Microphone Demo in Solidarity with Bolivian Comrades

from http://anarchistnews.org/content/microphone-demo-solidarity-bolivian-comrades-%E2%80%93-bloomington

Microphone demo in Solidarity with Bolivian Comrades – Bloomington, IN

May 29th marked the one year anniversary of raids throughout parts of the anarchist, punk, feminist and animal rights scenes in La Paz, Bolivia. Out of 13 people arrested, only one person, Henry, has refused to make statements to the police. Today, Henry is out on house arrest, but still faces the charges of attempted murder and terrorism, connected to a series of attacks claimed in solidarity with a struggle against a highway, political prisoners, and animal liberation.

To commemorate this day in Bloomington, we held a microphone demo– we hung banners around a park, chalked slogans on walls and sidewalks, played music, read statements, and handed out hundreds of flyers. The atmosphere was generally festive.

Our struggles in Bloomington are connected – quite literally – to those of indigenous and anarchist comrades in Bolivia. Despite decades of sustained resistance, I-69, the NAFTA superhighway, is nearing completion in parts of southern Indiana. Running from Canada through the US and down to Mexico, I-69 will link up with another project, the Plan Puebla Panama. The PPP will then connect to IIRSA, a South American development plan that includes the bioceanic highway currently being built through TIPNIS, a former protected rainforest area and home to three indigenous groups.

Marie Mason, a former Bloomington resident who is serving 22 years in prison, was and remains a fierce opponent of these same massive infrastructure projects. In expressing solidarity with those facing repression in Bolivia, we also honor Marie and strive to retain the passion with which she fought against global capitalism and it’s environmentally devastating consequences. We do not forget our comrades who remain strong in the face of accusations of terrorism and increasing isolation.

By talking and remembering in the streets, we collectivize the conversation and the memory, inviting others to take them up and spread them beyond the enclosure that repression erects around us. Writing about such a trifling demo on the internet is one way to let others know that this conversation can happen anywhere. This is only one of many actions happening daily to keep our struggles alive and to make sure our comrades know they are not forgotten.

Text from the flyer distributed during the demo:

From Indiana to Bolivia, Solidarity to Those Who Resist Megamachine

All across the world, highways are being built or expanded to move an increasing flow of commodities from market to market. This flow has an increasingly high cost on our environment and our health, and the commodities being produced and consumed are increasingly antithetical to our happiness and well being. And it is not a coincidence that the expansion of infrastructure that goes along with this flow of commodities displaces people who provide for themselves or live in contact with the earth.

In Indiana, I-69 is one of several NAFTA superhighways being expanded in a process that destroys farmland and houses, pollutes our air, closes factories here and opens sweatshops in poorer areas, and drastically increases profits for the wealthy.
In South America, the “bioceanic highway” is being built from the Atlantic to the Pacific, also increasing pollution, profits, and displacement. In Bolivia, the socialist government is routing the highway through TIPNIS, a protected rainforest and indigenous territory, home to several native peoples. The highway is cutting the rainforest in half, and will also lead to increased logging and industrialization, eroding the ability of indigenous communities to provide for themselves.

On May 29, 2012, 13 people were arrested in La Paz, Bolivia, accused of carrying out over a dozen sabotage actions as part of the struggle against highway construction. A year later, several people are still facing the charges of terrorism, for actions of property damage which harmed no one, and attempted murder, for a smoke bomb set off in the lobby of a government building. They face 20 years in prison for actions they deny committing, despite a complete lack of physical evidence.

The construction of highways, the destruction of our environment, and the dangerous farce of “anti-terrorism” are an international reality. From Bolivia to Indiana, we need to amplify our struggle against capitalist development, against government repression, for the protection of our environment and our ability to live in contact with the earth, free from dependence on a harmful economic system.

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Henry Zegarrundo given house arrest!

After nearly a year in prison since the arrests, with over a dozen audiences suspended, Henry has finally been granted house arrest pending trial!

“With dignity as an ally, friend, and companion, and without bending before power, despite an environment overloaded with police collaboration, our comrade has honorably gotten out to be able to be with his own while awaiting resolution of the case.

” All our support for Henry, our pride to have him as a comrade, our strength so that those who manage to exit from the cages of power be ever more numerous.

“Towards total freedom! demolish the prisons!”

Translated from Solidaridad Negra

The day of international solidarity for May 29 is still on: the accusations have not been withdrawn, one anarchist is still locked up as part of the case, people are still on the run, and the highway is still being built. Solidarity is a weapon!

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2nd Santiago Anarchist Bookfair

feria_ab3On April 13 and 14, anarchists in Santiago organized the 2nd annual “Feria del Libro y Propaganda Anarquista,” held in the combative Villa Francia neighborhood of the Chilean capital. Thousands of people participated in the weekend of talks, book presentations, and distribution. More people than last year came out to join in the talks or look at texts, and there was also a much wider variety of titles available, most of them homemade pamphlets or artisanal books, printed, bound, and sold at cost by small anarchist collectives. Commercially published books in Chile tend to be prohibitively expensive but most of the titles on display went for the price of paper and ink and many distros were running out of copies at the end of the first day.

Most of the texts were anarchist classics or current translations from struggles in other places, although there were also a few texts prepared especially for the bookfair or having to do with current or historical struggles in Chile. There were also many documentaries (a larger number of these originating in Latin America) as well as posters, homemade herbal remedies, bike parts, and artwork.

