Bolivian Presidential Minister, Juan Ramón Quintana, today accused US Southern Command of supporting subversive activity last year in Pando, leading up to the uprising in Santa Cruz. Previously, the Morales government has accused only US ambassador, Philip Goldberg, and USAID of indirect support for the coup attempt. This accusation comes fast on the heels of Morales suggesting that the US played a role in the Honduras coup.
The Pando uprising which occurred last September along with the Santa Cruz coup attempt, resulted in the massacre of Morales supporters by paramilitaries directed by Leopoldo Fernández, governor of the Pando department. Fernández was arrested by Bolivian security forces and remains in jail.
Pando is the northernmost department that borders Brazil and Peru. The three departments of Pando, Beni, and Santa Cruz make up what’s called the “Orient” of Bolivia and is the heart of anti-Morales sentiment: