BOLIVIAN MEDDLING IN PERU

Código Fecha Clasificación Origen
09LIMA794 5 June 2009 Secreto / No para extranjeros Embassy Lima

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S E C R E T LIMA 000794

NOFORN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/05/2029
TAGS: PGOV, PINR, PREL, PTER, BL, PE
SUBJECT: BOLIVIAN MEDDLING IN PERU

REF: A. LIMA 777
B. LIMA 680
C. LIMA 663
D. LIMA 745

Classified By: Amb. P Michael McKinley for reasons 1.4b and d.

1. (C) Summary: Bolivian President Evo Morales has launched
a new round of rhetorical attacks on the Government of Peru
with a call for indigenous peoples to rebel against their
governments. GOP officials and other observers are concerned
Morales’ rhetoric is part of a broader effort to meddle in
Peru’s domestic affairs. One congressional contact told us
Morales appeared to be taking the place of Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez in stirring up problems in Peru.
Another contact reported evidence that Bolivians are seeking
to recruit sympathetic candidates for municipal office in the
Peruvian highlands. Our Bolivian Embassy contacts (protect)
tell us the highest levels of the GOB are in direct contact
with Peruvian social and opposition movements. We believe
the evidence indicates a pattern of Bolivian efforts to
generate and support opposition to President Garcia. End
Summary.

Evo Calls for Rebellion, Criticizes GOP


2. (U) Evo Morales in late May launched a new round of
rhetorical attacks on the GOP with a call for indigenous
peoples to rebel against their governments. In a letter from
Morales read to a gathering of 5,000 indigenous leaders in
Puno, the southern Peruvian region bordering on Bolivia,
Morales called "for a second and definitive
independence...This is the moment in which all should know
that our fight does not end, that resistance becomes
rebellion and rebellion becomes revolution." The GOP saw
these remarks — which coincided with ongoing protests by
Amazonian indigenous groups in which the protest leader
briefly called for rebellion, ref A — as blatant
interference in Peru’s domestic affairs, and publicly
denounced Morales. (Note: Morales’ attacks are at least
partly a political reaction to the GOP’s recent decision to
offer asylum to several former Bolivian government ministers.
Ref B. End Note.)

3. (U) Separately, Morales publicly criticized the GOP for
taking Peru’s maritime border dispute with Chile to
International Court of Justice at The Hague, claiming the
case was meant to prevent Bolivia from attaining an outlet to
the sea in negotiations with Chile. "I have information that
the Peruvian government knows that it is going to lose the
demand (before The Hague)...They made the demand in order to
punish Bolivia. Morales went on to say that he has no
problem with Peru, just with its government and president.
"I have excellent relations with the Peruvian popular and
social movements, with (opposition leader) Ollanta Humala."
The GOP issued a formal protest to Bolivia’s Ambassador in
Peru on June 2.

GOP Eyes Bolivian Intervention


4. (C) The Foreign Ministry’s Bolivia desk officer told us
of his government’s concern about growing signs of active
Bolivian intervention in Peru’s domestic affairs. He
highlighted the scheduled inauguration of a large Bolivian
consulate in Cusco, ostensibly meant to encourage tourists to
continue their travels south. The official would not
speculate on the consulate’s real goals, but clearly
suspected a covert agenda. He added that Bolivia’s consulate
in Puno is run by a member of the radical Bolivian "Ponchos
Rojos" (Red Ponchos) group. "I do not think he is there to
promote closer commercial ties," said the official. Another
contact with close ties to Peru’s social movements told
Poloff the GOB has targeted its efforts to create unrest on
the socially turbulent Cusco and Puno regions, and said the
consulates probably form part of this effort.

Additional Reports of Bolivian Meddling


5. (C) A congressional staffer who led a congressional
investigation into the foreign ties of so-called ALBA houses
in Peru told us she believed that Morales was taking the
place of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in stirring up
problems in Peru. (Note: ALBA houses are essentially
Venezuelan/Bolivian/Cuban friendship houses that proliferated
in Peru in 2007-2008. Ref C. End Note.) The staffer’s
recently-completed investigation produced a report that
highlighted an ophthalmological hospital recently established
in Copacabana, Bolivia — staffed by Cuban and Bolivian
doctors — that had provided free treatment to over 15,000
Peruvian patients as of early 2008. Although the GOB claimed
the hospital would treat Bolivians or Peruvian equally, 93%
of patients were in fact Peruvian. The report also discussed
the possible connection between Bolivian provocateurs and
violent protests in Canchis Province, Cusco in late 2008.
Cusco’s corruption prosecutor told the investigators that a
group of Bolivians were known to have gone to Canchis "to
promote, to instigate, and to create chaos" during the
protests.

6. (C) A political leader in Puno recently reported evidence
of Bolivians seeking to expand political influence in Cusco.
The contact said she had attended a dinner where a Peruvian
named Carlos Cusihuaman — who had recently returned from
living in Bolivia — bragged about his efforts to recruit
young people in Puno and Cusco for training in Bolivia. She
did not know details of the training but believed it was
primarily ideological and not paramilitary. (Note: Local
press and other Embassy contacts in 2008 alleged that
Peruvian radicals were attending paramilitary training in
Bolivia. Ref D. End Note.) She added that a trusted contact
of hers had attended a separate meeting in the Canchis
province of Cusco, where Cusihuaman had offered money to
support the political campaigns of sympathetic candidates for
municipal office — $13,000 to provincial mayor candidates
and $7,000 for district mayors. (Note: Canchis Province has
one provincial and seven district mayors. End Note.)

7. (S/NF) Our Bolivian Embassy contacts in Lima tell us the
highest levels of the GOB directly reach out to local social
and opposition movements. A Senior MFA official with
responsibility for South America has noted that the Bolivian
Ambassador practices MAS-style "peoples’ diplomacy" and works
to build links with Peruvian social sector representatives
rather than with government officials on bilteral ties. A
Bolivian diplomat (protect) told us his Foreign Minister
would be making two stops in Peru that week - during transit
flights - and that he would be holding meetings with local
social sector groups at the airport. Collateral reporting
indicates that these transit visits are conducted regularly.
President Morales himself has made a point of holding public
meetings with social and opposition movements during two
visits to Lima in the past two years.

Comment: Morales Better Suited than Chavez to Meddle in
Highlands


------------
8. (C) The disparate available evidence compellingly
suggests a pattern of Bolivian efforts to generate and
support opposition to President Garcia. We find it plausible
that President Chavez - long seen as the region’s "interferer
in chief" in Peru - has outsourced to President Morales
responsibility for stirring up trouble for the GOP in the
Peru’s highlands and elsewhere. This may be due to Morales’
own Andean roots, which generate more inspiration and
sympathy among Peru’s indigenous than Chavez, with whom most
locals have little in common. Whatever the case, it is
interesting to note that the Bolivian President appears to be
engaged in the very kinds of opposition activities in Peru
that he accuses others of doing in Bolivia.
MCKINLEY