Discussion topics included talks about the conclusion of the Bombs Case, about education and the student movement, the repression in Bolivia, sexist aggressions in the anarchist space, experiences in anarchist organization, and a rural land project in Brazil; presentations of a book on the German autonomous feminist group Rote Zora, a documentary about people killed in struggle under democracy, a book about the Chilean anarchist movement in the ’20s, a book about the street struggle in recent years and the death of Mauricio Morales, and a text from Spain about the social war.

The bookfair revealed a strong interest in the texts and discussion topics, a wide variety of anarchist currents, and a multitudinous participation by young people perhaps attracted to anarchism through the student movement. There was also a near constant police presence outside the fair and multiple identifications.

One final thing that we find noteworthy was the intense participation in the conversation on sexist aggression. This, and the topic of patriarchy in general, is gradually starting to get more attention from Santiago anarchists, although there are few spaces outside of the bookfair where it is talked about in open groups. It was probably the largest debate throughout the weekend, and it demonstrated a variety of perspectives about how to challenge patriarchy. Participants also managed to avoid the sort of derailing, evasion, and absurd reframings that often obstruct such conversations.

The debate immediately led to action, as someone accused of beating his ex-partner, who was tabling at the bookfair, was kicked out (his defense was that he didn’t beat her twice, only once). On a much more depressing note, a trans person tabling at the bookfair was repeatedly harassed, and then told “If you have a dick and dress like a girl, you’re just going to have to accept people laughing at you.” This incident was not talked about nor acted upon. It is worth noting that the older feminists in Chile are largely essentialist and transphobic, and at least some of this has filtered down to the younger anarcha-feminists.

http://www.feriadellibroanarquistastgo.org/

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Solidarity with the comrades arrested in Temuco

We have been able to get an update on the comrades arrested in Temuco on the 28th: three women in one of the houses raided have been charged with fabrication and placing of explosives. They claim it is a police frame-up. Their lawyer has indicated that initially police reported finding nothing in the social center, but subsequently, when no witnesses were present, they allegedly found the explosive devices. In the other house raided, several people were arrested for not cooperating, two of them also charged for possession of marijuana. One person police claim to have found with marijuana is straight-edge.

The results of the arraignment are as follows:

-Roxana Marín Laurie (5 months pregnant)
Preventive detention in the Temuco women’s prison, 5 months investigation under the law for the control of weapons and explosives
-Ariadna Torres Torres
Preventive detention in the Temuco women’s prison, 5 months investigation under the law for the control of weapons and explosives
-Yaritza Grandón Paredes
Preventive detention in the Temuco women’s prison, 5 months investigation under the law for the control of weapons and explosives
-Silvana Lamilla
Preventive detention in the Temuco women’s prison, 3 months investigation under law 20.000 for the illicit traffic in narcotic and psychotropic substances
-Jota Pe
Preventive detention in the Temuco prison, 3 months investigation under law 20.000 for the illicit traffic in narcotic and psychotropic substances

What follows is a translation from Liberación Totaldetenidos-okupas

Communiqué regarding the raids carried out in Temuco on private homes and the space Pandemia.

Today the 28th of March 2013, in the city of Temuco around 6am, the OS-9 and special forces realized an operation in two adjacent private homes, one of them being the space PANDEMIA (not squatted as the bourgeois press reported) which are located at San Ernesto 299.

One hour later the repressive forces entered these two houses with the purpose of kidnapping our comrades, confiscating personal objects, computers, harddrives, sound equipment, among other belongings; furthermore to stage their theater they introduce materials for the fabrication of explosive devices (extinguishers, fuses, detonating timer, gunpowder), concluding the operation with the detention of 12 comrades, who are taken to the eighth precinct of Temuco.

In the face of these deeds we declare the following:

1: There is the precedent that on March 26, comrades of Pandemia denounced, with a communiqué, the constant harrassment of the repressor state through its various police organs.

2: We find this fact absurd and we relate it to earlier police frame-ups like the Bombs Case in Santiago, which fell apart for lack of evidence after months of investigation and imprisonment of comrades. All these intrigues of the Chilean state are meant to justify the terror and violence in the region, placed within the preventive/repressive operation against the 29th of March, Day of the Combatant Youth (http://www.laopinon.cl/noticia/sociedad/29-de-marzo-dia-del-joven-combatiente-implementan-plan-de-contingencia-en-temuco)

3: Additionally it is necessary to point out the prosecutor in charge of the new frame-up is CRISTIAN PAREDES; who also realized the Poluco Pidenco case in 2004, in which Mapuche comuneros (both commoners and community members) were prosecuted and imprisoned.

4: It should be pointed out that the PANDEMIA space is a location where open public activities are carried out, where solidarity for comrades kidnapped by the State is promoted, and where antiauthoritarian ideas and practices are also disseminated.

5: What is being persecuted and criminalized here are the ideas that are promoted in this space and the individuals who have affinity with them, crafting false evidence and using this to intimidate those who oppose capital and its laws.

6: We want to inform that during the course of the afternoon our comrades were forced to give a blood sample.

7: We demand the immediate freedom of our kidnapped comrades and we call for solidarity and the broadcasting of this frame-up through all independent media.

Group of Support for 28-M Prisoners

Real Direct Solidarity with the imprisoned comrades in Temuco before a new 29th of MarchMay we clamor for their freedom with fire in the streets.

Our total support for the repressed comrades in the South, whose dignity and commitment to the struggle can be seen from afar.

We repudiate and spit on our common enemies, who invent charges and evidence, to avenge themselves for the attacks carried out right under their noses (Homecenter Sodimac, Dirección Regional de Carceleros and the Police Station of the FFEE, being the latest three attacks in a city where warlike actions have been going on for years) to use our comrades as scapegoats, as an example against all conscious people who dare to struggle against the System. We call on ALL COMRADES from the broader scene and anarchic and antiauthoritarian circles to act within their fields of praxis, be in protests against the tribunals of $hile, with gatherings, or on the other side with clandestine, anonymous attacks, to go out in defense of our comrades, above all because they haven’t even been formally charged yet and already they have been subjected to DNA sampling (like in the Bombs Case) to be added to the “national criminal identification database” and compared with samples from sites of attacks.

