Video: Pando Ambush Incident in Bolivia

What follows is a video posted on YouTube which apparently aired on a Bolivian news channel. It involves gunfire, coffins, and people swimming across water in an attempt to flee.

I ask the following question in a genuine manner: what in this video indicates that a) the prefect began the attack and that b) the campesino group was peaceful? The video is extremely incomplete. The footage has been cut and/or blurred in vital moments. Overlaying the video are biased questions and assumptions of the prefect’s guilt. My Spanish is limited (I’m still trying and learning!) – is there important speech in the actual footage which provides clues? Also, I don’t know enough about the terrain, people, etc. – is there something visible which provides solid evidence?

Thanks to mgrace who posted the link to the video on his blog.

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mgrace September 17, 2008 Reply

Thanks for your comments on my site. Credit for the video is due to Otto at Inca Kola News, though, who was mailed it from sources unknown. I saw, though, that it is now being aired on Bolivian TV.
I have got some quibbles with you, but I will try to be civil. I think that you need to source your accusations. A) Where have you heard about this $10,000 bounty on the heads of the DEA? Who is offering it? Documentation please.
B) Same with your differing accounts of the massacre in Pando. Sources please. (I am not accusing you of lying, far from it, but I need corroboration. And I certainly have not read all the news that comes out, so I please correct me if I am wrong.)
Again, thanks for the comments and you are always welcome to visit my blog, comment, correct me, etc.
The above email I entered is my spam account, as my real one is my full name and even I am a little too paranoid to put that online–did you see the black helicopters last night kidding, kidding…

Lorien September 17, 2008 Reply

I appreciate your civility! I confess to being a touch off-put by the suggestion that it requires effort, however. Differing perspectives are exactly when civility should be a reflex… if the people involved are interested in fleshing out their ideas and determining the truth. Unless, of course, one is in Congress or Parliament. I’m all for fist fights there.

Tedious piety aside…

a) As just posted in your blog’s comments, given the nature of our medium, I will not provide my sources on the DEA bounty matter. I will state that it is sources, plural, and that they range in access to that information and levels of objectivity. I am confident in that information and am willing to state it as fact (otherwise I try to qualify my statements accordingly in situations when I can’t be wholly confident). I neither have the information about who issued it nor to whom it was issued (I had a typo in the comment on your blog – it was meant to be UNknown, not known). My word is all that I’m willing to provide on that one, sorry.

b) Sources for differing accounts. I know that I’ve seen articles in El Deber and La Razon. I thought there was something in El Mundo, but I’m not able to track it down now.

I also saw snippets on television news, but I haven’t the foggiest idea which channels. Watching the news on TV here is an exploration of how many different ways I can quirk my skull in confusion as I race to mentally translate. Beyond these, I’ve spoken with people whose connections/sources would either know the truth or would be at the height of the story-telling. It’s impossible for me to decide the validity due to their biases, although there’ve been some items in the past about which I’d remained skeptical and they were later semi-confirmed.

I went ahead and edited that post to add these links and try to clarify a bit more reasonably.

mgrace September 18, 2008 Reply

Excellent. I will check those accounts out. Which means I have t go get my hard drive, put it on there, and lock myself in my room with a Spanish dictionary, as my Spanish is crap. Thanks!

Lorien September 18, 2008 Reply

Ha, I’m with you there. If it helps, I usually start off with . It’s lousy, but it helps me spot sections/articles that I really want to read. I can then go in and translate myself the sections that deserve more attention.

You’re welcome! and, please, send anything my way that you think is particularly useful. Enjoy your day!

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