UNASUR: Bolivian Pando’s massacre a crime against Humanity
A report issued by the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) concludes that the massacre of Porvenir was a crime against humanity. During a Summit at UN, UNASUR had agreed to investigate the anti-government violence that took place in Pando on September 11, 2008 and provoked by anti-Morales protesters who opposed his plans to redistribute land and wealth. The Argentinian human rights secretary and chief of enquiries, Rodolfo Mattarollo, submitted the UNASUR report in Bolivia to President Evo Morales today. According to Mattarollo "local authorities like detained former prefect Leopoldo Fernandez participated in the crime against humanity that left over 18 dead and dozens of wounded and disappeared persons". "Opposition radical sectors criticized UNASUR investigations, saying they favor the Bolivian government."
La Paz, December 03, (ABI) .- According to the Special Commission of the Union of South American Nations final report on the bloody events happened the last September 11 in Pando department, which was given this Wednesday to the president Evo Morales determined that the premeditated massacre of peasants is a crime against humanity. "As a result of investigations done by the Commission, which the victims of executions summary or extra legal and part of a civil population, who were object of a widespread or systematical attack carried out by omission of the above mentioned attack in the course of this fact, multiple murders were committed, a violation of this nature from the point of view of the international criminal law in effect at present a crime against humanity" quoted in the third point of the conclusions’ report. This conclusion was read by the holder of this Commission, Rodolfo Mattarollo, at government Palace after watching a video that sums the violent actions up unleashed by prefecture and civic officials against peasants who took part of a demonstration asking for democratic claims. They also point out in the report conclusions that these crimes must be judged in the ordinary legal proceedings and not in a process of responsibilities. Also it was determined that even if there were people who acted particularly, the aggressors were organized and they were answering, according to some testimonies, "to a chain of control and they counted on officials and goods belonged to the departmental government to the service of a criminal entity". Mattarollo gave the report to the president Evo Morales in the ceremony that took place at Government Palace where took part members countries of this investigative Commission of UNASUR, national authorities, victims' relatives of the massacre of Porvenir, press media among others.
Rq ABI Translation/Fccc
According to Argentinean lawyer and chief of inquiries, Rodolfo Mattarollo, local authorities like detained former prefect Leopoldo Fernandez participated in the crime against humanity that left over 18 dead and dozens of wounded and disappeared persons. Along with the demand of legal actions against those involved in the case, the investigator slammed the inability of Bolivian justice to try authors of those crimes. The UNASUR commission, made up of forensic scientists, ballistic experts and others, visited the Pando town of Porvenir and met with victims, witnesses and those involved. Opposition radical sectors criticized UNASUR investigations, saying they favor the Bolivian government.
... Bolivian President Evo Morales says he welcomes the findings into the deaths in September. "Conspiring against democracy...using terrorism...it's not the best way," Mr Morales said. The commission recommends those responsible for the deaths be tried for murder in Bolivian courts.... The high-ranking regional commission was appointed following an emergency meeting of the leaders of the Unasur group of South American countries three days after the killings. Long-standing political unrest erupted into violence in September, killing at least 20 people, mainly in the Pando region near the Brazilian border. The unrest flared during a bitter power struggle between the leftist president and conservative rivals opposed to his drive to implement a new constitution. Unveiling the commission's findings on behalf of the 12-member panel, Argentine legal expert Rodolfo Mattarollo said some of the 20 mostly Morales supporters were killed in what he called "a massacre under the UN definition of the word". He said some of the killers worked for Pando's opposition-controlled provincial government. Following the violence, the Bolivian government declared martial law in Pando and arrested its governor, Leopoldo Fernandez. It accused Mr Fernandez of hiring hitmen to kill farmers on their way to a pro-government rally, charges he denies. The state of emergency was lifted late last month.
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