History repeats itself again. Prosecutors with airs of heroes of the imposed order, invented evidence and publicly active comrades accused with all the force of the law.

Let’s not raise our hands nor lower our heads, we have nothing to regret, we must feel full of arrogance and pride next to these bastard defenders of Power (politicians, prosecutors, and judges), we don’t owe them NOTHING. We have not signed any pact or negotiation with this disgusting civilized society, we are warriors and revolutionaries who do not believe in their dogmas or morality, we have our own convictions that need not be negotiated with any bourgeois comfort.

Strength, hugs and love to our comrades! Eternal hatred for the bastards of Power!
This is an eye for an eye!

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The Day of the Combatant Youth

In Chile, the 29th of March is celebrated as the Day of the Combatant Youth. On this day in 1985, police encountered and killed Rafael and Eduardo Vergara Toledo, two brothers involved in the armed resistance against the dictatorship. Eduardo, 20 years old, was shot to death on the spot, while Rafael, 18, survived the police ambush and was later executed in the police station. The oldest brother in the family, Pablo, who in 1983 had been extensively tortured by Chilean police for political reasons, and the sister, Anita, fled into exile. In 1988, they returned clandestinely to Chile. In November of that year, Pablo and Araceli Romo, both militants of the MIR, were found dead at the site of an explosion by an electrical tour, but all forensic evidence indicates they were killed elsewhere and placed at the scene of an explosion carried out by the military.

The mother, Luisa Vergara Toledo, began organizing protests to seek the truth about the killings of her three sons, to demand that the police responsible be punished, and to celebrate the memory of all the young people who fought against authority. Admirably, she continued protesting when the dictatorship transitioned to democracy in 1990. At least 74 combatant youth have been killed in struggle in the final years of the dictatorship and in the two decades of democracy.

The yearly protest takes place in the proletarian neighborhood of Villa Francia, on the spot where Rafael and Eduardo were killed, although the Day of the Combatant Youth is celebrated much more broadly than with one protest, by human rights, marxist, leftist, and anarchist groups. University students typically clash with police at the corner of the streets Macul and Grecia, and in the nighttime people in many poblaciones–poor suburbs, some of them originally springing from collective land occupations–set up barricades and fight with police. There are also protests and riots in most other cities in Chile.

In 2013, several hundred people–growing eventually to a thousand–gathered at the spot of the murders of Rafael and Eduardo to listen to speeches by Luisa and Manuel–the father, as well as the mother of Matias Catrileo and the mother of another youth killed in protests. The three mothers then presented loaves of bread they had baked, sharing it with all present, asking the taking of the bread to commemorate a lifelong commitment to the struggle, not just one day a year, but every day. At one point, Luisa (who at this point is very old) apologized for a moment of disorganization in the ceremony by saying, “I’m distracted, I want to go throw stones.”

Next, the crowd marched through Villa Francia, accompanied by a troupe of traditional tinku dancers and musicians. They arrived in a park to listen to several bands–punk, hip hop, rock, and ska–as well as more speakers from the Mapuche struggle, leftist organizations, or masked members of armed struggle groups. In a final speech, Luisa again asked the people to take the struggle seriously, to be careful but fight hard, to recognize that it was a question of life and death, and to consider the need of acquiring arms “because they’re not going to fall from the sky.” Afterwards, the crowd masked up and marched off, encountering riot police at the avenue 5 June.

Macul con Grecia

Macul con Grecia

Meanwhile, at Macul and Grecia, by the university, some 50 masked people set up a flaming barricade and pelted police with molotov cocktails, holding their ground for some time before making their getaway.

During the night, neighbors set up burning barricades in the poblaciones of La Victoria, Villa Francia, La Pincoya, Pudahuel, and elsewhere. The police acted aggressively, trying to control the streets–and sometimes succeeding–with tear gas, rubber bullets, armored personnel carriers, guanacos (armored tanks that shoot high pressure streams of water to put out fires or attack protesters) and sorillos (smaller tanks that shoot tear gas). People fought back with rocks, molotov cocktails, slingshots, and in some areas shot guns, air guns, pistols and in a couple cases automatic rifles.

The media this year have tried to minimize the rioting, so it is hard to find out how many arrests were carried out, and how many cops were injured.

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International Day of Solidarity for the May 29 Case

Absolution for the May 29 defendants! No highway through TIPNIS! Freedom for all prisoners!

On May 29, 2012, 13 people were arrested by police in La Paz, Bolivia. All of them were connected to anarchist participation in the defense of TIPNIS, an indigenous territory and national park. The 13 were accused of a series of arsons, bombings, and sabotage claimed by the Informal Anarchist Federation-International Revolutionary Front (FAI-FRI). The actions, occurring from September 2011 to May 2012, targeted government buildings, banks, car companies, fast food restaurants, supermarkets, and animal industries. Some of the attacks were claimed in solidarity with the struggle to defend TIPNIS, others in solidarity with comrades facing repression in Chile, others in support of animal liberation.

Faced with lengthy prison sentences for the charges of Terrorism and Attempted Murder, five people decided to snitch on others to save their skin. The snitches were rewarded with release or house arrest. Other detainees were released due to lack of connection with the case. Only one detainee refused to give a statement to the police. Two anarchists remain in prison, awaiting trial. According to Bolivian law, they may wait as long as three years.

