October 17 marks the fifth anniversary of Goni´s flight to the U.S. from Bolivia, after ordering the military suppression of civilian protestors in El Alto, which killed 67 and injured hundreds. The families of the victims of Black October, 2003 continue to fight for justice, despite numerous setbacks and obstacles. This year, the dead were remembered in services and memorial events throughout the city.
Today also marks an important step toward ending the impunity enjoyed by Goni and his accomplices: the official letters rogatory (requests) for the extradition of Gonalo Sánchez de Lozada, Carlos Sánchez Berzaín, and Jorge Berindoague were submitted to the U.S. Embassy in
Now that the long awaited Bolivian side of the extradition process is nearly complete, your help in the United States, and in other countries, is crucial. At a time when bilateral relations between the U.S. and Bolivia are at a low point, public pressure must be strong on the State Department to respect the Bolivian judicial process and the nonpolitical, multi-party decision on the part of the Bolivian Congress to try Goni and his accomplices for the Black October massacres.
Please help us spread the word. Inform your organizations, networks, and other contacts. Write letters to the editor and publicize the issue on the radio. As always, contact us if you need any information or help. Here is a useful summary by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs on the case for extradition and its context: http://www.coha.org/2008/09/a-
Public actions of solidarity with Bolivia in concert with the request for extradition are especially vital to draw attention to Black October, the families of the victims that continue to fight for justice, and the U.S. protection of accused authors of state violence.
We will send another update when the extradition order is submitted in Washington. Until then, we hope to hear from those of you willing to act in solidarity with the families.
Julia and the Steering Committee for Justice for Goni