Bolivia: The “False Positives” of the De facto Government

Ernesto Reyes Ministers Arturo Murillo and Lopez, who hold the Bolivian government’s government and defense portfolios, respectively, are in the midst of developing “false positives” with which they intend to contribute to the postponement of the September elections, to press for the loss of MAS’ legal status, and to justify another wave of repression against the political and social opposition in the South American country. The activation of the “false positives” will proceed, despite the fact that the de facto president was obliged to promulgate the law of convocation after her meeting with the president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, Salvador Romero.

However, the sinister plans of the de facto government will not cease. The “hard-liners” in the cabinet would like to remain as they are. Neither of the two ministers excel in reflection or intelligence. Both are, as the popular saying goes, monkeys with knives. They are audacious, of course, but it is evident that they manipulate carelessly the method with which the Colombian Army planted the false positives in the administration of former president Alvaro Uribe, to legitimize the “hunt” – as Murillo would say in Bolivia – for guerrillas, to convince public opinion that they were defeating “terrorists” and to justify the violent repression of Colombian social leaders. The method consisted of arresting drug addicts or alcoholics, putting them in the uniforms of a guerrilla group, executing them and presenting them as killed in combat.

We return to the Andean country which is in the centre of South America. What will be done is to foment and provoke violence both of which, added to the increase in suspected and confirmed cases of the coronavirus, a product of the irresponsibility with which this government acted from the beginning, will provide the pretext for proposing the postponement of the elections, which is what they want to avoid in any way.

A few weeks ago a private telephone tower fell in the southern part of the city of Cochabamba. Murillo immediately accused MAS of being behind these terrorist acts. Coincidentally or not, many days earlier a radiogram was sent to all the Bolivian Army intelligence officials, to identify the presence of alleged guerrillas. In other words, the man who thinks that everything is solved by force was either aware of what was going to happen or preparing to “plant” the evidence. This leads to the question of why he did not act before the incident.

On Monday, June 15, three other antennas located in Santa Cruz (Yapacaní, Ichilo, and San Juan) were blown up. Without any investigation, Defense Minister Fernando López said, in a clear reference to MAS, that “the Armed Forces are trained and ready to defend democracy and the lives of Bolivians. Terrorism is not the way to campaign. Everything indicates that it was residents of these municipalities who burned them because of the belief that these antennas have 5G technology that diffuses the coronavirus”.

Murillo, looking outside the country, towards Buenos Aires, where President Morales is a refugee, said without any sense of responsibility of a statesman: “Let those who blow up the antennas, those who applaud them and those who order them from afar, understand this. We will not allow violence or chaos in our country”.

Murillo appears as an apprentice in relation to the Colombians. He lacks the high professionalism of the Colombian Army, which has generally never made such accusations without providing some plausibility or showing the evidence planted, as would become known years later with respect to “false positives”. Blaming everything on MAS, labelling any citizen as a terrorist just for protesting and assuming that the language of fear is enough to govern is a double-edged sword that usually destroys those who use it.

Finally, what Murillo would need to explain is why the MAS that is first in line in the voting intention would be behind terrorist actions? This is not logical.