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February 2, 2008

No fatalities as Boeing 727 crash lands in Bolivia

No fatalities as Boeing 727 crash lands in Bolivia

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Saturday, February 2, 2008

A file photo of an LAB Boeing 727-200.

At least 151 passengers and an unknown number of crew on board a Lloyd Aereo Boliviano (LAB) Boeing 727-200 have escaped after the aircraft crash landed in swampland in Bolivia.

Local airline LAB had been operating the chartered passenger flight from La Paz to Cobija on behalf of Transporte Aereo Militar (TAM) when poor weather conditions caused the jet to be diverted. LAB has recently been handling excess passengers for TAM as an unusually severe rainy season has washed away many roads across the nation.

A flight engineer said that during the flight the engines failed due to a mechanical problem. The plane came down in a swampy forest clearing approximately 2 miles (3.3km) from a runway at the new destination of Trinidad, 370 miles from the intended destination. Several passengers were injured in the accident, and all on board were taken to hospitals for checks. One pilot received a clavicle fracture.

The plane was severely damaged, with the New York Times reporting that photographs of the scene showed at least one wing of the aircraft to have separated from the fuselage.

Survivors confirmed this. Paolo Bravo, a Bolivian senator on board the plane, said to local radio network Erbol “We noticed the engines went out, and there was this calm… Then they told us, ‘Crash positions! crash positions!’ and it was just another two or three seconds before we hit… The plane fell, the wings broke off, but the fuselage was OK.”

Experts from the Auxiliary Aerial Navigation Service and an airport commented that it is possible that the soft mus in the area absorbed some of the impact forces, allowing the plane to be salvaged and returned to service. LAB’s operations chief Gustavo Viscarra made a statement saying “The crew members did not suffer any problem and there is no blood… The airplane has minimum damages, there is no structural damage, there was not any fire nor smoke. It was a forced landing planned by the pilot and it was not caused by our enterprise’s negligence nor lack of maintenance of our airplanes.”

Passenger numbers are unclear, with LAB reporting 151 and some media sources saying 155.

An investigation has been launched. It has been established that an undisclosed technical problem prevented the plane from departing for an hour.

Legal and financial difficulties have seen LAB suspend operations for almost a year, but the carrier has recently begun a limited return to charter services.



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January 9, 2008

Canupa Gluha Mani speaks about Lakota Oyate, Lakota freedom

Canupa Gluha Mani speaks about Lakota Oyate, Lakota freedom

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

It’s now been three weeks since the four-person Lakota Freedom Delegation declared that the Lakota people were withdrawing from their treaties with the United States and, though small, the movement still proves controversial: two U.S.-recognized Lakota tribal governments have rejected the Delegation’s authority outright with at least one tribe stating it will consider the Delegation’s, now Lakota Oyate’s, proposal. The rest of the tribes have remained silent.

The central figure the movement has been Canupa Gluha Mani, a longtime activist whose tactics have led repeatedly to his arrest and imprisonment — most recently in June 2007, when Canupa Gluha Mani was one of six arrested who participated in blockading a road in Nebraska to keep outside alcohol from entering his dry reservation where it is banned. Wikinews talked to Canupa Gluha Mani about the movement and Lakota Oyate in an exclusive interview.

File:Canupa Gluha Mani sings.jpg

Canupa Gluha Mani (left) at the Lakota Freedom Delegation’s December press conference in Washington. Russell Means is in the background.
Image: Naomi Archer.
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

Also called Duane Martin Sr, Canupa Gluha Mani prefers to be referred to as just that, “Canupa Gluha Mani”; it means “He walks as he protects the pipe”, though much of the meaning is lost in translation between English and the delicately-nuanced Lakota language. Canupa Gluha Mani prefers to speak in this, his native tongue — he “hates” that the English language has become the everyday language of the Lakota, and decries the extinction of many indigenous American languages — but uses English fluently and earthily.