The leftwing government of Evo Morales is intent on continuing the same capitalist development projects of its predecessor, often on a greater scale. In this case, they are building a bioceanic highway through the rainforest, destroying indigenous territory in the process. In the fall of 2011, the government repressed the 8th Indigenous March in defense of TIPNIS with beatings and arrests. Now they are trying to portray the fiery sabotage of the anarchists as “terrorism.”

This is one of the first usage of antiterrorist laws by the Bolivian state, and as elsewhere, it is being used as a tool for political repression. The only evidence the government has are the words of snitches, anarchist literature, and the fact that those arrested participated in protests in solidarity with TIPNIS. The government prosecution has also been based in xenophobia, using connections with “foreigners” as proof of wrongdoing.

On May 29, one year will have passed since the arrests. We are calling for a day of international solidarity to show the Bolivian government, and all governments, that we do not forget. Our actions must show our determination to win the immediate release of the two comrades still in prison, absolution for all those facing charges, and an end to the highway. We will continue struggling as long as anyone is behind bars.

Absolution for the May 29 defendants! No highway through TIPNIS! Freedom for all prisoners!

Highway construction begins in TIPNIS

Highway construction begins in TIPNIS

For more on the highway, see: https://chileboliviawalmapu.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/evos-highway/

No to the highway

No to the highway

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The May 29 Case in La Paz

  • Introduction
  • TIPNIS and the FAI-FRI
  • The Arrests and Imprisonment
  • The Snitches
  • Henry
  • Krudo
  • The Supporters, the Rumors, the Facts
  • Our Approach

On May 29, 2012, 13 people were arrested in La Paz, Bolivia, as part of an antiterrorism witch hunt directed against anarchists in response to a series of arsons, bombings, and sabotage claimed by the FAI-FRI and related to government plans to build a highway through TIPNIS, a protected rainforest. Subsequently, most of those arrested have been released, in some cases after snitching to prosecutors. Two people remain locked up. This article is an attempt to cut through the pervasive misinformation surrounding the case, and facilitate solidarity for those who deserve it. It is also an attempt to learn certain practices of communication in anarchist circles that aid repression and hinder solidarity.

Together with comrades in La Paz we have convoked an international day of solidarity for May 29, 2013. We intend this article to lend clarity and background to that convocation.

TIPNIS and the FAI-FRI

Since its inauguration in 2006, the progressive government of Evo Morales has championed a neoliberal development project typical of the rightwing and military regimes it sets itself in opposition to. The project is a mega-highway that would cross Bolivia from Brazil to Peru and Chile, uniting ports on the Atlantic and Pacific and “connecting markets,” in their rhetoric. The project is wrapped up in an extremely patriotic discourse of “reclaiming” its access to the sea, lost during a war with Chile in 1880, and in a capitalist rhetoric of “development”. Some accuse the Morales government of blackmailing affected populations by promising that hospitals will follow in the wake of the highway, as though healthcare depended on automobiles. https://chileboliviawalmapu.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/evos-highway/

The route of the highway will go through TIPNIS, or Territorio Indígena y Parque Nacional Isiboro Sécure, a protected rainforest that is also the home of several indigenous nations that won their right to remain in their traditional territories, despite the usually human-exclusive “natural park” designation, after years of struggle against the earlier rightwing and military governments.

Around 2009, Bolivian anarchists began acting in solidarity with indigenous and other people struggling to protect TIPNIS. Through September and October of 2011, the 8th Indigenous March in defense of TIPNIS was heavily repressed by police, to a tune of hundreds of arrests and 280 injured. http://eju.tv/2012/07/tipnis-la-consulta-de-evo-se-impone-a-las-muertes-y-a-las-caminatas/ The march lasted 130 days and covered 1,200 kilometers, from Trinidad to La Paz. President Morales accused the indigenous organizers of the march of being puppets of the US government.

After the repression against the 8th March, a string of arsons, bombings, and sabotage struck a variety of targets, primarily in La Paz, from September 20 to May 24, 2012. The actions include an alleged bombing of the Vice Ministry of Environment, eight arsons against banks machines, sabotage against three Chilean companies, the bombing of an automobile company and a bank, two arsons against Burger King and another fast food restaurant, an arson against an office connected to the prison bureaucracy, and the sabotage of a supermarket and eight businesses associated with the animal exploitation industry. Several of the attacks included in the police report are less than clear, as some of the banks in question deny any attacks having taken place, and some evidence suggests that the attack on the Vice Ministry was either a smoke bomb or an accidental electrical fire. In any case it was definitely not the “attempted murder” of the Vice Minister of which the comrades are accused. On the other hand, photographic evidence exists of completely destroyed bank machines or burned out businesses, showing that in at least some cases bombs and incendiary devices were most definitely used.

Internet communiqués signed by the FAI-FRI (Informal Anarchist Federation-International Revolutionary Front) claim the actions. In general these communiqués place the attacks within the constellation of revolt standard to FAI and CCF discourse (“from Indonesia to Chile…”) and claim them in the name of the usual litany of killed, injured, and imprisoned comrades. A couple communiqués, however, mentions events in Bolivia and relate the attacks to the struggle to protect TIPNIS.

http://vivalaanarquia.espivblogs.net/?p=10323
http://vivalaanarquia.espivblogs.net/?p=10316 https://vivalaanarquia.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/bolivia-acciones-de-la-fai-fri-en-solidaridad-con-luciano-pitronello/

The Arrests and Imprisonment

On May 29, 2012, 13 people were arrested in La Paz and charged with attempted murder (of the Vice Minister) and terrorism. Most of them were brought to declare the same day, some of them were released and called to declare in early June. It seems that the police were either engaging in a fishing operation or arresting a list of people facilitated to them by a hypothetical informant marginally involved in the campaign to defend TIPNIS. The arrested include several members of OARS, (the Anarchist Organization for Social Revolution) or from the aboveground libertarian environmentalist group Red Verde (Green Network); several people from the anarcho-punk, animal liberation, and anarcha-feminist scenes; one person from the group CJAC (Anarcho-Communist Youth Collective); and even a couple people from the animal liberation wing of the Hare Krishnas. In a couple cases, the police did not know the addresses of their suspects, and either raided the parents’ houses or a neighbor’s house.

