep blogs about what life is like in Bolivia, and who have never experienced ANY “reverse racism” to speak of. Indigenous Bolivians were for the longest time, and still ARE, the LEAST privileged people in Bolivia. Why would they suddenly go about treating others like dirt, as they have been in the past? Especially as their lot in life is improving, and dramatically, under Evo? There’s no reason for them to be so petty and vengeful, and in fact everything I know about their way of life argues against such an interpretation anyway. They been kept so severely under the white man’s thumb for the past five centuries that it’s not even momentarily convincing to think they could all just suddenly turn uppity like that. Especially knowing how likely they are to face a backlash if ever Evo were to be deposed or killed. And yes, there are plenty of people trying to kill him. Just as there were plenty of people trying to get rid of Salvador Allende.
    And no, they DON’T use cocaine in his administration, and how DISGUSTING of you to insinuate that they do. Some people don’t sleep much to begin with, and as they enter middle age (Evo recently turned 50), they sleep even less–especially if they are heads of state with a lot on their plates. Have you seen his workload lately? THAT, and not coke, is what’s keeping him going. The man can’t afford to take as many siestas as Dubya because he’s got too much to attend to. Including crime fighting, as it happens. They have a federal police force in place to keep coca from being diverted to illicit uses, and it’s been very effective so far in doing just that. More effective than the DEA, which put out all kinds of dire predictions of the very sort you’re parroting here.
    But your paranoia IS very telling about YOU, Sumana or whatever your real name is. What did you say you went down there for, again? Whatever it was, you failed. But damn, you sure are an entertaining little liar.

  3. Sumana says:

    Perhaps I was not clear. The reverse racism I mentioned is not indigenous against white, but indigenous against mestizo. And I can give several examples, from a Prof. of Economics with a German grandfather, to a whitey-white Bolivian hotelier with an indigenous wife. The latter unjustly accused of stealing a car (just to fuck with him). And you can verify what the administration did to the mayor of Sucre in June, as well as the recent dispossession/eviction of multi-generational Mennonite families and communities in Bolivia. I can’t make this shit up. And you have a problem with my name??? You hysterical bitch.

  4. Excuse me? You come on here–MY site–spouting this unproven crap, then come to “clarify” with MORE unproven crap (which you DID make up, you lousy little liar), and I’m the “hysterical bitch”? Get fucked. You’re banned, loquita.

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