Canupa Gluha Mani talked about the Cante Tenza, the Strong Heart Warrior Society, which he heads and which forms the paramilitary force of Lakotah. The society, an okolakiciye or warrior society, originated in the Black Hills. He told the following story: Four warriors in the hills ran across a coyote and gave it chase. And as the coyote ran he turned into a Lakota man, and in his changing the man left four objects: a rattle, a drum, a lance, and a tomahawk with which the Lakota people could be defended. Canupa Gluha Mani is a warrior leader, and his position with relation to the treaty council which traditionally governs the Lakota is “whip-man”, loosely “sergeant at arms” — that is, he enforces order and decorum when passions grow heated during tribal discussions.

The authority of the Lakota Freedom Delegation, he says, comes not from the BIA-recognized governments but rather from the “people who understand treaties”, i.e. the treaty council, from among the Seven Sister Bands of the Lakota. This traditional government is based on the idea of “staying quiet and listening to the people who have answers”, the “itacans” or expert headmen.

Canupa Gluha Mani also endorsed Naomi Archer, who has acted as Lakota Oyate’s liaison; indeed, as the Lakota Freedom Delegation prepared its trip to Washington DC he called in Naomi Archer, who though of non-native extraction is his adopted sister and a fellow Cante Tenza member, to handle media support. “I support the understandings of what she’s saying”, he said, referring to a previous interview with Archer which revealed an apparent split between Russell Means and other members of the Lakota Freedom Delegation. “She as an individual has integrity.” However, the previous interview missed nuances and the perceived gap between Lakota Oyate and Russell Means’ Republic of Lakota is not so great. “There’s no division here….it’s communication, that’s all. We can always get past this.”

With regard to Russell Means, who has declared himself Chief Facilitator of the Republic of Lakotah, he said, “I’ve worked with my uncle Russell Means in positive venues. And I’m still behind him, I have love for him;” He emphasized the familial bond between himelf and Means, noting that Means had adopted him as a nephew. However, “the Lakota have to be recognized.” It was “genocide”, he said, that of all the races of humanity, American Indians are not represented at the United Nations.

On the subject of Lakota activist Alfred Bone Shirt, who organized the Lakota Oyate’s first freedom celebration and information meeting on Saturday, 5 January but has since made comments attacking the legitimacy of Canupa Gluha Mani, Naomi Archer and Lakota Oyate, Canupa Gluha Mani had this to say. “I have nothing to do with Mr Bone Shirt, nothing against him”. He also noted that Lakota Oyate had respected Bone Shirt’s call to take down invitations for donations, but expressed a wish that Mr Bone Shirt would make the same call to any other website inviting donations to Lakotah.

The traditional decision making process within the Lakota, he said, was informal discussions among the women of the Lakota rather than pronouncements and declarations. Ideas like western forms of government — referencing the “Republic” — and the use of the English language were part of the reason for both the misunderstanding of the dispute between Russell Means and Canupa Gluha Mani and the Lakota’s problems: “It’s hard for Indian people to adapt to this modern lifestyle….It’s white teaching that cause Indian problem….leave us alone….This country has not learned a thing about its own First Nations people.”

US governing of Lakota has led directly to the economic and social decline of the Lakotah people, he argues. Canupa Gluha Mani noted that the life expectancy for Lakota men is only 44, and that alcohol and drug use are epidemic, as are infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. But revival of the Lakota has to be not just economic to improve the circumstances of the people, but cultural too: “Our language is at stake right now” but the US government-backed institutions like the Tribal Police are just “the second coming of the white man’s cavalry”.

Canupa Gluha Mani is on record as saying in a previous interview that “we’ll probably get killed for” withdrawing from the United States. Now, he is tight-lipped on the future, and when asked about the possibility of a confrontation with the US will only say that “anything’s plausible.”

And if the United States government leaves the Lakota alone? “Then we can take our practices forward in good will.” Canupa Gluha Mani, who is married to a woman of European descent, says that the traditional American Indian lifestyle can coexist with the western lifestyle, but “every wound has to heal”. “We can be self-sufficient. We can govern ourselves.” Having withdrawn from the outstanding treaties with the United States, will Lakota Oyate make a new arrangement with Washington? “That has yet to be exonerated.” Lakotah continues to seek international recognition; although no country has declared recognition for Lakotah, he is “confident with the Bolivians” and also noted a positive response from the “Bulgarian freedom fighters” pressuring the US to recognize Lakota independence.

