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:
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.
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.