SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRIES ON THE COUNTERINSURGEN

Created: 7/30/1963

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Office of Current Intelligence3

CURRENT INTELLIGENCE MEMORANDUM (Supplement)

SUBJECT: Significant Developments in the Latin American Countries on theCritical List.

Bolivia

Mine-by-mine sympathy strikes called in protest of government reform measures have been suspended sinceuly ln order for the miners to convene an "extraordinary" union congressonuly to decide on future policy. Also onuly, the miners attackedrogovernment peasant leader near the key mine area of Catavl, which may Indicate that they Intend to step up their militancy against the governmont, and that the crisis may be comingead.

The miners' congress was held inining center near Catavl.iners reportedly took part ln the accompanying rally

in which numerous anti-US and antigovemmont signs were prominently displayed. Three Communist union leaders reportedly made fiery speeches along the same lines. Tho congress ostensibly was called to "study" the government's mine reform proposals, but its actual purpose may have been to lay plans for the miners to step up their campaign ofto the government's program.

uly attack reportedlythe deathroregiae peasant leader,capturearge cache of arms. Thegained controladio station overhave since been broadcasting The national peasantis loyal to President Victor Paz Estenssoro

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and has hitherto been responsive to his direction, has threatened to take matters Into Its own bands unless tbe government apprehends the "criminala" ln ten days.

4. The government probably would prefer to restore order to the area by utilizing the peasant militia rather than tbe army, ln order to avoid the charge of using repressive pressures against the miners. Nevertheless, if conditions continue to grow worse, President Paz may be forced tolimited martial lawtate of siege ln the area, and send ln national police or possibly the army.

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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Office of Current3

CURRENT INTELLIGENCE MEMORANDUM

SUBJECT: The Internal Security Situation ln Bolivia

1. The presently tense situation in Bolivia is largely an outgrowth of the approachingbetween President Victor Paz Estonssoro and Vice President Juan Lechin over the Nationalist Revolutionary Movement's (MNR) presidentialnext year. Lechin's political power is based on Bolivia's well-organized union movement and particularly in the far-leftist dominated tin minors' union, which is presently carrying out sporadic strikes to thwart President Paz' rehabili-

2. The Paz regime periodically has encountered the defiance of ambitious and opportunistic local political leaders backed by armed civilian militia forces. The civilian militia, of which the most important units are those of the peasants and those of the miners, hasrivileged position in Bolivia because lt is credited with playing the major role ln the MNR defeat of the army in2 revolution. This paved the way for theto power of the present MNR regime in the same your.

Units of the nilltia vary considerably in size, training, and weapons. Militia units at the tin nines are considered the most effective in part because of their access to explosives. Total strength of the civilianlus) is greater than that of the) andombined, but it isnified force. Militia weaponsconsist of rifles and possibly some light machine guns which areChaco Warwhich are nonetheless serviceable.

The principal cause for outbreaks ofln the past has been the desire of Individual leaders to dominate provincial areas. Conflictsrival peasant leaders have frequently resulted in serious disorders in the Cochabamba Valley inBolivia and ln the Achacachl-Coroico areaof the capital of La Paz. The principal centers of strength for the miners' militia are the larger tin mines of Catavi, Huanuni, and Milluai.

earlyresident Paz has been successful, inumber

or pro-Communist or Communist peasant leaders in the Department of La Paz. He also has been successful in garnering the support of some Influential leaders in the Cochabamba Valley and In the easternof Santa Cruz. There aro still peasant leaders in the rural areas, however, who are anti-regime and probably pro-Communist, and whootential for disruptive actions against the government. The pro-Paz leadership of the National Peasant Organization which claims to represent all Bolivian peasant groupsorco which has been used by the government to carry out its campaign against the extremist peasant leaders. This organization augmented by government security forces is sufficient to preserve relative order and foster pro-regime sentiment in the rural areas.

miners* militia, especially theat Catavi, represent the single mostthreat to the stability of the governmenttime. The Catavi miners are led by two Com-

"unist-Trotskyista, Federico Escobar and Ireneo

Pimentel. An2 report

the strengl. The leaders at Catavi and

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the other nationalized Bines Id Bolivia aretheir militant opposition against the government's desire to carry out mining reforms to end theoperations in the mines in accordance with the recommendations of the Triangular Plan.

The Triangular Planoint undertaking by the US, West Germany, and tbe Inter-American Development Bank to rehabilitate Bolivia's tin mines. The goal is to strengthen Bolivia's economy bythe state mining corporation'sproductions costs are now often ln excess of worldincreasing the government's foreignearnings, thereby making economicmoro feasible. The Triangular Plan hasain target for Communist opposition, because the success of tha plan probably could leadarge measure of growth and stabilization of the Bolivian economy.

The altuation at present la tense. Work continues only sporadically at Catavl, the country's largest tin mine. Locals of tho Lechlnist,led Factory Workers Onion have struck in Cochabamba, andey flour factory in La Paz. Tho army has boon placed on alert and confined to quartern. fj

Bolivian government may find it necessary toSpecial Forces asaistance ln order to maintainsecurity. mightif open conflicTbreaKs^out betweenmilitia and government forces. Noof this matter has been made, however,Bolivian military or government official.

9. Unless the negotiations between the miners' union and the state mining corporation (Coalbol) arrive at an "adequate solution" to the mineproblem, the union threatens toeneral strike in all the Bolivian tin mines. Because of the political loyalty to Lechin of most of the unions ln Bolivia, many of which are led by Communists or extreme leftists,trike could spread to other industries. In addition, those peas ant groups whose leaders are still of an extremist inclination could possibly be expected to join in the general strike.

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