Canupa Gluha Mani then addressed the Lakota people directly. “What needs to get out there is, I love my people….This is your dream come true. That’s what the symbolic meaning of Lakotah is. It’s called freedom. Hoka hay.



Related news

Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.
  • “Lakota activists declare secession from US” — Wikinews, December 21, 2007
  • “Lakota Freedom Delegation says spokesman Russell Means ‘hijacked’ organization” — Wikinews, January 5, 2008

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January 16, 2007

Clashes in central Bolivian city kills two

Clashes in central Bolivian city kills two

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Location of Bolivia.

President of Bolivia Evo Morales.

Fighting broke out between rioters and civil defense groups in the central Bolivian city of Cochabamba on Thursday, January 11 leaving 2 dead and 240 injured.

Coca farmers backing the government of president Evo Morales attacked government buildings and set fire to part of the local government offices in Cochabamba.

The rioters were demanding the resignation of the state governor – a critic of president Morales who supported a move to give Bolivia’s states greater autonomy.

Opposition political parties have demanded an investigation into allegations that president Morales’ ally, senator Leonilda Zurita, delivered supplies to the demonstrators who have laid siege to the local government building.

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August 6, 2006

Castro recovering following surgery: Cuban officials

Castro recovering following surgery: Cuban officials

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Sunday, August 6, 2006

Fidel Castro’s condition is “satisfactory” following surgery last Monday for intestinal bleeding according to Cuban vice-premier Carlos Lage and Cuba’s health minister José Ramón Balaguer who adds that it will not be long before the Cuban leader returns to work. On Saturday, Cuban parliamentary speaker Ricardo Alcaron told CNN’s Spanish service that Castro “remains in stable condition” and is “resting in order to recover as quickly as possible”.

Lage, who is in Bolivia for the opening of that country’s constitutional convention, said that Castro sends the Bolivian people “fraternal greetings” according to Cuban press agency Prensa Latina. Lage denied reports that Castro has stomach cancer and said that the ailing leader had “been made well by the operation and is recuperating favourably.”

Venezualan president Hugo Chavez sent his good wishes during his weekly broadcast saying “Fidel Castro, a hug for you, friend and comrade and I know you are getting better.”

“We have reliable information of your quick and notable recuperation” said Chavez on Castro’s condition. In a telephone conversation with Bolivian leader Eva Morales later in the broadcast, Chavez said of the Cuban leader “this morning I learned that he’s very well, that he is already getting out of bed, he’s talking more than he should — because he talks a lot, you know. He has sent us greetings,”

Castro, who turns 80 later this month, temporarily transferred power to his 75 year-old brother, Raul Castro, prior to his surgery, leading to widespread speculation in the United States that he is dying or dead.

No pictures of Castro have been released since his surgery was announced last Monday fuelling speculation around the world about his condition. Acting Cuban leader Raul Castro has also not been seen in public in the past week.

The island’s government has increased security due to fears of a US attack during Castro’s illness. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told NBC News “The notion that somehow the United States is going to invade Cuba, because there are troubles in Cuba, is simply far-fetched”

Until temporarily relinquishing power to his brother last week, Fidel Castro had led the country since the 1959 Cuban Revolution.

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May 1, 2006

Bolivian troops told to seize natural gas fields

Bolivian troops told to seize natural gas fields

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Monday, May 1, 2006

President Evo Morales

Bolivian President Evo Morales has ordered that all foreign-owned natural gas fields be turned over to the national government of Bolivia.

President Morales signed a decree that orders troops to seize the fields “immediately” to ensure gas production. The decree also says that companies have 180 days to sign over their fields or leave the country.

The fields are owned by such companies as the United States’ Exxon-Mobil Corporation, Brazil’s Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Spanish-Argentine Repsol YPF SA, and Great Britain’s BG Group PLC and BP PLC.

