Nuovi documenti sul “Che”

che_guevara_fidel_castro-041334

Documento 1

SUBJECT: CUBA SERIES: Reporting Period August 1 – September 8, 1963

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Bolivia Protests Cuban Intervention.
  2. Guerrilla Activities.
  3. Pro-Castro Propaganda in the Bolivian Education System.
  4. MNR Youth. Activities.
  5. Miscellaneous.

2. Guerrilla Activities

The Bolivian Communist Party (PCB) members who were arrested on July 3 in Riberalta (Embgram A-112, August 12, 1963) and Brought to La Paz for questioning about alleged guerrilla activities were released in late July.

(per sentire un discorso di Che Guevara sulla rivoluzione cubana clicca qui sotto)

watch?v=8-5bWdOD89s

Police in Riberalta found an arms cache on the property of Abelardo Murakani which was reportedly being kept for guerrilla purposes (Embgram A-130, August 16, 1963; Embgram A-178, August 28, 1963). The Minister of Government state that Murakani has implicated a Peruvian pro-Castro guerrilla named Soria who was arrested near Riberalta on July 19, and that both of them would stand trial in the Bolivian courts. Meanwhile, the Riberalta police reportedly discovered another arms cache in late August, this one consisting of 14 rifles, 5 automatic pistols, and supply of ammunition. LIBERTAD charged that a pro-Castro guerrilla band is operating in Iturralde Province of La Paz Departament and is equipped with modern Czech weapons. Had issued a “Manifesto” denouncing these “acts of police brutality, ordered by the North American Embassy to justify a general repression against the true patriots of Riberalta”.

According to the La Paz press the Cuban student organization in Miami publicly charged that Cuban arms are transported through British Guiana, are landed at two airstrips in Brazil and one in Argentina, and are transited trough Bolivia to Peru. The organization named Corumbá, Brazil, Cobija, Bolivia, ande the headwaters of the Madre de Dios River as Key points in this arms traffic.

3. Pro-Castro Propaganda in the Bolivian Education System.

On the eels of its charge that pro-Cuban propaganda is being distributed in the normal School in La Paz (Embgram a-112, August 12, 1963), PRESENCIA claimed that for the last three years a group called the “Célula Frank País” has been promoting pro-Castro activities in the La Paz Normal School.

According to PRESENCIA, the organization has some 50 members sponsors pro-Communist talks in the School auditorium, and publishes a pro-Castro newspaper every July 26. Reportedly efforts by the school director to warn Ministry of Education officials of the seriousness of the problem have been futile. The La Paz Departmental Federation of Urban Teachers issued a formal protests against “the tolerance with which the authorities view the active dissemination of extremist propaganda in the Normal Schools” and demanded a formal investigation. The anti-Communists weekly newspaper LIBERTAD said that Bolivia’s normal schools have become “True centers of communist and castrista infection” which are tolerated by government officials. The Frank País” group replied that it is not a clandestine group, that it was formed in 1960 with over a hundred members, and that its purpose is to “spread knowledge of the great works of the Cuban Revolution”. The name of the group is taken from Cuban rural teacher “whose life constitutes a noble example for all teachers.”

The La Paz Urban Teachers Federation also issued a strong denunciation of the “pro-Castro and Communist activities of some officials of the Ministry of Education”. The statement cited the following persons as specific examples: Humberto Quezada Arce, Director General of Education; Margarita de Lopéz Rose, Bolivians who wish to travel to Cuba, especially when they know that the travelers must be in Cuba on certain date. PUEBLO said that these acts are sabotaging the Foreign Ministry’s “just position”regarding Cuba and cite the forthcoming Architect’s Congress in Havana as an example of meeting for which Bolivian authorities should extend the most ample travel liberties.

La Casa de Las Américas is Havana announced that it is sponsoring “Fifth Latin American Literary Congress”; works for judging in this contest should be submitted by December 21 and winners will be announce in February, 1964.

The Cuban Government sent a message of congratulations to the Bolivian Government on the occasion of the celebration of Bolivian Independence on August 6.

EL PUEBLO charged that Guillermo Bedregal, President of COMIBOL, is recruiting anti-Castro Cubans “off the streets of Miami” to come to Bolivia “to serve his goals of provocation”.

The anti-Communist weekly LIBERTAD reported that a new pro-Castro group called the “National Liberation Front” (frente de Liberación – FLN) after the pro-Castro guerrilla group in Venezuela has been formed in La Paz. The purpose of this group, said LIBERTAD, is “to commit acts of terror and sabotage against the government and North American capital invested in Bolivia”. This group has already tried to foment street demonstration against the Bolivian Government, said LIBERTAD.

An exhibition of some 30 caricatures of the Castro regime by ten anti-Castro Cuban artists was shown in La Paz September 8-9. Fulgencio Menéndez a member of the Executive Committee of the Directorio Magisterial Revolucionario in exile arrived in La Paz on September 6 to supervise the showing which was held in the headquarters of the La Paz Urban Teachers Federation. This exhibition has previously been exhibited in other Latin American capitals.

Melville E. Osborne

First Secretary

Document 2

SUBJECT: Meeting between the Secretary and President Paz of Bolivia: Cuban Subversion

The Secretary very confidentially state that there are indications that Castro may stimulate concerted acts of terrorism in this hemisphere during the end of 1963 or early 1964. There is no clear indication of what Castro’s relations are with Moscow and Peiping, and whatever activities he way be planning might be related either to a more aggressive policy of Peiping against India or Southeast Asia or to a toughening of Soviet policy in Berlin. He added that he wanted to pass on this information to President Paz so that he could take whatever precautionary measures he might consider necessary.

Foreign Minister Fellman stated an indication of Castro’s attitude toward the USSR China could be seen in Cuba’s refusal to sign the nuclear test ban treaty. With regard to subversion, there have been guerrilla bands moving from Peruvian Government as to the origin of these bands have not been answered. Bolivia is consulting with Peru an its other neighbors on the possibilities of joint precautionary inspections of their various borders.

Document 3

OVANDO MET LEMA JULY 7. BOTH AGREED TO ESTABLISHMENT OF JOINT COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS. PROPOSE TO ESTABLISH COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK IN EASTERN SANTA CRUZ AND INTEND TO BEGIN TRANING SPECIAL TASK FORCE OF 27 MEN INTO HIGHLY MOBILE, WELL TRAINED AND EQUIPPED (CARBINES) GROUP WHICH COULD BE FLOWN INTO CRITICAL AREAS AT MOMENT’S NOTICE USING BAF PLANES. MEN FOR TASK FORCE WILL BE SPECIALLY CHOSEN AND TRAINED BY U.S. IN COCHABAMBA. LEMA ASSURED OVAND THAT NEW UNIT WILL BE COMPLEMENTARY NOT COMPETITIVE WITH ARMY UNITS.

CABINET MET FOR LIVE HOURS JULY 8 TO DISCUSS MFM AND BOLIVIAN POSITION. PRESENCIA JULY 9 SPECULATES BOLIVIA WILL AGREE TO SANCTIONS AGAINST CUBA. ITURRALDE REFUSED TO SAY ANYTHING PUBLICLY EXCEPT BOLIVIA IS BOUND TO COMPLY WITH RIO TREATY WHICH IS OBLIGATORY IN NATURE. EMBASSY INFORME, HOWEVER, THAT ALMOST ANTIRE CABINET MEETING CONSUMED BY DEBATE BETWEEN ITURRALDE AND FELLMAN ON BOLIVIAN POSITION IN MFM. NO DECISIONS REACHED EXCEPT ANOTHER CABINET RATIFICATION THAT BOLIVIA WILL ATTEND MFM. ANOTHER SPECIALCABINET MEETING SCHEDULED FOR EARLY NEXT WEEK. AM SEEING FONMIN TODAY. […]

Document 4

SUBJECT: CUBA SERIES: Reporting Period July 1 – August 15, 1964

  1. Bolivia-Cuba Relations and the foreign Ministers Conference
    1. Actions and Statements
    2. Comment by Political Leaders and Parties
    3. Press Reaction

  1. Santa Cruz Guerrillas
  2. July 26 Celebration in La Paz
  3. Miscellaneous

2. Santa Cruz Guerrillas

Guerrilla warfare continued in the remote San Ignacio region of Santa Cruz Department. With the wounding of an American official on August 2 (Embtel 146, August 2, 1964 and subsequent), police and army units moved into the area but the guerrilla groups continued to be active. The guerrillas announced that they were members of the Bolivian Socialist Falange party (Falange Socialista Boliviana – FSB) who had taken up arms against the “tyranny” of the Paz Government, and national FSB leaders publicly denied that the guerrillas had “international/connections” of any kind (Embtel 169, August 4, 1964). The Government, however, described the guerrillas as a mixture of bandits, FSB members, and tactics, and various press comments warned that, even though the guerrillas might at present be free of communist infiltration, such a danger is ever present.

The Embassy has no evidence to prove that Castristas were involved in the original violence, but there are indications that militant pro-Castro elements would like to take over the guerrilla activities for their own purposes and are working toward this end.

comandante Che Guevara

Document 5

SUBJECT: REPORTED GUERRILLA ACTIVITY IN BOLIVIA

  1. FINANCE MINISTER ROMERO LOZA INFORMED ME EVENING MARCH 16 THAT PRESIDENT BARRIENTOS HAD INSTRUCTED HIM TO ASK ME FOR U.S FINANCIL SUPPORT FOR PROPOSED ACTION AGAINST ALLEGED GUERRILLAS IN SANTA CRUZ DEPARTAMENT. ROMERO LOZA MENTIONED FORCE OF 150 TO 200 MEN. BUT SPECIFIED NO MONETARY AMOUNT WITH RESPECT TO THE HSGU BARRIENTOS WANTED.
  2. ROMERO LOZA DID NOT CONCEAL HIS DISTASTE AT HAVING TO PERFORM THIS ASSIGNED CHORE NO HIS LACK OF CONVICTION ON THE VALIDITY OF THE ALLEGED GUERRILLA THREAT AND THE BOLIVIAN MILITARY’S NEED FOR OUTSIDE AID.
  3. I SAID THAT THE GOB HAD YET TO PRODUCE ADEQUATE EVIDENCE OF NEED FOR FINANCIAL HELP, FROM STANDPOINTS OF (A) ESTABLISHING CLEAR AXISTENCE OF THREAT, AND (B) EVEN MORE IMPOTANTLY, DEMONSTRATING THAT BOLIVIAN ARMED FORCES DO NOT DISPOSE OF SUFFICIENT RESOURCES OF THEIR OWN/TO CARRY OUT AN OPERATION WHICH WOULD SEEM TO THE ENTIRELY WITHIN THEIR NORMAL MISSION.
  4. I ASKED ROMERO LOZA TO CONVEY FOREGOING TO PRESIDENT BARRIENTOS AND INFORM THE PRESIDENT THAT I WOULD BE AT HIS DISPOSITION TO DISCUSS ANY GENUINE EMERGENCY NEEDS OF THE GOB IN THE INTERNAL SECURITY FIELD.
  5. ON MARCH 17 THE SUBSECRETARY FOR FORAFF, LELTER MONTENEGRO, HAVING RAISED THE SUBJECT OT THE GUERRILLA THREAT WITH ME, EXPRESSED THE VIEW THAT THERE WAS A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF GENERAL STAFF STAGE-MANAGING INVOLVED IN THE SCENE AT THIS PARTICULAR MOMENT.
  6. WE HAVE ASKED THE BOLIVIAN ARMY GENERAL STAFF TO SPECLFY AND JUSTIFY THEIR REUQIREMENTS IN WRITING FOR OUR FURTHER CONSIDERATION

HENDERSON

Document 6

SUBJECT: REPORTED GUERRILLA ACTIVITY IN BOLIVIA

  1. PRESIDENTE BARRIENTOS CALLED ME TO HIS HOUSE TWICE IN SUCCESSION EVENING OF MARCH 17 FOR PRIVATE DISCUSSIONS OF REPORTED GUERRILLA SITUATION (DCM ALSO PRESENT).

  1. FIRST SESSION WAS INCONCLUSIVE AND PRODUCED LITTLE NEW INFORMATION EXCEPT THAT BARRIENTOS THOUGHT GUERRILLAS WERE UNLIKELI TO NUMBER MORE THAN ABOUT SIXTEEN, THE HE SUSPECTED CERTAIN BOLIVIAN ARMY OFFICERS OF MNR AFFILIATION OF SYMPATHIZING WITH THEM, NAMING ONE COL. LIBERA NOW UNDER SURVEILLANCE IN CAMIRI AND HOXA, AND THAT HE WAS CONCERNED THAT THE REPORTED GUERRILLAS MIGHT RESORT TO SUCH TACTIS AS KIDNAPPING TO WIN PUBLICITY AND GLAMOUR.

  1. DURING CONVERSATION BARRIENTOS LED UP TO HIS CONCERN OVER MAINTAINING MORALE OF HIS ARMED FORCES, REFERRING TO THE SEVERE BUDGET LIMITATIONS IMPOSED ON THEM, AND IMPLYING THAT ADDITIONAL US DONATIONS TO THE ARMED FORCES WAS THE ANSWER. I TOOK THE OPPORTUNITY TO EMPHASIZE THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE GOB USE ALL RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO IT BEFORE LOOKING FOR OUTSIDE HELP.

  1. I WAS CALLED BACK AND HOUR LATER TO SECOND SESSION IN WHICH BARRIENTOS PRODUCED MINISTER OF GOVERNMENT ARGUEDAS, APPARENTLY AS WITNESS, TOGETHER WITH THE REVELATION WHICH HE SAID HAD JUST ARRIVED FROM ARMY COMMANDER GENERAL LAFUENTE IN CAMIRI, DEPARTMENT OF SANT CRUZ, THAT DURING AFTERNOON MARCH 17 THE GUERRILLAS THERE HAD KILLED ONDE AND CAPTURE ONE BOLIVIAN SOLDIER NEAR THE RIO GRANDE RIVER. NO FURTHER DETAILS.

  1. WITH LITTLE MORE THAN THE OBSERVATION THAT THE SITUATION WAS NOW GETTING SERIOUS, HE HANDED ME A LIST OF ITEMS WHICH BOLIVIAN ARMY WANTED FROM THE USG, AND SESSION ENDED.

  1. REQUEST, SIGNED BY DEFENSE MINISTER SUAREZ GUZMAN, IS EXTENSIVE LIST OF SOFT AND HARD GOODS TO CLOTHE AND MAINTAIN 1500 ADDITIONAL RESERVISTS MINISTER PROPOSES TO CALL UP, AND TO ARM SIZEABLE FORCE FOR EXTENDED COMBAT OPERATION. LIST INCLUDES SUCH ITEMS AS 90 DAYS AMMUNITION FOR 9 TYPES OF WEAPONS FROM M-1 TO 75 MM HOWITZERS, 400 PARACHUTES, 100 RADIOS, 10 WEAPONS CARRIERS, 20 JEEPS, ETC. I SAID ONLY THAT I WOULD TURN LIST OVER TO MY MILITARY FOR STUDY. POUCHING MARCH 21.

  1. BARRIENTOS HAD PREVIOUSLY CONVEYED THE FAIRLY CLEAR IMPRESSION THAT HE WAS NOT TOO HAPPY TO SEE HIS MILITARY TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EVERY REPORTED EMERGENCY SITUATION TO COME UP WITH A SANTA CLAUS LIST TO PRESENT TO THE USG. THE FOLLOWING IS ONE NOT UNTENABLE HYPOTHESIS WHICH COULD EXPLAIN WHY I GOT THE LIST ANYWAY. FACED WITH MILITARY LEADERS WHO INCLUDE PERSONS NOTABLE FOR OBTUSENESS AND NAIVETE AND WHO ARE GETTING INCREASINGLY RESTIVE UNDER THE FIRM BUDGET LIMITATIONS PUT ON THEM BY THE COURAGEOUS FINANCE MINISTER, BARRIENTOS SIMPLY DECIDED IT WAS NECESSARY FOR HIM TO SHIFT AS MUCH OF THE MILITARY PRESSURE AS POSSIBLE FROM HIMSELF TO US BY HANDING OVER THE CHRISTMAS LIST TO ME IN FRONT OF A WITNESS. HIS JUDGEMENT ON THIS MAY IN FACT BE SOUND, SO FAR AS HIS OWN POSITION IS CONCERNED, BUR BOLIVIAN MILITARY WILL HAVE TO LEARN ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES. IT WOULD BE MOST HELPFUL IF WASHINGTON COULD IMPRESS THIS ON BOLIVIAN AMBASSADOR SANJINES AND ON GENERAL OVANDO, IF STILL AVAILABLE.

HENDERSON

Document 7

1. COL. LEON KOLLE C., CHIEF OF STAFF BOLIVIAN AIR FORCE MORNING MARCH 18 CALLED IN CHIEF AIR SECTION USMILGP BOLIVIA TO INFORM HIM OF FOLLOWING: (A) GUERRILLAS REPORTED IN AREA ABAPO, MONTEAGUDO, LAGUNILLAS, MUYUPAMPA, HUACARETA, ALL IN DEPARTMENT OF SANTA CRUZ.

(B) SECOND CONTACT WITH GUERRILLAS EARLY MARCH 18 RESULTED ONE GUERRILLA KILLED, TWO CAPTURED, AND BOLIVIAN FORCE TOOK POSSESSION OF GUERRILLA TRUCK AND BASE ON FINCA.

2. KOLLE REQUESTED PERMISSION TO USE AGAINST GUERRILLAS T-28 AIRCRAFT WHICH BAF COMMITTED I ISELF TO RETURN TO US CUSTODY 1 DEC 1966 AND WHICH IS STILL IN COUNTRY AWAITING RETURB TO U.S INVENTORY. ALSO ASKED USG PROVIDE IMMEDIATELY MOBILE AIR-GROUND COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT AND PROVIDE USSPECIFIED QUANTITY 100 POUND ANTI-PERSONAL BOMBS TO SUPPLEMENT EIGHT BOMBS HE HAS IN INVENTORY.

3. COL. SATTORE, CHIEF OF OPERATIONS BOLIVIAN AIR FORCE TOLD CHIEF AIR SECTION THAT IF SITUATION WORSENED, FORWARD OPERATION BASE OF BAF WOULD MOVE TO SANTA CRUZ. SAID ORDERS NOW BEING PREPARED FOR THIS CONTINGENCY.

4. CHIEF AIR SECTION ASKED BAF OFFICERS TO SUBMIT REQUIREMENTS IN WRITING.

5. WE ASSUME T-28 IS LEGALLY USG PROPERTY AND UNAVAILABLE FOR PURPOSE REQUESTED BY KOLLE.

HENDERSON

Document 8

SUBJECT: REPORTED GUERRILLA ACTIVITY – REQUEST FOR SPECIAL US ASSISTANCE

  1. MILGRP AND DEFATT REPRESENTATIVES MET WITH BOLIVIAN MILITARY FOR TWO HOURS MORNING MARCH 20, DURING WHICH THEY MADE FOLLOWING POINTS:

  1. PRIOR TO US CONSIDERATION, WE REQUIRE RELIABLE INTELLIGENCE AND CREDIBLE THREAT ANALYSIS.
  2. WE ALSO REQUIRE DETAILED CAPABILITY ANALYSIS AND OPERATIONS PLAN JUSTIFYING EACH LINE ITEM.
  3. IN VIEW OF CURRENT POOR MAINTENACE STANDARDS WE DOUBT BOLIVIA’S ABILITY TO MAINTAIN ADDITIONAL ITEMS.
  4. ANY GRANT AID FORTHCOMING FROM EXERCISES LIKE THIS WOULD RESULT IN CURTAILMENT OF FUTURE GRANT AID BY A LIKE AMOUNT.
  5. MANY OF THE ITEMS WERE “SOFT GOODS” AND DID NOT FALL WITHING MAP.
  6. WE REQUIRE INFO AS TO WHAT EXTENT GOB IS WILLING TO SHARE COSTS OF REQUIRE ITEMS.
  7. MAP IS NOT DESIGNED BY PHILOSOPHY OR LEAD TIME TO MEET URGENT PROBLEMS AS THESE WHICH SHOULD BE PROVIDED BY HC CONTINGENCY FUNDS.
  8. THOSE PRESENT WERE SHOWN ALTERNATIVES TO THIS REQUEST BY WHICH THE SUPPOSED THREAT COULD BE MET BY HC RELOCATING EXISTING FORCES AND THUS REQUIRING ONLY SELF-HELP, DESIRABLY THE FIRST THOUGHT OF A RESPONSIBLE AGENCY.

  1. AT 5 P.M. MARCH 20 DCM IN ABSENCE OF AMBASSADOR TOOK TELEPHONE CALL FROM PRESIDENT BARRIENTOS. BARRIENTOYA IN STERN TONE WARNED THAT EMBASSY WAS MISTAKEN IN REQUESTIONING VALIDITY OF THREAT AND OF BOLIVIA’S NEED FOR IMMEDIATE DELIVERY OD ITEMS REQUESTED. HE SAID HE HAD PERSONALLY VISITED CAMARI TODAY AND FOUND SITUATION “FAR WORSE THAN HAD THE LOCAL PETOLEUM AND OTHER WORKERS, IMPLYING POSSIBILITY THEY MIGHT JOIN GUERRILLA ACTIVITY.
  2. WHEN QUESTIONED RE CONCRETE DETAILS REPORTED GUERRILLA SITUATION, BARRIENTOS HAD VIRTUALLY NOTHING TO ADD TO PREVIOUS EXCEPT THAT HE THOUGHT GUERRILLAS WERE MUCH MORE NUMEROUS THAN THE SIXTEEN HE ESTIMATED TO US ON MARCH 17, THAT THERE HAD BEEN “SOME MORE CONTACTS” – NATURE AND NUMBER UNSPECIFIELD – AND THAT THERE HAD BEEN NO FURTHER CASUALTIES OR PRISIONERS TAKEN ON OTHER SIDE.
  3. BARRIENTOS SAID GOB WAS MOVING 300 TROOPS TO THE REGION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE FROM ORURO.
  4. BARRIENTOS CONCLUED WITH A SOMEWHAT PEREMPTORY REQUEST TO BE TOLD WHETHER THE USG WOULD SUPPORT HIM OR NOT AND AGAIN REQUESTED IMMEDIATE AIRLIFT OF ITEMS PREVIOSLY LISTED.
  5. DCM SAID WE WERE TRYING TO ESTABLISH THE FACTS ON THE GROUND AND EXPECTED TO SEND TWO OFFICERS THERE TOMORROW UNLESS BARRIENTOS OBJECTED. WE AGREED THAT THEY WOULD TRAVEL OUT OF UNIFORM AND AVOID ATTENTION.
  6. DCM SAID US MILGRP AND DEFATT HAD ALREADY MET WITH BOLIVIAN MILITARY TO TRY TO SPECIFY THE NATURE OF THE PROBLEM AND THE BOLIVIAN OPERATION PLAN, AND WE WOULD CONTINUE TO TRY GET THE CONCRETE INFORMATION NEEDED FOR DECISIONS. HE EXPLAINED THAT EVEN IN THE EVENT THERE WERE APPROVAL FOR EMERGENCY SHIPMENTS, THIS ALWAYS TOOK TIME AND COULD NOT BE EXPECTED TO MEET THE EMERGENCY REQUIREMENTS AS GIVEN TO US THUS FAR. BARRIENTOS REPONSE WAS SIMPLY THAT EVERY MINUTE COUNTED.
  7. WE ARE AS UNCONVINCED OF THE VALIDITY OF THE ALLEGED THREAT AND THE REQUIREMENT FOR US ASSISTANCE AS BEFORE. THE REASON FOR BARRIENTOS IMPATIENT INSISTENCE ON THE ORIGINAL STORY AND ORIGINAL REQUEST ARE NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR. THERE MAY BE A COMBINATION OF PRESSURES FROM THE MILITARY TO GET MORE FROM THE US WHILE THE GETTING IS GOOD, AND GENUINE WORRY OVER THE PSYCHOLOGICAL AND POLITICAL CONSEQUENCES OF GUERRILLA ACTIVITY, EVEN IF LIMITED OPERATIONS, COUPLED WITH THE SPECTACLE OF AN INADEQUATE RESPONSE BY A POORLY EQUIPPED AND ORGANIZED MILITARY ESTABLISMENT. WE CONTINUE TO BELIVE THAT IF AFTER THREE YEARS OF HARD EFFORT UNDER THE MAP, THE BOLIVIAN MILITARY IS STILL UNABLE TO MEET A REPORTED EMERGENCY SUCH AS THIS ONE, WE ARE IN NO POSITION TO REPAIR THE SHORTCOMINGS OVERNIGHT ON AN EMERGENCY BASIS. AMONG POSSIBLE SUBSIDIARY REASONS FOR THIS EPISODE MIGHT BE A LINGERING IMPRESSION, FED FROM BOLIVIAN EMBASSY WASHINGTON, THAT THERE EXISTS A SPECIAL EMERGENCY FUND IN THE PENTAGON WHICH NEED ONLY BE TAPPED.
  8. IF BOLIVIANS CONTINUE TO FAIL TO PRODUCE CONCRETE EVIDENCE OF GENUINE SECURITY THREAT AND VALID NEED FOR HELP, IT WILL BECOME PLAIN TO GOB FROM OUR ACTIONS HERE THAT THERE WILL BE NO EMERGENCY RESPONSE TO THEIR SHOPPING LIST REQUEST. STRONGLY URGE AGAIN SUPPORT OF WASHINGTON IN CONVEYING THIS TO BOLIVIAN REPRESENTATIVES THERE.

HENDERSON

Document 9

SUBJECT: REPORTED GUERRILLA ACTIVITY IN BOLIVIAN

    1. AT ABOUT SAME TIME AFTERNOON MARCH 20 THAT PRESIDENT BARRIENTOS WAS PRESSING EMBASSY AGAIN ON HIS MILITARY ASSISTANCE REQUEST (REFTEL) MILGP AND DEFATT REPRESENTATIVES WERE CONCLUDING WHAT WE REGARD AS SUCCESSFUL SECOND MEETING OF THE DAY WITH SENIOR BOLIVIAN OFFICERS. THESE INCLUDED ARMED FORCES CHIEF OF STAFF GENERAL TORRES, ARMY CHIEF OF STAFF COL. VASQUEZ, AND ALL ARMY STAFF SECTION CHIEFS.
    2. OUTCOME OF MEETING WAS FOLLOWS: BOLIVIANS AC7 CEPTED THAT THERE IS STILL INSUFFICIENT HARD INFORMATION ON REPORTED GUERRILLA SITUATION OF MAKE DECISIONS ON MILTARY ACTION AND LOGISTICS.
    3. BOLIVIANS AGREED FIRST ESSENTIAL STEP IS TO PUT SMALL SUITABLY TRAINED AND EQUIPPED UNIT IN REPORTED GUERRILLA AREA TO ASCERTAIN FACTS. TO THIS END BOLIVIAN ARMY HAS NOW BEGUN TO IMPLEMENT PLAN RECOMMENDED BY ARMA AND USMILGRP. ONE COMPANY MAP EQUIPPED CITE UNIT (APPROX 100 MEN) AIRLIFTED MARCH 21 FROM COCHABAMBA TO CAMIRI. THIS UNIT WILL BECOME PART OF FORCE UNDER COMMAND OF FOURTH DIV. COMMANDER, COL. ROCHA, WICH WILL GIVE BOLIVIAN COUNTER 7 GUERRILLA FORCE TOTAL STRENCTH OF APPROX 220 OF WHICH 120 NOW IN FIELD. EXPECT TO COMMITE CITE UNIT IN CAMIRI AREA IN APPROX TWO DAYS. OFFICERS AND NCO’S CITE UNIT TRAINED ANTI-GUERRILLA WARFARE.
    4. MILGRP WILL PERFORM STANDART MAP INSPECTION IN REPORTED GUERRILLA AREA BEGINNING MARCH 27.
    5. AFTER HEARING REITERATION OF INAPPLICABILITY TO PRESENT SITUATION OF SHOPPING LIST DESCRIBED PREVIOUS MESSAGES, BOLIVIANS AGREED (AND GENERAL TORRES THEREUPON ORDERED) THAT REQUEST TO USG WOULD BE LIMITED OPERATION; I.E., BOLIVIANS SUGGESTED SERIOUS NEED FOR FIELD RATIONS FOR THE UNIT WHILE OPERATING IN THE REPORTED GUERRILLA AREA.
    6. FOREGOING OBVIOUSLY WOULD AMOUNT TO FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE FROM BOLIVIAN ATTITUDE AS GIVEN IN PRESIDENT BARRIENTOS REPRESENTATIONS TO EMBASSY THUS FAR. WE WILL HAKE EVERY EFFORT TO PERSUADE GOB AT ALL LEVELS TO CONCUR IN THIS CONSTRUCTIVE APPROACH. MEANWHILE WE UNDERSTAND FROM BOLIVIAN MILITARY SOURCES THAT FOREGOING NEW APPROACH GIVEN TO BARRIENTOS MARCH 20 APPROVED BY HIM.

HENDERSON.

Document 10

1.UPI March 21 despatch datelined La Paz carries “unofficial report” from “trustworthy source” re existence “communist guerrillas” near Sucre, Province of Monteagudo. Adds that recent encounter resulted in one Army pursuer killed and three guerrillas captured. Of latter, two from Oruro and third Cuban. It specuated that guerrillas, who well equipped with modern arms apparently entering through Paraguay, being directed by radio from Cuba. Further reported that when queried Barrientos denied existence of guerrillas and “gave no importance to the news”. Mindef Suarez reported assuring that “in case reports had any basis”, army would take all necessary meassures.

2. Assume report of Cuban capture is garbled version of alleged Cuban participation as reported reftel. Decontrolled following March 22, 1968.

Document 11

SUBJECT: GUERRILLA ACTIVITY IN BOLIVIA

1. AMB. QUIJANO,FONOFF DIRECTOR POLITICAL (POLICY) DIVISION, AFTER RECEIVING INFORMATION LA PAZ 2314, TOLD DCM OF RECENT DEVELOPMENTS.

A. FONMING BOLIVIA HAD CALLED IN AMBS. BRAZIL, PARAGUAY AND ARGENTINA TO INFORM THEM OF RECENT GUERRILLA CLASH AREA OF IPITA IN WHICH ONE MAN KILLED, OTHERS WOUNDED AND CAPTURED INCLUDING ARGENTINE. GUERRILLAS NUMBERED 70, EQUIPPED WITH MODERN ARMS. PURPOSE WAS TO ALERT NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES SINCE GOB BELIVED GUERRILLA GROUP WOULD DISPERSE AND ATTEMPT TO CROSS BORDERS. PROPOSED COORDINATION OF INFORMATION AND ACTIVITY;

B. BOLIVIA V.P SILES SALINAS PASSING THROUGH BUENOS AIRES ADVISED FONOFF SAME CLASH RAISING TOTAL OF GUERRILLA GROUP TO 130 AND ADDED GROUP USING MODERN COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT;

C. POLICY GOB IS TO DENY PUBLICLY EXISTENCE OF GUERRILLA FORCE. IN RESPONSE TO PRESS STORIES, OFFICIAL RADIO BROADCAST STATED GROUP’S “EXISTED ONLY IN THE IMAGINATION OF THE PRESS.”

2. GOA HAS ALERTED BORDER GENDARMERIA, HOWEVER BELIEVES EXTREMELY DIFFICULT INDENTIFY DISPERSED GUELSLLAS IN WILDER BORDER AREA.

MARTIN.

Document 12

SUBJECT: REPORTED GUERRILLA ACTIVITY – REQUEST FOR SPECIAL US ASSISTANCE

1. AFTERNOON MARCH 23 PRESIDENT BARRIENTOS SUMMONED DCM (IN TEMPORARY ABSENCE OF AMBASSADOR) TO HIS HOUSE FOR YET ANOTHER TALK ABOUT THE GUERRILLA SITUATION.