Only one detainee, Henry, refused to make a statement to the police. All the other detainees gave declarations, though half of these did not give any incriminating information, either out of ignorance or solidarity. The police generally asked about membership in OARS, Red Verde, and the FAI; about participation in an animal liberation gathering in 2010 which they allege as the moment when the FAI was formed in Bolivia; about any connections with foreigners (there is an extremely xenophobic bent to the investigation); about solidarity for Tortuga or the defendants in the Bombs Case in Chile. They ask the detainees to draw maps showing the location of their houses or the houses of other people. They ask the detainees to identify people pictured in photos, primarily from punk shows and protests. Two photos, however, show the partially covered face of a woman, taken from surveillance photos at the time of two different attacks. It should be noted that all the other photos were taken by police from the facebook accounts of the detainees. In the investigation, the police also include complete lists of phone calls and locations from the cellphones of all the defendants.

Aside from the declarations of the snitches and the two surveillance photos, the government has absolutely no evidence.

Two people were sent to prison the same day, May 29: Henry, and Nina. A third person was imprisoned after being called back in to declare on June 5, Krudo. Two people were given house arrest, Renato (of OARS) and Victor (of OARS and Red Verde). The other people were released unconditionally and are no longer facing charges. However, we cannot in good faith call for solidarity for all five of the people implicated.

The Snitches

Multiple people related to the case decided to snitch, giving incriminating information to the police. In some cases it was to save their skin, and in other cases the motive seems to be an ideological opposition to any illegalist practice. Subsequently, people on the outside, many of them self-proclaimed anarchists, have decided to support the snitches, politically justify their snitching, and even do some snitching of their own. These people have names and addresses.

Because of the huge amount of false accusations, rumors, and infighting that has circulated among those involved in this case, there have been some accusations of snitching or support for snitching that may not be justified. The information we are sharing here is only that which could be confirmed in the most certain terms. We have gone into greater length on how we checked our facts in the final section. For the moment, suffice it to say that while some rumors were spread by the snitches themselves to cover their own asses, others whom we still consider comrades also engaged in rumor-spreading that has proven to be a major obstacle to solidarity.

Renato Vincenti Campos: Snitch. In his declaration on the 29th of May, Renato, OARS member, gives the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of other OARS members, says that Henry belongs to the FAI-FRI and is anti-organization and insurrectionist, claims that the insurrectionists’ “leaders are professionals” who run bomb-making workshops. Claims the group consists of 8-9 people, mostly foreigners. He says he knows Henry belongs to the FAI because he hangs out with those who dress in black with beards and moustaches. “They are terrorists, they ruin the work we are doing, they receive money from the outside,” he bemoans. He also includes Krudo and Luisa (another detainee, who gave no incriminating information in her declaration, claimed pacifism, and was released) among the bad anarchists. He names all the people he knows in the photos the police show him, also describing their politics. When identifying his friends, he says “they don’t have those politics.” He associates Krudo with foreigners, says Henry was brainwashed by the Chileans, says Luisa also had contact with Chileans, and makes xenophobic comments. He identifies Nina and Luisa as the women in the surveillance photos. It’s also worth noting that all the OARS, CJAC, and Red Verde members were pretty dismissive of women comrades in their declarations, often not knowing the names of women comrades (even in their own organizations) and frequently referring to them as “the girlfriend of” rather than by name.

Victor Hugo Gironda Alarcón: Snitch. In his declaration on May 29, he gives very little information (and in fact the police hardly ask him any questions). He claims to be completely uninvolved and ignorant of any of the groups in question (he is a member of OARS and Red Verde). The next day, he requests to give an amplifying declaration. In his May 30 declaration, he says that OARS and Red Verde (groups he claimed the day before not to know) were opposed to the FAI-FRI which is terrorist. He describes an event and debate in a social space in La Paz, mentions foreign “extremists” who were present, and gives a physical description of some Chileans who were present.

Jeffer Vincenti Campos (brother of Renato): Snitch. In his declaration on June 4, he identifies himself as an OARS member, makes xenophobic comments, gives information about friendships and connections between people identified in the facebook photos, and says Henry and Luisa had connections with Chileans. He claims the woman in one of the surveillance photos is Nina.

Daniel Gerardo Caceres Neirot: Snitch. In his declaration on the 5th of June, Daniel, a participant of OARS and CJAC, identifies the other members of OARS, claims that Henry belongs to the FAI, identifies Victor as a member of OARS and Red Verde, talks about 2 unknown Chileans who passed through, talks shit on Krudo for being dirty, says Krudo had contact with Chileans, and identifies another foreign anarchist who had visited a couple years earlier.