“The looting by the foreign companies has ended. We are not a government of mere promises, we follow through on what we propose and what the people demand. We want to ask (the Armed Forces) that starting now, they occupy all the energy fields in Bolivia along with battalions of engineers,” said Mr Morales after signing the decree.

“The time has come, the awaited day, a historic day in which Bolivia retakes absolute control of our natural resources,” added President Morales.

One of Morales’ vows in his presidential campaign was to “recover” the country’s natural resources by renationalizing them. President Morales explained, on a visit to Brazil in January, that renationalising the industry would not mean expelling foreign companies or expropriating foreign property. “Foreign companies have every right to recover investments and make profits, but profits should be balanced”.

Bolivia has the second largest supply of natural gas in South America after Venezuela.

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March 22, 2006

Two explosions in La Paz kill 2, injure 6

Two explosions in La Paz kill 2, injure 6

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Destruction left by one of the explosions.

Two explosions were heard in the city of La Paz, Bolivia on Tuesday night, March 22 and in the early morning Wednesday, March 23. The first occurred at the Linares Motel, at 21:50 (01:50 UTC), and left two people dead and four injured. The second explosion occurred at 01:45 (05:45 UTC) at the Hotel Riosinhio II, less than a block from the La Paz bus terminal, injuring two people.

Hours later, two suspects in the crime were arrested by the police in the city of El Alto. They were American Claudio Lestat, approximately 30 years old (25 according to some sources) and his partner, Uruguayan Alda Ribeiros, of 35 years (40 according to other sources). Dynamite was used in both explosions, according to government attorney Jorge Gutiérrez.

President Evo Morales indicated that the promoters of the incidents were “industrialists” and “oligarchists” who, “using external agents”, claimed to halt the reforms that have been happening in Bolivia. He also suggested that the United States could be behind the incidents: “Is there an effort against terrorism from the government of the United States, or did they send North Americans to commit terrorism in Bolivia?” Despite the accusations, the United States embassy in La Paz announced its cooperation.

However, authorities have not ruled out religious motives, because Lestat is a self-proclaimed “minister of pagan rites”. Police also announced that the Chilean consulate in the Bolivian capital was also a target, to be attacked on Saturday the 25th.

Names and ages of the victims of the explosions are: Marlene Patzi Tapia (26), Cristian López (26), Alva Natividad Heredia (44), and Jessica Wilson (24), the last from the United States. Also affected were Marco Antonio Romero Galindo (20), Iván Quiroga (27), Elizabeth de Quiroga (44) and Ximena Vargas (18).

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This article was translated from the Spanish Wikinoticias Dos explosiones en La Paz dejan dos muertos y seis heridos

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March 2, 2006

Natural gas discovered in Chile according to President Ricardo Lagos

Natural gas discovered in Chile according to President Ricardo Lagos

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Thursday, March 2, 2006

Ricardo Lagos despedida (cropped).jpg

On Thursday, President Ricardo Lagos announced the discovery of natural gas resources in southern Chile. The newspaper El Mercurio claims that this discovery could account for up to 25 percent of the country’s natural gas needs. The discovery, found in Magallanes, could mean less dependence on foreign energy, specifically natural gas imported from Argentina. Currently Chile imports 97 percent of its natural gas and 98 percent of its oil. Magallanes has been an important producer of gas in the past, but resources were thought to have been exhausted until this discovery.

Lagos was interviewed by the local Radio W, where he said that the discovery could help them meet consumption of natural gas in the country, as well as help Methanex, a methanol company that has had difficulty finding enough natural gas for import. The situation has caused Lagos to have Chile’s state owned gas company, ENAP, build a plant for conversion of liquid gas. In addition, they have considered importing natural gas from Bolivia, Trinidad and Tobago, Australia, and Indonesia.

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January 18, 2006

Bolivia’s Morales announces treason trial for army general

Bolivia’s Morales announces treason trial for army general

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

President-elect Evo Morales.

President-elect Evo Morales, who will assume office on Sunday January 22, announced on Wednesday that General Marcelo Antezana will face trial for treason after sending 28 aging Chinese-made missiles to the U.S. for destruction at the request from the U.S.