2. BARRIENTOS SAID IT WAS CONTINUING TO WORSEN AND TO CAUSE HIM INCREASING CONCERN. HE NOW ESTIMATED NUMBER OF GUERRILLAS AT AROUND 150, BASED ON ASSERTION THAT GUERRILLAS IDENTIFIED THEMSELVES BY NUMBER AND ONE WAS REFERRED TO AS NUMBER 142. HE SAID THERE HAD BEEN AN EXCHANGE OF FIRE DURING MARCH 23 WITH SOME LOSSES TO ARMY SIDE BUT HE HAD NO FURTHER DETAILS AS YET. ONE ARMY UNIT OF ABOUT 45 MEN SEEMED TO BE SURROUNDED AND IN DANGER OF BEING OUT OFF, ACCORDING TO BARRIENTOS. HE CLAIMED THAT GUERRILLAS WERE INTERCEPTING MESSAGES SENT OUT FROM ARMY COMMAND POST AT CAMIRI AND WHICH NEVER ARRIVED AT ADDRESSEE UNIT IN THE AFFECTED ZONE, BUT HE WAS UNABLE TO EXPLAIN HOW THIS WAS DONE. BARRIENTOS SAID HIS PEOPLE HAD TAKEN 3 OR 4 PRISONERS INCLUDING ONE PARAGUAYAN AND THE TWO BOLIVIANS MENTIONED IN LA PAZ 2314, BUT HAD NO FURTHER DETAILS.

3. BARRIENTOS SAID ARMY HAD FOUND SOME SUITCASES IN THE AREA CONTAINING CLOTHING WITH HAVANA LABELS, HAD PICKED UP ONE VEHICLE USED BY THE GUERRILLAS, AND CERTAIN OTHER OBJECTS. HE WAS CONVINCED THAT THESE WERE BEING DELIBERATELY PLANTED BY THE GUERRILLAS TO ENTICE ARMY TROOPS DEEP INTO GUERRILLA TERRAIN.

4. BARRIENTOS SAID AGAIN THAT HES WAS SURE THIS WAS ALL PART OF A LARGE SUBVERSIVE MOVEMENT LED BY CUBAN AND OTHER FOREIGNERS AND SUPPORTED BY EX-MNR PEOPLE. HIS PRESENT ANALYSIS WAS THAT THE GUERRILLAS INTENDED TO OPEN COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE ZONE AROUND THE SOUTHWEST BOUNDARY OF SANTA CRUZ INTO THE MINING DISTRICT TO FOMENT OUTBREAKS THERE. HE SAID HE THOUGHT THE GUERRILLAS WOULD BY-PASS THE MINING CENTERS BETWEEN SUCRE AND ORURO, AND GO ON PAST TO THE CARACOLES-QUIME-INQUISIVI CENTER, NORTH OF ORURO. HE BASED THIS CONJECTURE, HE SAID, ON THE FACT THAT THE LATTER CENTER IS BOTH RELATIVELY DISTANT FROM ARMY GARRISONS AND RELATIVELY CLOSE TO THE YUNGAS, THE MOUNTAIN VALLEYS EASTWARD FROM THE ALTIPLANO DOWN TO THE LOWLANDS AND WHICH WOULD PROVIDE AMPLE CONCEALMENT AND MEANS OF SUSTENANCE.

5. EXPANDING ON THIS THEME OF A POTENTIAL GENERALIZED SUBVERSIVE THREAT, BARRIENTOS REITERATED HIS CONCERN OVER THE OIL WORKERS IN THE CAMIRI AREA AND THEIR UNFRIENDLINESS TO HIS GOVERNMENT, AND SAID HE HAD JUST LEARNED THAT THE LARGE (700-800) MANACO SHOE WORKERS UNION IN COCHABAMBA WAS DISCOVERED TO POSSESS CLANDESTINE ARMS. HE SAID THE BRAZILIANS HAD PASSED TO FONMIN CRESPO MARCH 23 A REPORT THAT THERE WERE GUERRILLAS NEAR ROBORE, IN THE EASTERN PART OF SANTA CRUZ DEPARTMENT.

6. BARRIENTOS REITERATED HIS COMPLAINT THAT ARMY UNITS IN THE LOWLANDS WERE GREEN AND ILL-EQUIPPED. HE SAID THE ARMY HAD ABANDONED ITS PLAN TO CALL BACK INTO SERVICE 1500 RESERVIST WHO HAD BEEN RELEASED LAST YEAR.

7. BARRIENTOS THEN STATED THAT HIS GOVERNMENTS BUDGET FOR THE ARMED FORCES WAS INADEQUATE, AND THAT IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED, HIS NEED FOR HELP FROM THE USG WAS SERIOUS, AND THAT HE ACCORDINGLY HOPED WE WOULD RESPOND FAVORABLY AND SPEEDILY TO THE REQUEST CONTAINED IN THE LISTS HE HANDED TO THE AMBASSADOR MARCH 17 (LA PAZ 2339). DCM SAID HE WOULD PASS ON TO HIS PEOPLE THE NEW INFORMATION WHICH THE PRESIDENT HAD GIVEN HIM, AND REITERADED THAT OUR MILITARY OFFICERS WERE WORKING WITH THE BOLIVIAN MILITARY TO ASCERTAIN FACTS RELATING TO REQUIREMENTS.

8. BARRIENTOS GAVE NO HINT THAT HAD RECEIVED MESSAGE DESCRIBED IN STATE 159467. HIS CALM PERSISTENCE IN PRESSING HIS ARMY SHOPPING LIST ON US COULD BE TAKEN EITHER AS UNAWARENESS OF THE MESSAGE OR AWAIT HARD INTELIGENCE OF ACTIVE CUBAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED DIRECTION OF THE REPORTED GUERRILLA ACTIVITY.

HENDERSON.

Document 13

SUBJECT: REPORTED GUERRILLA ACTIVITY IN BOLVIA

1. SENIOR BOLIVIAN OFFICERS HEADED BY ACTING CHIEF OF ARMED FORCES GENERAL BELMONTE BRIEFED MILGRP AND DEFATT REPRESENTATIVES MARCH 24 ON REPOTED GUERRILLA INCIDENT OCCURRING PREVIOUS DAY IN CAMIRI AREA. ACCORDING TO REPORTED, FOURTH DIVISION PATROL OF APPOXIMATELY 40 MEN AMBUSHED AT NANCHUAZU ABOUT 70 QUILOMETERS NORTH OF CAMIRI. IN SKIRMISH THAT FOLLOWED, REPORT INDICATES, SEVEN BOLIVIAN SOLDIERS KILLED, THREE WOUNDED AND SIX ESCAPED. BALANCE OF PATROL IS CONSIDERALY CLOUDED BY FACT THAT INFO GATHERED FROM SIX ESCAPEES WHO MAY WELL HAVE BEEN STRAGGLING REPORT NOT OTHERWISE CONFIRMED.

2. BOLIVIAN ARMY HAS NOW PLACED THREE UNDRED TROOPS IN CAMIRI AREA IN ATTEMPT ISOLATE AND DESTROY GUERRILLA FORCE. IN ADDITION 100 MAN MAP-EQUIPED CITE UNIT, BOLIVIAN ARMY FORCE COMPRISES 100 TROOPS OF FOURTH DIVISION AND 100 TROOPS TRANSFERRED FROM SANTA CRUZ. BOLIVIAN ARMY PROBLEM COMPO UNDED BY LACK OF EXPERIENCED ENLISTED MEN; AT THIS JUNCTURE, ARMY MADE UP OF 6,200 CONSCRIPTS AND ONLY 1,500 OLD CONSCRIPTS. MONETHELESS, ARMY BELIEVES PRESENT ANTI-GUERRILLA ACTIVITY CAN BE MAINTAINED WITHOUT JEOPARDIZING INTEGRITY OF MAJOR GARRISON STRENGTH ELSEWHERE AND HAS NO PRESENT PLAN CALL UP RESERVISTS.

3. AT MEETING, BOLIVIAN OFFICERS PRESENED SUBSTATIALLY REDUCE LIST EQUIPMENT AND MONEY NEEDED HELP MAINTAIN 300 TROOPS INFIELD. CT IS STUDYING RECOMMENDATIOND, INCLUDING REQUEST FOR SPECIFIC ASSISTANCE ITEMS, WILL FOLLOWS.

HENDERSON.

Document 14

SUBJECT: GUERRILLA ACTIVITY IN BOLIVIAN – REQUEST FOR US ASSISTANCE.

  1. IN RADIO TELEPHONE CALL TO LA PAZ FROM CAMIRI 5TT MARCH 25, TWO USMILGP OFFICERS SENT MARCH 24 REPORTED THA GUERRILLAS ON MARCH 23 HAD AMBUSHED 22-MAN ARMY PATROL NEAR NANCAHUAZU, 70 KILOMETERS NORTH OF CAMIRI, KILLING SEVEN AND CAPTURING REMAINDER INCLUDING SIX WOUNDED, AND HAD RELEASED ALL THE CAPTIVES INCLUDING WOUNDED INTO FRIENDLY HEAND EVENING OF MARCH 24, GUERRILLAS REPORTEDLY CAPTURED FROM PATROL THREE 60 MM MORTARS, TWO 30 CAL. LIGHT MACHINGE GUNS, PLUS AMMUNITION, RIFLES AND ANGR-9 RADIO. RETURNEES SAID GUERRILLAS TREATED THEM WELL, WERE ALL ARMED, DISPLAYED AMPLE AMOUNTS OF MONEY, WERE ABOUT HALF BOLIVIAN AND HALF FOREIGN. RETURNEES GAVE WHAT SEEMS TO BE CONSIDERABLY EXAGGERATED ESTIMATE OF 300 AS GUERRILLA STRENGTH IN AREA. FOREGOING INFO OBTAINED DIRECT FROM RETURNEE OFFICERS, NCO’S AND MEN BY USMILGP OFFICERS, WHO ARE PROCEEDING MARCH 26 CLOSER TO ACTION AREA FOR FIRST HAND LOOK AROUND, AND WHO SHOULD BE OUT WITH FURTHER REPORT EVENING MARCH 27.
  2. THERE IS NOW SUFFICIENT ACCUMMULATION OF INFORMATION TO BRING CONTRY TEAM TO ACCEPT AS FACT THAT THERE IS GUERRILLA ACTIVITY IN AREA PREVIOSLY MENTIONED, THAT IT COULD CONSTITUTE POTENTIAL SECURITY THREAT TO GOB, THAT GOB IS MAKING FAIRLY SRTRENUOUS EFFORTS TO PUT FORCES ON THE SCENE CAPABLE OF COPING WITH THREAT, AND THAT WHILE BOLIVIAN FORCES COMMITED TO SUPRESSING THIS INSURGENT ACTIVITY ARE PREFORMING WELL WITHIN LIMITATION IMPOSED BY THEIR INADEQUATE ANTI-GUERRILLA TRAINING, THEY ARE SERIOUSLY HANDICAPPED BY LACK OF MINIMUM COMMUNICATIONS AND TRANSPORT, AND ARE WITHOUT PROVISION FOR FOTABLE RATIONS FOR ACTIVE PATROLLING ANC COMBAT.
  3. IT IS ACCORDINLY OUR JUDGEMENT THAT PURSUANT TO OUR INTERNAL SECURITY OBJECTIVES IN THIS COUNTRY, USG SHOULD FURNISH IMMEDIATELY AND ON AN EMERGENCY BASIS THAT LIMITED SUPPORT SPECIFIED BELOW TO THE BOLIVIAN FORCES PRESENTLY OR EXPECTED TO BE DIRECTLY ENGANED IN ELIMINATING SUBVERSIVE GUERRILLA ACTIVITY IN THE FIELD. THIS RECOMMENDATION IS BASED ON DETAILED DISCUSSIONS OF PROBLEM ITH SENIOR BOLIVIAN MILITARY OFFICIALS IN LA PAZ, DURING WHICH OUR MILITARY REPRESENTATIVES AMONG OTHER THINGS PREVAILED ON THE BOLIVIANS TO REDUCE AT LEASET FOR TIME BEING AND INITIAL EXTRAVAGANT REQUEST FOR U.S. ASSISTANCE TO ONE OF MANEGEABLE AND SENSIBLE PROPORTIONS; AND ON AN APPRAISAL AND RECOMMENDATION FROM USMILGP OFFICERS CLOSE TO SCENE OF ACTION.
  4. ITEMS RECOMMENDED FOR IMMEDIATE EMERGENCY SHIPMENT TO BOLIVIA FOR USE BY BOLIVIAN ANTI-GUERRILLA FORCES IN THE FIELD:

FIELD RATIONS – 6,000 (200 MEN FOR 30 DAYS)

RADIOS, PRC-10 – TWELVE

RADIOS, ANGRC-9 – FOUR

RADIOS, SKY 515 (VHF) – FOUR

PARACHUTES, CARGO – TWENTY

BOMBS, AP, 103 LB – ONE HUNDRED

BOMBS, AP, 200 LB – ONE HUNDRED

FLARE PISTOLS – TEN

FLARES – ONE HUNDRED FIFTY

MOSQUITO BARS – THREE HUNDRED

  1. WE ARE CONSIDERING TEMPORARY RELEASE TO BOLIVIAN UNITS IN GUERRILLA ZONE OF TWNETY MAP JEEPS BEING HELD HERE FOR OTHER MAP UNITS. ARMY SECTION HAS ALREADY ISSUED TO BOLIVIAN ARMY FROM ITS SMALL STOCKS A SUPPLY OF ANTI-MALARIA PILLS AND FIRST AID KITS FOR USE IN ANTI-GUERRILLA OPERATIONS.

HENDERSON.

Document 15

SUBJECT: REPORTED GUERRILLA ACTIVITY IN BOLIVIA

  1. THE FOLLOWING IS AN INFORMAL TRANSLATION OF A STATEMENT ISSUED TO THE PRESS ON MARCH 26 BY GENERAL JORGE BELMONTE ARDILES, AD INTERIM COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF ARMED FORCES, CONCERNING GUERRILLA ACTIVITY IN SOUTHEASTERN BOLIVIA.
  2. QTE WHILE SECTIONS OF THE ARMED FORCES WERE STUDYING THE GROUNDWORK FOR THE VALLEGRANDE-LAGUNILLAS ROAD PROJECT, IN THE NACAHUASU-LAGUNILLAS SECTOR, A GROUP OF SOLDIERS UNDER THE COMMAND OF AMRY SUBLIEUTENANT RUBEN AMEZAGA FAURE WHICH WAS WORKING ON THE PATH WAS TREACHEROUSLY ATTACKED BY UNIDENTIFIED GROUPS ARMED WITH AUTOMATIC WEAPONS. WE MO URN THE DEATH OF SUB-LIEUTENANT AMEZAGA, OF SIX SOLDIERS AND OF THEIR CIVILIAN QUIDE OCTAVIO VARGAS, AN EMPLOYEE OF YPFB, WHO, AFTER FALLING WOUNDED, WAS SHOT IN A COWARDLY MANNER. QTE THIS ACT, EXTRAORDINARY IN ITS TREACHERY AND COMMITED WHEN COMPONENTS OF THE ARMED FORCES WERE WORKING TO MAKE A REALITY OF THE INTEGRATION OF THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN PARTS OF THE NATION, IS EVEN GRAVER BECAUSE IT HAS BROUGHT PAIN AND GRIEF TO THE RELATIVES AND FRIENDS OF SOLDIERS, WORKERS AND CAMPESINOS. QTE THE OPPORTUEN REPORT OF THE SURVIVORS PERMITTED A RAPID REACTION BY TROOPS OF THE ARMY’S FOURTH DIVISION AIDED BY AIRCRAFT OF THE BOLIVIAN AIR FORCE, WHICH RESULTED IN THE DISBANDING OF THE ATTACKERS, THE WOUNDING OF SOME OF THEM AND THE TAKING OF PRISIONERS. IN THEIR FLIGHT, THEY LEFT BEHIND VARIOUS BAGS CONTANING CLOTHING, DIVERSE HOUSEHOLD GOODS, PAMPHLETS CONCERNED WITH GUERRILLAS AND WITH CASTRO-COMMUNIST PROPAGANDA OF CUBAN ORIGIN AND, MOREOVER, A TAPE RECORDER, A HIGH-FREQUENCY PORTABLE RADIO AND ONE VEHICLE ( A JEEP). QTE THE PRISIONERS, OCCUPANTS OF THE ZONE, AND THE SURVIVING SOLDIERS MADE KNOWN THAT THE GROUP UNDER DISCUSSION WAS A LARGE ONE, COMPOSED OF PRESONS OF DIFERENT NATIONALITES, AMONG THEM CUBANS, PERUVIANS, CHINESE, ARGENTINES, EUROPEANS AND ALSO BOLIVIAN COMMUNISTS. IT WAS ALSO BETERMINED THAT THEY WERE SUPPLIED WITH MODERN AUTOMATIC ARMS AND BAZOOKAS, NO NE OF WHICH ARE OF THE TYPE USED INOUR ARMY. QTE THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE NATION, IN ACCORD WITH THE MISSION WICH THE POLITICAL CONSTITUATION OF THE STATE IMPOSES UPON HIM, TO PROTECT THE NATIONAL SOVEREIGHTY AND THE TRANQUILITY OF THE NATION, HAS ORDERED THE DRASTIC AND IMMEDIATE ERADICATION OF THIS CENTER OF INSURGENCY WHICH IS TYPICAL OF CASTRO-COMMUNIST GUERRILLAS. QTE THE ARMED FORCES OF THE NATION, IN COMMUNICATING THESE FACTS TO THE BOLIVIAN PEOPLE, INVOKE THEIR PATRIOTISM AND HIGH DEMOCRATIC AND CHRISTIAN SENTIMENT, IN ORDER THAT THEY GIVE THEIR COLLABORATION IN THE DESTRUCTION OF THESE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNIST GROUPS WHEREVER THEY MAY APPEAR, AS THE INHABITANTS OF MONTEAGUDO AND MUYUPAMPA ARE ALREADY DOING VOLUNTARILY. LA PAZ, 26 OF MARCH, 1967. THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF AD INTERIM OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE NATION, AIR BRIGADIER GENERAL JORGE BELMONTE ARDILES. UNQTE

HENDERSON.

Document 16

SUBJECT: GUERRILLA ACTIVITY

  1. TWO USMILGRP OFFICERS IN CAMIRI AREA SINCE MARCH 24 DEPARTING AREA TODAY FO COCHABAMBA, ARRIVING LA PAZ MARCH 30.
  2. I AUTHORIZED THEIR VISIT TO AREA ON STANDARD MAP INSPECTION. THEY WILL NOT BE REPLACED IN AREA BY OTHER AMERICANS UNDER PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES TO AVOID ANY POSSIBLE UNDUE EXPOSURE OF PRESONNEL

HENDERSON.

Document 17

SUBJECT: REPORTED GUERRILLA ACTION IN BOLIVIA

  1. IN IMPASSIONED RAIO APPEAL TO NATION LAST NIGHT, PRESIDENT BARRIENTOS URGED BOLIVIANS TO JOIN RANKS IN FIGHT AGAINST GUERRILLA THREAT. AT TIME GOVERNMENT AND ARMED FORCES UNDERTAKING MAJOR EFFORT FOR NATIONAL BETTERMENT AND DEVELOPMENT, PRESIDENT CHARGED THAT “MERCENARY AGENTS OF INTERNATION COMMUNISM HAVE UNLEASHED ASSAULT” AGAINST NATION. THE GUERRILLAS, WHICH HE TERMED AS LARGELY CASTRO COMMUNIST IN ORIENTATION, HAVE TWO OBJECTIVES: (1) TO IMPEDE BOLIVIAN DEVELOPMENT, AND (2) “TO MAKE OUR NATION IN THE HEART OF SOUTH AMERICA A STRATEGIC CENTER FOR EXTENDING THEIR MANEUVERS THROUGH THE ENTIRE CONTINENT”. HE CONTINUED “WE ARE PREPARED AND WILL FIGHT WITHOUT VACILLATION. WE KNEW THAT GUERRILLA OPERATIONS WERE TO BREAK OUT IN BOLIVIA AND OTHER SOUTH AMERICAN COUNTRIES DURING APRIL AND MAY. WE WILL DO OUR PART, INFLICTING A RUDE AND SINGULAR PUNISHMENT ON THE MERCENARIES WHO HAVE INVADED OUR NATIONAL TERRITORY”.
  2. MEANWHILE, AFTER SPECIAL CABINET SESSION YESTERDAY AFTERNOON, GOVI ISSUED “COMMUNIQUE NUMBER ONE” DECGCRING “STATE OF EMERGENCY” IN GUERRILLA AREA AND. NOTING THE PROBABLE EXISTENCE OF OTHER “ARMED FOREIGN GROUPS” ELSEWHERE IN COUNTRY, DECLARING GOVERNMENT’S INTENTION ACT WITH THE GREATEST RIGOR AGAINST ALL POTENTIAL THREATS. AT SAME TIME, LEADERS OF MOST POLITICAL PARTIES (PSD, PRA, PDC, MPC, POSSIBLY OTHERS) WENT ON RECORD CONDEMMING GUERRILLA ACTIONS.
  3. NEWSPAPER THIS MORNING GIVE BROAD COVERAGE TO OFFICIAL STATEMENTS, ALLEGED DEVELOPMENTS AND GENERALLY UNCONFIRMED RUMORS. PRESIDENCIA, NOTING THAT USUALLY RELIABLE SOURCES ESTIMATE NUMBER OF GUERRILLAS VARIOUSLY FROM 40 – 50 TO 600 – 700 AND CITING RUMORS REGARDING POSSIBLE INVOLVEMENT OF THE CHE GUEVARA, PROBABLY EXPRESSES NATIONAL CONCERN IN POINTING OUT OBVIOUS LACK OF HARD INFORMATION ON PROBLEM.

HENDERSON.

Document 18

SUBJECT: GUERRILLA ACTIVITY

  1. TO DATE, BOLIVIAN PRESS ACCOUNTS ON REPORTED GUERRILLA ACTIVITY HAVE BEEN HIGHLY SPECULATIVE AND INACCURATE. THERE HAS BEEN LITTLE HARD INFORMATION AVAILABLE AND, AS RESULT, PRESS HAS PUBLISHED HIGHLY CONJECTURAL PIECES BASED UPON RUMORS RECARDING GUERRILLA FORCES, CASUALTIES ON BOTH SIDES, ETC. THE GOVERNMENT HAS CONTRIBUTED TO THIS BY ISSUING INFLATED CLAIMS RECARDING EFFECTIVENESS OF BOLIVIAN ARMED FORCES.
  2. WHILE OBVIOUSLY IMPORTANT STROY, MEDIA OUTPUT SHOULD REFLECT GENERAL LACK UNCONFIRMED DETAILS, SPECULATIVE NATURE PRESS AND EVEN OFFICIAL GOB REPORTS.

HENDERSON.

Document 19

SUBJECT: REPORTED GUERRILLA ACTIVITY – REQUEST FOR US ASSISTANCE

  1. AT REQUEST PRESIDENT BARRIENTOS I CALLED ON HIM AT HIS HOME 4 P.M. MARCH 27, ACCOMPAINED BY DCM, TO HEAR FUTRTHER PRESENTATION BY BARRIENTOS ON SUBJECT MATTER.
  2. FOR NEARLY AN HOUR BARRIENTOS DISCUSSED HIS LATEST REPORTS, RUMORS, AND SPECULATIONS CONCERNING GUERRILLA ACTIVITY. HE HAD VIRTUALLY NO HARD INFORMATION TO ADD TO THE LITTLE WE ALREADY HAVE, BUT THROUGHOUT RAMBLINGS DISCURSIVE CONVERSATION MADE OBVIOUS EFFORT TO IMPRESS ON US WHAT HE CALLED THE GRAVITY OF HIS SITUATION. THIS WAS OBVIOUS DELAYING TACTIC POSTPONING MOMENT FOR WHAT WAS TO HIM DISTASTEFUL TASK.
  3. IN FINAL THIRD OF NINETY MINUTE MEETING BARRIENTOS FINALLY CAME TO THE POINT, WHICH HE STATED FLATY IN THE FORM OF A REQUEST FOR DIRECT US BUDGETARY SUPPORT FOR BOLIVIAN ARMED FORCES. HE SAID THAT THE ARMED FORCES SHARE OF NATIONAL BUDGET AS DETERMINED BY HIS MINFIN WAS INADEQUATE TI THEIR NEEDS, EVEN APART FROM THE SPECIAL, AND HE CLAIMED, VERY BURDENSOME, OUTLAYS REQUIRED TO COUNTER THE PRESIDENT INSURGENT MOVEMENT.
  4. BARRIENTOS PRODUCED LITTLE FACTUAL EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT WHAT WAS THROUGHOUT ESSENTIALLY AN EMOTIOONAL-POLITICAL APPEAL FOR MORE US GRANT AID IN UNSPECIFIED AMOUNTS TO KEEP HIS MILITARY HAPPY.
  5. TO BARRIENTOS OBVIOUS AND SOMETIMES SHARPLY EXPRESSED DISPLEASURE, I EXPLAINED THE OVERWHELMING DIFFICULTIES OF SECURING BUDGET SUPPORT FOR BOLIVIAN ARMED FORCES AND ASKED HIM WHAT EFFORTS WERE BEING MADE BY ARMED FORCES TO DIRECT RESOURCES EFFICIENTLY TO PRIORITIES. I POINTED OUT BOLIVIAN DEFMIN’S PERSISTENCE IN WASTING RESOURCES ALREADY AVAILABLE TO IT; I.E., FAILURE DESPITE TWO YEARS URGING TO INSTALL A NATIONAL MILITARY PERSONNEL SERVICE SYSTEM WHICH WOULD EXTEND PRESENT EXCLUSIVELY ONE YEAR TERM OF SERVICE TO TWO, AND TO AVOID THE CUSTOMARILY WHOLESALE REPLACEMENT OF MAJOR PART OF THE ARMY’S STRENGTH ONCE EACH YEAR WITH CONSEQUENT SEVERE LOSSES IN INVESTMENTS IN TRAINING. I ALSO TOLD HIM OF VALUABLE STUDY MADE BY QUALIFIED MTT UNDER MILGRP AUSPICES OF MINDEF ORGANIZATION AND PROCEDURES AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MONEY-SAVING REFORMS, APPARENTLY IGNORED BY MINDEF.
  6. I REMINDED BARRIENTOS OF THE EXTRAORDINARY EFFORTS MADE IN MAY 1965 TO FURNISH USG SUPPORTING ASSISTANCE OF ONE MILLION DOLLARS TO THE THEN GOVERNMENT TO MAINTAIN SUFFICIENT FORCES IN UNIFORM TO MEET A THREAL OF SUBVERSION IN THE MINING DISTRICT AND RECALLED THAT THE GOB PERFORMACE IN RESPONSE WAS CONSIDERABLY SHORT OF ITS COMMITMENTS AND OF REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS.
  7. I ALSO TOOK THE OPPORTUNITY TO SUGGEST THAT BARRIENTOS SEE WHETHER NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES DID NOT CONSIDER THEIR INTERESTS SUFFICIENTLY INVOLVED TO LEND A HAND ALSO IN SUPPRESSING GUERRILLA THREAT.
  8. TO BARRIENTOS REPEATED SHARPLY PHRASED DEMANDS TO KNOW WHETHER HE COULD COUNT ON USG BUDGETATY SUPPORT IN WHAT HE INSISTED ON CALLING AN EMERGENCY AND ONE IN WHICH BOLIVIA WAS “HELPING TO FIGHT FOR THE US”, I COMMITED MYSELF ONLY TO TRANSMITTING HIS MESSAGE TO WASHINGTON. I URGED BARRIENTOS TO DIFFERENTIATE MORE CLEARLY BETWEEN INTERESTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF HIS COUNTRY IN MAINTAINING ITS OWN SECURITY AND SOVEREIGN INDEPENDENCE AND THE SUPPOSED OBLIGATION OF THE US.
  9. FOREGOING APPEAL BY BARRIENTOS CAUSED HIM WHAT I OSERVED TO BE OBVIOUS HUMILIATION. I CAN ONLY EXPLAIN HIS UNDERGOING THIS HUMILIATION AS A DELIBERATE PREFERENCE TO RISKING CONSEQUENCES TO HIM FROM BOLIVIAN MILITARY FOR FAILURE TO SWEETEN THE ARMED FORCES BUDGET TO THEIR TASTE.BEYOND THIS, I SUSPECT THAT BARRIENTOS IS BEGINNING TO SURFFER SOME GENUINE ANGUISH OVER THE SAD SPECTACLE OFFERED BY THE POOR PERFORMANCE OF HIS ARMED FORCES IN THIS EPISODE; I.E., AN IMPETUOUS FORAY INTO REPORTED GUERRILLA COUNTRY, APPARENTLY BASED ON A FRAGMENT OF INTELLIGENCE AND RESULTING IN A MINOR DISASTER, WHICH FURTHER TENDED TO PANIC THE GOB INTO A LATHER OF ILLCOORDINATED ACTIVITY, WITH LESS THAN ADEQUATE PROFESSIONAL PLANNING AND LOGISTICAL SUPPORT.
  10. WHILE BARRIENTOS KNOWS AND ADMITTED HIS RECOGNITION OF FACT THAT THE US WILL NOT WITHHOLD SUPPORT WHERE THERE IS JUSTIFICATION BASED ON VALID REQUIREMENTS. I FEEL THAT WISHFUL THINKING HAS LED HIM SOME DISTANCE TOWARDS A FALSE POSITION. PRESSED BY HIS MILITARY HE MAY SEEK RESORT TO THE LOBBYING TALENTS OF AMBASSADOR SANJINES IN WASHINGTON IN A EFFORT TO END-RUN PROPER CHANNELS OF COMMUNICATION WITH US AUTHORITIES.
  11. ON THE POSITIVE SIDE BARRIENTOS SEEMED TO ACCEPT IN SOME DEGREE THE EDUCATIONAL TALK WHICH I GAVE HIM, AND BEFORE OUR MARCH 27 MEETING ENDED HE SAID HE WOULD TAKE IMMEDIATE STEPS TO REFORM THE ARMY’S DEFICIENT PERSONNEL POLICY, TO REQUIRE IMPLEMENTTATION OF THE NEGLECTED US MILGRP STUDY AND RECOMMENDATIONS ON ADMINISTRATIVE REFORM OF THE MISITRY OF DEFENSE AND TO INFORM HIMSELF ON THE 1965 BUDGET SUPPORT OPERATION WHICH HE PROFESSED TO TAKE AS A SHOCKING PIECE OF NEWS.

HENDERSON.

Document 20

SUBJECT: GUERRILLA ACTIVITY IN BOLIVIA – REQUEST FOR ARGENTINE ASSISTANCE.

  1. EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION REFTEL TODAY, AMB. QUIJANO, FONOFF DIRECTOR POLITICAL DIVISION, TOLD DCM BOLIVIANS HAD REQUESTED 500 RIFLES, 300 BOMBS FROM GOA; ONLY OTHER RECENT INFORMATION RECEIVED BY FONOFF THROUGH MILITARY ATTACHES LA PAZ PRESENCE OF GUERRILLAS 20 KILOMETERS FROM ARGENTINE BORDER REPORTED BY BOLIVIAN LOCAL COMMANDER.
  2. GOA CONSIDERING RESPONSE FOR ASSISTANCE TODAY, EMBASSI AIRATT, ON REQUEST, HAS SUPPLIED MAP OF AREA TO GOA MILITARY JOINT STAFF.
  3. SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH ABOVE CONVERSATION OF DCM VICE CHIEF OF STAFF OF ARGENTINE AIR FORCE AT DECORATION CEREMONY AT RESIDENCE TOLD ME THAT CHIEF OF BOLIVIAN AIR FORCE WAS ARRIVING IN BUENOS AIRES TOMORROW TO DISCUSS AID. HE SAID HE HAD ASKED TO SEE PRESIDENT. TOLD HIM WE HAD BEEN ASKED FOR AID AND SUGGESTED THAT WE SHOULD PERHAPS KEEP IN TOUCH SO AS NOT DUPLICATE. HE THOUGHT THIS EXCELLENT AS HE ASSUMED THEY PROBABLY WOULD ASK EVERYBODY. HE PROMISED TP KEEP AIR ATTACHE COL. MAY, WHO WAS ALSO PRESENT, INFORMED SO THAT WE COULD MAINTAIN CLOSE COORDINATION. AT ONE POINT IN DISCUSSION ARGENTINE SPECULATED AS TO WHETHER GUERRILLAS WERE REALLY COMMUNISTS OR MERELY DOMESTIC OPPOSITION TO BARRIENTOS. I SAID WHILE INFORMATION NOT AS HARD AS ONE MIGHT LIKE. THERE SEEMED GOOD REASON TO BELIEVE THAT IT WAS COMMUNIST ORIENTED IN THIS CASE.
  4. WOULD APPRECIATE BEING KEPT ADVISED PROMPTLY ABOUT ANY DECISIONS WE MAKE ABOUT AID TO PERMIT PROPER COLLABORATION WITH ARGENTINES.