OARS: Snitches. After the snitching of multiple of their members, OARS as an organization repeatedly justifies and even celebrates the collaboration, and they continue to condemn Henry, Nina, and Krudo. They continue to be active as an anarchist organization, holding events and trying to recruit new members. Renato and Victor are rewarded for their snitching with house arrest, and even that seems to be symbolic as they are frequently seen in public, with no reaction by the police. OARS is on the internet at:

http://oarsbolivia.blogspot.com/ and oars_lp at hotmail dot com

Nina Maria Mancilla Cortez: Snitch and volunteer cop. In her first declaration on May 29, Nina gives no incriminating information, claiming innocence, claiming to have left the social movements behind years earlier to dedicate herself to raising her child. She is sent to prison. Already on the 5th of June, she requests that the court allow her to make an amplifying declaration. This does not happen until June 29, although it does not become public knowledge until months later, which is why initial solidarity efforts were for “Henry and Nina”.

In her second declaration, Nina: 1) provides solid alibis for the 13th of October and the 21st of December (the date of the Vice Ministry sabotage and another bombing of which she is specifically accused). She subsequently provides solid proof of being at work and out of La Paz, respectively, on those two dates. In other words, the only negative consequence she was saving herself from by snitching was the possibility of waiting in prison a little longer before winning her release.
2) Says she only knows Henry, Krudo, and Renato from punk bands (she had previously played in the punk band Niñas Dinamiteras) and that she has bad relations with Krudo and Renato.
3)That a Trotskyist group from Argentina funded OARS, and Trotskyist lawyers supported them. She names Renato as participating in a political talk.
4) She names herself and others as the organizers of a libertarian gathering that was disrupted by two foreign jugglers (an Argentine and a Chilean) who were kicked out. She identifies them and claims that one subsequently stabbed someone, left the country, then returned to organize a punk concert with Krudo. She says she recognizes their writing style in the FAI-FRI communiqués that were distributed at the concert.
5) When asked about foreigners in the TIPNIS mobilization she names an NGO activist and also identifies a “conflictive” Chilean who participates with OARS, which is financed by LOR CI (the Argentine Trotskyists). She says that Henry has contact with foreigners, and names the other people in his band.
6) When asked if any new information has come to her attention since being arrested, she identifies a comrade, X, as the woman in the surveillance footage. She says that X was nervous and crying the day of the arrests, that a friend remarked that she looked like the person in the surveillance image circulated by the press, and that X subsequently disappeared. She gives the full name and address of X, and also names her boyfriend, and the facebook pages of both. Then she identifies another comrade, Y, as the probable author of the FAI-FRI communiqués published on Liberación Total. She gives his telephone number and tells the police where they can find other writings by him, in order to compare writing styles. She also says where on her facebook page to find a photo of X, so that the police can make a biometric comparison between X and the person captured in surveillance footage. She says Henry and Krudo have connections with X and Y. Nina also drew a map of the house of X and another comrade whose name had come up in the investigation.

In subsequent paperwork, Nina goes even further. She submits a petition asking the government to subpoena information from the web server that hosts the anarchist site Liberación Total. Giving the police step by step instructions, she provides the address of the company that owns the server, describes the process for requesting the IPs of those who have uploaded articles to Liberación Total, and explains how the government can apprehend the guilty parties by identifying those who posted the FAI communiqués on the internet.

One month after her second declaration, Nina requests her release and a day later is given house arrest. When her snitching is revealed, the vast majority of the anarcha-feminist milieu in La Paz and Cochabamba support her, justifying her snitching, glorifying her as a mother, and in some cases even trying to help the authorities track down the fugitives. Thanks to their collective snitching, there is more of a case against Henry and Krudo, and there are people who have to live on the run. Nina’s crew have tried to monopolize the solidarity efforts for the detainees, carrying out events proclaiming the innocence of Henry and Nina (in the beginning, both OARS and Nina’s crew denied solidarity to Krudo, both for reasons that are probably classist and because they were accusing him of being the snitch, even when they had already snitched). When Henry demanded a complete separation between solidarity with himself and solidarity with Nina, they denounced him as authoritarian and sexist. In other moments, they used the typical stereotype portraying those who used violence or more radical analysis as “daddy’s boys” or spoiled, which is ironic since Nina is the daughter of the former Bolivian ambassador to Mexico, and multiple people told us that Nina’s parents even contacted their friend the Vice President to try to get her released.  Nina’s crew also called for the “guilty parties” to turn themselves in so Nina could go free, and claimed it would be a credit to their ideology if they assumed responsibility for the bombings. In this vein, we also have to name:

Virginia Ayllón Soria: Snitch. Although “Vicky” is not implicated in the case, this academic and supposed anarcha-feminist has directly helped Nina get information on X and Y, and participated in the effort to track down the guilty ones. In addition to authoring various texts in support of Nina’s snitching, and accusing Krudo of being a snitch or police agent at the same time as she and Nina were in the process of snitching behind everyone’s back, Vicky helped organize and try to dominate a “diverse” solidarity assembly in support of both Henry or Nina, and accused Henry of being authoritarian and sexist for refusing this space. Vicky, who works for the government, also organized–according to multiple people who told us the same thing independently, a libertarian gathering in Cochabamba, with the participation of older libertarian fixtures like Carlos Crespo as well as pro-MAS anarchists, at which it was not allowed to talk about the situation of the anarchist prisoners. Courageously, a tiny handful of true comrades in Cochabamba organized a parallel libertarian gathering in protest of this.

Henry

Henry is the only defendant who never made a statement. He is an anarchist who believes in total liberation, and he is against prisons. In legal petitions filed on June 14 and July 9, he declared his innocence of the charges but throughout the solidarity campaign he has opposed a discourse of innocence and refused to legitimize the logic of the courts and the prisons.