General Antezana, who was dismissed from his position this Wednesday 18, told Bolivian media that Washington had requested the missiles amid fears that Evo Morales would win the presidency. Days later, he retracted his comments. The Defence Minister, Gonzalo Mendez, resigned over the scandal.

Morales’ political party, Movement for Socialism, has petitioned the Public Ministry to bring the transitional president Eduardo Rodriguez to trial on charges stemming from their investigation.

Rodriguez, interim president appointed after Carlos Mesa resigned in June, said that he had authorized the destruction, but not the transfer of the weapons, which were the only ones of its kind in Bolivia. The missile handover was an unapproved arrangement between local soldiers and the U.S. military, according to Rodriquez. He made a formal protest to the U.S. embassy on Tuesday, he said.

Rodriguez said his decision to get rid of the weapons was based on recommendations from United Nations and the Organization of American States. The army also reported they were a safety hazard. The obsolete surface-to-air missiles were destroyed in the U.S last October.

A U.S. State Department spokesman said that a campaign to eliminate portable arms in Latin America has been on-going in an effort to keep them from falling into the hands of terrorists.

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January 14, 2006

Brazil, Bolivia promise cooperation

Brazil, Bolivia promise cooperation – Wikinews, the free news source

Brazil, Bolivia promise cooperation

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Saturday, January 14, 2006

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Meeting yesterday at Itamaraty, Brazil’s Foreign Ministry, Bolivian President-elect Evo Morales and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva outlined plans for broad cooperation between the two countries during Morales’ upcoming term in office, which begins on the 22nd of this month. Lula’s special assistant for International Issues, Marco Aurélio Garcia, mentioned in particular that Bolivia might be interested in development of its petroleum resources with the help of Brazil’s Petrobras, as well as in increasing social programs and seeking to deepen its relationship with other governments.

According to Garcia, there are plans to form a bilateral commission to guide cooperation between the two nations in the coming years.

Public statements from the two leaders have characterized the meeting in glowing terms. After the talks, Morales described a “relationship of brotherhood,” saying that he looks forward to the help of Brazil, whom Morales says, “leads the region.” Asked about whether the close bonds between the growing number of leftist governments in Latin America constitued the development of an anti-United States counterweight in the region, Morales responded, “We are for a culture of dialogue…We are not going to create a bloc against the U.S.”

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January 2, 2006

Bolivian President-Elect takes 50% pay cut to aid social programs

Monday, January 2, 2006

So more staff can be hired for Bolivia’s education, health and social programs, President Elect Evo Morales announced that he and his cabinet will take a 50% pay cut. The 46-year-old leader slashed his future salary of about $3600 a month to $1800.

Raising Bolivia from its situation as one of the poorest countries in the world is a primary intention of the president elect. “It’s a question of sharing the country’s situation among us all.” said Morales. “This is a democratic revolution and we will answer the Bolivian people’s call.”

Evo at 17 in the blue sweater with family and friends.

Evo at 17 in the blue sweater with family and friends.

Cabinet ministers and all 157 members of Morales’ party that were elected to Congress will also take a 50% pay cut, Morales said. The salaries of 157 substitute congressmen will be eliminated.

Morales, who is known across the country as “Evo”, is Bolivia’s first native Indian president. Growing up in poverty has marked his politics. He often says, “For a handful of people there is money, for the others, repression.”

Bolivia

Bolivia

Evo will soon move from his rented single room of a shared house to Bolivia’s presidential palace.

Morales also met with business and civic leaders on Tuesday in a conciliatory meeting. Morales said his government would create a stable legal and economic environment to attract investment and create jobs which was applauded by the Bolivian elite.

“I do not have a professional education, but it is important that we co-operate. You have the professional capacity, I have the social consciousness”.

Sources

  • Simon Watts “Bolivian leader to cut own salary”. BBC News Online, 28 December 2005
  • “Bolivian president-elect takes pay cut”. Aljazeera, 29 December 2005
  • Raul Burgoa “‘Evo’ vows to help poorest of South America’s poor”. Mail Guardian South Africa, December 19, 2005


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