MARTIN.

Document 21

SUBJECT: REPORTED GUERRILLA ACTION IN BOLIVIA

  1. IN ABSENCE HARD NEWS ON GUERRILLA PROBLEM, DAILY PRESS STORIES CONTINUE BE AMALGAM OF SPECULATION AND RUMOR. FRONT PAGE STORIES ATTRIBUTE STATEMENT TO ARMY COMMANDER, GENERAL DAVID LA FUENTE, JUST BACK FROM CAMIRI, THAT INFECTED AREA IS ALMOST COMPLETELY ENCIRCLED BY BOLIVIAN ARMY ELEMENTS AND THAT ESCAPE BY GUERRILLAS WILL BE DIFFICULT IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE. IN ANOTHER STORY, THE ARMED FORCES ALLEGE TO HAVE ESTABLISHED THE EXISTENCE (ALTHOUGH APPARENTLY NOT THE WEREABOUTS) OF RECRUITMENT AND TRAINING CENTERS FOR GUERRILLAS.
  2. CT MILITARY OBSERVERS, JUST RETURNED FROM GUERRILLA ZONE, REPORT THE FOLLOWING: RELEASED BOLIVIAN ARMY PRISIONERS ESTIMATE GUERRILLA FORCES AT 300 TO 450, ABOUT 50 PERCENT OF WHOM ARE NON-BOLIVIAN. OBSERVERS BELIEVE THIS NUMBER PROBABLY HIGHLY EXAGGERATED. USING CONVENTIONAL YARDSTICK OF 8-10 WELL-TRAINED AND EQUIPPED GOVERNMENT TROOPS TO DEFEAT EACH GUERRILLA, THEY CONCLUED TENTATIVELY THAT AT PRESENT THERE IS NO FORCE WITHIN THE OPERATIONS AREA WHICH CAN BE EFFECTIVELY MAINTAIN CONTACT OR DESTROY GUERRILLA ELEMENT.
  3. BOLIVIAN ARMY IS ATTEMPTING SET UP PERIMETER AROUND APPROXIMATELY 150 SQUARE KILOMETERS AREA AND CONTAIN ENEMY HOPING THEREAFTER ELIMINATE THREAT THROUGH STRAFING FROM AIR.OBSERVERS DOUBT EFFECTIVENESS THIS PLAN, POINTING OUT UNSUOTABILITY TERRAIN FOR SUCH AIR TO GROUND OPERATIONS. MOREOEVER, THEY ESTIMATE ABOUT 600 MORE TROOPS NEED BE ADDED TO APPROXIMATELY 650 ALREADY IN ORDER TO ESTABLISH MINIMAL STRENGTH FOR CONTAINMENT PURPOSE.
  4. OBSERVERS FOUND MORALE AMONG LINE TROOPS LOW AND TROOP DISPOSITIONS OF LINE OFFICERS DANGEROUSLY INADEQUATE. AT LEAST PART OF MORALE PROBLEM WAS FEAR AMONG LARGE BODY OF RECRUITS, MANY OF WHOM HAVE RECEIVED ONLY BARE MINIMUM WEAPONS TRAINING. THERE WAS ALSO AN URGENT NEED FOR RETIONS, HAND WEAPONS, RADIOS AND REPAIRS FOR STANDARD MAUSER WEAPONS. OBSERVERS ESTIMATED THAT A LARGE PERCENT OF MAUSERS HELD BY NON-MAP TROOPS WERE INOPERATIVE, LARGELY DUE TO DEFECTIVE FIRING PINS AND EXTRACTORS.

HENDERSON

Document 21

PRESENT GUERRILLA ACTIVITY LIMITED TO SMALL ISOLATED AREA IN SOUTHWEST PORTION OF SANTA CRUZ DEPARTMENT AND EASTERN CHUQUISACA DEPARTMENT. EMBASSY SEES NO THREAT TO US OFFICIALS OR TOURISTS UNLESS PLANNING TO VISIT APPROXIMATE AREA IN WHICH CASE THEY SHOULD FIRST SEEK ADVICE OF EMBASSY OR AMCONSUL COCHABAMBA.

HENDERS

Document 23

1. REQUEST COMPLETE EXPLANATION OF WHAT IS MEANT IN PARAGRAPH ONE BY “REAR ECHELON FOR LOGISTICS AND DIVISION COMMAND INSTRUCTION WITH OCCASIONAL DAYTIME REVIEW OF PATROL POSTS”. U.S. MILITARY PERSONNEL SHOULD NOT REPEAT NOT BE IN ANY OPERATIONAL AREAS.

2. PENDING RECEIPT THIS REQUESTED CLARIFICATION YOU SHOULD RESCIND AUTHORIZATION TO MILGRP COMMANDER.

Document 24

  1. SINCE GUERRILLA ACTIVITIES BROKE OUT BOLIVIA ON MARCH 24 THERE HAS BEEN A LIMITED AMOUNT OF HARD INFORMATION BURIED IN A GREAT DEAL OF PRESS SPECULATION AND A NUMBER OF CONFUSING AND UNCOORDINATED STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS OF THE BOLIVIAN GOVERNMENT.
  2. FOLLOWING IS A SUMMARY OF FACTS AS REPORTED AMERICAN EMBASSY LA PAZ. YOU MAY WANT TO PASS THIS ON TO APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS OF HOST GOVERNMENT.
  3. ON MARCH 23, 22 MAN ARMY PATROL AMBUSHED NEAR 7 CAPTURING REMAIDER INCLUDING SIX WOULDED. GUERRILLAS ALSO CAPTURE THREE 60 MM MORTARS, TWO 30 CAL LIGHT MACHINE GUNS PLUS AMMUNITION, RIFLES, AND MILITARY RADIO. CAPTIVES RELEASED EVENING MARCH 24. GOB ESTIMATES GUERRILLA STRENGTH 300 TO 400, CONSIDERABLY HIGHER THAN U.S ESTIMATE OF 35-100. INITIAL ASSESSMENT THAT GUERRILLA ACTIVITY CASTRO-COMMUNIST LED AND WELL ORGANIZED. BOL MILITARY STUMBLING ONTO THIS FORCE MAY HAVE UPSET GUERRILLA TIMETEBLE AND FORCED ACTION EARLIER THAN PLANNED. BOL ARMY PATROLS STILL MAINTAINS CONTACT AND HAS OUTPOSTED FORWARD AREAS WITH APPROXIMATELY 350 COMBAT TROOPS. PLAN/IS TO BLOCK GUERRILLA ESCAPE THEN BRING IN, TRAIN AND PREPARE RANGER-TYPE UNIT TO ELIMINATE GUERRILLAS. ARMED LOCAL CAMPESINOS LOYAL TO GOVERNMENT HAVE VOLUNTEERED FOR SERVICE WITH ARMY TROOPS AND ARE BEING USED TO ASSIST IN OVERALL OPERATION.
  4. FYI – U.S. IS COOPERATING WITH GOB AND SUPPLYING LIMITED AMOUNT MAP MATERIÉL PRIMARILY COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT CONSIDERING PROVIDING SPECIAL MTT FOR ACCELERATED TRAINING COUNTER GUERRILLA FORCE. CHIEF OF BOLIVIAN AIR FORCE HAS GONE TO ARGENTINA TO REQUEST ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE. ARGENTINE MILITARY HAVE EXPRESSED DESIRE COORDINATE CLOSELY WITH U.S.

Document 25

  1. YOU MAY AT YOUR DISCRETION INFORM BARRIENTOS THAT WE MOST RELUCTANT CONSIDER SUPPORTING SIGNIFICANTLY ENLARGED ARMY, EITHER THRU PROVISION ADDITIONAL MATERIEL OR THRU RENEWAL BUDGET SUPPORT. WE FULLY SUPPORT CONCEPT OF PROVIDING LIMITED AMOUNTS OF ESSENTIAL MATERIEL ASSIST CAREFULLY ORCHESTRATED RESPONSE TO THREAT, UTILIZING TO MAXIMUM EXTENT POSSIBLE BEST TRAINED AND EQUIPPED TROOPS AVAILABLE. SHOULD THREAT DEFINITELY PROVE GREATER THAN CAPACITY PRESENT FORCES, BARRIENTOS CAN BE ASSURED U.S WILLINGNESS CONSIDER ASSISTANCE.
  2. DEP. HAS MADE SPECIAL EFFORT IMPRESS OUR POSITION ON BOLIVIAN AMBASSADOR AND RECENT HIGH-LEVEL VISITORS, INCLUDING OVANDO AND ROMERO LOZA. WE HAVE NO RPT NO EVIDENCE “END-RUNS” BEING ATTEMPTED HERE, NOR IS THERE ANY INDICATION SANJINES BEING KEPT INFORMED ON RECENT BARRIENTOS EFFORTS OBTAIN BUDGET SUPPORT. ROMERO IN MEETINGS WITH DEP. OFFICIALS HAS INDICATED HE CONFIDENT GOB CAN MODESTLY INCREASE DEFENSE SPENDING TO HELP MEET SHORT-TERM CRISIS, BUT THAT LARGER-SCALE INSURGENCY WOULD CAUSE SEVERE BUDGETARY PRESSURES. HE ALSO SUGGEST THAT IF U.S ASSISTANCE PROVED NECESSARY, MOST APPROPRIATE COURSE WOULD BE PROVIDE SOME INTERIM RELIEF TO GOB ON XGBS PROJECTS INSTEAD OF DIRECT BUDGETARY ASSIATANCE.

Document 26

SUBJECT: BARRIENTOS AND ARMED FORCES

  1. COLLATERAL BUT IMPORTANT ISSUE IN GOB RESPONSE TO GUERRILLA THREAT IS UNSTABLE PATTERN OF RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT AND ARMED FORCES.
  2. BARRIENTOS REALIZES THAT SUPPORT OF ARMED FORCES ARE KEY TO HIS CONTINUANCE IN GOVERNMENT. NONETHELESS HE HAS BACKED HIS MINFIN IN AUSTERITY BUDGET, INCLUDING A REDUCTION IN MILITARY APPROPRIATIONS. HE HAS ALSO, BY CONSTANT CONSULTATION AND EXHORTATION, TRIED TO INVOLVE ARMED FORCES WITH HIS IDEAS OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND THUS DIVERT THEM FROM THEIR BUDGETARY CONCERNS. IN THIS CINNECTION HE HAS SKILLFULLY KEPT HIS MAJOR POTENTIAL RIVAL, GENERAL OVANDO, IN LIMELIGHT AS CHAMPION OF DEVELOPMENT GOALS.
  3. GUERRILLAS OUTBREAK HAS ALTERED THIS PATTERN, BOTYYBY REQUIRING EXTRAORDINARY EXPENDITURES AND BY EXPOSING ARMED FORCES WEAKNESS AS INTERNAL SECURITY FORCE. BOLIVIAN ARMED FORCES TRADITION OF BLAMING EXECUTIVE FOR OWN FAILURES IS WELL KNOW TO BARRIENTOS AND HIS ACUTE POLITICAL ANTENNAE MAY WELL BE PICKING UP SIGNALS THAT SOME ARMED FORCES OFFICERS BELIEVE. BUDGETARY PINCH IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BAD SHOWING TO DATE.
  4. THIS HAS NOT SURFACED IN ANY OVERT WAY AND WE HAVE HAD CATEGORICAL STATEMENTS FROM USUALLY RELIABLE SENIOR MILITARY OFFICERS THAT ARMED FORCES ARE FIRMLY SUPPORTING BARRIENTOS.
  5. NONETHELESS BARRIENTOS, HAVING PREVIOUSLY TOLD ME THAT HE HAD RETURNED A “ROCKEFELLER LIST” TO MOD FOR REVISION, REPEATEDLY PRESSED ON ME THAT SAME UNTENABLE LIST. FURTHERMORE, HAVING TRIED TO AVOID PRESENTING ME PERSONALLY WITH REQUEST FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE, FIRST ASKING MINFIN TO DO THIS DISTANTEFUL TASK, AND THEN BY DELAYING HIS PRESENTATION TO ME BY NEARLY A WEEK, HE WAS FINALLY FORCED TO DO SO, AND HIS SENSE OF FURSTRATION, HUMILIATION AND RESENTMENT WERE ONLU TOO OBVIOUS IN THAT SITUATION.
  6. I CAN ONLY CONCLUED THEREFORE THAT BALANCE OF POWER BETWEEN BARRIENTOS AND ARMED FORCES HAS BECOME LESS STABLE, AND COULD SHIFT, AT LEAST TEMPORARILY, AWAY FROM PRESIDENT.
  7. EXTENT OF THIS SHIFT MOMENT IS PROBABLY SLIGHT AND BARRIENTOS CAN PROBABLY RECOVER EASILY, PARTICULARY IF ARMED FORCES OVERCOME INTIAL FUMBLING AND PUT DOWN GUERRILLA THREAT QUICKLY. ON OTHER HAND, REVERSES IN FIELD COULD HAVE OPPOSITE EFFECT, PARTICULARY WITH OVANDO AVAIBLE AS HERO OF HOUR AS RESULT OF SWINGING SMELTER DEAL WITH GERMANS AND BEING UNTAINTED THUS FAR BY INVOLVEMENT IN IMMEDIATE MILITARY DIFFICULTES.
  8. WE MUST CONTINUE IMPRESS UPON BOTH PRESIDENT AND ARMED FORCES ABSOLUTE NEED FOR MORE RATIONAL AND EFFICIENT MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT. AT SAME TIME, HOWEVER, WE MUST CONTINUALLY ASSESS DELICATE BALANCE OF POWER BETWEEN PRESIDENT AND ARMED FORCES. I CANNOT ENTIRELY DISCOUNT THE POSSIBILITY THAT OUR AID AT SOME POINT COULD SPELL THE DIFERENCE BETWEEN BARRIENTOS CONTINUING IN OFFICE OR THE ACCESSION OF ANOTHER PURELY MILITARY DE FACTO GOVERNEMENT.

HENDERSON.

Document 27

  1. MY AUTHORIZATION WAS FOR ASSGMENT TO CAMIRI SUPPLY DUMP, LAGUNILLAS FOR WRTH DIVISION STAFF HEADQUARTERS AND DAYTIME REVIEW OF MAJOR (100 MAN) PATROL BASE AT EL PINCAL).
  2. CONTACTS WITH GUERRILLAS HAVE BEEN IN NANCAHUAZU AREA, THREE KILOMETERS FORM EL PINCAL. 27 KILOMETERS FROM LAGUNILLAS, AND 77 KILOMETERS FROM CAMIRI.
  3. OPERATION AREA DEFINED AS POINTS WHERE RANDOM SHOTS HEARD, EL PINCAL MUST BE PLACE OFF LIMITS. IF, HOWEVER, OPERATION AREA IS DEFINED AS AREA IN WHICH HOSTILITIES MIGHT OCCUR, I CANNOT RULE OUT POSSIBLITY GUERRILLA PENETRATIONS AS FAR SOUTH AS CAMIRI NOR AS FAR NORTH AS SANTA CRUZ (265 KILOMETERS FROM NANCAHUAZU).
  4. AUTHORIZATION TO MILGRP COMMANDER HAS BEEN RESCINDED PENDING YOUR DECISION AS TO WHAT CONSTITUTES OPERATIONAL AREA.

HENDERSON.

Document 28

  1. DECISION ON ASSIGNING PERSONNEL TO OPERATIONAL AREA WILL TAKE INTO ACCOUNT FOLLOWING CONSIDERATIONS:
  1. WILL THE PERSONAL SAFETY OF THE INDIDUALS ASSIGNED BE JEOPARDIZED?
  2. WHAT ARE POLITICAL LIABILITIES INVOLVED? I.E., IS U.S LIKELY TO BE EMBARRASSED THROUGH PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE OF U.S PERSONNEL IN OPERATION AREA? IF OPERATION SHOULD FAIL WILL U.S PERSONNEL IN OPERATION AREA BE BLAMED?
  3. IS IT POSSIBLE TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN TRAINING ADVICE AND OPERATIONAL ADVICED FOR U.S PERSONNEL ASSIGNED TO OPERATION AREA?

2. WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR COMMENTS ON ABOVE QUESTIONS. YOU SHOULD BE AWARE THAT U.S PERSONNEL HAVE NOT BEEN ASSIGNED TO POST WITHIN OPERATION AREAS IN OTHER COUNTRIES WHERE GUERRILLAS ARE ACTIVE.

Document 29

1. RUMOR AND ARMED FORCES COMMUNIQUES CONTINUE COMPRISE BASIS FOR WIDE RANGING PRESS TREATMENT OF GUERRILLA PROBLEM. DUE INADEQUACY BAF INTELLIGENCE SYSTEM AND FELT NEED EXAGGERATE ALLEGED AF SUCCESSES, WE ARE INCLINED TO TAKE COMMUNIQUE CLAIMS AT CONSIDERABLE DISCOUNT.

2. MARCH 29 COMMUNIQUE CLAIMS BAF MAINTAINING CONTACT WITH GUERRILLA FORCES TO RESTRICT THEIR MOVEMENTS. ONE PATROL JUST RETURNED FROM TIRABOI KILLED TWO GUERRILLAS AND THE OTHERS FLED. LIGHT AUTOMATIC WEAPONS OF CZECH MANUFACTURE WERE TAKEN FROM THE DEAD GUERRILLAS. COMMUNIQUE ALSO SAYS ACTIVITY HAS BEEN REDUCE TO PATROLLING AND EXCHANGING FIRE WITH ENEMY. PRESIDENT BARRIENTOS ANNOUNCED MARCH 29 TO PRESS THAT SOVIET-MADE WEAPONS TAKEN FROM GUERRILLAS.

3. AN ARMED FORCES COMMUNIQUE OF MARCH 30 STATED THAT BOL ARMY COUNTER GUERRILLA UNITS WERE PROCEEDING WITH ROUTINE OPERATIONS TO ISOLATE THE “RED ZONE”. A GUERRILLA FORCE ATTACKED A GARRISON IN THE ZONE OF EL MESON BUT WAS REPULSED. THE FIFTH ARMY DIVISION CAPTURED A CHILEAN, ERNESTO BILDE BARRILO, ENTERING BOLIVIAN FROM BRAZIL. HIS COMPANIONS , TWO BOLIVIANS AND ONE ARGENTINE, ARE BEING SOUGHT BY THE ARMY. THEIR MISSION, ASSIGNED BY AN ARGENTINE, WAS TO STUDY POSSIBILITY FOR GUERRILLA OCCUPATION OF ROBORE ABOUT 350 KILOMETERS EAST OD SANTA CRUZ.

HENDERSON.

Document 30

SUBJECT: GUERRILLA ACTIVITY IN BOLIVIA

  1. PRESIDENT BARRIENTOS INVITED ME, DCM, DEFATT ARMA, AND DEPUTY DIRECTOR ARA/BV BRODERICK TO LUNCH MARCH 29 TO DISCUSS SUBJECT MATTER. NO OTHER BOLIVIANS PRESENT.
  2. BARRIENTOS WAS HIS EBULLIENT, CONFIDENT SELF FOR FIRST TIME IN TEN DAYS, AND CONVERSATION WAS RELAXED, PLEASANT AND FULL OF AGREEMENT. NON OF THE ISSUES WHICH HAD PRODUCED HIS EARLIER EMOTIONAL OUTBURSTS WERE EVEN MENTIONED. IT SEEMS TO US POINTLESS TO SPECULATE NOW AS TO REASONS FOR THIS HANGED ATTITUDE.
  3. BARRIENTOS CLAMY DISCUSSED HIS CONCERN OVER THE FACT OF HAVING FOUND FOREIGN-LED GUERRILLAS IN ONE PART OF HIER COUNTRY, AND POTENTIAL SPREAD TO OTHER AREAS. HE SEEMS TO HAVE SETTLED ON AN ESTIMATE OF 400 AS STRENGHT OF THE GUERRILLAS IN THE AFFECTED AREA (WICH WE REGARD AS EXAGGERATED). WITH DESSERT, BARRIENTOS SERVED UP CORPORAL TORRICOS WHO REPEATED FOR US OBVIOUSLY OFT-TOLD STROY OF HIS CONTACTS WITH GUERRILLAS, INCLUDING AMBUSH, CAPTURE AND RELEASE IN NANCAHAZU INCIDENT. SIGNIFICANTLY AND CLEARLY FOR OUR BENEFIT CORPORAL TESTISIED HE SLIPPED UP TO OBSERVE HUNDRED-PLUS GUERRILLAS ATTENDING CLASS DURING ONE RECONNAISSANCE PATROL BEFORE AMBUSH, AND AFTER RELEASE FROM THEIR CAMP FTBLOWING AMBUSH, HE ESTIMATED STRENGTH AT 400.
  4. BARRIENTOS REVIEWED GLARING SHORT COMINGS ON HIS ARMED FORCES WHICH WERE EXPOSED BY ITS FALTERING EFFORTS TO PERFIRM ITS MISSION IN GUERRILLA ZONE, AND DISCUSSED HIS OWN ENERGETI EFFORTS TO LASH HIS MILITARY PEOPLE INTO ACCEPTABLE PERFORMANCE HE SAID HIS OFFICERS INVARIABLY ADVANCED INAQUACY OF FUNDS AS THE REASON FOR THEIR SHORT COMMINGS, BUT DID NOT CARRY THIS POINT ANY FURTHER.
  5. I TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THIS OPPORTUNITY WHICH CAM IMMEDIATELY AFTER A TIMELY DEBRIEFING BEFORE CT OF TWO MILGRP OFFICERS FRESH FROM CAMIRI AREA, TO OFTER FOLLOWING SUGGESTIONS
  1. ARMY SHOULD SETTLE DOWN TO SYSTEMATIC PATROLLING TO MAINTAIN CONTACT AND COLLECT INFORMATION ON STRENGTH AND LOCATION OF GUERRILLAS.
  2. ARMY SHOULD RESTORE UNIT INTEGRITY TO FORCES WHICH IT HAD COMMITED PIECEMEAL TO SEVE AL POSITIONS IN AREA, CREATING UNNECESSARY COMMAND, LOGISTICAL AND MORALE PROBLEMS.
  3. ARMY SHOULD IMMEDIATELRL START INTENSIVE TRAINING UNITS IN PLACE IN AFFECTED AREA, UTILIZING ADVISORS AS NECESSARY TO TRANSFORM THEORETICAL TRAINING INTO PRACTICAL EFFECTIVENESS IN THE FIELD (MILGRP OFFICERS IN AREA FOUND SMALL UNIT COMMANDERS NEAREST THE GUERRILLAS HAD IN EFFECT PANICKED AND FORGOTTEN THEIR TRAINING, REQUIRING STRONG ADVISORY EFFORT TO ENFORCE DOCTRINE IN ACTUAL FIELD CONDICTIONS)
  4. ARMY SHOULD ACTIVATE IMMEDIATELY AND GIVE INTENSIVE TRAINING TO 2ND RANGER BATTILION AT SANTA CRUZ WHICH IN ABOUT THREE HONTHS SHTULD BE READY TO GO IN AND MOP UP GUERRILLAS. I SAID WE WOULD ASK FOR SPECIAL FORCES MIT AND WOULD ACCELERATE DELIVERY OF MATERIAL FOR THIS MAP SUPPORT UNIT.
  5. ARMY SHOULD IMMEDIATELY SEND MATERIAL AND MEN AS NECESSARY TO CAMIRI AREA TO PUT MAUSER RIFLES IN OPERABLE CONDITION (MILGRP OFFICERS ESTIMATED HIGH PERCENT OF THESE WEAPONS INOPERABLE BECAUSE OF BROKEN FIRING INS OR EXTRACTORS.
  6. IN EPENT OF CONTACT WITH GUERRILLAS BOLIVIAN FORCES SHOULD MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO TAKE SOME CAPTIVES ALIVE. THIS COULD BE OF IMMENSE IMPOTANCE POLITICALLY ANE INTERNATIONALLY TO BOLIVIA AND THE OTHER COUNTRIES RESISTING CASTRO-COMMUNIST INTERVENTION.
  7. BOLIVIAN FORCES SHOULD INSTALL TWO-YEAR MILITARY SERVICE AND STAGGERED INTAKE OF PERSONNEL TO PUT AN END TO PRESENT UNACCEPTABLE TURNOVER AND CONSEQUENT WASTE OF RESOURCES.
  8. BOLIVIAN MILITARY SHOULD BEGIN IMMEDIATELY STANDART 24 HOUR SITUATION REPORTS AT ALL LEVELS INDICATED UNDER GOOD MILITARY DOCTRINE. IT WOULD BE HIGHLY USEFUL, IF BARRIENTOS AGREED, FOR SENIOR US MILITARY OFFICERS ASSIGNED HERE TO ATTEND SUCH DAILY SESSION AT THE BOLIVIAN GENERAL STAFF.
  1. BARRIENTOS RECEIVED ALL THESE SUGGEESTIONS POSITIVELY AND EVEN ENTHUSIASTICALLY AND SAID HE WOULD ORDER IMPLEMENTATION IMMEDIATELY WHERE HE HAD NOT ALREADY DONE SO.

HENDERSON

Document 31

    1. HIGH RANKING OFFICIAL AFF PROVIDED FOLOWING INFORMATION AIRA 1100 LOCAL : APRIL 67.

A. COL LEON KILLE CUETO CHIEF OF BOLIVIAN AIR FORCE MET WITH CINCS OF THREE ARGENTINE MILITARY SERVICES ON AFTERNOON AND NIGHT OF 31 MARCH AND LATER CALLED ON PRESIDENT ONGANIA WITH BRIG ALVAREZ CINC AAF TO DISCUSS CURRENT GUERRILLA SITUATION IN BOLIVIA.

B. PRESIDENT ONGANIA AGREED TO PROVIDE AS MUCH EQUIPMENT AS POSSIBLE IN FOLLOWING LIST REQUESTED BY CUETO.

50 CALIBER AMMO FOR F-51

30 CALIBER AMMO FOR T-6

5 INCH ROCKETS FOR T-28

2.5 INCH ROCETS FOR T-28

100 LB BOMBS

FRAGMENTATION BOMBS

200 LB BOMBS

NAPAN BOMBS

BOMB ARMING WIRE

ACESSORIES FOR BOMBS

ROCKET LAUNCHER RACK FOR T-28

45 CALIBER AMMUNITION

7.65 RIFLE AMMUNITION

AUTOMATIC BREASE GUNS (PAM)

RIFLES

COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT (AIR-GROUND)

C. MEETING BEING HELD THIS TIME IN AAF HQ WITH ARGENTINE ARMY REPRESENTATIVE TO DETERMINE EQUIPMENT THAT CAN BE PROVIDED. SOURCE STATED THAT COL CUETO WANTED AS MANY ITEMS OF THE EQUIPMENT AS HE COULD GET, AND WAS ON HIS WAY TO BRAZIL TO MAKE CONTACT WITH BRAZILIAN GOVERNMENT AS HE DID IN ARGENTINA.

D. SOURCE INDICATED THAT IT WAS VERY CAN BE ROUNDED-UP TODAY IS SCHEDULED TO DEPART BUENOS AIRES 2 APRIL FOR BOLIVIA WITH ANOTHER FLIGHT PLANNED LATER.

SOURCE STATED HE WOULD GIVE AIRA A LIST OF ALL EQUIPMENT PROVIDED BY ARGENTINA TO BOLIVIA AS SOON AS FINALIZED.

AIRA HAS SOCIAL EVENT SCHEDULED WITH BRIG ALVAREZ THIS AFTERNOON. IF MORE DETAILED INFORMATION IS SECURED ON COL CUETOS VISIT IT WILL BE PROVIDED.

Document 32

SUBJ: GUERRILLA ACTIVITY – REQUEST FOR US ASSISTANCE.

  1. WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY INSISTED THAT GOB USE ALL AVAILABLE RESOURCES BEFORE COMING TO US FOR HELP. HEARING OF EXTRA-BUDGETARY FUND ALLEGED TO HAVE ACCUMMULATED FROM SALARIES OF OFFICERS ALSO SERVING IN CIVILIAN CAPACITY, I INSISTED WITH PRESIDENT THAT THIS MUST BE USED FOR EMERGENCY. UPSHOT IN MY INTERVIEW WITH BARRIENTOS ON MARCH 27 WAS EMOTIONAL DECLARATION BY HIM THAT HAS WORD OF PRESIDENT OF BOLIVIA THAT NO SUCH FUND EXISTS AT PRESENT. WE LATER ASCERTAINED THAT THIS FUND WAS EXHAUSTED LAST YEAR BY PURCHASE 32 HOWITZERS FROM US AND RELENISHMENT THIS YEAR MAY GIVE TOTAL $30,000 BY YEAR END SINCE MOST OFFICERS NO LONGER IN DUAL CAPACITY UNDER CONTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT.
  2. MINISTRY DEFENSE ON MARCH 27 REQUESTED EMERGENCY ALLOCATION FIVE MILLION PESOS (US417,000) FOR UNFORESEEN EXPENSES ARISING FROM GUERRILLA ACTION. AFTER LONG DIFFICULT DEBATE PRESIDENT RELUCTANTLY AGREED TO ONE MILLION PESES (US83,300) AS IMMEDIATE MEASURE. THIS DEPARTURE FROM HIS (AND ROMERO’S) AUSTERITY BUDGET REPRESENTS FIRST OF SDYERAL INEVITABLE BUDGET ADJUSTMENTS WHICH GOB WILL HAVE TO MAKE. SEEMS LIKELY ROMERO UNAWARE OF THIS DEVELOPMENT WHEN HE MADE STATEMENTS TO DEPT OFFICERS ABOUT AVAIBLE BUDGET FUNDS.
  3. WE HAVE ALSO USED EMERGENCY TO INSIST THAT ARMED FORCES BUDGETARY REFORMS RECOMMENDED LAST YEAR BY MTT (MAJOR POORMAN) BE IMPLEMENTED AND THAT PLANS TO INSTITUTE TWO YEAR MILITARY SERVICE BE WORKED OUT, THUS AVOIDING PRESENT WASTE FUL SYSTEM OF SIX MONTHS EFFECIVE SERVICE FOR DRAFTEES. THIS IS OF COURSE LONGER TERM IN EFFECT.
  4. WE HAVE ALSO RESISTED FIRMLY ATTEMPTS BY GOB TO USE EMERGENCY TO GET FROM US SOFT GOODS NOT DIRECTLY APPLICABLE TO EMERGENCY SITUATION.
  5. IT IS OUR JUDGEMENT HOWEVER THAT GOB NOW IS STRAINING ITS RESOURCES TO MEET SITUATION, TAKING PRUDENT MEASURES FOR LONGER TERM, AND THAT USG SHOULD FURNISH RELATIVELY MODEST AMOUNST MATERIAL, INCLUDING FIELD RATIONS, REQUESTED IN LA PAZ 2424, WHICH CONSIDERABLE EFFORT IN PRESENT EMERGENCY.
  6. GOB HAS ALREADY COMMITED ABOUT ONE-TENTH OF ITS PRESENTLY AVAILABLE MILITARY (ARMY AND AIR) STRENGTH TO SUPRESS THIS POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS SUBVERSIVE THREAT. IN EARLY STAGES OF UNEXPECTED SITUATION, IT IS NOT SUPRISING THAT GOB HAS FUMBLED, BEEN INEFFICIENT, AND HAS BEEN UNABLE TO PROVIDE ALL REQUIRED LOGISTICAL SUPPORT LE ITS FIELD OPERATIONS. OUR PURPOSE IN SEEKING PROVIDE FIELD RATIONS WAS GIVE CONCRETE IMMEDIATE EVIDENCE OUR FIRM SUPPORT IN CONFROTING ESTABLISHED VALID THREAT. THESE FIELD RATIONS WOULD GIVE BIGGEST SINGLE MORALE BOOST WE CAN VISUALIZE TO BOLIVIAN SOLDIERS NOW ENGAGED IN ARE WHERE FOOD SUPPLIES HAVE BEEN DIFFICULT PROBLEM. IT WOULD ALSO RELIEVE GOB OF AN EMERGENCY OUTLAY FOR WHICH IT HAS NO FUNDS AT HAND.
  7. IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES IF I SHOULD NOW CONFRONT GOB WITH REQUEST FOR PAYMENT ON COMMERCIAL BASIS FOR THIS ASSISTANCE. MY RELATIONS WITH EMOTIONALLY TENSE GOB, ALREADY STRAINED NEARLY TO BREAKING POINT BY MY RESISTANCE TO THEIR EARLIER DEMANDS, COULD ONLY DETERIORATE FURTHER.
  8. I ACCORDINLY REQUEST USCINCSO TO APPROVE FUNDING FROM MAP RESOURCES OF COMBAT RATIONS NOW BEING DELIEVERED SANT CRUZ IN RESPONSE TO LA PAZ 2424.