Henry is being held in San Pedro prison in the center of La Paz. He has to pay for his cell and his food (he is vegan, which makes things harder, but Bolivian prisoners in general have to pay their own room and board), which, in addition to legal costs, means he needs a lot of support. He also has a child to support. Nonetheless, he is in good spirits, and continues to write and be active on the inside. He is currently seeking to be released into house arrest, but has already had 12 audiences suspended. The Bolivian state may hold him up to three years without trial.

To help him win his release and show the world he is not alone, we are calling for an international day of solidarity on May 29, at which point he will have spent one year behind bars.

Absolution for the May 29 defendants! No highway! Freedom for all prisoners!

Krudo

On May 29, Krudo’s mother’s house was raided by police. Later in the day, Krudo was arrested and served a notice to appear on June 4. On June 5, he made a statement to the police. In his declaration, he names Renato and Jeffer as members of OARS. When asked about foreigners, he names several, but only in relation to travelling jugglers and punk musicians. He says that aside from this he does not really know or have the confidence of foreigners. He says that when foreigners get in touch with him, it is probably because Henry gave them his phone number to organize a concert. He says that Henry probably organized the animal liberation gathering in Yungas via the group Red Verde. He says Victor belongs to Red Verde and connects Henry with Victor and Luisa. He said that at a protest Henry asked him to hand out flyers about the 14 “Bombs Case” prisoners in Chile. He identifies Henry and another comrade in a photo of a protest for the 14 Chilean prisoners (in the photo, the two are standing next to him, and he also identifies himself). Other than this, he tends to only identify people in photos of non-political events (punk shows) and always when he is also in the photo (Krudo told us that initially he denied knowing anyone, but the police beat him and showed photographs featuring Krudo next to the people in question: subsequently he only identified people who were photographed alongside him). He also draws two maps for the police, one of his mother’s house and one of a friend’s house (though in the second case he claims he was only copying a map the police already had, as per police instructions).

Krudo is subsequently sent to a youth detention facility, where he is still locked up.

Krudo does not give any information about the FAI or about illegal activities. However, he does give information that hurts Henry, linking Henry to foreigners, to the animal liberation gathering, and to solidarity for the Chilean “Bombs Case” prisoners. He subsequently claims that the police beat him (his family members confirm this), that the police twisted his words or put down things he never said, that his lawyer did not help him during the interrogation and then made him sign the declaration. He says he read the declaration on the computer screen, but pressured by his lawyer did not read it again when the police printed it out later. It is this copy he claims was altered.

After studying the declaration intensively, as well as Krudo’s writing, it is our opinion that some of the words belong to Krudo, and others to the police. In particular, we think that the sentence that identifies Henry as a member of Red Verde and an organizer of the animal liberation gathering was inserted by police. The language stands out starkly, the identical phrase appears in two different places, and Henry did not belong to Red Verde (a mistake the police could have made, but not Krudo).

Throughout all the declarations, it is clear that the police conducted the transcription of the interrogation in a disorganized manner, and that the transcripts do not accurately reflect the interrogations. For example, we know that with other detainees, the police asked leading questions (e.g. is this Nina in the photo?) whereas the transcript does not reflect this (e.g. Q: Who is this in the photo? A: It looks like Nina). Nonetheless, we believe that Krudo did identify Henry in relation to the Chile solidarity protest and in relation to having contacts with foreigners. Krudo admits the latter in one of his communiqués, although he says that he told police during the interrogation that he was the one who organized the “Bombs Case” solidarity protest and wrote the flyers.

Additionally, we think that Krudo’s declaration shows a clear intention not to incriminate anybody, and we feel that anyone who reads the declaration with an open mind would come to the same conclusion.

There is one more important point. Krudo identifies people who appear in photos that the police already have in their possession. We ask: what is the greater form of collaboration, naming people who appear clearly in a photo of a protest, people whom the police already have in custody, or putting those photos on the internet in the first place? We say this not to excuse Krudo because we think his mistake was a grave one, but to criticize the posture of self-righteousness that some other comrades have taken in denouncing Krudo. After all, every single one of the detainees kept Facebook pages that provided photos and information to the police, so on this count, no one stayed silent.

Far more important than our opinion, though, are a number of facts. Krudo signed the declaration. Whether or not they were his words, that was a big mistake, and it legally hurt another comrade. It is also true that during the stress of a police interrogation, one can make mistakes. However, to uphold solidarity, it is necessary to take responsibility for those mistakes and do what we can to mitigate their consequences for other comrades.It is also a fact that Krudo has let ten months go by, at this point, without correcting that error.

After several months of showing solidarity with Krudo, Henry has decided to label Krudo a police collaborator, in the face of his failure to retract his declaration or take full responsibility for his mistake.

To complicate matters further, from early on many rumors regarding Krudo were circulating among the anarchist scene, signaling him as someone unworthy of solidarity, and even as a police informant. We have found some of these rumors to be false, and the others to be lacking proof (they may or may not be true, we simply cannot tell, nor are those who circulate them able to substantiate). On the other hand, those supporting Krudo have tended to minimize the extent of his collaboration or the damage it has done to Henry.

Because Krudo could probably win himself house arrest by giving more information to the police, but has instead taken a stand against the repression and continues to be locked up, we have decided to take the following position: he made a serious mistake by signing the declaration, regardless of what he did or did not say to police, and he has not yet taken full responsibility for his mistake. To show to comrades everywhere that he is still a part of our struggle and that he still upholds the principle of solidarity, he should officially retract his first declaration in its entirety.

We were able to meet with Krudo in Qalauma prison outside La Paz and ask him to take this step. We tried to facilitate legal information about how he could go about this, since (perhaps unforgiveably) nine months later he was still in the dark. He assured us he would do so, and we have since received word that he and his supporter have already begun the process. We are awaiting confirmation.

Because he did not give any information regarding illegal activities or participation in clandestine groups, we do not consider Krudo’s form of collaboration to constitute snitching. However, we also respect the reasoning behind Henry’s position, and recognize that this is a grey area. We do not ask people to stop supporting Krudo, or to demand that he be supported. Everyone should make up their own mind, based on the facts, about whether he deserves support or not. This is made extremely difficult by the multiple anarchist counterinformation sites, in South America and in Europe, that have been spreading false information about Krudo or about the case in general.

The Supporters, the Rumors, the Facts

The repressive strike in La Paz revealed a grave weakness in the Bolivian anarchist movement. A lack of security practice, excessive use of facebook and cellphones, tolerance and even active support for snitching, and a culture of communication characterized by mud-slinging, rumor-spreading, the fabrication of false and malicious rumors, the acceptance of accusations at face value as long as they came from one’s own side, and the publication of rumors and infighting on the internet.

Because so much of this infighting has already been published on the internet, and because it has constituted a major element of the repression, we want to write a little about it in this article,obviously without repeating any details.

In a case of repression that involves snitches and support for snitches, serious accusations and harsh criticisms are necessary and inevitable. Avoiding infighting has nothing to do with suppressing criticisms and accusations. To confront repression requires building a broad base of support that surpasses state efforts of isolation. But seeking a broad base does not mean we accept anyone’s support. Asking to exclude those who support snitching is completely reasonable, and not evidence of “authoritarianism,” as Nina’s supporters have claimed.

On the other hand, the simple fact that someone is a prisoner does not mean they are infallible. Prisoners must be held to critique just like any other comrade. They need to be supported, but not glorified or turned into heroes. Because repression affects us all, the prisoner should not be the undisputed director of the solidarity campaign. If people disagree with Henry about supporting Krudo, this does not mean they have broken solidarity unless it can be proven that Krudo is a snitch, or if their form of support is uncritical of Krudo’s mistake and therefore encourages or minimizes collaboration. On the other hand, some comrades have claimed that we have to believe Krudo when he says his declaration was falsified, because we should always believe a comrade instead of the police. This argument does not hold. Sometimes comrades make mistakes, sometimes comrades lie, and sometimes comrades become snitches. We always need to use our own judgment to determine which is which.

Instead of using their judgment, people throughout the anarchist scene in Bolivia have accepted whatever rumors their friends happened to spread. Some of these rumors were true, others were false or exaggerated, and some were even fabricated maliciously. We have found almost no examples of people trying to ascertain whether the rumors were true or false. Instead they chose the most comfortable option, breaking into bands and believing everything that came from their side. This also applies to those who were spreading accusations. In almost every single case we encountered, the people spreading a serious accusation against other comrades (and we are talking about accusations against the two prisoners or against the few people on the outside supporting them) had taken zero steps to provide proof backing up their accusation. Time and time again, we had to ask people to show us proof. Sometimes they did, sometimes they did not bother to, and in a few cases it was not possible. And when we saw the proof, sometimes it turned out the accusation was true, other times we were able to prove it was false, and most often it was somewhere in between, with different people having different and often exaggerated interpretations of the same events.

We are not trying to suggest that everyone was equally to blame for these problems. Some of the accusations being tossed around were absolutely necessary, and absolutely true. The point is, comrades who hear accusations must make a practice of making sure there is proof. Comrades who make accusations must provide proof.

This was not at all the norm in Bolivia, and the greater part of the anarchist comrades themselves did far more damage than the police. Their practice of uncritically believing and spreading rumors (and in a few cases maliciously inventing them) or making accusations without providing proof, constituted an important part of the repression.

Although we are making a harsh criticism, it applies by no means only to the Bolivian comrades. Similar practices abound elsewhere, and a number of comrades from other countries who came to support the detainees did a great deal of damage by uncritically joining one band or the other and spreading rumors of their own.

Our Approach

Our approach in facilitating support for the imprisoned comrades was the following: we spoke with everyone we could, unless it could be proven that they were a snitch or supported snitches. For every accusation or rumor, we asked for proof. We did not join one side or another, but we also did not stay neutral. Our position was not to adhere to cliques, but to orient ourselves to the liberation of all prisoners, the ostracism of all snitches, the open and even-handed criticism of all comrades who made serious mistakes, and the continuation of the anarchist struggle.

In most cases we could not confirm or dismiss the various accusations that were circulating. Usually, either comrades could not provide proof of their accusations, or their proof did not demonstrate as extreme an error as they were alleging. As a rule, every individual had a different version of the same event.

To deal with this situation, we took to writing down what every single person said, and comparing notes. In this way, we were able to identify a few false rumors, but by this time the lines are so firmly drawn that some people insisted on believing their version even when we could confirm it had no basis. As usual, comrades on the other side of some line were presented as greater enemies than those who had snitched.

Most of what we could solidly prove came from the declarations and pretrial documents, which we read extensively. Every bit of information we present in this article as fact can be confirmed in these or other documents. The description of what information each defendant gave comes from their own signed declarations and can be taken as objective fact. Hopefully, this can conclusively dismiss some of the rumors regarding Krudo, as well as the attempts by Nina and OARS to minimize their own snitching.

For legal reasons, the pretrial documents cannot be put on the internet at this time. Various comrades have seen them, and can hopefully help to spread a clearer picture of the case. We are publishing this article on chileboliviawalmapu.wordpress.com because the site is already known to a number of comrades internationally and can be taken as a trusted source of information.

Police hold press conference with framed anarchists

Police hold press conference with framed anarchists

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