#AceNewsReport – Aug.14: Two regions of Bolivia – Santa Cruz and Beni – have been particularly impacted by the fires, suffering 94% of the burnt woodland. By the end of July, Santa Cruz had lost 137,000 hectares, while Beni lost 564,000 hectares due to the blazes….
#AceDailyNews says that Bolivian wildfires destroyed 749,000 hectares of land in 2021, NGO says, as border region declares ‘red alert’ over blazes acording to the report by the Friends of Nature Foundation (FAN) examined the extent of the damage caused by wildfires in the region, finding that there had been a 62% increase in the scale of the burned area during June and July compared with 2020 and a 48% rise versus the same period in 2019 RT News
13 Aug, 2021 17:28 / Updated 13 minutes ago
Using satellite imagery collected by the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2 to track the spread of the fires, the NGO highlighted how widespread deforestation to expand farming and pastureland had aggravated the blazes in a similar situation to what’s happened in Brazil.
On Thursday, Santa Cruz declared a “red alert” over the “progressive increase in heat sources”, citing “climatic conditions” as a driving factor behind the spread of ongoing fires in the area.
Earlier, Bolivia’s vice-minister of civil defense, Juan Carlos Calvimontes, blamed a significant portion of this year’s fires in the country on humans, claiming that about 90% of them “are being set,” rather than “starting by themselves.” Authorities have pledged to hold those responsible accountable, stating that they will push to recoup the cost of extinguishing them.
The concerns raised by FAN follow similar findings from the organization saying that in 2020, an estimated 2.3 million hectares of forests and prairies were ruined by fire throughout the year, and in 2019, 6.4 million hectares were lost.
#AceNewsReport – June.18: Anez took power in Bolivia in November 2019, after mass protests backed by the country’s military and police forced Evo Morales to flee from the country rather than continue governing for a fourth presidential term after winning elections. The protests were triggered by claims of election fraud, which were promoted by the Organization of American States and were later proven to be groundless:
The new government used force to suppress dissenting people from Morales’ left-wing Movement towards Socialism (MAS) party and made a sharp right-wing turn. It also repeatedly delayed holding a new election, which was supposed to be the primary goal of Anez’ caretaker presidency.
As Arce was celebrating his victory, Anez and her ministers were plotting a second coup, which would allow them to overturn the will of the Bolivian people, the Intercept reported on Thursday, citing records of conversations and email exchanges detailing the conspiracy.
The key figures in the plan were Luis Fernando Lopez, who served as Anez’ defense minister, and Joe Pereira, a former civilian administrator with the US Army, according to the report. Pereira was supposed to recruit mercenaries in the US and help fly them to Bolivia. There they would join forces with elite military troops from the Bolivian army, police units and right-wing vigilante mobs to quash MAS supporters.
“I can get up to 10,000 men with no problem” Pereira bragged in one alleged conversation. “All special forces. I can also bring about 350 what we call LEPs, Law Enforcement Professionals, to guide the police.”
If there’s something else I need, I will have them fly in as undercover, like if they were photographers, they were pastors, they were medics, they were tourists.
The number of troops appears to be a boast on Pereira’s part. One of the US-based recruiters he turned to for help told the Intercept that one “couldn’t get 10,000 people even if Blackwater was back in business and going back to Iraq.” But email exchanges indicate the planning was in an advanced stage and that at least 250 contractors were ready to take part in the ‘Bolivia project’, before it was called off.
On the Bolivian side, officials had three Hercules C-130 transport aircraft that could airlift the hired guns and their weapons from the US. Pereira said he wanted to “pick up personnel in Southern Command in Homestead Air Force Base in Miami.” Two US military sources told the Intercept that the US Special Operations command was aware of the coup plot, but one source said that “no one really took them seriously.”
Some details of the conversations matched very closely the claims that Morales made in early November. He accused General Sergio Orellana, who was appointed commander of the Bolivian Armed Forces by Anez, of pressuring other top military officers into launching a military junta to prevent an Acre presidency. Lopez assured co-conspirators that Orellana was ready to initiate “the military operation” against MAS.
The plans were never put into action. Lopez apparently couldn’t secure support of enough military commanders and had a falling out with then-Interior Minister Arturo Murillo, who was in charge of the police. General Orellana and both ministers were among members of the Anez administration who fled Bolivia after Arce’s victory and before his inauguration.
Murillo was arrested by the FBI last month. He is suspected of taking a bribe to sign a contract for supply of tear gas from a Florida-based firm at an inflated price.
Anez was arrested and charged with crimes related to how she took power in Bolivia. Pereira is likewise held in a Bolivian jail awaiting trial on fraud charges.
The Intercept believes it was highly unlikely that the plot had some tacit approval or support of the US government. It seems closer in nature to the attempt to overthrow the Venezuelan government, which involved the private security company Silvercorp USA.
The incursion of US mercenaries, which took place in May 2020, ended in a humiliating failure and was dismissively dubbed by some media ‘Bay of Piglets invasion’, referring to the CIA-baked failed invasion of Cuba in 1961.
#AceNewsServices – COLUMBIA – May 01 – At least three people were killed and 25 others are still trapped after an illegal gold mine collapsed in Santander de Quilichao, a city in the south-western Colombian province of Cauca, Agencia EFE cited emergency services officials as saying.
The collapse occurred in a rural district off San Antonio Road, fire chief Victor Claros told reporters, adding that victims’ bodies have been removed from the site.
The media has dubbed illegal gold mining as the “new cocaine” of Latin America, as the Andean countries – including Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, and Brazil – are generating higher profits from it than from drug trafficking.
Illegal mining has become the “new cocaine” of Latin America in terms of illicit trading, as countries such as Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela and Bolivia, are said to be obtaining higher profits from the unlicensed activity than from drug trafficking. The ecological damage is even greater.
According to Chilean newspaper El Mercurio (in Spanish), the shady business in the Amazonian jungle of Peru is already generating 15% more profits than the country’s total estimated drug trafficking. The figure is shocking, as Peru is said to already be the world’s largest exporter of cocaine.
The latest study published by Peru’s government last month, revealed that illicit gold extraction has led to violence, pollution and the destruction of parts of the country’s precious rainforest— more than 50,000 hectares so far. The figure is significantly higher than the 18,000 ha authorities estimated last year.
What it’s worse, unlawful mining has spread to surrounding countries such as Ecuador, Venezuela and Bolivia, which is intensifying the damage on the Amazon, as well in water sources, reports El Mercurio.
#AceWorldNews – LA PAZ – April 25 – Bolivia sacked 702 members of the military Thursday in a quick response to a march by non-commissioned officers protesting alleged discrimination against indigenous members, AFP said.
The commander of the armed forces, General Victor Baldivieso, likened the protest to sedition aimed at staging a coup.
About 2,000 sergeants from all services had turned out for the protest in uniform and singing marching songs as they paraded through down-town La Paz.
The protest followed the sacking of 13 non-commissioned officers on Monday for refusing to obey orders and for mutiny.