HENDERSON

Document 33

  1. AT INVITATION PRESIDENT BARRIENTOS, DEFALT, ARMA AND COMUSMILGP ATTENDED MILITARY BRIEFING HELD AT BARRIENTOS. HOUSE EVENING MARCH 31 TO BRING GENERAL OVANDO UP TO DATE ON SITUATION.
  2. OVANDO ASKED US OFFICERS TO TRANSMIT TO GENERALS JOHNSON AND PORTER HIS REQUEST THAT US FURNISH TO HIM A TWELVE-PASSENGER HELICOPTER WITH AMERICAN SPANISH-SPEAKING PILOT.
  3. I HAVE INSTRUCTED MY OFFICERS TO INFORM OVANDO THAT WE ARE EXPEDITING DELIVERY UNDER MAP OF H -19 HELICOPTER NOW IN MATARANI, PERU: AND THAT AS MATTER FIXED POLICY THROUGHOUT LAIN AMERICA NO US PERSONNEL MAY ENTER OPERATIONAL AREAS IN BOLIVIA.
  4. DEPT MAY WISH TO REITERATE TO AMBASSADOR SANJINES POINT MADE TO HIM AND OVANDO AS REPORTED PARA 2 STATE 166701

HENDERSON.

Document 34

  1. PRESIDENT’S BIWEEKLY PRESS CONFERENCE THIS MORNING ALMOST WHOLLY DOMINATED BY QUESTIONS CONCERNING GUERRILLA SITUATION. WHILE QUITE CLEAR THAT DIMENSION OF PROBLEM STILL UNKOWN, PRESIDENT DIRECTED HIS EFFORT AT ETTEMPTING REASSURE BOLIVIAN PUBLIC. MAJOR POINTS WERE:

BOLIVIAN IS CONFRONTED BY “INVASION OF ADVENTURERS” LED BY COMMUNISTS, SPECIALLY CUBAN COMMUNISTS. WE HAVE OUR REVOLUTIONARY TRADITION WHICH CAND SERVER AS AN EXAMPLE TO OTHERS. THE COMMUNISTS WISH TO INTERRUPT THIS TRADITION. HOW CAN THEY ARGUE THEY ARE “LACERATORS” WHEN THEY ARE TRYING TO DISRUPT OUR DEVELOPMENT THROUGH THE CREATION OF AN ATMOSPHERE OF CONFUSION AND LACK OF CONFIDENCE. BOLIVIANS WILL NOT CHANGE “ THEIR STYLE OF BATLLE” AND TILL REPUDIATE AND DEFEAT THIS THREAT.

BARRIENTOS SAID “MOBILIZATION OF CAMPESINOS” WAS SIGN OF GOB’S STRENGTH AND EVIDENCE OF NEW SPIRIT OF COOPERATION BETWEEN ARMED FORCES AND RURAL POPULATIONS AND SYMBOLIC OF “SPIRITUAL MOBILIZATION” OF ALL BOLIVIANS IN DEFENSE OF COUNTRY. ( WUESTION REFERRED TO PRESS REPORTS YESTERDAY THAT 600 COCHABAMBA CAMPESINO VOLUNTEERS WERE DEPARTING TO ASSIST ARMY IN TROUBLED AREA)

FOREIGN GUERRILLAS REACHED BOLIVIA THROUGH BRAZIL, ARGENTINA AND PERU AND HAVE ESTABLISHED THEMSELVES HERE DURING PAST YEAR. PURPOSE OF VISIT OF COLONEL KOLLE CUETO, AIR FORCE CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF, TO NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES IS TO COORDINATE MORE EFFECTIVE BORDER CONTROLS.

HE DENIED THAT, IN THIS OPINION, CHE GUEVARA WAS OR HAD EVER BEEN IN COUNTRY. TO ARGUE OTHERWISE WITHOUT EVIDENCE WOULD BE PLAYING THE GUERRILLAS GAME. REFERRING TO CONTRARY RECENT STATEMENTS BY ACTING CHIEF OF THE BOLIVIAN ARMED FORCES BELMONTE, HE ADDED “OTHER CITIZENS MAY HAVE DIFERENT OPINIONS”.

BARRIENTOS DENIED ANY CHAGE IN GOB POSITION AGAINST IAPF. “SUPERNATIONAL ENTITIES” CAN IMPAIR NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY. EACH COUNTRY HAS OWN CAPACITY AND BOLIVIA “CAN AND WILL” BY ITS OWN EFFORT NEUTRALIZE THE PRESENT GUERRILLA PROBLEM.

COMMENT: BARRIENTOS PRESS CONFERENCE WAS GIVEN AGAINST A PUBLIC BACKDROP OF INCREASING JOURNALISTIC LICENSE ON THE GUERRILLA PROBLEM. THIS MORNING’S NEWSPAPERS CONTAIN A LATHER OF ARTICLES UNSUPPORTED BY ANY HUD INTELLIGENCE. DESPITE THE PRESIDENT’S DISCLAIMER, THE PRINCIPAL PURPOSE OF THE TRIP OF COLONEL KOLLE CUETO IS TO OBTAIN MATERIAL ASSISTANCE FROM NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES.

HENDERSON.

Document 35

  1. I AGREE THAT EXTREME CARE SHOULD BE EXERCISED IN SHARING U.S SUPPLY INFORMATION WITH OTHER GOVERNMENTS. HOWEVER, IN VIEW OF GOA FRANK COOPERATION WITH US AND WILLINGNESS TO HELP WHILE BEING CAUTIONS IN ACCEPTING BOB ESTIMATE OF SITUATION, RECOMMEND WE BE AUTHORIZED TO INFORM GOA WHAT U.S. DECIDES TOSUPPLY. SEE REFIEL (C) PARA 2 REPORTING AAF SOURCE WILL GIVE AIRAT LIST OF ALL EQUIPMENT PROVIDED BY GOA. DO NOT SEE ON WHAT VALID GROUNDS WE CAN NOW REFUSE TO RECIPROCATE.
  2. I WOULD EMPHASIZE VALUE OF CLOSE COOPERATION WITH GOA IN THIS MATTER. IT WAS MY UNDERSTANDING THAT THIS WAS RECOGNIZED BY DEPT. AND LA PAZ IN COURSE OF CONTINGENCY PLANNING FOR BOLIVIA, JUNE-JULY 1965. SEE DEPTEL 7 TO BUENOS AIRES JULY 2. 1965 AND DEPTEL 55 TO RIO, JULY 1965.

MARTIN.

Document 36

  1. EMBASSY APPRECIATES CLARIFICATION RE DEFINITION OPERATIONAL AREA.
  2. ASWERS TO SPECIFIC QUESTIONS FOLLOW:
  1. JEOPARDY TO PERSONAL SAFETY OF INDIVIDUALS ASSIGNED IN LAGUNILLAS-CAMIRI AREA CONSIDERED MINIMAL BY CT ON BASIS AVAIBLE INFO. THIS FACTOR CANNOT BE TOTALLY DISCOUNTED, HOWEVER, IN VIEW LACK OF HARD INTELLIGENCE REGARDING GUERRILLA NUMBERS, LOCATION AND INTENTIONS.
  2. US IS AND HAS FOR LONG TIME BEEN CLOSELY ASSOCIATED WITH BOLIVIAN MILITARY EFFORTS THROUGH US MILGRP BOL ARMED FORCES TIE. ADVISOR LOCATION THEREFORE DOES NOT APPEAR BE KEY ISSUE. US MAY SHARE POPULAR BLAME IN CASE COUNTER INSURGENCY EFFORT FLAGS IN ANY EVENT. IN ADDITION, BOLIVIAN POLITICS, DOMINATED BEHIND SCENSES BY BOL MILITARY, MAY BE LESS SENSITIVE TO ISSUE OF ADVISER LOCATION THAN OTHER LA COUNTRIES. INDEED, APPERANCE OF REDUCED COOPERATION COULD CONCEIVABLY HAVE ADVERSE IMPACT BY STIMULATING CHARGES THAT US APPEARS BE ABANDONING BOB IN TIME OF SPECIAL NEED. CONTRARY MOST LA COUNTRIES, BOLIVIAN RESOURCES ALONE COULD PROVE NE INADEQUATE IN FACE DETERMINED, PROLONGED GUERRILLA EFFORT (WHICH NOT YET ESTABLISHED IN THIS CASE).
  3. WE UNDERSTAND TRAYNING ADVICE TO BE GENERALY SCHOOLING IN FUNDAMENTALS OF SOLDIERING, PLUS COUNTER ISURGENCY TECHNIQUES, I.E. HOW TO USE WEAPONS. HOW TO MAKE UP PATROL, ETC. OPERATIONAL ADVICE, IN OUR OPINION, IS WHEN, WHETHER, AND WHERE TO USE THESE TOOLS IN FACE OF A GIVEN AND PRESENT THREAT. WE HAVE NOT BEEN ENGANED IN LATTER ACTIVITY EITHER WITHIN OR WITHOUT THE GUERRILLA AREA AND IT WAS NEVER OUR INTENTION TO DO SO. DEPT MAY RECALL MILGRP OBSERVERS NOTED THAT BOL TROOPS TRANSFERRED IN AREA WERE EITHER RAW RECRUITS WITH SCANT TRAINING IN FUNDAMENTALS OR OLDER RECRUITS (SIX TO NINE MONTHS OF SERVICE) WITHOUT BASIC CI TRAINING, MILGRP OBSERVERS RECOMMENDED INTRODUCTION AMERICAN ADVISERS TO CONDUCT ESSENTIAL IN-PLACE TRAINING. THE ALTERNATIVE, IN THEIR JUDMENT, WAS RUN RISK THAT THESE ENLISTED MEN WOULD RECEIVE NO ADDITIONAL TRAINING AT ALL. I STILL CONSIDER OBSERVER RECOMMENDATION AS THE ONLY TRAINING OPTION OPEN TO US FOR SUBSTANCIAL PART OF BOL ARMED FORCES BUT WITH THREAT STILL UNDEFINED I CANNOT GIVE ABSOLUTE ASSURANCES REGARDING THE SAFETY OF ADVISERS.
  1. PENDING FURTHER DETERMINATION FROM DEPT AND FOLLOWING CRITERIA OUTLINED IN STATE 167140, I HAVE DEFINED EL PINCAL. LAGUNILLAS AND CAMIRI AS OPERATIONAL AND, THEREFORE, OFF LIMITS FOR AMERICAN PERSONNEL, APPLYING BAN TO CIVILIAN AS WELL AS MILITARY PERSONNEL. CAMIRI IS GENRALLY CONSIDERED REAR ECHELON HEADQUARTERS WELL OUT OF DANGER AREA. HOWEVER, SINCE ADVISERS NOT NORMALLY STATIONED THERE AND SINCE NEWSMEN IN THEIR STORIES HAVE MADE CAMIRI FORWARD POINT OF CONCENTRATION, I HAVE RELUCTANTLY INCLUDED WITHIN PROSCRIBE ZONE.
  2. I AM EXCLUDING SANTA CRUZ, WELL BEYOND AREA OF ANY SARIOUSLY REPORTED GUERRILLA ACTIVITY, FROM OPERATIONAL ZONE. MOREOVER, MILGRP REPRESENTATIVES, SOME OF WHOM PERMANETLY ASSIGNED IN SANTA CRUZ, ARE OFTEN AND FAMILIARLY SEEN THERE.
  3. WITHDRAWAL ADVISERS FROM CAMIRI NECESSARILY LIMITS US ABILITY OBSERVE BOLIVIAN SUPERVISION OF DISTRIBUTION OF US SUPPLIED ITEMS. UNDER PRESENT CONDITIONS, SANTA CRUZ IS FORWARD POINT OF EFFECTIVE US CHECK ON ITS LOGISTICS SUPPORT, WITHDRAWAL ALSO ELIMINATES USG PRIMARY INTELLIGENCE EVALUATION CAPABILITY OF FIELD OPERATIONS REQUIRING US TO RELY ALMOST WHOLLY UPON BOL ARMY REPORTS WHICH TO DATE HAVE BEEN HIGHLY INACCURATE.
  4. PENDING FURTHER ELABORATION OF CONFIRMATION ABOVE ARRANGEMENT, USMILGRP REPRESENTATIVES WITHDRAWN DEFINED AREA, AND NO OTHER USG PERSONNEL THERE. MEANWHILE, EMBASSY IS PREPARING NECESSARY TENTATIVE INTELLIGENCE AND THREAT ANALYSIS AND BAF CAPABILITY ANALYSIS AND PROBABLE OPERATIONAL PLAN.

HENDERSON.

Document 37

SUBJECT: GUERRILLA ACTION IN BOLIVIA

1.GENERAL OVANDO CALLED IN DIRECTORS OF THE FOUR LA PAZ DAILIES FOR BACKGROUNDER APRIL 3. ACCORDING TO REPORTS, HE APPEALED FOR CALMER MORE PRUDENT HANDLING OF NEWS, POINTING OUT SPECIAL NEED TO AVOID CREATION OF “GUERRILLA PSYCHOSIS”. HE ALSO ASKED THAT PRESS NOT DISCLOSE TROOP MOVEMENTS AND AVOID SREADING RUMORS WITH NO PROVEN BASIS IN FACT. WHILE BOLIVIAN PROBLEM DIFFERENT AND LESS SERIOUS THAN THAT OF COLOMBIA AND VENEZUELA, HE TRACED ORIGIN NONETHELESS DIRECTLY TO TRI-CONTINENTAL CONFERENCE. IN REPLY TO QUESTION, HE EXPRESSED STRONG RESERVATIONS ON MILITARY VALUE OF COCHABAMBA CAMPESINO INVOLVEMENT NOTING HOWEVER POLITICAL NECESSITY IN KEEPING THEM OCCUPIED.

2. ALTHOUGH SOME LOOSENESS STILL APPARENT IN REPORTING, THIS MORE REASONED APPROACH IS NOW REFLECTED IN BOTH PRESS COVERAGE AND CONTENT MILITARY COMMUNIQUES, LATTER OF WICH PROMOTED SENSATIONALISM LAST WEEK BY EXAGGERATED AND CONTRADICTORY CLAIMS. BAF COMMUNIQUE, RELEASED APRIL 3, MADE FOLLOWING POINTS: GUERRILLAS HAVE BEEN CIRCUMSCRIBED IN AREA BETWEEN 19 DEGREES 15 MINUTES AND 19 DEGREES 45 MINTES SOUTH LATITUDE AND BETWEEN 63 DEGREES 30 MINUTES AND 63 DEGREES 55 MINUTES WEST LONGITUDE; NO GUERRILLAS HAVE BEEN CAPTURED, ONLY PERSONS SUSPECTED OF DEALING WITH GUERRILLAS; MORALE OF ONLY SOLDIERS AND VOLUNTEER CIVILIANS IS GOOD; THE NUMBER OF GUERRILLAS IS UNKNOW; THE COMMUNIQUES WARS AGAINST GIVING CREDENCE TO OR CIRCULATING RUMORS; NO ACTION HAS TAKEN PLACE SINCE MARCH 23 EXCEPT SPORADIC EXCHANGE OF GUNFIRE; LONG LAPSES OF INACTIVITY ARE CHARACTERISTIC OF GUERRILLA WARFARE; PRESENCE OF GUERRILLAS DOES NOT SIGNIFY THAT STABILITY OF COUNTRY IS IN PERIL; END OF COMMUNIQUE.

3. PRESENCIAL REPORTED IN CAMIRI REPORTS THE LOCAL POPULACE PROTESTING THE PRESENCE OF COCHABAMBA CAMPESINO VOLUNTEERS AND CRITICIZING THE MILITARY FOR PERMITING THEIR MOBOLIZATION.

  1. NEWS REPORTS FROM SANTA CRUZ ANNOUNCED THE ARRIVAL OF ATTACHES AND MILITARY MISSIONS FROM ARGENTINA, BRAZIL AND PARAGUAY TO LOOK OVER THE GUERRILLA SITUATION. EL DIARIO ALLEGES THAT THE COMMANDER UNITED STATES ARMY IN THE CARIBBEAN HAS SENT A MISSION NOW WORKING WITH EIGHTH DIVISION (SANTA CRUZ).
  2. COMMENT. REFERENCE TO US ARMY MISSION IS PUZZLING THOUGH BOL ARMY KNOWS THAT MTT. SCHEDULET TRAIN 2ND RANGER BATTALLION SANTA CRUZ, WILL BEGIN ARRIVE WITHIN WEEK

HENDERSON.

Document 38

1. ON APRIL 5 GENERAL DE BRIGADA FERNANDO BELFORT BETHLEM, CHIEF OF STAFF SECOND ARMY, WHITCH RESPONSIBLE FOR SÃO PAULO AND MATO GROSSO, SAID SECOND ARMY DID NOT CONSIDER REPORTED GUERRILLAS ACTIVITY ON BOLIVIAN SIDE OF BORDER AS SERIOUS. HE DENIED PRESS ACCOUNTS (INCLUDING APRIL 4 CORREO DE LA TARDE REPORT FROM BUENOS AIRES) THAT BRAZILIAN ARMY HAD BEEN PLACED ON ALERT, ALTHOUGH GENERAL JOÃO DUTRA DE CASTILHO, COMMANDER NINTH MILITARY REGION CAMPO GRANDE, MAKING INSPECTION TRIP TO CORUMBA, MATO GROSSO, ACROSS BORDER FROM PUERTO SUAREZ, BOLIMIA.

2. ON MARCH 27 GENERAL CASTILHO TOLD CONGEN OFFICER THERE NO CURRENT SUBEVERSIVE ACTIVITY MATO GROSSO AND THAT NONE WOULD OCCUR BECAUSE ARMY WAS VIGILANT. THIS CONFIRMED IN CORUMBA ON MARCH 29 BY COMMANDING GENERAL SECOND MIXED BRIGADE, WHO SAID NO EVIDENCE OF ARMS SMUGGLING ACROSS BOLIVIAN BORDER TO OR FROM BRAZIL, AS SUGGESTED PRESS REPORTS SÃO PAULO. BOND

Document 39

SUBJECT: BOLIVIAN GUERRILLAS

SANZ ORTIZ APPROACH TO PROBLEM, WAS WE UNDERSTAND IT, IS ALMOST IDENTICAL WITH THAT OF BARRIENTOS AND GOB. BOLIVIA PLANS SUPPORT VENEZUELAN INITIATIVE SPECIAL AOS MEETING ON CUBAN SUBVERSION, RAISING AT THAT TIME FOREIGN ORIGIN OF GUERRILLA PROBLEM. GOVT’S PROBLEM IS THAT NO FOREIGN GUERRILLAS HAVE BEEN CAPTURED OR POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED ALTHOUGH OTHER EVIDENCE SUGGESTS.

HENDERSON.

Document 40

1. WE CONCUR IN YOUR DEFINITION OF OPERATIONAL ZONE (PARA 3, REFTEL) AND THE BAN ON US PERSONNEL ENTERING THAT ZONE WILL REMAIN IN EFFECT. THAT BAN INCLUDES AERIAL MISSIONS INTO THE OPERATIONAL ZONE. NORMAL ADVISORY AND ASSISTANCE FUNCTIONS MAY BE CARRIED OUT BY US PERSONNEL IN AREAS OUTSIDE OPERATIONAL ZONE (INCLUDING SANTA CRUZ) AS APPEARS NECESSARY.

2. WE RECOGNIZE THE DIFFICULTY THIS CREATES WITH REGARD TO THE GATHERING OF ACCURATE INTELLIGENCE AND ASSESSMENT OF VALID BOLIVIAN REQUIREMENTS (PARA 5, REFTEL). IF YOU FEEL THAT OCCASIONAL AND SHORT VISITS TO 4TH DIV REAR AT CAMIRI IS NECESSARY FOR THOSE PURPOSES, WE WILL CONSIDER AUTHORIZING SUCH VISITS ON A CASE BY CASE BASIS. YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS SHOULD INCLUDE SPECIFICS ON US PERSONNEL INVOLVED, PURPOSE, LENGTH OF STAY, ETC. WE DO NOT WISH TO TIE YOUR HANDS UNNECESSARILY, BUT CANNOT PROVIDE BLANKET AUTHORIZATION.

3. POSSIBLE GOB REACTION IS RECOGNIZE (PARA 2B, REFTEL); HOWEVER, WE BELIEVE PROMPT USG RESPONSE WITH EMERGENCY SUPPLIES IS SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE OF OUR SUPPORT. OUR PREVIOUS SPECIAL PROVISION OF TWO OH-23F’S (PLUS SUITABLE TRAINING) IS FURTHER EVIDENCE, AND WE ARE CONTINUING TO EXPEDITE ALL ACTIONS ON THE OH-23F’S. GOB SHOULD UNDERSTAND DOMESTIC US AND INTERNATIONAL IMPLICATIONS OF DIRECT US INVOLVEMENT IN ACTUAL OPERATIONS.

Document 41

SUBJ: GUERRILLA ACTION IN BOLIVIA

  1. AFTER PERIOD OF THREE DAYS OF RELATIVELY FACTUAL REPORTING ON GUERRILLA SITUATION, THE PRESS IS AGAIN CARRYING A VARIETY OF UNSUPPORTED RUMORS AND CONJECTURES, MANY OF THEM EMANATING FROM ARMED FORCES THEMSELVES.
  2. A BAF COMMUNIQUE OF APRIL 5 STATES THAT, AFTER A BRIEF BATTLE WITH NO BAF CASUALTIES, PATROLS OF FOURTH ARMY DIVISION TOOK OVER THE NACAHUAZU DEFILE AND THAT THE GUERRILLAS WITHDREW TO THE JUNGLE. IT ALSO CLAIMS THAT THE BAF CONTROLS THE EXITS FROM THE GUERRILLA ZONE.
  3. OTHER PRESS REPORTS QUOTING VARIOUS MILITARY OFFICIALS STATE THAT THE GUERRILLAS HAVE DISPERSED TO OTHER AREAS, THAT GUERRILLAS HAVE BEEN SIGHTED ELSEWHERE, THAT RESERVES ARE BEING CALLED UP, AND THAT THE DECOMPOSED REMAINS OF THE SOLDIERS KILLED MARCH 23 WERE CREMATED AND RETURNED TO CAMIRI.
  4. COMMENT: BAF OFFICIALS TOLD DEF ATTACHE REP THIS AFTERNOON THAT ARMY PLANNING CALL UP 9,000 NEW RECRUITS AS OPPOSED TO JMNPPP TARGETZS EARLIER IN WEEK. THERE IS NO CURRENT PLAN TO CALL UP RESERVISTS. THEY REPORT EXCHANGE OF FIRE IN YUQUI AREA BUT NO ARMED CONFRONTATION DURING ENTRACE NANCAHUAZU DEFILE.

HENDERSON.

Document 42

  1. REQUEST DEPT STATE AND DEFENSE AUTHORIZE THREE DAY VISIT TWO MILGRP ARMY OFFICER OBSERVERS SOONEST TO CAMIRI TO VERIFY PRESENT SITUATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH PARA 2 REF STATEFEL. IN WEEK SINCE OBSERVERS LAST IN CAMIRI, THERE HAS BEEN ALMOST TOTAL LACK OF INTELLIGENCE EXCEPT NEWSPAPER REPORTS AND ARMED FORCES COMMUNIQUES/BOTH OF GREATLY LIMITED VALUE. THESE REPORTS, HOWEVER, INDICATE THAT GUERRILLAS HAVE LEFT NANCAHUAZU AREA. NEWS TREATMENT APRIL 8 SUGGESTS THAT NANCAHUAZU DEFILE SECURED. SECOND PURPOSE FOR MILGRP OBSERVERS AT CAMIRI WOULD BE DETERMINE WHETHER OPERATIONAL AREA NOW REWUIRES REDEFINITION

HENDERSON

Document 43

SUBJECT: BOLIVIAN GUERRILLA SITUATION

  1. ARRIVAL RIO EVENING APRIL 3 OF BOLVIAN AIR FORCE CHIEF OF STAFF COLONEL LEON KOLLE CUETO BROUGHT ADDITIONAL SPECULATION IN RIO PRESS ABOUT NATURE HIS MISSION, CONFUSION ABOUT HIS MOVEMENTS, AND NEGATIVE COMMENTARY ABOUT POSSIBLE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HIS VISIT AND POSSIBLE SUMMIT INITIATIVE FOR CREATION OF IAPF, LATTER POSSIBLY INSPIRED BY BOTH FONOFF AND BRAZILIAN MILITARY. BOLIVIAN EMBASSY FINALLY DENIED IN TWO COMMUNIQUES PUBLISHED HERE APRIL 7 THAT CUETO HERE TO SEEK ASSISTANCE AND BY WEEKEND ENTIRE QUESTION HAD VIRTUALLY DISAPPEARED FROM LOCAL PRESS, WICH LAST REPORTED APRIL 8 THAT SITUATION UNDER CONTROL BY BOLIVIAN ARMED FORCES.
  2. JORNAL DO BRASIL APRIL 4 QUOTED ITAMARATY OFFICIALS AS BELIEVING CUETO WOULD ASK GOB FOR CREATER FRONTIER VIGILANCE TO PREVENT EITHER INFILTRATION OF BOLIVIAN EXILES OR EXIT OF GUERRILLAS SEEKING REFUGE IN BRAZIL, AND THAT HE WOULD NOT ASK FOR DESPATCH BRAZILIAN TROOPS, WICH GOB WOULD ONLY CONSIDER UNDER OAS RESOLUTION. STORY ALSO SAID FONOFF HAD INFO INDICATING GUERRILLAS MADE UP BROAD FRONT OF ELEMENTS OPPOSING BOLIVIAN GOVERNMENT, ALTHOUGH INITIAL DEVELOPED BY EXTREME LEFT.
  3. SIMILARLY GLOMMY OUTLOOK AGAIN ATTRIBUTED TO BOTH FONOFF AND MILITARY ON FOLLOWING DAY IN JORNAL DO BRASIL, WHICH SAID THESE SOURCES CLAIMED GUERRILLAS BETTER ARMED THAN BOLIVIAN ARMED FORCES, AND MUCH MORE NUMEROUS THAN ORIGINAL REPORTS INDICATED. AT SAME TIME, MILITARY SOURCES ALLEGEDLY EXPRESSED SUPRISED THAT CUETO SEEKING ARMS FROM BRAZIL, SINCE BOLIVIA COULD GET THEM DIRECTLY AND IMMEDIATELY FROM US “DUE TO LATTER’S ORIENTATION ON THESE MATTERS”. PAPER SAID MILITARY BELIEVED REQUEST FOR ARMS WAS SMOKE SCREEN TO HIDE ATTEMPT TO GET GOB TO SEND TROOPS AS IN DR.
  4. BY APRIL 6 USUALY WELL-INFORMED JORNAL DO BRASIL HAD CUETO CALLING ON FONMIN MAGALHAES PINTO AND BEING TOLD PRESIDENT COSTA E SIVA WAS OPPOSED TO ANY TYPE OF ARMED INTERVENTION IN LATIN AMERICA UNLESS CALLED FOR BY OAS. THEREUPON, CUETO SAID TO HAVE ASKED FOR BRAZIL TO SELL ARMS FROM ITS MUNITIONS FACTORIES, WHICH FONMIN ALLEGEDLY AGREED PASS ON TO PRESIDENT WHO IN TURN EXPECTED TURN OVER TO NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL TO STUDY. ACTUALLY, HIGH FONOFF OFFICIAL TOLD EMBASSY CUETO SAW NO ONE AT FONOFF, AND THIS WAS CONFIRMED FOLLOWING DAY BY BOLIVIAN EMBASSY IN PRESS COMMUNIQUE. JORNAL DO BRASIL EMBELLISHED ITS STORY FURTHER WITH ALLEGED BRAZILIAN IN CONTAINING GUERRILLAS AND SITUATION COULD DEVELOP INTO NATIONAL CRISIS WITH UNFORESEEABLE RESULTS. IT ALSO WORKED OVER IAPF THEME AGAIN, ADDING BRAZILIAN MILITARY MAINTAINING STRICT SECRECY ABOUT CONVERSATIONS WITH CUETO SINCE THEY FEARED GETTING INVOLVED IN BOLIVIAN CRISIS MIGHT PREJUDICE COSTA E SILVA’S POSITION NOT ONLY AT SUMMIT BUT ALSO WITH DOMESTIC OPPOSITION WITH WHICH HE TRYING TO OPEN UP DIALOGUE.
  5. APRIL 7 JORNAL DO BRASIL CARRIED FULL TEXT OF BOLIVIAN EMBASSY COMMUNIQUE DENYING CUETO HAD ANY MISSION EXCEPT TO BRIEF EMBASSIES ON GUERRILLA SITUATION SO LATTER COULD INFORM RESPECTIVE HOST GOVERNMENTS AND ASK FOR BORDER VIGILANCE. ADDED BOLIVIAN AMBASSADOR DELIVERRED NOT ON SUBJECT TO FOMNIN, BUT CUETO SAWNO ONE EXCEPT AIR MINISTER WHO WAS OLD FIREND. ALSO SPECIFICALLY ______ CUETO CAME TO ASK FOR ARMS FROM BRAZIL. SECOND COMMUNIQUE PROVIDED SITUATION REPORT BASED ON BOLIVIAN ARMED FORCE APRIL 3 COMMUNIQUE, AS REPORTED LA PAZ 2503.
  6. EMBASSY HAS TWICE BRIEFED ASSISTANT SECRETARY AMERICAN AFFAIRS, FONOFF USING MATERIALS FROM DEPARTMENT AND LA PAZ, AND HAS FOUND HIM THOROUGHLY IT USEFUL WE WOULD BE GLAD TO COORDINATE ON QUESTION OF FURNISHING ARMS, BUT ONLY IF GOB REQUESTED IT IN ORDER AVOID DUPLICATION, SINCE WE HAD NO WISH TO IMPINGE IN ANY WAY ON BOLIVIAN FREEDOM OF ACTION.
  7. ARMY ATTACHE HAS ALSO MAINTAINED CONTACT WITH BRAZILIAN ARMY ON BOLIVIAN DEVELOPMENTS BEGINNING MARCH 30 ( SEE HIS TEL 0383, 0398 AND 0406). BRAZILIAN G-2 ELEMENTS SOMEWHAT MORE RESERVED THAN USUAL, BUT INDICATED THEY FOLLOWING SITUATION WITH CONSIDERABLE INTEREST, HAD CLOSED BORDER, PUT BORDER UNITS ON FULL ALERT AND WERE MAINTAINING GROUND AND AIR SURVEILLANCE OF FRONTEIR ZONE, ALTHOUGH BRAZILIAN SIDE REMAINED COMPLETELY CALM AND NO SUSPICIOUS MOVEMENTS DETECTED. ON CUETO VISIT, THEY WERE EVASIVE. ONLY ONE SOURCE STATING CUETO ASKED FOR GROUND SUPPORT AIRCRAFT AND HELICOPTERS (WHICH IN SHORT SUPPLY IN BRAZILIAN FORCE INVENTORIES). AT LEAST ONE MILITARY CONTACT SAID HE AND COLLEAGUES SUSPECTED POLITICAL MOTIVES INVOLVED ON PART BOLIVIAN MILITARY ALTHOUGH WHEN GUERRILLAS TURNED UP IN BRAZILIAN STATE OF MINAS GERAIS THERE WAS SOME TENDENCY BELIEVE THERE MIGHT BE CUBAN OR OTHER OUTSIDE COORDINATION RELATED TO SUMMIT. AS TRIFLING DIMENSIONS LOCAL INCIDENT BECAME CLEAR, AND AS BOLIVIAN SITUATION FAILED ESCALATE, LATTER CONCERN DISAPPEARED.

