President Andrés Manuel López Obrador revealed that a section of the Bolivian armed forces may have launched an RPG rocket at the plane that was transporting former President Evo Morales to Mexico after the coup d’état in Bolivia in November 2019
Peoples Dispatch | September 03, 2021
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has revealed that former Bolivian President Evo Morales would have been assassinated by the right-wing opposition forces with the support of the Bolivian armed forces if a pilot from the Mexican Air Force (FAM) hadn’t saved his life by dodging an RPG rocket launched at the plane that was transporting him to Mexico. The assassination attempt was revealed in his book A la Mitad del Camino (Halfway through the Road), which was released on August 31,
AMLO’s book gives a detailed account of Operation Bolivia, through which Morales was rescued after the coup d’état in November 2019. A document of the National Defense Secretariat of Mexico, published in the book, shares the testimony of a FAM official and pilot, Miguel Hernández, who expressed his suspicions that a section of the Bolivian armed forces targeted the aircraft with an RPG rocket, moments after it took off from the Chimoré airport in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
“During the initial ascent, the pilot was able to observe, from the left side of the cockpit and when he almost reached 1,500 feet above the ground, a light trail characteristic of a rocket at the seven o’clock position below the horizon. The pilot estimated that if it was a projectile, it would have been launched from near the airport in Cochabamba,” stated the document.
It added that the pilot “made a tight turn in the opposite direction of the projectile’s trajectory increasing the rate of ascent to avoid impact, observing that the trace, far below the aircraft, made a parabola towards the ground without having reached their height at that moment, which was approximately 3,000 feet above the ground.”
The document also stated that the pilot did not communicate the incident to the crew to avoid further worrying the diplomatic mission, whose purpose was to rescue Morales and bring him to Mexico. The former president had been granted political asylum due to the threats to his life in his own country.
Morales, reacting to the news, tweeted that “Every day, more details of the November coup are revealed. Now, we know from the testimony of a Mexican pilot and brother that a projectile was fired at the plane that saved our lives. The coup plotters tried to assassinate us and since they failed, now they are trying to eliminate us politically.”
This new revelation is further evidence of the fact that a coup d’état was orchestrated by the country’s far-right forces and supported by the armed forces against Morales’ socialist government in 2019. The mainstream media and opposition forces have been refusing to admit this nexus.
Earlier this week, on August 30, the Comptroller General of Bolivia, Henry Ara Pérez, reported that the Organization of American States (OAS) did not comply with the required national and international standards while auditing the results of the 2019 general elections. After analyzing the report submitted by the OAS, Ara Pérez said that the OAS did not review all the 35,000 voting sheets, but rather carried out a sampling.
“We can establish that this document provided by the OAS is based on conjecture and not on quality of competent and sufficient evidence, which is a fundamental element for the audit,” explained Ara Pérez.
In addition to the Bolivian comptroller, the attorney general of Bolivia Wilfredo Chávez and prosecutor Edwin Quispe held the OAS responsible for promoting destabilization in the country. It was the report of the OAS alleging electoral fraud that led to the breakdown of constitutional order in the country followed by the establishment of a de-facto government led by Jeanine Áñez.
On August 25, during an extraordinary virtual meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS), Bolivian foreign minister Rogelio Mayta reiterated that Bolivia would initiate an investigation against the OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro for “interference” and “unjustified outrage” against the country. Mayta warned that “if Almagro’s actions are not overseen through the institutional channels,” in the future, other countries in the region could be, like Bolivia, victims of attacks and coups d’état promoted by the OAS Secretary General.
Countries such as Argentina, Mexico and Nicaragua supported Bolivia’s call to investigate Almagro’s actions during the 2019 Bolivian electoral process and coup d’état.
Mayta also called on the 34 active member states to reflect on whether the OAS is still a relevant organization, a question that has been raised by many in the region. A proposal to create a new autonomous body to replace the current Washington-based OAS was presented by President AMLO during a meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) on July 25. Bolivia, among other countries, is pushing forward CELAC for this purpose, as it was actually created as an alternative to the OAS.