Violence in the Chapare, Bolivia -- Two Sustain Bullet Wounds 10/5/01

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(The following bulletin was received from the Andean Information Network.)

At approximately 7:00am on Thursday, October 4th, members of the Joint Task Force shot two coca growers 50 meters from an eradication camp in Cinco Esquinas, near Santa Rosa. Further investigation will determine the specific circumstances of these shootings.

  • Rosalia Merida de Mejia (66 years old): A bullet entered the left side and exited the right side of her neck.
  • Claudio Llave Pina (32 years old): A bullet entered the back of his right shoulder and exited the front.
Both patients are receiving medication attention in the Villa Tunari hospital and are under observation to determine whether they need to be transferred to Santa Cruz or Cochabamba for specialized treatment. Medical certificates from the Ministry of Justice's forensic specialist confirm these injuries.

This new use of excessive force in response to active campesino resistance to eradication continues to heighten tensions in the region. Negotiations between coca growers' representatives and the Bolivian government slowly progress in La Paz and Cochabamba. The government has agreed to pay idemnization to the families of a number of coca growers killed or wounded by security forces since 1998. It is important to note, though, that economic compensation should not replace investigation and prosecution of those responsible within the civilian court system.

Institutions like the Catholic Church and the Human Rights Ombudsman's office express concern that the escalating violence could impede a peaceful resolution to the present conflict.

For further information, contact the Andean Information Network at [email protected], visit or write to Casilla 4817, Cochabamba, Bolivia.

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Issue #205, 10/5/01 Editorial: What Is It About Opium? | Politicians Exploiting Drug-Terror Link | Interview: John C. Thompson, Mackenzie Institute, Toronto | Drug War Budgets Unaffected by September Attacks | Wisconsin Lawmakers Seek Tougher Ecstasy Penalties, Would Make Possession a Felony | Supersnitch Scandal: Mistakes Were Made, Says DEA Chief Hutchinson -- But No One Made Them | Violence in the Chapare, Bolivia -- Two Sustain Bullet Wounds | Alert: Senate Judiciary Committee Voting on John Walters Nomination Wednesday | Other Alerts: HEA, Ecstasy Bill, Mandatory Minimums, Medical Marijuana | Salvia Divinorum Defense Fund Established | Errata: Who's a Drug-Runnin' Terrorist? | The Reformer's Calendar

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