TUTHILL

Document 44

SUBJECT: GUERRILLA ACTIVITY IN BOLIVIA

  1. BOL ARMED FORCES COMMAND ANNOUNCED LAST NIGHT FIRE FIGHT APRIL 10 AT IRIPITI, NORTH OF NANCAHUAZU, RESULTED IN NINE BOLIVIAN ARMY DEAD, INCLUDING TWO OFFICERS AND ONE SUB-OFFICIAL. BAF CLAIMS AT LEAST FOUR GUERRILLAS KILLED. ACTION NOT OTHERWISE DESCRIBED.
  2. MEANWHILE, AS SECURITY MEANSURES, GOB ANNOUNCED (1) OUTLAWING OF BOLIVIAN COMMUNIST PARTIES (PCB I AND II) AND REVOLUTINARY WORKERS PARTY (POR), (2) DECLARING LUIS CALVO AND HERNANDO SILES PROVINCES OF CHUQUISACA DEPARTMENT AND CODILLERA AND VALLE GRANDE PROVINCES OF SANT CRUZ DEPARTMENT AS “MILITARY ZONE” UNDER CONTROL OF BAF, AND (3) PLACING UNDER “SEVEREST PENALTIES” OF MILITARY LAW ANY PERSON ASSOCIATING DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY WITH GUERRILLA GROUPS.

HENDERSON.

Document 45

  1. FOLLOWING DIPATCH WRITTEN BY MURRAY SAYLE APPEARED IN BOTH NEW YORK TIMES AND WASHINGTON POST, APRIL 12: QUOTE LA PAZ, BOLIVIA, APRIL 11 – DOUGLAS HENDERSON, THE UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR, REPORTED YESTERDAY TO PRESIDENT JOHNSON THAT COMMUNIST GUERRILLAS WERE ESTABLISHED IN THE BOLIVIAN JUNGLES, AND TODAY FIVE AMERICAN RANGERS ARRIVED FROM THE LATIN-AMERICAN COMMAND IN THE PANAMA CANAL ZONE. THE AMBASSADOR ACTED FOLLOWING DISCOVERY OF A STRONGLY FORTIFIED GUERRILLA CAMP NEAR NACHABHUAZU, 125 MILES SOUTHEAST OF SUCRE. THE AMERICAN RANGERS ARE TO OPEN A JUNGLE-WARFARE AND ANTI-SUBVERSION TRAINING SCHOOL FOR THE BOLIVIAN ARMY. AMERICAN MILITARY HERE SAY IT WILL TAKE SIX MONTHS TO TURN OUT A FULLY TRAINED BOLIVIAN BATTALION FOR JUNGLE FIGHTS. UNITED STATES SHIPMENTS OF WEAPONS AND EQUIPMENTS FOR USE AGAINST GUERRILLAS, NOTABLY FIELD RADIO SETS, SMALL ARMS AND HELICOPTERS, ARE BEING EXPEDITED AND SHOULD ARRIVE WITHIN A FEW DAYS. MR. HENDERSON HAS BEEN PRESSING FOR THESE SHIPMENTS FOR MONTHS. THE AMERICANS ARE TURNING A SKEPTICAL EAR TO BOLIVIAN REQUEST FOR JET AIRCRAFT, THANKS AND NAPALM.

AN AMERICAN OFFICIAL SAID:

INNERQUOTE I HOPE WE HAVE LEARNED SOME LESSONS FROM GUERRILLA OUTBREAKS ALL OVER THE WORLD. WE ARE NOT ABOUT TO SUPPLY MASSIVE ARMS TO A COUNTRY, WHICH, AFTER ALL, HAS SOME SORT OF TERRITORIAL CLAIM ON ITS NEIGHBORS. WE ARE CERTAINCLY NOT GOING TO SUPPLY THE MEANS FOR BOLIVIAN ARMY HOTHEADS TO START BOMBING AND NAPALMING VILLAGES OR EVEN SUSPECTED GUERRILLA JUNGLE HIDEAWAYS.

CIVILIANS WOULD INEVITABLY BE KILLED AND WE HAVE A LONG EXPERIENCE THAT THIS INEVITABLY PRODUCES A STREAM OF RECRUITS FOR THE GUERRILLAS. INNERUNQUOTE.

BOLIVIAN’S TERRITORIAL CLAIMS ARE RELATED TO THEIR DEMANDS ON CHILE AND PERU FOR ACESS TO THE PACIFIC COAST.

THE AMERICANS ARE KEEPING OUT OF THE FIGHTING AND THE SEARCH FOR THE GUERRILLAS, AND SIX AMERICAN MILITARY OBSERVERS HAVE BEEN HEASTILY WITHDRAWN FROM THE GUERRILLA ZONE. EVEN PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS WERE WITHDRAW FROM THE AREA OF BOLIVIA SOUTH OF SANTA CRUZ. UNQUOTE. END

Document 46

1.PRESIDENT BRRIENTOS CALLED ME TO HIS HOME EVENING APRIL 10 WITH DCM, DEFATT, AND MILATT. OSTENSIBLY REASON WAS INFORM ME OF IRIPITI CLASH BUT HE USED OCCASION TO TRY IMPRESS US WITH ARMED FORCES COMMANDER’S VIEW OF THREAT (WITH WHICH HE NOW IDENTIFILES HIMSELF) AND WHICH IN REGARD TO PRIORITIES SUBSTANTIALLY DIFFERENT FROM OURS IN SPITE ALL OUR EFFORTS BRING PROBLEM INTO PERSPECTIVE.

2. HIGH COMMAND OF BOLIVIAN ARMED FORCES, PRINCIPALLY COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF GENERAL OVANDO AND MOD GENERAL SUAREZ GUZMAN, HAVE APPARENTLY PERSUADED BARRIENTOS TO THEIR VIEW THAT GUERRILLA THREAT IS NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH IMMEDIATE OUTBREAKS PROBABLE THROUGHOUT COUNTRY. HIGH COMMAND, WITH CPSCO WAR BACKGROUND RATHER THAN CI ORIENTATION, TEND TO THINK IN TERMS MASS CONFRONTATIONS RATHER THAN MODERN CI TECHNIQUES. THEIR EXPERIENCE UNDER TWELVE YEARS OF MNR AND TWO YEARS UNDER MILITARY JUNTAS HAS MADE MANY OF THEM MEDIOCRE SOLDIERS, PUTTING PERSONAL LOYALTIES AND POLITICAL ADVANTAGE AHEAD OF MILITARY COMPETENCE, AND LACKING CONFIDENCE IN THEM-SELVES OR THEIR TROOPS. THEY SEEK QUANTITATIVE SUPERIORITY, WITHOUT REGARD TO 1) COST, 2) APPLICABILITY TO PRESENT SITUATION OR EVEN 3) ABILITY TO ASSIMILATE INTO EXISTING MILITARY STRUCTURES. THEIR CONCEPT OF FIRST PRIORITY REQUIREMENT TO MEET PRESENT SITUATION, AS OUTLINED TO ME BY BARRIENTOS, IS TO MAN GARRISONS IMMEDIATELY THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY WITH MORE RECRUITS AND HOPE FOR THE BEST IN GUERRILLA ZONE, DESPITE THE OBVIOUS SHORTCOMINGS IN LEADERSHIP TRAINING AND TACTICS OF THE UNITS WHICH ARE SUPPORSED TO BE DEALING WITH THE GUERRILLAS. THEY ARE PREPARED TO LEVY ON ALL BOLIVIAN RESOURCES AND AS MANY FOREIGN RESOURCES AS POSSIBLE. THE ELEMENT OF SELF-SEEKING AND AGGRANDISEMENT IS QUITE EVIDENTLY ALSO PRESENT. I CAN ONLY SPECULATE THAT BARRIENTOS HAS BEEN PRESENTED WITH WHAT AMOUNST TO AN ULTIMATUM, “GET WHAT WE NEED OR BE RESPONSIBLE FOR FAILURE”.

3. THIS HIGH COMMAND POSITION IS NOT HELD AT ALL LEVELS OF ARMED FORCES. YOUNGER OFFICIERS AND SOME SENIOR US TRAINED OFFICERS FREQUENTLY EXPRESS VIEWS APPROXIMATING OUR OWN (SEEN BELOW) AND I SUSPECT THAT BARRIENTOS, LEFT TO MAKE HIS POLITICAL NEED AVOID SHOWDOWN WITH ARMED FORCES OVERRIDING HIS COMMON SENSE.

4.WE SEE THREAT AS CONSISTING THREE ELEMENTS, 1) GUERRILLA ACTION, 2) LACK OF ANTI-GUERRILLA CAPABILITY OF BOLIVIAN ARMED FORCES UNITS AT ALL LEVELS IN THE FIELD, TOGETHER WITH UNFAMILITARITY OF HIGH COMMAND WITH NATURE OF GUERRILLAS WARFARE AND 3) EVER-PRESENT POTENTIAL FOR ACTIVE DISAFFECTION AMONG VARIOUS ELEMENTS IN BOLIVIAN POPULATION.

5. WE BELIEVE THAT FIRST PRIORITY SHOULD GO, NOT TO EXPANDING GARRISONS COUNTRY-WIDE WITH NEW RECRUITS, BUT TO CONCENTRATING EFFORTS AND RESOURCES ON FIELDING A SMALL PROFESSIONALY QUALIFIED FORCE TO DEAL DIRECTLY WITH THE PRIMARY THREAT, WHICH IS THE ARMED GUERRILLA ELEMENT IT SELF. CI TECHNIQUES COULD BRING PRESENT GUERRILLA THREAT TO AN END, SINCE EVIDENCE INDICATES SMALL GROUP, PROBABLY NOT MORE THAN 100, AT PREPARATORY STAGE AND NOW FIGHTING ESSENTIALLY REAR GUARD ACTION PROBABLY TO ENABLE MAIN GROUP DISPERSE AND RETREAT TO NEW RENDEZVOUS. TO HAVE BOLIVIAN ARMED FORCES (BA) APPLY CI TECNIQUES NOW, HOWEVER, WILL REQUIRE ADDITIONAL TRAINING FOR ELEMENTS PRESENTLY FACING GUERRILLAS AND CREATION AND TRAINING OF 2ND RANGER BATTALION AS LONGER TERM AND PROBABLY ONLY ULTIMATE WAY ERADICATE GUERRILLAS. MAJORITY OF TROOPS INCLUDING THOSE IN FIELD ARE NEW (UP TO 90 DAYS) RECRUITS WITH NO COMBAT PREPARATION. MILGRP OBSERVERS SEVERAL WEEKS AGO FOUND EVEN YOUNG, IMAGINATIVE PANAMA TRAINED LINE OFFICERS GORGETTING SUCH ELEMENTS AS BASIC SECURITY IN CAMP SITING AND PATROLLING WHEN ENTERING COMBAT ZONE FOR FIRST TIME. WITHOUT REINFORCEMENT OF PREVIOUS TRAINING BY TEXT BOOK AND SIMULATED COMBATE INSTRUCTION IN SECURE AREAS SIMILAR TO OPERATIONAL AREA, IT IS CT OPINION THAT BAF WILL REVERT TO CONVENTIONAL TECNIQUES AND WILL CONTINUE SUFFER REVERSE AT HANDS SMALL WELL-PREPARED GUERRILLA UNITS WITH CONSEQUENT DETERIONATION OVER-ALL GOB POSITION. (NOTEWORTHY IS THE FACT THAT TO DATE NO MAP UNIT HAS BEEN COMITED TO THE COUNTER-GUERRILLA ACTIVITY. THE BAF HAVE CHOSEN TO USE THEIR MAP UNITS FOR ITERNAL SECURITY OF THE MAJOR POPULATION CENTERS. WE HAVE AIDED THEIR NMQN-MAP UNITS BY PROVIDING ON A LOAN BASIS ESSENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS, RATIONS, AND TRANSPORTATION).

6. THE OTHER TWO ELEMENTS ARE SIGNIFICANT ONLY AS THEY CONTRIBUTE TO JUSTIFY OUR ABOVE CONCLUSION. HOWEVER, WE ALREADY HAVE EVIDENCE OF HIGH COMMAND INSISTENCE ON ITS OWN MAY WITH CALL-UP OF 9,000 NEW RECRUITS, RATHER THAN (AS WE HAD SUGGESTED AND BOLIVIAN STAFF OFFICERS HAD RECOMENDE) SMALLER CALL-UP OF ALREADY TRAINED RESERVISTS. MOD ALSO PRESENTED CABINET YESTERDAY WITH REQUEST EMERGENCY APPROPRIATION ONE MILLION DOLLARS BUT BECAME CONFUSED IN PRESENTING FIGURES AND DECISION HAS BEEN POSTPONED.

7. A GREATER IDENTITY OF VIEWS IS GOING TO BE EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO ACHIEVE, REQUIRING USE OF MAXIMUM LEVERAGE. AS A BEGINNING WE PROPOSE SELLING OUT AGIN TO BAF AND BARRIENTOS TERMS OF OUR MILITARY AGREEMENT (AGREEMENT ON DEFENSE: FURNISHHING OF ARTICLES AND SECURES, OF APRIL 26, 1962) WITH RESPECT MAINTENANCE AND USE MAP EQUIPMENT AND TRAINING, AND CONFIRMING NEW BOLIVIAN COMMITMENT TO RETAIN ASSIGNED TROOPS FOR TWO YEAR PERIOD. THIS MEMORANDUM ALSO SETS FORTH AGREEMENT IN PRINCIPLE THAT COMPONENT UNITS WILL SERVE TOGETHER RATHER THAN BE PIECE-MEALED OUT AS IS PRESENTLY CASE OF MAP-EQUIPPED CITE UNIT IN GUERRILLA ZONE. RELATIONSHIP MAY DETORIORATE FOR A TIME WITH PRESIDENT AND LEADERS OF HIGH COMMAND BUT I BELIEVE THAT ALTERNATIVE IS INCREASINGLY UNACCEPTABLE DEMANDS ON BOLIVIAN AND OUR RESOURCES, AND POSSIBLE EVENTUAL LOSS OF PRESTIGE OF BOLIVIAN ARMED FORCES WHICH FOR BETTER OR WORSE HAS SERVED TO STABLIZIE COUNTRY DURING PAST YEARS.

HENDERSON.

Document 47

SUBJECT: GUERRILLA THREAT IN BOLIVIA

  1. AT LUNCH TODAY, ARGENTINA AMBASSADOR TOLD ME THAT DURING PAST WEEK OVANDO HAD REQUESTED, THROUGH ARGENTINE AIRA, POSITIONING OF ARGENTINE BOMBER FORCE IN PROVINCE OF SALTA, SOUTH OF BOLIVIAN BORDER, FOR PURPOSE BOMBING WITHIN GUERRILLA AREA.
  2. AMBASSADOR SHARES WITH US VIEW THAT BOL ARMED FORCES LEADERS ARE LOSING PERSPECTIVE IN FACE OF GUERRILLA THREAT. OBVIOUSLY A HORSEMAN, HE ADDED THAT “GENERAL OVANDO HAS LOST HIS STIRRUPS BEFORE THE JUMP”.

Document 48

SUBJECT: SECOND GUERRILLA ENCOUNTER FOR BOLIVIAN ARMED FORCES

  1. NEWS OF A SECOND CONFRONTATION BETWEEN THE BOLIVIAN ARMED FORCES (BAF) AND THE GUERRILLA BAND APRIL 10 AT IRIPITI DID NO APPEAR IN THE PRESS UNTIL APRIL 12. THE SECOND ATTACK WAS MORE DISASTROUS THAN THE FIRST IN TERMS OF NUMBER OF CASUALTIES: KILLED IN ACTION – TWO OFFICERS; ONE NONCOMISSIONED OFFICER AND EIGHT UNLISTED MEN; WOUNDED – SEVEN. THESE FIGURES ARE BASED ON ACTUAL NAMES RELEASED BY THE BAF. IN THE GUERRILLA SIDE, THE BAF CLAIM FOUR DEAD AND SOME WOUNDED. IN THIS INCIDENT UNLIKE THE EARLIER ON, THERE WAS APPARENTLY CONSIDERABLE FIGHTING. PUBLIC BAF CLAIMS OF HAVING TAKEN GUERRILLA PRISIONERS ARE DENIED PRIVATELY BY BOLIVIAN OFFICERS; ONLY SUSPECTS ARE IN CUSTODY. THE BAF AFMITS THAT THE GUERRILLAS TOOK PRISIONERS, NURSED THEIR WOUNDS AND RELEASED THEM AS IN THE FIRST ENCOUNTER.
  2. NEWSPAPER REPORTERS, WHO HAD BEEN ALLOWED INTO THE ZONE OF OPERATIONS AT A TIME IT APPEARED THE GUERRILLAS HAD ALL BUT DISAPPEARED, WERE AVAILABLE TO REPORT SECONDHAND BUT IN DETAIL THE NEW ACTION.
  3. THE REPORTES WERE INSPECTING A ABANDONED GUERRILLA CAMP WHEN THEY HEARD SHOTS. SEVERAL SOLDIERS FLEEING TOWARD THE CAMP REPORTED THEIR PATROL UNDER LIEUTENANT LUIS SAAVEDRA HAD BEEN AMBUSHED. MAJOR RUBEN SANCHEZ, IN CHARGE OF THE PARTY AT THE CAMP, WENT OFF IN PURSUIT OF THE GUERRILLAS ONLY TO BE CAPTURED AFTER A FURTHER CLASH IN WHICH LIEUTENANT JORGE AYALA CHAVEZ WAS KILLED. LATER THE GUERRILLAS FREED THESE PRISIONERS AFTER MAKING THEM REMOVE THEIR SHOES. MAJOR SANCHEZ AND A FEW OF HIS SOLDIERS RETURNED TI THE CAMP DISARMED TO JOIN THE OTHER BOLIVIAN TROOPS THE GUERRILLAS ARE BELIEVED TO BE SAME GROUP IN THE FIRST ENCOUNTER, INCLUDING THE “EL MEDICO” WHO CARED FOR THE WOUNDED FROM THE FIRST AMBUSH. A BOLIVIAN GUERRILLA CALLED “COCO” PEREDO GAVE SANCHEZ THE WEDDING RING OF LIEUTENANT AMEZAGA, KILLED IN THE FIRST ENCOUNTER, FOR HIS WIDOW.
  4. THE EL DIARIO REPORTER AT THE ABANDONED GUERRILLA SITE REPORTED (EL DIARIO, APRIL14) THE CONTENTS OF A ABANDONED DIARY OF A GUERRILLA CALLED “BRAULIO”. “BRAULIO”, BY HIS ACCOUNT, LEFT CUBA ON OCTOBER 25 FOR BOLIVIA WITH A PANAMANIAN PASSAPORT, $1,000 U.S. FOR EXPENSES AND $25,000 US FOR “RAMON”. HIS ITINERARY WAS MOSCOW, PRAGUE, CHILE AND BOLIVIA. HE REACHED PRAGUE ON OCTOBER 30, GERMANY ON NOVEMBER 25. ON THE 26TH OF NOVEMBER HE HEADED FOR THE MOUNTAINS OF IÑCAHUASI IN THE ÑACAHUAZU CHAIN IN SANTA CRUZ DEPARTMENT. HE ARRIVED AT MIDNIGHT DECEMBER 8. HE STAYED AT 1200 HECTARE FINCA BOUGHT BY THE GUERRILLAS TO KEEP OUT OF SIGHT OF THE BOLIVIAN GOVERNMENT. (THIS IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THE DIARY MATERIAL AS PUBLISHED; PARTS OF THE DIARY WERE ILLEGIBLE.)
  5. AS A RESULT OF THE NEW GUERRILLA CONFLICT, THE BOLIVIAN GOVERNMENT DECLARED FOUR NEW PROVINCES UNDER MILITARY CONTROL. THESE ARE HERNANDO SILES AND LUIS CALVO IN CHUQUISACA DEPARTMENT (AZERO PROVINCE IN CHUQUISACA HAD ALREADY BEEN DECLARED A MILITARY ZONE) AND VALLEGRANDE AND CORDILLERA IN SANTA CRUZ DEPARTMENT. ALSO TWO PARTIES, THE BOLIVIAN COMMUNIST PARTY (PCB I AND II) AND REVOLUTIONARY WORKERS PARTY (POR), HAVE BEEN OFFICIALLY PROSCRIBED.
  6. COMMENT: INFORMATION DISCLOSED BY THE BAF AND THE PRESS CONTINUES TO BE OF DOUBTFUL ACCURACY; HOWEVER, WITH THE GUERRILLA THREAT NOW SOME THREE WEEKS OLD, THE PRESS IS BECOMING SOMEWHAT MORE SELECTIVE AND INFORMED IN ITS REPORTING. SINCE THE BOLIVIAN ARMY LEFT THE FIELD AT IRIPITI, THERE IS NO SURE WAY OF CONFIRMING THE GUERRILLA CASUALTIES THEY CLAIM TO HAVE INFLICTED.
  7. POPULAR SKEPTICISM REGARDING THE EXTENT OF THE GUERRILLA THREAT CONTINUES TO LINGER ON DESPITE THE PUBLICITY GIVEN THE ACTION AND THE SUBSEQUENT FUNERALS OF THE FALLEN IN COCHABAMBA AND LA PAZ.

HENDERSON.

Document 49

  1. DEFATT REP LEAVING FOR THREE DAY INTELLIGEN E GATHERING VISIT CAMIRI BEGINNING APRIL 18.
  2. AS PER LA PAZ 2491, I AM ALSO CONCERNED REGARDING ADEQUACY BOLIVIAN MANAGEMENT AND DISTRIBUTION US MAP SUPPLIED ITEMS RECENTLY ARRIVED AT CAMIRI. PART OF PROBLEM IS FACT THAT EQUIPMENT HAS BEEN LARGELY LOANED NON-MAP UNITS LACKING TECHNICAL BACKGROUND TO MAKE PROPER AND SISTAINED USE. THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE IN FIELD OF COMMUNICATIONS. ALSO PRESS AND RETURNED VISITORS REPORT LOGISTICAL AND STAFF CONFUSION PERSISTS AT THIS REAR ECHELON HEADQUARTERS WHICH REMAINS MAJOR DEPOT FOR SUPPLIES AND MEN ENTERING MORE NORTHERLY OPERATIONS AREA.
  3. THEREFORE, UPON RETURN OF DEFATT REP, I REQUEST AUTHORIZATION SEND TWO ARMY SECTION OFFICERS AND ONE ENLISTED MAN TO CAMIRI FOR THREE-FOUR DAY VISIT TO FULFILL FOLOWING KEY FUNCTIONS: (A) OBSERVE DISTRIBUTTION AND USE OF MAP SUPPLIED ITEMS, (B) OBSERVE USE AND MAINTENANCE OF COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT, (C) OBSERVE REAR AREA STAFF ORGANIZATION AND PROCEDURES, AND (D) OBSERVE OPERATIONS OF CAMIRI LOGISTICS AND MAINTENANCE CENTER.
  4. THOUGH ONLY LIMITED RESULTS CAN BE EXPECTED FROM SUCH A BRIEF VISIT, I BELIEVE THIS IS BEST COMPROMISE SOLUTION TO DIFFICULT PROBLEM GIVEN POLICY RESTRICTIONS. APPRAISAL BOLIVIAN STAFF AND LOGISTICS PERFORMANCE WILL ALSO PROVIDE BASIS FOR EVALUATION GOB NEED OF MATERIAL INPIPELINE AND POSSIBLE FUTURE GOB ASSISTANCE REQUESTS.

Document 50

SUBJECT: GUERRILLA SITUATION – BOLIVIA

  1. ARGENTINE AMBASSADOR, IN INFORMAL EXCHANGE INFORMATION ON GUERRILLA THREAT SEVERAL DAYS AGO, SAID HE CONCURRED OUR GENERAL VIEW (LA PAZ 2616, PARA 2) AND WOULD SO INFORM HIS FOREIGN OFFICE. HE SUGGESTED THAT WE CONTINUE EXCHANGE AS SITUATION DEVELOPS AND I ADDED SUGGESTION THAT DEFATTS ALSO POOL INFORMATION, WHICH IS BEING DONE.
  2. PRESENT DEGREE OF COOPERATION APPEARS ADEQUATE TO MUTUAL NEEDS AND I SEE NO NEED TO ESCALATE TO MORE FORMAL ARRANGEMENTS, PARTICULARY IN FOREIGN CAPITALS.
  3. I HAD ALREADY CONFIRMED TO ARGENTINE AMBASSADOR NEWPAPER REPORTS THAT US IS TRAINING AND EQUIPPING RANGER BATTALION AT SANTA CRUZ AS PORT OF REGULAR MAP PROGRAM, SCHEDULED FOR MORE THAN ONE YEAR, WHICH WILL ACCELERATE AS RESULT GUERRILLA THREAT BUT WHICH WILL NOT INTRODUCE FORCE OR MATERIAL NOT ALREADY PLANNED.

HENDERSON.

Document 51

  1. AS DEPARTMENT KNOWS, GOC IS VERY SENSITIVE ABOUT MILITARY PREPAREDNESS OF ITS NEIGHBORS AND CHILEAN OFFICIALS TEND TO GET NERVOUS AS RESULT OF RUMORS AND EXAGGERATIONS ABOUT DEGREE TO WHICH BOLIVIANS MAY BE ARMING THEMSELVES WITH OUR HELP.
  2. I WOULD APPRECIATE RECEIVING PERIODICALLY INFORMATION REGARDING US ANTI-GUERRILLA ASSISTANCE TO BOLIVIAN GOVERNMENT, PARTICULARY MILITARY HARDWARE, WHICH I CAN PRUDENTLY USE IN DISCUSSIONS WITH CHILEAN OFFICIALS TO KEEP MATTERS IN TRUE PERPECTIVE. AM ALSO INTERESTED IN GETTING PERIODIC EMBASSY LA PAZ SITUATION REPORTS ON GUERRILLA PROBLEM.

Document 52

CUBA: THE CURRENT PUBLICITY BUILD-UP REGARDING ERNESTO “CHE”GUEVARA IS PROBABLY A PROPAGANDA PLOY TO DRAMATIZE FIDEL CASTRO’S RECENTLY STEPPED-UP CALL FOR ARMED REVOLUTION IN LATIN AMERICA. GUEVARA, A FORMER HIGH-RANKING REGIME OFFICIAL AND LEADING SPOKESMAN FOR ARMED STRUGGLE TACTICS, VANISHED IN MARCH 1965 AMID REPORTS OF A CLASH WITH CASTRO. NO SUBSTANCIAL EVIDENCE HAS BEEN OFFERED TO PROVE WHETHER GUEVARA IS STILL ALIVE. THE PUBLICATION ON 16 APRIL OF A 5,000 – WORD LETTER ALLEGEDLY AUTHORED BY GUEVARA PERPETUATES THE CUBAN LINE THAT HE IS SECRETLY LEADING GUERRILLA GROUP IN A FOREIGN LAND.

Document 53

SUBJECT: PROVISION NAPALM TO BOLIVIA

  1. DEPT NOTES THAT ARGENTINA HAS SUPPLIED QUANTITY OF GEL, KEY INGREDIENT FOR NAPALM, AND 100 NAPALM BOMB CONTAINERS WITH FUSES TO GOB (REF.A). WE CONCERNED THAT IF NAPALM USE AND IF COORDINATING MEETINGS ATTACHES IN LA PAZ BECOME PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE, CONCLUSION THAT US ACQUIESCED IN PROVISION NAPALM WILL BE INEVITABLE.
  2. ACCORDINGLY, WE DISPOSED CONCUR US PARTICIPATION IN FUTURE SUCH COORDINATING MEETINGS ONLY IF IT IS MADE UNMISTAKABLY CLEAR THAT US WOULD NOT REPEAT NO SUPPLY NAPALM REQUESTED BY GOB AND THAT US DOES NOT BELIEVE OTHER COUNTRIES SHOULD SUPPLY IT.
  3. EMBASSIES IN COUNTRIES PARTICIPATING IN LA PAZ MEETINGS SHOULD MAKE ABOVE US POSITION CLEAR TO APPROPRIATE AUTHORITIES BEARING IN MIND GUIDANCE CONTAINED IN PARAGRAPH 2, REF. (B).
  4. FOR ASUNCION: REF. (B) BEING REPEATED TO YOU FOR YOUR INFO.
  5. FOR LA PAZ: REQUEST YOU IMPRESS UPON GOB NEGATIVE ASPECTS POSSIBLE USE NAPALM AND SEEK PREVENT ITS USE.

Document 54

SUBJECT: CURRENT SITUATION IN BOLIVIA

Mr. MORRIS EXPLAINED THAT WE ARE CONCERNED OVER INDICATIONS THAT TWO CONTRADICTORY LINES STRATEGY MAY BE DEVELOPING IN BOLIVIA OVER THE RESPONSE TO THE GUERRILLA TREAT. ONE LINE CALLS FOR THE ENLARGEMENT OF THE ARMY BY LARGE NUMBERS OF ADDITIONAL RECRUITS; THE OTHER CALLS FOR TRAINING AND DEPLOYMENT OF SMALLER, WELL-TRAINED UNITS TO FOCUS ON THE IMMEDIATELLY PROBLEM. THE U.S. PREFERS THE SECOND LINE, AS THE ONE WHICH RESPONDS MOST RATIONALLY TO THE PROBLEM, AND WE ARE HOPEFUL THAT ANY POSSIBLE POLICY PROBLEMS CAN BE RESOLVED IN ITS FAVOR. ADOPTION OF THE FIRST ALTERNATIVE WOULD BE VEY DIFFICULT FOR THE U.S. TO SUPPORT AND WOULD PLACE A BURDESOME STRAIN ON BOLIVIAN’S OWN RESOURCES.

MR. TRAGEN DESCRIBED THE CURRENT ATMOSPHERE IN LA PAZ AND NOTED THAT THE MINISTER OF ECONOMY IS ARRIVING TOMORROW AND WOULD BE ABLE TO BRIEF AMBASSADOR SANJINES FULLY.

THE AMBASSADOR SAID AGREES FULLY THAT WELL-EQUIPPED, WELL-TRAINED UNITS SHOULD BE USED AGAINST THE GUERRILLAS AND SHOULD RECEIVE PRIORITY ATTENTION VERSUS THE CONCEPT OF OVERALL EXPANSION OF THE ARMY. ME INDICATED THAT THE ARMED FORCES MAY BE RELUCTANT TO MOVE MAP-SUPPORTED UNITS FROM THE ALTIPLANO IN FEAR OF PROBLEMS WITH MINERS AND OTHER GROUPS. HE HOPED THAT THE NEW RANGER BATTALION WOULD RELIEVE PART OF THE PROBLEM. HE SAID HE ALSO HOPE CIVIC ACTION PROGRAMS COULD BE INSTITUTED IN AND AROUNDTHE GUERRILLA ZONE.

MR. MORRIS ALSO REVIEWED U.S. ATTITUDES ON NAPALM, POINTING OUT THE GREAT PUBLIC RELATIONS DANGERS INHERENT IN ITS USE. ME ASKED THE EMBASSADOR TO STRESS THESE DANGERS TO HIS GOVERNMENT. MEMORANDUM TO CONVERSATION APRIL 20, 1967. THE EMBASSADOR SAID HE WOULD INFORM HIS GOVENMENT ON BOTH POINTS REISED BY MR.MORRIS, FOLLOWING RECEIPT OF FURTHER INFORMATION FROM THE MINISTER OF ECONOMY TOMORROW.

COMMENT: IT SEEMED EVIDENT THAT THE EMBASSADOR WAS NO FULLY INFORMED ON THE SUAREZ GUZMAN PLAN TO INCREASE THE ARMY. HE WAS PARTICULARLY ANXIOUS TO OBTAIN INFORMATION ON THE POSITION OF OVANDO, A TOPIC WHICH WE DID NOT CLARIFY.

Document 55

SUBJECT: PROVISION NAPALM TO BOLIVIA

  1. WE ARE IMPRESSING UPON GOB THROUGH MILITARY CHANNELS NEGATIVE ASPECTS OF POSSIBLE USE OF NAPALM AND SEEKING TO PREVENT ITS USE.
  2. WE HAVE NO EVIDENCE THAT GOB HAS USED NAPALM IN COUNTER GUERRILLA ACTION AS YET OR HAS DEFINITE INTENTION TO DO SO.
  3. EMBASSY ON UTS OWN INITIATIVE TWO YEARS AGO REQUIRED REMOVAL FROM BOLIVIA OF ALL US-OWNED SUPPLIES OF NAPALM AND HAS INSISTED ON CLEAR DISASSOCIATION USG FROM NAPALM ACQUISITION OR USE BY BOLIVIA.
  4. WE UNDERSTAND GOB ACQUIRED NAPALM FROM ARGENTINA YEAR OR SO AGO, AND ACQUIRED FURTHER STOCK RECENTLY.
  5. WE WILL MAKE OUR POSITION ON NAPALM PERFECTLY CLEAR IN ATTACHE COORDINATING MEETINGS, AND ANTICIPATE NO PROBLEM FROM CONTINUED PARTICIPATION IN THEM IN THIS RESPECT.

HENDERSON.

Document 56

SUBJECT: GUERRILLA SITUATION – BOLIVIA

  1. “THE NEXT MAJOR POINT WHICH HAS BOUGHT UP REPEATEDLY WAS THE REPLACEMENT OF OLD, NON-FUNCTIINING MAUSERS WITH” “AUTOMATIC WEAPOND”. THIS WOULD ENHANCE THE MORALE AND CONFIDENT OF THE SOLDIERS AND SHOW THE COUNTRY THAT POSITIVE STEPS WERE BEING TAKEN THE MOTIONS THAT ACCOMPANIED THE TERM AUTOMATIC WEAPONS INDICATED THAT THE CONCEPT WAS TO FILL THE AIR WITH LEAD IN ANY SUSPECTED AREAS.
  2. “THE BASIC INITIAL POINT WHICH I MADE TO THE BOLIVIANS WAS THAT EFFECTIVE MILITARY EFFORT WAS DEPENDENT ON MANY INTERRELATED FACTORS, ALL OF WHICH HAD TO BE CONSIDERED TOGETHER. THIS REQUIRED A COORDINATED EFFORT ON EVERYONE’S PART TO INSURE THAT EVERY KEY ELEMENT WAS COVERED. FAILURE TO PROVIDE ANY ONE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENT, WHETHER IT BE TRAINING, EQUIPMENT, RATIONS, COMMUNICATIONS, MAINTENANCE, POL, ETC. WOULD BRING FAILURE TO THE ENTIRE EFFORT REGARDLESS OF HOW WELL WE TOOK CARE OF OTHER ELEMENTS. THE PITCH WAS THAT A MODERN WEAPON WAS OF NO USE IN THE HANDS OF AN UNTRAINED SOLDIER, EQUIPMENT WAS USELESS WITHOUT MAINTANCE, ETC. ALL NODDED VIGOROUS AGREEMENT WITH THIS LITTLE SPEECH BUT SUBSEQUENT DISCUSSIONFRON THE SUBJECTS THEY BROUGHT UP INDICATED EITHER A COMPLETE LACK OF UNDERSTANDING OF THIS PRICIPLE OR A LACK OF DESIRE TO FOLLOW IT OR BOTH. I SUSPECT THE LATTER IS TRUE. AT THIS POINT I FEEL THIS IS OUR MAJOR STUMBLING BLOCK TO PROGRESS AND BEFORE WE ARE FINISHED MAY REQUIRE SOME VERY FIRM APPROACHES USING ALL THE LEVERAGE WE HAVE TO FORCE THEM TO DO THE THINGS WHICH ARE ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.
  3. “ON THE SPECIFIC SUBJECTS THEY METIDNED WE TOOK THE FOLLOWING POSITIONS. WITH REGARD TO THE MOVEMENT OF INDIVIDUALS, THIS WAS USELESS UNSELLESACCOMPANIED BY THE DEVELOPMENT OF UNIT INTEGRITY AND UNIT TRAINING. ON THE HILLER TURBO PORTERNYAIRCRAFT, IT IS TOO EXPENSIVE FOR THE LIMITED INCREASED CAPABILITY, HAS AN ENGINE FOR WHICH THEY COMPLETELY LACK ANY CAPABILITY TO MAINTAIN, WOULD ADD A NEW TYPE WHEN THEY HAD TOO MANY ALREADY, AND THE IREFFORT WOULD BE MUCH MORE PRODUCTIVE IF DEVOTED TO IMPROVED MAINTENANCE AND UTILIZATION OF WHAT THEY NOW HAVE. I POINTED OUT THAT WE ARE NOT USING THIS AIRCRAFT AND ARE MAKIF GREAT USE OF C-47’S IN SIMILAR SITUATIONS IN VIET-NAM AND OTHER AREAS. ON THE IDEA OF QUICKLY GIVING MODERN WEAPONS TO THE SOLDIERS NOW IN THE FIELD, I STATED THAT THIS IS USELLES UNLESS THEY WERE THOROUGHLY TRAINED IN THEIR USE AND MAINTENACE AND WERE IN UNITS WELL TRAINED IN COUNTER GUERRILLA TACTICS. I POINTED OUT THAT A FRIGHTENED, UNTRAINED CONSCRIPT WILL DROP A MODERN WEAPON JUST A MICLY AS HE WITH A MAUSER.
  4. “THIS LATTER POINT ILLUSTRATES THE MAGNITUDE OF OUR TASK AT THE HIGHER LEVEL. IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO SHAKE THEM FROM THEIR CONVICTION THAT MERELY HANDING THEM A NEW WEAPON WITH A HIGHT VOLUME OF FIRE WOULD MAKE THEIR SOLDIERS EIGHT FEET TALL FROM THE MORALE BOOST ALONE.
  5. “IN SUMMARY THESE PEOPLE HAVE A TREMENDOUS PROBLEM BUT WE ARE GOING TO HAVE GREAT DIFFICULTY IN GETTING TOGETHER ON EVEN HOW TO APPROACH IT MUCH LESS FIND A SOLUTION. IT IS OBVIOUSLY WE MUST TAKE A PRACTICAL, PRAGMATCW APPROACH, BUILDING ON WHAT THEY NOW HAVE, FORCING IMPROVEMENTS TOWARD SOUND OBJECTIVES, ASSISTING ALL WE CAN WHEN THERE IS THE GOAL, AND PREVETING THE WASTE OF EITHER US OR BOLIVIAN RESOURCES WHEN IT IS NOT.

“HENDERSON AGREES”.

Document 57

  1. PRESIDENT BARRIENTOS IN INFORMAL CONVERSATION DURING RECENT WEEKS HAS EXPRESSED HIS CONVICTION THAT EVERY GUERRILLA FALLINGS INTO THE HANDS OF HIS PEOPLE SHOULD BE LIQUIDATE. HE HAS ARGUED THAT CONDITIONS IN BOLIVIA ARE SUCH THAT PRISIONERS OF THIS ILK NEVER COME TO JUSTICE BUT GET OUT OF CUSTODY MORE OR LESS PROMPTLY TO RENEW THEIR SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES AND ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DO SO BY THE EXAMPLE. HE HAS CONTENDED, WITH CERTAIN AMOUNT OF JUSTIFICATION, THAT STANDARD BOLIVIAN HISTORICAL PATTERN SUPPORTS HIS VIEW.
  2. I HAVE POINTS OUT TO BARRIENTOS THE SERIOUS ADVERSE INTERANL EFFECTS OF CREATING MARTYRS, AS WELL AS THE INTERNATIONAL STIGMA WHICH WOULD ATTACH TO HIS GOVERNMENT FOR EXTRA-LEGAL PRACTICES, SOMETHING WHINN COULD BE AVOIDED IF THER WERE LEGAL TRIAL AND SENTENCE BY COURT OR COURT MARTIAL. I HAVE ALSO STRESSED THE IMPORTANCE OF OBTAINING THE VALUABLE EVIDENCE WHICH CAPTURE GUERRILLAS COULD GIVE. THESE COUNTER-ARGUMENTS APPEARED TO MAKE LITTLE IMPRESSION ON BARRIENTOS WHO PERSISTED IN HIS BELIEF HE COULD NOT AFFORT TO TRY TO KEEP GUERRILLA PRISIONERS AND IN HIS ASSUMPTION THAT PRISIONERS DISAPPEARANCE WOULD BE UNNOTICED BY PUBLIC OPINION.
  3. FOREGOING DISCUSSION SEEMED AT THE TIME THEORETICAL, BUT NOW THAT IT APPEARS GOB MAY HAVE IN FACT CAPTURE BOLIVIAN AND FOREGIN NATIONSAL (POSSIBLE INCLUDING FRENCH NATIONAL JULES DEBRAY WHO ACCORDING TO SOME STILL UNCONFIRMED REPORTS IS ALIVE RATHER THAN KILLED AS WEFIRST HEARD), EMBASSY OFFICERS HAVE INFORMALLY URGED POINTS AGAIN WITH HIGH BOLIVIAN OFFICIALS. APPEARS FROM THESE DISCUSSIONS THAT NO FINAL DECISION TAKEN, BUT CANNOT RULE OUT POSSIBILITY THAT ORDER WILL BE ISSUED FOR CAPTIVES TO BE KILLED.
  4. IF WE URGE OUR POINTS FURTHER WE MAY EXPECT GOB TO ASK US TO ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY AT LEAST FOR FOREIGN NATIONALS, OR OTHERWISE BECOME INVOLVED IN THEIR DECISION ON MATTER.
  5. IS IT DEPARTMENT’S VIEW THAT WE SHOULD MAKE FURTHER REPRESENTATIONS, OFFICIAL OR INFORMAL? ARE THERE BASES OTHER THAN THOSE WHICH WE HAVE ALREADY ADDUCED TO DISCOURAGE ARBITRARY ETRA-LEGAL ACTIONS? PERHAPS WOULD BE ADVISABLE DEPARTMENT APPROACH BOLIVIAN AMBASSADOR SANJINES, POINTING OUT THAT WE HAVE NO HARD INFORMATION ON WHETHER GOB ACTUALLY HAS GUERRILLA PRISIONERS AND WHAT ITS INTENTIONS MAY BE WITH REGARD TO SUCH PRISIONERS, BUT WARNING AGAINST UNDERSIRABLE EVENTUALITY.

Document 58

SUBJECT: BOLIVIAN GUERRILLAS. CONSULTATION WITH GOA

  1. FONMIN COSTA MENDEZ FULLY IN ACCORD WITH PRESENT INFORMAL PROCEDURE CONSULTATION BETWEEN AMBASSADOR AND DEFENSE ATTACHES IN LA PAZ AND WITH EMBASSY HERE. ORIGINAL CONCERN STEMMED FROM BELIEF HENERSON PROPOSAL CONTEMPLATED JOINT ACTION OUR TWO COUNTRIES WHICH HE OPPOSED AT THIS TIME. IF SITUATION BECAME MORE SERIOUS, HOPED WE COULD CONSULT BEFORE ESCALATING LEVEL OF ASSISTANCE BUT STILL BELIEVE DESIRABLE MAINTAIN FLEXIBILITY, PERMITTING GOA ACT SEPARATELY WHERE MORE SUITABLE, SIMILARY GUS WHERE MORE SUITABLE.
  2. COSTA MENDEZ STATED GOS HAS NO “NATIONALISTIC” PROBLEM WITH BOLIVIA WOULD HAVE NO DIFFICULTY ACCEPTING ARGENTINE HELP AS NEEDED. SAID HE WAS HAPPY THAT GOA HAD ACTED QUICKLY KEPT RELATIONS FRIENDLY AND OPEN.
  3. QUOTED CHILE FONMIN VALDES VIEW THAT BOLIVIANS MIGHT BE USING INCIDENT TO OBTAIN INCREASE U.S. MILITARY ASSISTANCE. WE AGREED ASSISTANCE SUPPLIED MINIMAL. I POINTED OUT IN U.S. CASE HELP TO DANGER BATTALION ONLY ACCELERATION OF THAT ALREADY PLANNED. HE DID NOT THINK ARGENTINE HELP CAUSED PROBLEMS IN PRINCIPLE TO OTHER CONE COUNTRIES.
  4. GOA DEF ATT HAD RECALLED FOR BRIEF SECRET CONSULTATION (DEF ATT JUST LEFT TO RETURN LA PAZ). COSTA MENDEZ SATISFIED GUERRILLAS HAD NOT GENERATED SUPPORTING RESPONSE FROM LOCAL POPULATION AND UNDERSTOOD “MINERS” WERE QUIET. I BRIEFED HIM REPORTS RECENT ACTIONS MASICURA AND MUYUPAMPA AND KILLING OF FRENCHMAN DEBRAY UNKNOWN TO HIM AND OUR ESTIMATE GUERRILLA FORCE 40 TO 60 MEN DIVIDED IN SMALLER GROUPS. HIS REPORTS ESTIMATE UP TO 200 GUERRILLAS.
  5. I RAISED NAPALM QUESTION AS REQUESTED SECOND REFTEL. COSTA MENDEZ EXPRESSED CONCERN HIS OWN GOVERNMENT POSSIBLE USE OF NAPALM THOUGH ADMITTED HAD BEEN SENT (SEE USDAO MESSAGE DATED 7 APRIL DTG 072959Z). UNDERTOOK TO DO WHAT HE COULD TO PERSUADE GOB NOT TO USE IT. STATED BRIG. ALVEREZ C-I-C AFF HAD EXPRESSED VIEW TO MIN DEFENCE LANUSSE UNSUITABILITY USE OF NAPALM

MARTIN.

Document 59

  1. IN INFORMAL CONVERSATION WITH BOLIVIAN AMBASSADOR ON APRIL 24, DEPUTY DIRECTOR ARA/BC DISCUSSED QUESTION TREATMENT CAPTURED GUERRILLAS. PREFACING REMARKS BY NOTING SKETCHY NATURE OUR INFORMATION AS TO GUERRILLA CAPTURE AND PROPOSED GOB INTENTIONS REGARDING THEM, HE MADE SAME POINTS COVERED PARA 2 REFTEL.
  2. BOLIVIAN AMBASSADOR STATED HE AGREED THAT EXTRA-LEGAL EXECUTION OF CAPTURED GUERRILLAS NOT IN GOB INTEREST. HE ADDED, HOWEVER, THAT ACCORDING TO THIS INFORMATION THERE WERE NO GUERRILLA PRISIONERS TAKEN, BUT SEVERAL GUERRILLAS WERE KILLED IN MUYUPAMPA ENCOUNTER.
  3. BELIEVE THAT OUR VIEWS ON SUBJECT HAVE BEEN MADE ADEQUATELY CLEAR TO GOB AT VARIOUS LEVELS AND THAT FURTHER REPRESENTATIONS AT THIS TIME NO ADVISABLE.

Document 60

SUBJECT: GUERRILLA SITUATION

  1. BOL ARMED FORCES COMMUNIQUE RELEASED THIS NOON REPORTS FIRE FIGHT BETWEEN BOL ARMY UNIT AND GUERRILLAS APRIL 23 AT 21:00 HOURS BETWEEN MUYUPAMPA AND MONTEAGUDO. ACCORDING COMMUNIQUE, GUERRILLAS SUFFERED FOUR DEAD AND SEVERAL WOUNDED, ALL OF WHOM REMAIN IN HAND OF BAF. COMMUNIQUE CLAIMS GUERRILLA FORCE “DISPERSED” TOWARD TICUCHA (ABOUT 25 KILOMETERS NE OF MONTEAGUDO) AND CONCLUDES THAT THIS IS SAME “FACTION” OF GUERRILLA FORCE ENCOUNTERED NEAR MUYUPAMPA APRIL 20.
  2. DEFATT BELIEVES THIS SAME ACTION REPORTES PRIVATELY TO HIM AS ACCURRING APRIL 22 AT TAPERILLAS, JUST NORTHEAST OF MONTEAGUDO. NO OTHER INFO AVAILABLE. BAF HAVE STILL TO CLARIFY DETAILS OF ACTION OF APRIL 20 INCLUDING NAMES AND DISPOSITION OF FOREIGNERS VARIOUSLY REPORTED AS CAPTURES AND KIA. MEANWHILE, BAF HAVE IMPOSED BAN ON PRESS STORIES FROM CAMIRI AND OPERATIONAL AREA.

HENDERSON.

Document 61

  1. COL LUIS URBULU, PERUVIAN ARMA, AND COL GULLERMO CASTRO, PERUVIAN AIRA, PRATICIPATED IN LAST AND TO DATE ONLY ATTACHE MEETING AT WHICH MILITARY ASSISTANCE TO BOLIVIA WAS DISCUSSED.
  2. AS CLARIFICATION, IT IS NOTED THAT THIS COORDINATING MEETING WAS, IN FACT, REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING OF ATTACHE CORPS WHICH IN BOLIVIA COMPRISES RESP OF US, ARGENTINA, BRAZIL, PERU AND PARAGUAY.

HENDERSON.

Document 62

  1. THOUGHT THE GOVERNMENT ADMITS TO NEW ARMED CONFRONTATIONS BETWEEN THE BOLIVIAN ARMY AND AT LEAST A PORTION OF THE GUERRILLA FORCE APRIL 20 AND 23, INFORMATION FROM THE AREA CONTINUES TO BE VAGUE, CONTRADICTORY AND VERY INCOMPLETE. THIS APPEARS TO BE DUE TO FAULTY COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN THE NEW THEATER OF OPERATIONS AND LA PAZ, THE PERHAPS NATURAL DESIRE OF THE MILITARY TO ISSUE ONLY GENERALLY FAVORABLE NEWS AND THE PREVALENCE OF RUMORS DESPITE A MILITARY IMPOSED BAN ON NEWS STORIES FROM THE OPERATIONS AREA (BEGINNING APRIL 22). NONETHELESS, REPORTS ASSEMBLED FROM A NUMBER OF PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SOURCES SUGGEST A POSSIBLE, IF NOT ENTIRELY ACCURATE, SEQUENCE OF EVENTS AND SOME PRELIMINARY CONCLUSIONS.
  2. IN AN ARTICLE DATELINED APRIL 19, THE PRESS REPORTED SIGHTINGS OF A GUERRILLA BAND MOVING SOUTH FROM IRIPITI NANCAHUAZU INTO THE YACUNDAY-MUYUPAMPA AREA. THE FOLLOWING DAY, A GROUP OF ABOUT 40 APPEARED BEFORE THE TOWN OF AYANGO, EIGHT KILOMETERS SE OF MUYUPAMPA. LEADERS OF THE TOWN, THE SUB-PREFECT, VILLAGE PRIEST AND DOCTOR, UNDER A FLAG OF TRUCE, ENGAGED IN CONVERSATION WITH THE GROUP FOR ABOUT THREE HOURS. THE GUERRILLAS SAID THEY WERE FIGHTING FOR A “REVOLUTION” WHICH WOULD BRING ABOUT A “TOTAL CHANGE IN THE PRESENT STRUCTURE” OF THE COUNTRY AND ASKED FOR FOOD AND MEDICINES. THE TOWN LEADERS, FEARFUL FOR THE SAFETY OF THE VILLAGE, REPORTEDLY AGREED TO DELIVER THE SUPPLIES TO A MUTUALLY AGREED UPON PLACE LATER THAT AFTERNOON. THE ARMY UNDERSTANDABLY REFUSED TO HONOR THE REQUEST AND AT THE AGREED UPON HOUR BOMBED THE DELIVERY SITE.
  3. LATER THE SAME EVENING, PRESIDENT BARRIENTOS AND GENERAL OVANDO SUCCESSIVELY REPORTED TO THE AMBASSADOR THAT FIGHTING WAS TAKING PLACE NEAR MASICURY, ABOUT 60 KILOMETERS SW OF VALLEGRANDE, AND NEAR MUYUPAMPA, ABOUT 90 KILOMETERS DISTANT. WITHOUT IDENTIFYING THE ACTION, THEY REPORTED THE KILLING OF FRENCH MARXIST INTELLECTUAL AND FRIEND OF FIDEL CASTRO JULES REGIS DEBRAY AND THE CAPTURING OF FOUR MEMBERS OF THE GUERRILLA FORCE, INCLUDING AN ARGENTINE, AN ENGLISHMAN AND TWO BOLIVIANS.
  4. NO DETAILS OF THE MASICURI ACTION HAVE BEEN MADE AVAILABLE AND THE ESTADO MAYOR, LATER CALLED FOR CONFIRMATION, SAID IT HAD NO REPORT FROM THAT AREA SINCE APRIL 17 WHEN AN ARMED BUT UNIDENTIFIED GROUP OF MEN HAD ATTEMPTED UNSUCCESSFULLY TO RAID A SUPPLY CONVOY.
  5. THE ACTION AT OR NEAR MUYUPAMPA AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CAPTURE AND/OR KILLING OF THE GUERRILLAS HAS NEVER BEEN MADE CLEAR. IN THE ABSENCEOF A SINGLE DETAIL OF THE ALLEGED FIREFIGHT, A LOGICAL CONCLUSION IS THAT THE ACTION REFERRED TO WAS THE BOMBING OF THE SUPPOSED SUPPLY SITE AND THE SUBSEQUENT INVESTIGATION BY UNITS OF THE BOLIVIAN ARMY. INDEED, ONE OF THREE ACCOUNTS OF THE MANNER IN WHICH DEBRAY WAS CAPTURED (THE PREDOMINANT VIEW SINCE APRIL 20 IS THAT HE AND THE FOUR WERE TAKEN ALIVE) HAS HIM APPREHENDED UNARMED WHILE ATTEMPTING TO ENTER A TOWN TO PURCHASE FOOD AND MEDICAL SUPPLIES. THE OTHER TWO EXPLANATIONS HAVE HIM CAPTURED (1) AS THE AFTERMATH OF AN ARMED STRUGGLE AND (2) WHILE STRAGGLING AT THE END OF THE GUERRILLA FORMATION.
  6. THE GUERRILLA FORCE APPARENTLY WITHDREW IN A NORTHWESTERLY DIRECTION. ON APRIL 24, THE BOLIVIAN AIR FORCE ISSUED A COMMUNIQUE REPORTING AN ACTION THE PREVIOUS DAY “BETWEEN MUYUPAMPA AND MONTEAGUDO”. THE GUERRILLA GROUP, IDENTIFIED AS THE SAME FORCE ENCOUNTERED EARLIER AT MUYUPAMPA, REPORTEDLY SUFFERED FOUR DEAD AND “VARIOUS” WOUNDED; THE BOLIVIAN AIR FORCE CLAIM NO BOLIVIAN CASUALTIES. THE COMMUNIQUE SAID THAT THE FORCE “DISPERSED”TOWARD TICUCHA) ABOUT 25 KILOMETERS NE OF MONTEAGUDO). DUE TO SIMILAR LOCALE AND GENERAL DESCRIPTION, THE DEFENSE ATTACHÉ BELIEVES THIS IS A FIGHT DESCRIBED PRIVATELY TO HIM AS OCCURING ON APRIL 22 AT TAPERILLAS, JUST NORTHEAST OF MONTEAGUDO. AGAIN, NO FURTHER DETAILS ARE AVAILABLE. (THE PRESS ON APRIL 25 LIKEWISE REPORTS THE LATEST INCIDENT AS OCCURRING ON APRIL 22.)
  7. MANY OBSERVERS BELIEVE THE GUERRILLA FORCES HAVE DIVIDED, SOME SUGGESTING THAT A PORTION REMAINS HOLED UP IN THE IRIPITI AREA, NEAR THE SITE OF THE APRIL 10 AMBUSH; OTHERS BELIEVING THE VAGUE REPORTS FROM MASICURI AS SUGGESTING THE NORTHERLY MOVEMENT OF YET ANOTHER ELEMENT. IN FACT, THE NUMBER REPORTED BEFORE AYANGO ON APRIL 20 ROUGHLY CORRESPONDS TO THE MINIMUM ESTIMATE OF THEIR TOTAL FORCE AND, TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE POSSIBILITY THAT A FEW BOLIVIANS MAY HAVE DRIFTED AWAY FROM THE GUERRILLA NUCLEUS, THIS MAY REPRESENT ALL EFFECTIVES CURRENTLY IN THE MOVEMENT.
  8. WHILE IT IS TOO EARLY TO DOWNGRADE THE THREAT, THERE ARE SOME HOPEFUL SIGNS. THE INSURGENTS APPEAR TO BE ON THE MOVE WITHOUT SANCTUARY OR PREPARED POSITIONS OF RETREAT. THEIR APPARENT NEED OF FOOD AND MEDICINE IS ENCOURAGING. IF THE BOLIVIAN ARMY HAS BEEN LESS THAN EFFECTIVE AS A FIGHTING FORCE, IT HAS AT LEAST PROVED BOTHERSOME IN A TERRAIN WORKING AS GREAT HARDSHIP UPON THE GUERRILLAS AS UPON THE PURSUING TROOPS.
  9. THE FATE OF THE PRISIONERS IS NOT ENTIRELY CLEAR. CAS BELIEVES THEY ARE – OR AT LEAST VERY RECENTLY WERE – ALIVE. MOREOVER, THE PRESS, APRIL 25, REPORTS THEM HELD AT THE MILITARY QUARTEL AT CHORETI, NEAR CAMIRI. IN ADDITION TO DEBRAY, THEY ARE REPORTED TO BE CARLOS ALBERTO FRUCTUOSO, WHO CLAIMS TO BE AN ARGENTINE JOURNALIST, AND GEORGE ANDREW ROTH, AN ENGLISH PHOTOGRAPHER. NOTWITHSTANDING THE NEWSPAPER ACOUNTS, HIGH MILITARY OFFICIALS HAVE INSISTED TO THE DEFENSE ATTACHE THAT DEBRAY, AT ANY RATE, IS DEAD. IF THIS IS NOT THE CASE, HIS FUTURE DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE PERMISING, PARTICULARY IN VIEW OF THE OFT-STATED DETERMINATION BY HIGHT OFFICIALS NOT TO KEEP GUERRILLA PRISIONERS.

HENDERSON.

Document 63

SUBJECT: GUERRILLA SITUATION – BOLIVIA

  1. IN COVERSATION WITH PRESIDENT AFTERNOON APRIL 26, BARRIENTOS REPORTED NEW CLASH BETWEEN ARMY AND GUERRILLAS IN GENRAL AREA NORTH OF MUYUPAMPA APRIL 25. HE SAID THAT GUERRILLAS OF “CUBAN” NATIONALITY KILLED ALTHOUGH HE WAS NOT CERTAIN OF IDENTIFY; THAT TWO BOLIVIANS, A SOLDIER AND CARBINERO, WERE KILLED; AND THAT ALTHOUGH THE GUERRILLAS WERE AT ONE POINT SURROUNDED THEY MANAGED TO ESCAPE DUE TO FAULTY TACTICAL FOLLOW UP BY BOLIVIAN FORCES. HE STATED CATEGORICALLY THAT DEBRAY WAS ALIVE AND WAS UNDEGOING INTERROGATION.
  2. AT APPROXIMATE TIME OF INTERVIEW, ARMED FORCES COMMAND ISSUED COMMUNIQUE GENERALLY CORRESPONDING WITH ABOVE. COMMUNIQUE INDENTIFIED AREA OF CONFLICT AS NEAR MEZON (NORTH OF MONTEAGUDO); SAID BOLIVIAN SIDE HAS SUFFERED TWO CASUALTIES; CLAIMED THAT TWO GUERRILLAS KILLED, ONE OF WHOW WAS POSITIVELY INDENTIFIED AS CUBAN KNOW AS “EL RUBIO”. MEANWHILE, COMMUNIQUE CONTINUED, BOL AIR FORCE WAS ATTACKING “RED ZONE” NORTH ITIMIRI.
  3. I TOOK OPPORTUNITY OF INTERVIEW TO STRESS ESSENTIALITY DEVELOP RAPIDLY A BASIC INTELLINGENCE CAPABILITY. (IN LATTER RESPECT, WE HAVE NO RPT NO CONFIRMED DETAILS ON ANY OF THE SEVERAL CONFRONTATIONS REPORTED DURING – LAST WEEK.) HE AGREED THAT INTELLIGENCE URGENTLY REQUIRED IM ROVEMENT.
  4. HE SAID HE WAS WORRIED THAT MY TRIP TO US MIGHT BE CONSTRUED AS AMERICAN CONCERN WITH HTE GUERRILLAS SITUATION AND ASKED THAT I ISSUE PRESS RELEASE INDICATING PURPOSE OF VISIT WAS REVIEW OF ECONOMIC DEVELPMENT PROGRAMS.
  5. USIS REP IS VISITING MEDIA TO EXPLAIN THAT MY ABSENCE IS ROUTINE CONSULATION ON ECONOMIC PROGRAMS FOR BOLIVIA.

HENDERSON.

Document 64

SUBJECT: GUERRILLA SITUATION – BOLIVIA

  1. PRESENCIA REPORTED APRIL 27 THAT IN ADDITION TO FIREFIGHT REPORTED REFTEL, TWO OTHER ACTIONS TOOK PLACE SAME DAY. FIRST OF THREE (REFTEL ACTION) TOOK PLACE BAOUT NOON APRIL 25 AT MUYUPAMPA IN ZONE CALLED EL MESON. SECOND AT IT IBETWEEN MONTEAGUDO AND MUYUPAMPA ABOUT 1800, RESULTS UNKNOWN. THIRD AT TORRECILL AS 30 KM. FROM CAMIRI ABOUT 2300 WITH TWO SOLDIERS AND TWO GUERRILLAS KILLED.
  2. PRESENCIAL ALSO CARRIED ALLEGED BRIEF INTERVIEWS WITH DEBRAY AND FRUCTUOSO. ARTICLE DATE LINED APRILN26MUYUPAMPA BUT DATE OF INTERVIEW IS NOT GIVEN. CONTRADICTORY ARTICLE IN SAME EDITION STATES THERE IS NO INFORMATION ON THESE TWO OR NO ROTH, ALLEGED ENGLISH JOURNALIST, BUT THAT ANOTHER FRENCHMAN, FERNANDO BALBASTRO, SELF-STYLED REPORTER WAS SEIZED BY BAF AS GUERRILLA CONTACT AND IS HELD IN CAMIRI. PRESENCIA REPORTED LEARNED LITTLE IN EITHER INTERVIEW AS HE WAS INTERRUPTED BY GUARDS WHO CLOSED OFF TALKS. DEBRAY TOLD HIM WOMAN IN GUERRILLA FORCE NAMED TANIA HAD DEPARTED AND THAT HE SHOULD CONTACT ALATRISTE OF MEXICAN PUBLICATION SUCESOS. NO REASON WAS GIVEN FOR THE LATTER. FRUCTUOSO HAD CHANCE TO SAY NO MORE THAN THAT HE WAS A FREE LANCE ARGENTINE JOURNALIST 15 DAYS IN BOLIVIA.
  3. PRESENCIA JOURNALIST ALSO REPORTS FOROETION OF VOLUNTEER PROTECTIVE FORCE IN MUYUPAMPA. AFTER TALK WITH CITIZENS, REPORTER ESTIMATES SIZE OF SELF-ORGANIZED CIVIC FORCE AT 100, MEMBERS OF WHICH TAKE TURNS GUARDING CITY AT NIGHT.
  4. CONGRESSIONAL COMMISSION YESTERDAY DECIDED TO SEND TO GUERRILLA ZONE DELEGATION COMPOSED OF SENATOR MANFRED O KEMPFF MERCADO AND TWO DEPUTIES, RODOLFO LUZIO AND RENE BALDIVIESO. DELEGATES WERE CHOSEN BY BALLOT AND WERE CHARGED TO GATHER DATA AND TO SUBMIT RECOMMENDATIONS TO COMMISION. THEY WILL DEPART MORNING APRIL 28 VIA TAM ACCOMPANIED BY RANKING OFFICERS OF BOLIVIAN ARM 6.
  5. COMMENT: AS WITH ALL INCIDENTS REPORTED BY PRESS AND MILITARY SINCE APRIL 20, EMBASSY HAS VIRTUALLY NO RELIABLE CONFIRMATION. THE MOST THAT CAN BE SAID IS THAT IN PSAT SEVEN DAYS GUERRILLA FORCE, IN PART OR IN WHOLE, HAS MOVED SSW APPROXIMATELY 45KMS. INTO MONTEAGUDO AND MUYUPAMPA AREA APPARENTLY IN SEARCH OF NEEDED FOOD AND MEDICINES. MEETING SOME RESISTENCE, THEY APPEAR HAVE RETIRED NORTHWARD BACK TOWARD NANCAHUAZU – IRIPITI AREA. SOME FIREFIGHT HAVE OCCURRED, CASUALTIES SUFFERED ON BOTH SIDES AND PRISIONERS AND SUSPECTS TAKEN, ALMOST CERTAINLY INCLUDING FOREIGNERS PREVIOUSLY NAMED.

FISHER.

Document 65

SUBJECT: BOLIVIAN INTEREST IN AIRCRAFT AND MILITARY SOFTS GOODS

  1. IN CONVERSATIONS WITH ARA/BC OFFICE DIRECTOR AND OTHERS, BOLIVIAN AMBASSADOR AND BOLIVIAN MINISTER ECONOMY ON APRIL 27 RAISED QUESTION POSSIBLE FURTHER U.S. AID OF “UNCONVENTIONAL” NATURE TO GOB IN ANTI-GUERRILLA EFFORTS. STATING THEY UNDER INSTRUCIONS FROM PRES. BARIENTOS, BOTH SOUGHT U.S. ASSISTANCE TO FINANCE PURCHASE TWO “TURBO-PORTER” AIRCRAFT, AND FOR ADDITIONAL SOFT GOODS (UNIFORMS, SHOES MEDICAL SUPPLIES) AND AUTOMATIC WEAPONS FOR ARMY.
  2. BOTH GOB REPS PROFESSED ACCEPT U.S. ANALYSIS OF BEST WAY DEAL WITH GUERRILLA PROBLEM BUT STATED ITEMS THEY SEEK ARE NEEDED AS “MORALE BOOSTERS” FOR ARMY AND AIR FORCE. STATED THAT IN AIRCRAFT CASE, GOB PREPARED TO PURCHASE COMMERCIALLY (BOL AMB ALLEGES TO HAVE ARRANGED 5 YEAR TERMS), BUT WOULD PREFER PURCHASE BOTH PLANE AND OTHER ITEMS UNDER MAP CREDIT SALE, AS EVIDENCE U.S. SUPPORT FOR GOVERNMENT.
  3. WE REVIEWED GUERRILLA DEVELOPMENTS, NOTING THAT WHEN THREAT AROSE WE RESPONDED PROMPTLY WITH EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE AND HAVE STEPPED UP DELIVERY SCHEDULES PROGRAMMED EQUIPMENT AND RANGER TRAINING PROGRAM. STATED WE FOUND IT HARD ACCEPT ANY ALLEGATION U.S. SUPPORT IN SITUATION NOT ALREADY AMPLY DEMONSTRATED. EXPRESSED VIEW BALL NOW IN GOB COURT TO DEAL WITH WEAKNESSES (POOR LEADERSHIP, POORLY MAINTAINED EQUIPMENT, ILL-TRAINED RECRUITS AND LACK OF ADEQUATE ENLISTMENT PERIOD) SHOWN UP BY GUERRILLA SITUATION.
  4. WE ADDED THAT U.S. EVALUATION OF SUITABILITY TURBO-PORTER FOR BOLIVIAN NEEDS IS NEGATIVE, BECAUSE OF ALREADY EXISTING EXCESSIVE VARIETY AIRCRAFT IN BAF INVENTORY, FEASIBILITY OF ALTERNATIVE AND LESS COSTLY MEANS ACHIEVING OBJECTIVES SOUGHT WITH TURBO-PORTER, AND BAF MARGINAL LOGISTICAL CAPABILITY, WHICH NON-EXISTENT FOR TURBO-POWERED AIRCRAFT.
  5. TO SANJINES SUGGESTION THAT GOB COULD MAKE COMMERCIAL PLANE PURCHASE, BUT STILL SOUGHT SOFT GOODS AND MORE AUTOMATIC WEAPONS UNDER MAP, WE POINTED TO INCONGRUITY OF SPENDING $100,000 OR MORE ON PLANE OF QUESTIONABLY UTILITY APART FROM “MORALE,” WHILE REQUESTING USG TO FINANCE SHOES AND UNIFORMS. REAL QUESTION, WE SAID, NOT HOW AIRPLANES FINANCED BUT WHETHER JUSTIFICATION EXISTED FOR PURCHASE IN ANY FASHION, GIVEN HIGHER PRIORITY REQUIREMENTS TO MEET GUERRILLA PROBLEMS AND DIFFICULT BUDGEST SITUATION.
  6. ON SUBSEQUENT OCCASION SAME DAY, SANJINES, OBVIOUSLY SOMEWHAT TAKEN ABACK AT OUR RESPONSE, STRESSED HE ONLY FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS, STATED HE PLANNED ADVISE GOB THAT FACILITIES AVAILABLE FOR COMMERCIAL PURCHASE ONE TURBO-PORTER PLANE, BUT THAT GOVERNMENT SHOULD MKE OWN DECISION ON WHETHER OR NOT TO PURCHASE, AND SHOULD TAKE INTO ACCOUNT U.S. VIEWS IN REACHING DECISION.

Document 66

THERE FOLLOWS EXTRACT OF MEMCON BY GENERAL WILLIAM TOPE ON CONVERSATION WITH PRESIDENT BARRIENTOS APRIL 28. AS REPORT SUGGESTS, BARRIENTOS FAILURE UNDERSTAND AND ACCEPT NEED FOR BALANCED APPROACH TOWARD INTERNAL SECURITY AND HIS CONTINUED INSISTENCE ON NEED FOR AUTOMATIC WEAPONS ETC. FOR “MORALE” REASONS REMAINS MAJOR OBSTACLE TO MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING.

  1. AT 7:30, APRIL 27 I HAD A TWO-HOUR PRIVATE MEETING WITH PRESIDENT BARRIENTOS AT HIS HOME TO DISCUSS CONCLUSIONS DRAWN DURING MY VISIT HERE SINCE APRIL 18. AT NO TIME WERE ANY OF HIS ADVISORS PRESENT
  2. “I STATED HIS ARMED FORCES APPEARED TO HAVE REQUIRMENTS FOR HELP FROM THE U.S. BUT THAT THE MOST URGENT WAS NOT CERTAIN EQUIPMENT AND MATERIEL WHICH SEEM TO PREDOMINATE MOST THINKING. A MILITARY ELEMENT OF ANY TYPE, GROUND OR AIR, CAN BE EFFECTIVE ONLY IF ALL THE ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS ARE PRESENT AND EFFECTIVE. THE ABSCENCE OF ANY ONE OF THEM COULD ESTROY THE USEFULNESS OF ALL OTHERS, INCLUDING EQUIPMENT, AND IT WAS WORSE THAN USELESS TO CONCENTRATE ON ONLY ONE ELEMENT WHILE IGNORING ALL OTHERS. THEREFORE, UNTIL WE COULD PUT TOGETHER ALL THE VITAL PARTS IN A WELL COORDINATED PACKAGE, IMPROVEMENT IN ONE WOULD NOT COMPENSATE FOR THE DEFICIENCIES IN THE OTHER. THIS PLANNED AND COORDINATED APPROACH TO PROVIDE ALL ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS IS LACKING NOW AND WHAT HE REALLY NEEDS IS HELP ON THIS MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE

Document 67

CHILEAN AMBASSADOR HIDOKRO LAST NIGHT TOLD ME HE HAS HEARD REPORTS THAT THE GUEVERA HAS BEEN IN VIETNAM STUDYING VIETCONG TACTICS. HE WOULD NOT SAY WHERE HE’D HEARD REPORTS OR WHETHER HE THOUGHT THEM TRUE. HUIDOKRO HAS IN POAST WORKED CLOSELY WITH BLOC ON SOME GENEVA AGENCY ISSUES, MOST NOTEABLY IN SUPPORT OF SUCESSFUL CANDIDACY OF POLE FOR ILO CONFERENCE PRESIDENCY LAST YEAR.

Document 69

  1. FOLLOWING IS DEPARTMENT ANALYSIS OF MAY 5 FOREIGN MINISTRY STATEMENT ON TREATMENT OF CAPTURED GUERRILLAS. IT IS PROVIDED AS BACKGROUND INFORMATION ONLY.
  2. FOREIGN MINISTRY STATEMENT TAKES POSITION THAT CAPTURED FOREIGN GUERRILLAS NOT PRISIONERS OF WAR UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW BECAUSE “NO STATE OF BELLIGERENCE EXISTS WITH ANY FOREIGN COUNTRY.” FOREIGN MINISTRY MAY BE CORRECT BUT FOR WRONG REASONS. (A) UNDER BOTH CUSTOMARY INTERNATIONAL LAW AND 1949 GENEVA CONVENTION ON PRISONERS OF WAR (TO WHICH GOB NOT A PARTY), CERTAIN HUMANITARIAN RULES CAN APLLY TO INTERNAT CONFLICTS, THAT IS, CONFLICTS NOT OF AN INTERNATIONAL CHARACTER. (B) FOR CUSTOMARY INTERNATIONAL LAW RULES TO APPLY TO INTERNAL CONFLICT, BELLIGERENCY BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND REVOLUTIONARIES IS NECESSARY, AND THIS DOES NOT NOW EXIST IN BOLIVIA. (C) PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE 3 OF GENEVA CONVENTION APLLY IN CASE OF “ARMED CONFLICT NOT OF AN INTERNATIONAL CHARACTER”, BUT GOB COULD CLAIM THAT ARTICLE 3 WOULD NOT BE APPLICABLE (EVEN IF GOB WERE PARTY) ON GROUNDS GUERRILLA MOVEMENT HAS NOT AT HTIS STAGE REACHED DIMENSION OF ARMED CONFLICT. DEFINITION OF ARMED CONFLICT NOT CLEAR; HOWEVER, IF GUERRILLA MOVEMENT CONTINUES FOR EXTENDED PERIOD AND GROWS IN SIZE, IT VERY POSSIBLY WOULD BE CONSIDERED ARMED CONFLICT BY INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE RED CROSS.
  3. FOREIGN MINISTRY STATEMENT LEAVES UNFORTUNATE IMPRESSION THAT SINCE INTERNATIONAL LAW RULES NOT APPLICABLE, CAPTURED FOREIGN GUERRILLAS WILL NOT RECEIVE MORE HUMANITARIAN RIGHTS OF INTERNATIONAL LAW BUT ARE TO RECEIVE LESS CIVILIZED TREATMENT OF “COMMON CRIMINALS” IN BOLIVIA. EVEN IF GENEVA CONVENTION RULES ON CAPTIVES WERE APPLICABLE, GUERRILLAS WOULD NOT BE ENTITLE TO MORE RIGHTS THAN THEY WOULD NORMALLY RECEIVE UNDER BOLIVIAN LAW (ASSUMING BOLIVIAN LAW CONFORMS WITH MINIMUM INTERNATIONAL JUDICIAL STANDARD.) ARTICLE 3 OF GENEVA CONVENTION PROVIDES GUARANTEES AGAINST CRUEL TRATMENT, TAKING OF HOSTAGES, AND OUTRAGES UPON PERSONAL DIGNITY BUT WOULD ALLOW GOB TO TRY GUERRILLAS IF JUDGMENT PRONOUNCED IS “BY A REGULARY CONSTITUTED COURT AFFORDING ALL THE JUDICIAL GUARANTEES WHICH ARE RECOGNIZED AS INDISPENSABLE BY CIVILIZED PEOPLE.” TRIAL BY MILITARY TRIBUNAL, IF IT PROVIDES SUCH GUARANTEES, WOULD NOT BE PROHIBITED.
  4. ARTICLE 3 GENEVA CONVENTION PROVIDES INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE RED CROSS MAY OFFER ITS SERVICES TO PARTIES TO CONFLICT.
  5. OBVIOUSLY BETTER FOR GOB TO GRANT CAPTIVES SAME GUARANTEES AS ARTICLE 3 GENEVA CONVENTION AND PUBLICIZE IT PROVIDING SUCH GUARANTEES (E.G. PARA 1. LA PAZ 2871) THAN TO MAKE ARGUMENT IN PARA 2. ABOVE WITH RESULTING IMPRESSION NOTED IN PARA. 3 .

Document 70

SUBJECT: GUERRILLAS

  1. ON MAY 15 BAF RELEASED COMMUNIQUE TO FOLLOWING EFFECT:
  2. IT HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED THAT GUERRILLAS IN BOLIVIA ARE INTERNATIONAL IN DIRECTION, COMPOSITION AND FINANCES.
  3. THEY OBEY HAVANA IN CARRYING OUT CONSLUSIONS OF TRICONTINENTAL CONFERENCE.
  4. THE BOLIVIANS WITH GUERRILLA FORCES ARE PAID IN FOREIGN MONEY.
  5. NO ACTION IN GUERRILLA ZONE APART FROM AIR ATTACK ON GROUP SIGHTED NEAR PIQUIRIHUAZU.

HENDERSON.

Document 71

SUBJECT: INTERNAL SECURITY SITUATION IN BOLIVIA

  1. REFERENCE IS MADE TO SHORT-TERM CONCLUSION 3C REFTEL RECOMMENDING SENDING TO CANAL ZONE SELECT RANGER-TYPE GROUP FOR SPECIAL CI TRAINING PLUS SMALL GROUP OF SPECIALISTS. CT IS IN FULL ACCORD POLITICAL DESIRABILITY ACHIEVING AS RAPID AND DRAMATIC SUCESS AGAINST GUERRILLAS AS POSSIBLE. HOWEVER, UNLESS GUERRILLA FORCE DISINTEGRATES DUE TO RUGGED AND UNHEALTHFUL TERRAIN AND LACK OF SUPPORT (WHICH OF COURSE IS POSSIBILITY), WE SEE NO SHORT TERM SOLUTION (WITHIN FOUR MONTHS) WITH REASONABLE CHANCE OF SUCCESS AND SOME DAMAGE RESULTING FROM BUILDING UP EXPECTATIONS OF BOLIVIAN HIGH COMMAND WHICH, ON LITTLE JUSTIFICATION, TENDS TOWARD EUPHORIA AND ACCEPTANCE OF MAGICAL SOLUTIONS AS SUBSTITUTE FOR HARD WORK AND NEEDED REFORM. FOLLOWING DISCUSSION IS NOT REJECTION YOUR PJUPOSAL BUT RATHER ELABORATION ON POTENTIAL POLITICAL AND TECHNICAL PROBLEMS CONNECTED WITH STRIKE FORCE CONCEPT.
  2. IN POLITICAL AREA, SPECIAL FORCE COULD CREATE RESENTMENTS WITHIN GOB CONTROL OF UNIT, ESPECIALLY WITHIN BAF. BARRIENTOS APPARENTLY ENVISIONS GROUP AS TYPE OF PRAETORIAN GUARD PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE TO HIM. IF SUCH PROVED THE CASE, ARMY LEADERS MIGHT WELL RESENT SEPARATE AND PRIVATE ARMED FORCE AND COULD BE EXPECTED DRAG HEELS IN PROVIDING LOGISTIC AND OTHER SUPPORT IF AND WHEN STRIKE FORCE ENTERED OPERATIONS AREA. SUCH SPECIAL GROUP, WHETHER WITHIN ARMED FORCES OR ACCOUNTABLE DIRECTLY TO PRESIDENT, MIGHT BE EXPECTED PLAY ROLE IN INTERNAL POLITICS, POSSIBLY LONG AFTER RESOLUTION OF IMMEDIATE GUERRILLA PROBLEM. AS PAWN OF AMBITIOUS LEADER, IT WOULD CARRY SUBSTANCIAL WEIGHT IN SCALES OF BOLIVIAN POLITICS AND NOT NECESSARILY ON SIDE OF LONG-TERM POLITICAL STABILITY. FROM US POLICY POINT OF VIEW, THIS PROPOSAL WOULD SEEM TO INVOLVE US MORE DEEPLY IN GUERRILLA PROBLEM WHICH APPEARS COUNTER PRESENT WASHINGTON POSTURE.
  3. EVEN IF POTENTIAL POLITICAL PROBLEMS WERE AVERTED BY CAREFUL DESIGN OF FORCE AND PRIOR COMMITMENT TO DISBAND AFTER GUERRILLA THREAT ENDED, A NUMBER OF TECHBICAL PROBLEMS APPEAR TO REMAIN: (1) STRIKE FORCE SEEMS CONTRARY TO OUR COORDINATED APPROACH TO PROBLEM. EVEN WITHOUT ELEMENT OF POLITICAL RIVALRY, CT DOES NOT SEE HOW FORCE CAN BE EFFECTIVE WITHOUT SUBSTANTIAL CONCURRENT IMPROVEMENT IN TRANSPORT, COMMO, AND LOGISTICS. THE PROBLEM OF COORDINATION WOULD BE COMPOUNDED RATHER THAN EASED BY INTRODUCTION OF NEW SPECIAL UNIT, EVEN IF IT COULD BE DRAWN FROM 4TH DIVISION. (2) UNIT IS TOO SMALL TO HAVE DRAMATIC IMPACT. INDEED, IF NOSE BADLY BLOODIED IN FIRST ENCOUNTER, WE RISK LOSING EFFECTIVE FORCE AND SUFFERING MORE BLAME THAN CREDIT FOR OUR EFFORT. (3) CT DOES NOT BELIEVE STRIKE FORCE CAN DO ANYTHING THAT 2ND RANGERS CANNOT DO BETTER. WITH PRESENT ON MONTH HEADSTART, RANGERS SHOULD BE READY WITHIN SAME TIME FRAME AS SPECIAL FORCE, IS LARGER UNIT, AND HAS BEEN TRAINED NEAR AREA. WE UNDERSTAND 2ND RANGERS WILL BE OPERATION BY SEPTEMBER RATHER THAN AT END OF YEAR AS INDICATED IN REFTEL. AS REGULAR AND PROGRAMMED UNIT OF BOLIVIAN ARMY, SUPPORT PROBLEM FOR 2ND RANGERS SHOULD BE MININAL. (4) CT DOUBTS AVAILABILITY OF 60-75 SUITABLE CANDIDATES WITHIN 4TH DIVISION. UPON WITHDRAWAL FROM OPERATIONS AREA, SICK AND THOSE COMPLETING ONE YEAR TOUR WILL BE MUSTERED OUT, LEAVING SMALL RECENTLY RECRUITED NUCLEUS TO RETRAIN NEAR CAMIRI. WE DO NOT BELIEVE THAT MIRACLES CAN BE EXPECTED FROM THESE LARGELY ILLITERATE CAMPESINOS WHETHER OLD SOLDIERS OF SIX MONTHS OR RAW RECRUITS AND THINK THEY WILL BENEFIT MORE FROM TRAINING IN FAMILIAR SURROUNDINGS THAN IN STRANGE AND DISTANT PLACE.
  4. CT FAVORS SECOND PART OF RECOMMENDATION, I.E. SEND GROUP OF SPECIALISTS TO PANAMA FOR TRAINING. ALTHOUGH NOT WITHOUT BUILT-IN DIFFICULTIES, THE INTRODUCTION OF TRAINED LOGISTICS, COMMO, TRANSPORT AND POSSIBLY PSIWAR PERSONNEL INTO CADRES OF 4TH DIVISION SHOULD ENHANCE COORDINATEDSWPPROACH. TWO UNRELAIED BUT PERHAPS NOT INSOLUABLE PROBLEMS ARISE. WITHOUS US PRESENCE IN ZONE, WE DO NOT KNOW WHICH SKILLS ARE MOST URGENTLY NEEDED BY BAF AND WILL HAVE TO RELY ON NOT ALWAYS RELIABLE OR INFORMED ESTIMATE OF BAF. SECONDLY AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, AFTER SPECIALISTS ARE TRAINED, WE WOULD HAVE TO DEPEND UPON WISDOM OF BOLIVIAN 4TH DIVISION COMMANDER TO MAKE PROPER USE OF NEWLY ACQUIRED RESOURCES. PERFORMACE HERE IS NOT ENCOURAGING AND WE UNDERSTAND THAT BARRIENTOS HAS APPARENTLY CONFIRMED IN HIS POST PRESENT INEFFICENT TRADITIONALIST COMMANDER ALTHOUGH BAF-FAVORED US-TRAINED NOMINEE WAS READY TO ASSUME POSITION.
  5. SOME ADDITIONAL POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVES ALSO SUGGEST THEM-SELVES. (1) IN SEPTEMBER WHEN 2ND RANGER TRAINING IS COMPLETE, ROTATE MTT TO ANOTHER MAP-SUPPORTED UNIT, FOR EXAMPLE RIBERALTA RANGERS. THUS FAR, EXCEPT FOR 2ND RANGERS, WE HAVE TRAINED BOLIVIAN TRAINING OFFICERS RATHER THAN TRAINED TROOPS DIRECTLY (AS DID PREVIOUS FOREIGN MILITARY MISSION IN BOLIVIA). WE BELIEVE SUBSTANTILLY INCREASED EFFECTIVENESS OFMAP UNITS, ESPECIALLY IN TIME OF CRISIS, MERITS THIS MINOR ADDITIONAL INVESTMENT. (2) IN ADDITION TO SPECIALISTS, SEND LARGER NUMBERS OF BOLIVIAN OFFICERS TO PANAMA FOR CI TRAINING AND INSTROCTION AS CI TRAINERS. MTT MIGHT ALSO BE USED TRAIN BOLIVIAN OFFICERS “LA ESPERANZA” SITE AFTER COMPLETION 2ND RANGER PROGRAM.

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  1. CBS TV NEWS CORRESPONDENT IKE PAPPAS AND CREW HERE TO FILM SIX MINUTE DOCUMENTARY GUERRILLA SITUATION FOR WALTER ORONKITE NEWS. THEY HAVE ARRANGED ON CAMERA A INTERVIEW PRESIDENT BARRIENTOS AND HAVE BEEN INVITED ACCOMPANY HIM TWO-DAYS VISIT GUERRILLA AREA THIS WEEK FOR REPRESENTATIVE SHOTS.
  2. THEY REQUEST SHORT ON-CAMERA STATEMENT FROM ME – IF DEPARTMENT APROVES WOULD MAKE FOLLOWING STATMENT.
  3. “WE AND THE BOLIVIAN GOVERNMENT BOTH VIEW THE GUERRILLA PROBLEM AS A BOLIVIAN PROBLEM THOUGHT WE RECOGNIZE THAT AVAIBLE EVIDENCE INDICATES IT IS A FOREIGN INSPIRED MOVEMENT, LED IN PARTY BY NON-BOLIVIANS AND THAT MANY OF THE GUERRILLAS ARE HARD-CORE PROFESSIONALS TRAINNED ABROAD.
  4. WE HAVE RECOGNIZED FOR YEARS THAT THERE WAS A POTENTIAL GUERRILLA THREAT HERE BUT WE WANT TO KEEP IN PERSPECTIVE, EMPHASIZING THAT THE U.S. ROLE IS TO HELP ENABLE BOLIVIA TO COPE WITH ITS OWN PROBLEMS.
  5. WE AND THE BOLIVIANS FEEL STRONGLY THAT THE BASIC LONG-TERM PROBLEMS OF THE COUNTRY CONTINUE TO BE THE PROBLEMS OF DEVELOPMENT AND OUR ASSISTANCE EFFORTS HAVE BEEN AND CONTINUE TO BE DIRECTED TOWARD OVERCOMING THOSE PROBLEMS. A LARGE PART OF OUR MILITARY ASSISTANCE HAS IN FACT COME IN THE FORM QF TRACTORS AND MEDICINE AND REOAD-BUILDING EQIPMENT RELATED TO CIVIC ACTION PROGRAMS.
  6. THE THREAT OF FOREIGN INTERVENTION IN BOLIVIAN INTERNAL AFFAIRS WAS AGGRAVATED LAST YEAR BY THE SUBVERSIVE DOCTRINES AGREED TO IN THE TRI-CONTINENTAL CONFERENCE IN HAVANA. IT WAS FURTHER AGGRAVATED THIS MARCH WHEN FIDEL CASTRO INDICATED IN A SPEECH THAT HE FAVORED AGGRESSIVE GUERRILLA INSURGENT MOVEMENTS THROUGHOUT LATIN AMERICA LEADING TO WARS OF LIBERATION. BUT THE ASSISTANCE AND TRAINING WE ARE GIVING THE BOLIVIANS TO BUILD UP THEIR RESISTANCE TO SUBVERSION IS NOT SOMETHING WE INITIATED WITH THE RECENT APPEARANCE OF ARMED GUERRILLAS. THE MILITARY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM HAS BEEN PLANNED AND SICUSSED OVER A PERIOD OF YEARS AS PART OF INCREASING THE BOLIVIANS OVER-ALL READINESS TO MAINTAIN INTERNAL SECURITY.
  7. WE ARE FOR EXAMPLE HELPING TRAIN A RANGER BATTALION IN SANTA CRUZ WHICH, AFTER OUR TRAINING TEAM FINISHES ITS WORK AND RETURNS TO THE CANAL ZONE, WILL BE PREPARED TO OPERATE IN THE SOUTHEAST PART OF THE COUNTRY WHERE THE GUERRILLAS ARE. WE HAVE SUPPLIED FOUR HELICOPTERS WHICH ARE PARTICULARY USEFUL IN SUPPORTING COUNTER-INSURGENCY OPERATIONS AND ARE TRAINING BOLIVIANS TO USE THEM. BUT THIS TRAINING AND THE HELICOPTERS WERE PLANNED FOR THIS YEAR’S PROGRAM LONG BEFORE THE GUERRILLAS APPEARED. THEY ARE PART OF A PROGRAM WHICH HAS ALSO INCLUDED SUPPORT FOR A FEW SELECTED ENGINEER, MOTORIZED, AND OTHER TYPES OF UNITS IN SEVERAL PARTS OF THE COUNTRY. THE UTILIZATION AND DIRECTION OF ALL THESE ELEMENTS ARE OF COURSE ENTIRELY THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE BOLIVIAN ARMED FORCES.
  8. GIVEN THE PRESENT SITUATION IN THE COUNTRY-POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND MILITARY WE ARE CONFIDENT BOLIVIA WILL CONTINUE TO SOLVE ITS OWN PROBLEMS.

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  1. BOLIVIAN PASSPORTS CARRY NOTATION “NOT VALID FOR CUBA OR SOCIALIST COUNTRIES”. HOWEVER, THIS PROVISION EASILY CIRCUMVENTD BY OBTAINING SPECIAL DOCUMENTATION IN THIRD COUNTRIES. THIS PROCEDURE OFTEN USED BY STUDENTS AND POLITICIANS.

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  1. MISSION CONTINUES EXCHANGE INFO WITH ARGENTINES ON REGULAR BASIS. WE UNDERSTAND THAT ARGENTINE ATTACHE HAS NOT VISITED MILITARY ZONE SINCE EARLY DAYS OF INSURGENCE AND THAT NO FURTHER REUESTS FOR ARGENTINE ASSISTANCE HAVE BEEN RECEIVED HERE. ARGENTINES TELL US THAT FURTHER BOLIVIAN REQUEST MUST BE MADE IN WRITING WITH ALL CONTEMPLATED TRANSACTIONS MADE ON A SALE BASIS.
  2. MISSION HERE CATIVELY DISCOURAGING USE BE NAPALM OR SALE THEREOF BY OTHER COUNTRIES AS INSTRUCTED SECOND REFTEL.

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SUBJECT: GUERRILLA ACTIVITY

  1. MAY 3 BAF COMMUNIQUE ANNOUNCED THE DEATH OF BOLIVIAN LIEUTENANT IN CLASH WITH GUERRILLA GROUP AFTERNOON MAY 30 NORTHEAST OF THE NACAHUAZU ZONE. GUERRILLAS SUFFERED CASUALTIES INCLUDING THREE DEAD TAKEN BY BAF. BOLIVIAN TROOPS MAINTAINING CONTACT WITH GUERRILLAS TO PREVENT ESCAPE. END COMMUNIQUE.
  2. PRESS REPORTS STATE CAMIRI MILITARY COMMAND ISSUED COMMUNIQUE REPORTING SIGHTING MAY 23 OF GUERRILLA GROUP APPROXIMATELY 50 STRONG IN AREA OF CARAHUATARENDA ABOUT 60 KM. NNE OF LAGUNILLAS. ON MAY 30 THE TROOPS MADE CONTACT WITH A GROUP OF 10 TO 15 GUERRILLAS NEAR EL ESPINO (NE OF CARAHUATARENDA) REPORTEDLY PARTON THE LARGER BAND. UNOFFICIAL FIGURES ARE ONE OFFICER AND ONE SOLDIER KILLED AND FOUR WOUNDED, ALL FROM MAP SUPPORTED 24TH RANGER COMPANY. NO CONFIRMATION OF GUERRILLAS DEAD AND WOUNDED.

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THE SECRETARY BEGAN THE MEETING BY NOTING THE ENCOURAGING ECONOMIC PROGRESS WICH BOLIVIA HAS BEEN MAKING RECENTLY. IN REPLY VICE PRESIDENT SILES ELABORATED BRIEFLY ON SOME OF THE ASPECTS OF THIS ECONOMIC GROWTH, BUT STATE THAT IT WAS NOW ENDANGERED TO A DEGREE BY THE PRESENCE OF SMALL BUT FORMIDABLE FOREIGN-LED GUERRILLA GROUP OF A CASTROITE NATURE. THE VICE PRESIDENT GAVE SOME DETAILS ON THE LOCATION AND STRENGTH OF THE GUERRILLA FORCES. HE STATED THEY REPRESENTED NO IMMEDIATE MILITARY THREAT TO THE GOVERNMENT BUT WERE RATHER A POTENTIAL WHICH MIGHT DEVELOP INTO A SERIOUS PROBLEM IN THE FUTURE.

THE VICE PRESIDENT SAID THE PROBLEM SHOULD BE DEALT WITH ON TWO LEVELS. ON THE MILITARY LEVEL, IN ADDITION TO A RANGER BATTALION NOW RECEIVING TRAINING IN SANTA CRUZ WITH U.S. ASSISTANCE, A SMALL ELITE FORCE OF SOME 50-60 WELL TRAINED AND HIGHLY MOTIVATED SOLDIERS, PRINCIPALLY OFFICERS AND NCO’S, SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED TO GO AFTER AND LIQUIDATE THE GUERRILLAS. SUCH A FORCE, HE THOUGHT, IS THE ONLY KIND WHICH CAN DEAL ADEQUATELY WITH THIS TYPE TO GUERRILLA ACTIVITITY. THE OTHER LEVEL IS THAT OF EDUCATION. THE VICE PRESIDENT NOTED THAT THE CASTRO COMMUNISTS IN LATIN AMERICA CONCENTRATE MORE ON ATTRACTING STUNDENTS AND INTELLECTUALS THAN ON WORKERS. HE REFERRED TO RECENT OUTBREAKS OF STUDENT UNREST IN LA PAZ, NOTING THAT THIS UNREST ROSE LARGELY OUT OF THE UNDOUBTEDLY POOR CONDITION AND OVERCROWDING IN THE SECONDARY SCHOOL SYSTEM. WHILE THE BOLIVIAN GOVERNMENT HAS PLANS TO IMPROVE AND EXPAND SCHOOL FACILITIES THROUGH NEW TAX RESOURCES, THESE RESOURCES WILL NOT BE AVAIBABLE IN THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE. FOR THE SHORT RUN, THEREFORE, HE BELIEVES IT IMPORTANT TO SECURE EXTERNAL ASSISTANCE IN THE AMOUNT OF SOME $500,000 TO CONSTRUCT APPROXIMATELY 15 SCHOOLS AROUND THE COUNTRY. SUCH A PROJECT, HE SAID, WOULD GO A LONG WAY TOWARDS ALLEVIATING CURRENT STUDENT UNREAST AND THEREFORE TOWARDS REDUCING ANY POSSIBILITIES OF STUDENT SOLIDARITY WITH THE GUERRILLAS.

ON THE SUBJECT OF DEALING WITH GUERRILLAS THE SECRETARY COMMENTED THAT OUR EXPERIENCE IN VIETNAM, LAOS, GREECE AND ELSEWHERE HAD TAUGHT US THE CRITICAL IMPORTANCE OF AN EFFECTIVE SYSTEM OF INFORMATION COLLECTION. HE NOTED THAT SUCH AN INFORMATION COLLECTION SYSTEM AMONG THE PEOPLE RESIDING IN THE GUERRILLA AREAS IS INDISPENSABLE TO THE CONTROL OF GUERRILLA MOVEMENTS. THE VICE PRESIDENT AGREED, ADDING THAT TO DATE THE BOLIVIAN PEASANT HAS SHOWN NO INCLINATION TO SUPPORT THE GUERRILLAS. HE ALSO NOTED IN PASSING THAT THERE WAS SOME DANGER THAT PEASENTS WHO WERE UNABLE TO SELL THEIR COFFEE CROP, BECAUSE OF BOLIVIAN INABILITY TO PLACE ITS COFFE IN THE WORLD MAKET, MIGHT BECOME A SOURCE OF DISAFFECTION.

THE SECRETARY STATED THAT WE WOULD EXAMINE THE SCHOOL PROJECT VICE PRESIDENT SILES HAD MENTIONED, NOTING IN THIS CONTEXT CERTAIN TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES WICH EXISTED IN DOLLAR FINANCING FOR LOCAL COSTS ON ASSISTANCE PROJECTS.

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SUBJECT: STATE OF SIEGE

  1. THIS IS FIRST OF DAILY SITREPS TO BE FILED AT MID-DAY THOUGHOUT CURRENT CRISIS.
  2. STATE OF SIEGE DECLARED BY PRESIDENT BARRIENTOS YESTERDAY PRECIPITATED BY PLANNED MINER MARCH ON ORURO JUNE 8. GOVERNMENT WHICH SINCE MARCH HAS BEEN FEARFUL OF HAVING TO COMBAT GUERRILLAS AND CONVENTIONAL MINING DISORDERS AT SAME TIME APPARENTLY CHOSE STATE OF SIEGE AS MANNER FORE STALLING OUTBREAK OF SECOND ANTI-GOVERNMENTAL FRONT. COMIBOL SOURCE REPORTED YESTERDAY MINE MEETING AT CATAVI – SIGLO VEINTE ATTENDED BY 1.500 – 2.000 PERSONS DEMANDING WITHDRAWAL MINE POLICE, APPROVING SENDING OF DRUGS AND FOOD TO GUERRILLAS AND SETTING TODAY FOR MANISFESTATION. SIMILAR REPORTS APPARENTLY RECEIVED FROM HUANUNI SECTORS OF NORTHERN MINES. 2. DECREE AUTHORIZED UNDER ARTICLE 111 OF NEW CONSTITUTION AUTHORIZES BAF NATIONAL POLICE AND ALL SECURITY FORCES TO TAKE NECDMSSARY MEASURES TO MAINTAIN ORDER, ALSO FORBIDS ALL PUBLIC MEETINGS AND DEMOSTRATIONS. MINGOVERNMENT AND MINDEFENSE ASSIGNED RESPONSIBILITY CARRYING OUT PROVISIONS.
  3. IN PUBLIC STATMENTS, PRESIDENT AND MINGOVERNMENT ARGUEDAS HAVE STRESSED SUBVERSIVE EFFORTS OF PCB AND POR (BOTH ALREADY OUTLAWED) AND MNR AND PRIN. IN SPEECH TO NATION LAST NIGHT, PRESIDENT NOTED PUBLIC STATEMENTS OF PAZ AND LECHIN IN BEHALF OF GUERRILLAS AND PROMISED DEFEND THE – PROGRESS OF THE PAST THREE YEARS AGAINST THIS NARROW CLIQUE OF ADVENTURERS. MEANWHILE. MINGOVERNMENT ANNOUCED THAT HE “HAD ORDERED THE ARREST OF ALL POLITICAL LEADERS DECLARING SUPPORT FOR GUERRILLAS”. PRESS REPORTS STATE THAT PRIN LEADERS LIDIA GUEILER DE MOLLER AND CARLOS DAZLAVDENZ AND MNR LEADER FRANCISCO GUZMAN ARRENDOND HAVE BEEN DETAINED.
  4. ALTHOUGH PRESENCIAL LAMENTED THE NEED FOR STATE OS SIEGE NO OTHER PRESS COMMENT HAS BEEN PUBLISHED. PIR AND PRA LEADERS HAVE MERELY STATED THE EXECUTIVE HAD THE RIGHT TO DECLARE A STATE OF SIEGE. FSB CHIEF DISTURBED BY DECREE ALLEGEDLY IN VIEW OF ATTEMPT OD FSB TO ALIGNWITH AND PRIN, THE LATTER WHILE LEADERS ARE BEING JAILED.
  5. EDUCATION MINISTER ANNOUNCED JUNE 7 THAT IN VIEW OF AGITATION IN COUNTRY AND POLITICALLY DIRECTED STUDENT DEMONSTRATIONS, BESIDES FLU EPIDEMIC, GOVERNMENT DECLARING WINTER VACATIONS AS OF JUNE 8. ALL PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE CLOSED AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS EXPECTED TO FOLLOW SUIT BY WEEKEND. UNIVERSITIES REMAIN OPEN.
  6. SITUATION ORURO BUT TRANQUIL. SOME MINE LEADERS SAN JOSE DETAINED AND HUANUNI MINERS CONCENTRATING FOR MARCH ON ORURU ALTHOUGH KNOW ARMY HAS BLOCKADES ACROSS ROAD TO ORURO. SAN JOSE MINERS ASSEMBLED TO REQUEST PERFECT RELEASE LEADERS. PERFECT SAID HE WILL NOT ALLOW ANY DEMONSTRATIONS. SOME 350 RANGERS OF CHALLAPATA REGIMENT ARE IN ORURO AREA IN ADDITION TO SOME 750 TROOPS AND REENFORCES SECURITY FORCES. MILGRP. EXPECTS POSSIBLE REQUEST FOR RIOT EQUIPMENT.
  7. SITUATION LA PAZ QUIET ALTHOUGH GUARDSMEN PRESENT THIS MORNING AT EMBASSY AND USIS. AMCONSUL COCHABAMBA REPORTED EXPECTED STUDENT DEMONSTRATION THIS AFTERNOON OR TOMORROW (JUNE 9) OVER ARREST OF ROBERTO ARNEZ, SECRETARY GENERAL OR UNIVERSITY. SECURITY FORCES TAKING PRECAUTIONARY MEASUR

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SUBJECT: STATE OF SIEGE

  1. DESPITE SIEGE CONDITIONS, PRESIDENT BARRIENTOS AND MINGOVERNMENT ARGUEDAS APPEARED CALM IN CONVERSATION JUNE 8 WITH USAID AND EMBOFFS. PRESIDENT EXPRESSED CONVICTION THAT STRONG SHOW OF FORCE IN MINE AREA NOW WILL BE EFFECTIVE IN DISSUADING MAJORITY MINERS FROM FOLLOWING LEAD OF SMALL GROUP AGITATORS. ARGUEDAS DISCUSSED HIS FAVORITE REACTION USAID PUBLIC SAFETY SURVEY TEAM WHILE BARRIENTOS ASKED ABOUT PROVISION USAID EQUIPMENT EMPHASIZING IMPORTANCE POLICE REVOLVERS.
  2. BARRIENTOS PRIMARY CONCERN AVOIDANCE OF WHAT HE TERMED POSSIBLY FATAL STUDENT-TEACHER-MINER COMBINATION AGITAED BY POLITICIANS AND ATTEMPTING PUT TOGETHER IMMEDIATE EFFORT EXPAND SCHOOL REPAIR AND CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM FOR WHICH HE HAS REQUESTED USAID ASSISTANCE AND WHICH HE DESIRES INITIATE BEFORE END WINTER VACATION (DECLARED EFFECTIVE JUNE 8 BECAUSE OF STUDENT/ POLITICAL AGITATION) WHICH BARRIENTOS BELIEVES CRUCIAL PERIOD. FEELS STUDENT’S COMPLAINTS REAL AND JUSTIFIED, BUT EXACERBATED BY POLITICANS. PRINCIPALLY THOSE OF SUBERSIVE PARTIES (POR, PRIN, MNR, PCB) BUT ALSO FSB. HE IS HOPEFUL IMMEDIATE PROGRAM WILL REMOVE AT LEAST PART DISCONTENTED STUDENTS FROM CONTINUING AGITATION AFTER SCHOOL RESUMES. USAID REVIEWING POSSIBILITIES AT TECHNICAL LEVEL AND EVALUATING MINEDUCATION IMMEDIATE PLANS WITH VIEW TOWARD COMPATIBILITY WITH LONG-RANGER EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANS NOW BEING PREPARED USAID-GOB.
  3. FYI. USAID ASSISTANCE, IF PLANS FOUND ACCEPTABLE, WOULD BE FROM FROZEN COUNTER PART FUNDS.

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  1. DEFATT ADVISES THAT ARGENTINE ATTACHE HAS INFORMED HIM THAT BAF ASKING PURCHASE 100-200 LB NAPALM BOMBS AND ONE HUNDRED 100 LB FRAGMENTATION BOMBS.
  2. IN VIEW EDGINESS BAF REGARDING UNSETTLED CONDITIONS IN MINES AND GUERRILLA PROBLEM AND SHORTAGE OTHER AMMO (BOMBS, 50 CAL MACHINE GUN), WE ARE CONCERNED THAT, ESPECIALLY IF SITUATION DETERIORATES, BAF MIGHT BE TEMPTED TO USE NAPALM AGAINST ALL OUR ADVICE TO CONTRARY. I CAN THINK OF NO SINGLE ACT MORE CALCULATED TO UNITE STILL DIVIDED LEFT AND TO BRING GOVERNMENT DOWN WITH INEVITABLE AND SERIOUS BACKLASH ON RELATIONS WITH US AND ARGENTINA THAN USE OF NAPALM.
  3. WIT DEPARTMENT MANDATE CONTAINED IN STATE 178946, DO YOU CONSIDER YOU COULD USEFULLY MAKE REPRESENTATIONS TO GOA URGING THEM DECLINE TO SELL NAPALM TO GOB.
  4. WE ARE MAKING SIMILAR AND STRONG REPRESENTATIONS TO DISCOURAGE PURCHASE INTENTION HERE.

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  1. ARGENTINE AF OFFICIAL TOLD AIR ATTACHE A CTL MOLINA PIZARRO OF BOLIVIA REPRESENTING PRESS. BARRIENTOS BRIEFED GOA JOINT STAFF ON THE BOLIVIAN GUERRILLA SITUATION AND PRESENTED REQUEST FOR ADDITIONAL MATERIAL.
  2. BRIEFING: (A) GUERRILLAS WERE MAKING SOME PROGRESS WHICH CREATED MORE SERIOUS SITUATION THAN ESTIMATED SEVERAL WEEKS AGO AND THAT GOB HAD CONFIRMED INFORMATION THAT MINERS HAD AGREED TO SUPPORT GUERRILLAS WITH STUDENT SUPPORT EXPECTED MOMENTARILY AND A GOOB POSSIBILITY OF OPPOSITION POLITICAL PARTIES ALSO SUPPORTING GUERRILLAS. PIZARRO STATED ONLY LOYAL FORCES ARE MILITARY AND CAMPESINOS WHO ARE ARMED AND ORGANIZED. BOLIVIAN GOVERNMENT STIMATES TWO TO THREE HUNDRED GUERRILLAS ORGANIZED AND CAPABLE OF CAUSING UPRISINGS IN ALMOST ANY AREA. (B) PIZARRO INDICATED ON TOP SECRET LEVEL SOME DISSATISFACTION WITH US COUNTERINSURGENCY TRAINING UNIT PRESENT IN BOLIVIA, THAT TRAINING COMPLETELY THEORETICAL, PERSONNEL HAD NO VIETNAM TRAININ EXPERIENCE AND MUCH BEING TAUGHT NOT APPLICABLE TO BOLIVIA. (C) THE BOLIVIAN GOVERNMENT HAS DECIDED NOT TO EXECUTE DEBRAY BUT TO HOLP HIM PRISIONER.
  3. MATERIAL REQUESTED; (A) 100 AND 200 – KIL NAPALM BOMBS 250, (B) 50 AND 150 – KILO GENERAL PURPOSE BOMBS 250, (C) EXCHANGE SOME OF DEFECTIVE 1,000,0007.62 AMMUNITION PROVIDED EARLIER BY GOA. (D) SMALL RADIO EQUIPMENT OF THE WALKIE-TALKIE TYPE.
  4. GOA JOINT STAFF COORDINATION PREPARING REPORT ON PIZARRO’S REQUEST FOR MILITARY COMMITTEE WHICH INCLUDES THE PRESIDENT MILITARY COMMITTE WILL REPORTEDLY MAKE A DECISION 16 JUNE ON EQUIPMENT TO BE SUPPLIED.
  5. FOREIGN MINISTRY, JOINT STAFFM ARGENTINE AF COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF HAVE BEEN ADVISED US VIEWPOINT ON PROVIDING NAPALM.
  6. SOURCE REQUESTED OUR ESTIMATE NUMBER OF GUERRILLAS AND INFERENTIALLY RESPONSE TO PIZARRO’S STATEMENT RE ADEQUACY US COUNTERINSURGENCY GROUP. EMBASSY BELIEVES DESIRABLE RESPOND TO THESE REQUESTS HELP MAINTAIN PRODUCTIVE CONTACT WITH SOURCE.

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  1. DURING PAST WEEK PRESIDEN BARRIENTOS, GENERAL LA FUENE, COMMANDER, BOLIVIAN ARMY, AND COLONEL ZENTENO, COMMANDER, 8TH DIVISION HAVE ALL INDICATED TO VARIOUS OFFICIALS THAT THEY ARE VERY WELL SATISFIED WITH U.S. COUNTER INSURGENCY TRAINING UNI. COL. ZENTERO IN COMMAND OF AREA A HERE MTT IS TRAINING 2ND RANGER BATTALION. APPROXIMATELY 60 PERCENT OF TEAM HAVE SERVED IN VIETNAM AND REMAIDER HAVE BEEN TRAINED IN ANTI-GUERRILLA TACTICS SOME OF THEM HAVING SERVED IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AND CONGO. EACH MEMBEROF TEAM IS HIGHLY SKILLED IN THIS SPECIALITY.
  2. STRENGTH ESTIMATES BY BOTH USDAO AND CAS OF GUERRILLA STRENGTH IS BETWEEN 35 – 10 PM.
  3. MATERIAL REQUESTED IS NOT CONSIDERED IN EXCESS OF NEEDS WITH EXCEPTION OF NAPALM BOMBS. WE HAVE EXPLAINED U.S. POSTION REGARDING USE NAPALM BOMBS TO LOCAL ARGENTINE ATTACHES.
  4. CHIEF USARMIS TO BOLIVIA HAS KNOWN LT. COL.MOLINA PIZARRO FOR APPROXIMATELY TWO YEARS AND QUESTIONS SERIOUSLY HIS INTEGRITY AND PROFESSIONAL OPPACITY. IT IS NOT KNOWN IF STATEMENT MADE BY LT. COL. MOLINA PIZARRO WERE INFLUENCED BY GUIDANCE FROM BOLIVIAN GOVERNMENT. IN ANY CASE IT WOULD APPEAR THAT FEBRICATIONS REGARDING MTT WERE MADE IN EFFORT TO PLAY UPON SYMPATHY OF ONLY FRIENDLY NEIGHBORING COUNTRY WHO HAS PREVIOUSLY PROVIDED THIS TYPE OF ARMAMENT ASSISTANCE.

Document 82

  1. FOLLOWING THE MILITARY OCCUPATION OF CATAVI, SIGLO XX AND HUANUNI MINE AND MILL AREAS, THE SITUATION WAS REPORTED TENSE JUNE 25, ESPECIALLY IN THE FORMER. PRESENCIAL REPORTED THAT MILITARY CALMNESS AVERTED FRESH OUTBURST WHEN YOUTHS SHOUTED INSULTS PRIOR TO BURIAL CEREMONY AT MID-NOON. ACCORDING TO PRESS, MINERS DELEGATION FROM HUANUNI OBTAINED FROM THE NEW KEY MILITARY COMMAND AT PLAYA VERDE A COMMITMENT NO TO SEND TROOPS BACK INTO TOWN FROM WHICH THEY WITHDREW AFTER THE INITIAL ACTION UNLESS THERE WERE NEW DISTURBANCES. COMIBOL REPORTS HOWEVER THAT TROOPS WILL RETURN TO HUANUNI TODAY, COROCORO, SANTA FE, QUECHISLA, AND COLQUIRI REPORTEDLY WORKING ALTHOUGH PROBABLY NOT AT NORMAL LEVELS. 24 – HOUR WORK STOPPAGE WAS CALLED JUNE 24 AT QUECHISLA TO PROTEST RESIGNETION OF WORKER ARBITER AND FAILURE OF ARBITRATION TRIBUNAL TO ANNOUNCED DECISION. 48 – HOUR WORK STOPPAGE CALLED AT CATAVI-SIGLO, HUANUNI, SAN JOSE, AND UNIFICADA-POTOSI IN MOURNING FOR DEAD. WHAT PERCENTAGE EFFECTIVE UNKNOWN. SIGLO MINERS REPORTEDLY HELD ASSEMBLY JUNE 26 IN INTERIOR MINE TO CONSIDER FURTHER ACTION. MANIFESTATION SCHEDULED TODAY SUSPENDED. CITIES OF LA PAZ, ORURO, AND COCHABAMBA ALL APPEAR NORMAL. HOWEVER FUL STUDENTS EXPECTED DEMOSTRATE ORURO THIS AFTERNOON. CUB AND FUL LA PAZ IN STATE OF ALERT AWAITING OUTCOME OF ORURO EVENTS AND RETURN THIS EVENING FROM ORURO OF CUB PRESIDENT JORGE RIOS. UNIVERSITY IN SESSION. MODERATE UNIVERSITY STUDENT LEADERS HOPE TO LIMIT STUDENT ACTION TO 24-HOUR STRIKE, BUT ACCORDING TO UNCONFIRMED REPORT UNIDENTIFIED ARTICLES HAVE BEEN SMUGGLED INTO UNIVERSITY LAST TWO NIGHTS. LA PAZ FACTORY WORKERS REPORTED TO WORK THIS MORNING, BUT SOME FACTORIES IN STATE OF EMERGENCY IN VIEW OF DETENTION OF 22 UNION AND STUDENT LEADERS AND OTHERS ATTEMPTING TO ATTEND JUNE 24 FSTMB ASSEMBLY AT SIGLO. FOUR REPORTEDLY RELEASED INCLUDING LA PAZ FACTORY LEADER BENEDICTO CATARI, BUT THIS NOT CONFIRMED. FACTORY ASSEMBLY EXPECTED THIS EVENING.
  2. VARIOUS OFFICIAL PRONOUNCEMENTS PRESENT CONFUSING PICTURE AS TO EVENTS AND CAUSES LEADING TO MILITARY OCCUPATION AS FOLLOWS: (A) ARMED FORCES AND GOVERNMENT COMMUNIQUES JUNE 24 STATE SIGLO EXTREMISTS PLANNED SURPRISE ATTACK JUNE 25 ON CAMP OF ENGINEER BATTALION WORKING ON SURCE-UNCIA ROAD CONSTRUCTION IN ODER TAKE OFFICERS AS HOSTAGES AND PRESENT THEM TO NATIONAL MEETING OF ILLEGAL MINE WORKERS FEDERATION (FSTMB) CONVOKED FOR JUNE 24-26. PLOT REPORTEDLY REVEALED BY DRAFTEES WHON EXTREMISTS ATTEMPTED BRIBE. EXTREMISTS PLANNED SIMULTANEOUS SUBVERSIVE COUP IN LA PAZ. HAVING FAILED, DRUNK MINERS ON NIGHT OF JUNE 23 (DYE OF SAN JUAN DAY) ATTACKED HEADQUARTERS OF THE MINE POLICE (NATIONAL GUARD) AND OF THE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DEPARTMENT (DIC) IN LLALLAGUA AND HUANUNI. IN THIS ATTACK A SUBLIEUTENANT WAS KILLED AND SIX GUARDSMEN WOUNDED. IN RESPONSE, THE ARMY WAS CALLED IN INITIATING THE OCCUPATION AT 5 AM OF JUNE 24. EXTREMISTS OPENED FIRE FIRST ON THE TROOPS OF THE ARMY AND NATIONAL GUARD, CAUSING LOSSES. THE REACTION OF THE TROOPS WAS IMMEDIATE AND THEY HAVE DOMINATED THE SITUATION. TRANQUILITY NOW REINS IN THE AREA WHICH WAS INTENDED TO BE A “FREE ZONE”. (B) IN HIS EVENING RADIO ADDRESS TO THE NATION OF JUNE 25. PRESIDENT BARRIENTOS UNFOLDED THE FOLLOWING STORY: HE REITERATED THE EVENTS OF THE PREVIOUS TWO WEEKS, INCLUDING: CALL FOR FINANCIAL AID FOR GUERRILLAS; APPEALS OF THE THREE MINERS RADIO STATIONS FOR THE OVERTHROW OF THE GOB AND THE SETTING UP OF THE PROLETARIAT GOVERNMENT; THE DECLARATION OF THE CORRUPT FSTMB OLD GUARD AND RED EXTREMISTS OF “FREE TERRITORY”IN THE THREE LOCATIONS; THE MODERATION OF THE GOVERNMENT IN NOT RESTORING ORDER AT THE TIME, “AS ANY OTHER COUNTRY WOULD HAVE DONE”; THE INSOLENT RESPONSE OF THE RADIO MANAGERS TO THE PUBLIC WORKS MINISTER’S APPEAL FOR AN END TO THE SUBVERSIVE AGITATION; AND THE DERISIVE REJECTION ON THE PART OF THE MINERS TO THE PRESIDENT’S CALL FOR A NATIONAL DIALOGUE. FOLLOWING THIS THE PRESIDENT, PARAPHASED, ASSERTED “WHEN PUBLIC FORCES TRIED TO OBEY THEIR INSTRUCTIONS, THE EXTREMISTS ASSASSINATED A LT. OF THE DIC AND A SOLDIER, AND THEN FLED, BUT NOT BEFORE RENDERING A BEATING TO THE REST OF PATROL. FINALLY, THE GOB HAS PRECISE INFORMATION THAT, WITH THE FAILURE OF THE ARMED MARCHERS ON ORURO OPENLY TO PROCLAIM THEIR DECISION TO OVERTHROW THE GOVERNMENT, THE REDS PLANNED TO ATTACK AND TAKE OVER THE POST AT LAGUNILLAS SO AS TO DEMORALIZE THE ARMY, CAPTURE ARMS, AND INITIATE THE CIVIL WAR. CONSPIRATORS IN LA PAZ WERE AWAITING NEWS OF FALL OF LAGUNILLAS FOR A GENERAL UPRISING IN LA PAZ IN ORDER TO CONVERT THIS CITY INTO ANOTHER SANTO DOMINGO. FOOLISH TOOLS OF THE COMMUNISTS WERE ALREADY EXPECTING TO BE INVITED TO TAKE PART IN THE NEW GOVERNMENT JUNTA. IT WAS THEN THAT WE ORDERED THE TAKING OF MINE AREAS BY ARMED FORCES, BUT THE FIRST SHOTS WERE FIRED BY THE MINERS WHO WERE WELL ARMED AND READY FOR THE TROOPS, AND THERE WAS A FIERCE FIREFIGHT. IF IT WERE NOT FOR THIS THE MINERS WOULD HAVE MARCHED VIOLENTLY ON ORURO AND LAGUNILLAS”. LAGUNILLAS MENTIONED REFERS TO MILITARY CAMP ON UNCIA-SURCE RAOD NOT LAGUNILLAS IN GUERRILA AREA. (C) MPC DECLARATION OF JUNE 25 SUPPORT GG ARMED ACTION CITES PERMANENT AGITATION OF THE EXTREMIST LEADERS, SYSTEMATIC BOYCOTT OF PRODUCTION WHOSE DECLINE HAS REACHED ALARMING LEVES. THE INADMISSABLE DECLARATION OF “FREE TERRITORY”, AND FINALLY THE SUBERSIVE ATTITUDE WITH DEFINITE POLITICAL OBJECTIVES IN FRANK COLLABORATION WITH THE ANTINATIONAL GUERRILLAS IN THE SOUTHEAST
  3. MOST REPORTS ESTIMATE 20 KILLED (INCLUDING EX SIGLO LEADER ROSENDO GARCIA MAISMAN AND AT LEAST FOUR OFFICIALS OR SOLDIERS) AND 80 WOUNDED. COMMANDER OF THE CHALLAPTA RANGERS WHICH DESCENDED ON CATAVI COMPLEX FROM MOUNTAINS TO SOUTH QUOTED AS SAYING THE SUPRISE OPERATION WAS NOT SUCCEFULL AS SNIPERS WERE WAITING IN THE AREA OF THE SIGLO XX UNION HALL AND RADIO STATION. OTHER HEAVY ACTION TOOK PLACE IN THE SALVADORA MINING CAMP. IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE CAMACHO REGIMENT AND THE RANGERS MOVED SIMULTANEOUSLY ON HUANUNI AND CATAVI-SIGLO, RESPECTIVELY.
  4. NO NEWS OF PCB I LEADER SIMON REYES, NOR POR LEADERS ISAAC CAMACHO AND CIRILO VALLE WHO ARE BELIEVED TO HAVE TAKEN TO THE HILLS. NOR ANY MINE LEADERS BELIEVED CAPTURED AT SIGLO.
  5. ALTHOUGH NO FORMAL STATEMENT “RELEASED, FRB LEADERS MET EVENING JUNE 25 AT HOME WALTER GUEVARA ARCE AND REPORTEDLY APPROVED GOB ACTION. GUEVARA HOWEVER, PRIVATELY AND VEHEMENTLY ASSERTS THE ACTION WAS STUPID. PDC LEADERS OSSIO PRISIONERS, CEASE PERSECUTION, AND SEE TO IT THE MINERS RECEIVE MORE REMUNERATION FOR THEIR WORK, WITHOUT FEAR OF REACTION FROM THE IMF OR THE STATE DEPARTMENT” FSB REGIONAL LEADER. COINING A PHRASE, CALLED THE MILITARY ACTION “THE SAN JUAN’S DAY MASSACRE”. FSB AND PRN, CONTINUING FLIRTATION WITH BAF AND GENERAL OVANDO RESPECTIVELY, SIGNIFICANTLY AVOIDED CRITICAL REFERENCE BAF IN OTHERWISE CONDEMNATORY STATEMENTS.
  6. CABINET MEETING OF JUNE 25 ENDORSED THE MILITARY ACTION. WITH THE MINISTERS ALARMED AND LARGELY INCOMMUNICATIVE TO THE PRESS AT ITS END. IT BELIEVED THE GOB IS DETERMINED STAMP OUT ANY STUDENT DEMONSTRATIONS IN SUPPORT OF THEIR PACT WITH THE MINERS. QUITE POSSIBLE GOB WILL PROLONG WINTER VACATION FOR SECONDARY STUDENTS.
  7. WE TEND TAKE AT SERIOUS DISCOUNT ELABORATE CONSPIRACY THEORY DEVELOPMENT BY MINGOVERNMENT AND PRESIDENT. AT SAME TIME, ARMED INTERVENTION MAY HAVE GENERATED SERIOUS REACTION IN OTHER ELEMENTS OF SOCIETY, PARTICULARLY STUDENTS AND FACTORY WORKERS.
  8. WE ARE SEEKING FIND ANSWERS NUMBER KEY QUESTION INCLUDING DEGREE PREMEDIATION IN GOB DECISION INTERVENE WITH FORCE.THOUGH BARRIENTOS HAS PUBLICY ASSUMED FULLY RESPONSIBILITY ARMED INTERVENTION, HIS COMMENTS TO AMBASSADOR EARLIER LAST WEEK (LA PAZ 3195) SUGGEST THAT HE SAW NUMBER OF POLITICAL ADVANTAGES IN ATTEMPTING RESOLVE MINERS PROBLEM PEACEFULLY. THE KEY QUESTION HERE WHICH MAY GIVE CLUE TO PRESIDENT’S CURRENT POLITICAL STRENGTH IS WHETHER HE WAS PUSHED BY BAF OR TOOK LEAD IN DECISION HIMSELF.
  9. UPON LEARNING GOB INTENTION SUPRESS POSSIBLE STUDENT DEMONSTRATIONS WITH HARSHNESS, AMBASSADOR CALLED PRESIDENT SUGGESTING HE ATTEMPT COOL OFF SITUATION BY ANNOUNCING WILLINGNESS TALK WITH STUDENT LEADERS. BARRIENTOS ACCEPTED SUGGESTION WITH ALACRITY AND AGREED NECESSITY HANDLE ANY STUDENT PROBLEM WITH RESTRAINT PRATICULARLY SINCE STUDENTS MAY STAGE ONLY PRO FORMA DEMONSTRATIONS AND CREATION OF MARTYRS WOULD HAVE EXPLOSIVE POLITICAL IMPACT. COUNTRY TEAM MEMBERS CARRYING SIMILAR MESSAGES THEIR GOB CONTACTS.

By

Vinícius Gennaro.

(cont. nella stessa voce della rubrica dal n. 83)

Informazioni su Giuseppe Casarrubea

Giuseppe Casarrubea (1946 - 2015), ricercatore storico. E' stato impegnato per anni in studi archivistici riguardanti soprattutto i servizi segreti italiani e stranieri. Ha pubblicato i risultati delle sue indagini con le case editrici Sellerio e Flaccovio di Palermo, Franco Angeli e Bompiani di Milano.
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