US embassy cable - 06LAPAZ908 (original version)

EVO'S POLITICAL ADVISERS (PART 3 OF 3) (original version)

Identifier: 06LAPAZ908
Wikileaks: View 06LAPAZ908 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy La Paz
Created: 2006-03-31 14:07:00
Classification: SECRET
Tags: ECON PGOV PREL BL PINR
Redacted: This cable was redacted by Wikileaks. [Show redacted version] [Compare redacted and unredacted version]
VZCZCXRO8932
PP RUEHLMC
DE RUEHLP #0908/01 0901407
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 311407Z MAR 06
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8691
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 5750
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 3028
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 6900
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 4137
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 1450
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 1393
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 3704
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 4090
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 8626
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUMIAAA/USCINCSO MIAMI FL
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 LA PAZ 000908 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/17/2016 
TAGS: ECON, PGOV, PREL, BL, PINR 
SUBJECT: EVO'S POLITICAL ADVISERS (PART 3 OF 3) 
 
REF: LA PAZ 00831 
 
Classified By: Amb. David N. Greenlee for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1.  (C) Summary: President Evo Morales keeps several close 
advisers who facilitate and carry out his personal agenda but 
have limited influence on the President's decisionmaking. 
They are split between those who work behind the scenes to 
facilitate Morales' vision and those who are charged with 
intimidating the opposition, especially in Congress.  This 
cable is part three of a three-part series examining how 
Morales has structured his advisory circle.  End summary. 
 
----------------- 
Behind the Scenes 
----------------- 
 
2.  (S//NF)  Morales has several behind-the-scenes operators 
whose names rarely show up in open sources, but which 
sensitive reporting indicates are key Morales advisers.  They 
appear to be loyal to Morales' political vision and work 
closely with the Cubans and Venezuelans in a complementary 
rather than competitive way, unlike Morales' primary 
intellectual advisers (SEPTEL).  (Comment:  The fact that 
these advisers work behind the scenes suggests that they are 
not seeking public recognition, and Morales is more likely to 
keep them around because of it.  End comment.) 
 
-------------------- 
Ivan Iporre Salguero 
-------------------- 
 
3.  (S//NF) Ivan Iporre is Morales' personal assistant, and 
sensitive reporting indicates that he also has been 
responsible for Morales' personal finances.  Iporre controls 
Morales' agenda and access to him.  He was one of three 
advisers who accompanied Morales on his world tour in 
January.  Two Embassy contacts have said that Iporre is the 
"go-to-guy" for seeking political favors from the President. 
 
------------------- 
Hugo Moldiz Mercado 
------------------- 
 
4.  (S//NF)  Hugo Moldiz, a journalist by trade and a 
well-known FARC and ELN-B contact, appears to hold an 
unofficial advisory position in the Ministry of Government. 
Sensitive reporting indicates that he has been an important 
operator for Morales with the Cubans in Bolivia, particularly 
coordinating the Constituent Assembly agenda and security and 
intelligence issues.  Press reports have also highlighted 
Moldiz's role in allegedly organizing local self-defense 
groups, a pet project Morales takes from his years as a 
cocalero leader and may now be inspired by Venezuela's 
President Hugo Chavez. 
 
-------------------- 
Hector Arce Zaconeta 
-------------------- 
 
5.  (C) Hector Arce is Morales' personal attorney, a position 
he has held for six years.  Arce appears to be responsible 
for designing the legal means for Morales to bypass laws the 
President deems inconvenient or for devising legal arguments 
for harassing or attacking Morales' political adversaries, 
such as the lawsuit against former President's Eduardo 
Rodriguez, Carlos Mesa, Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, and Jorge 
Quiroga. 
 
---------------- 
Public Operators 
---------------- 
 
6.  (C) Morales relies on several Congressmen, particularly 
Senate President Santos Ramirez Valverde, Chamber of Deputies 
President Edmundo Novillo Aguilar, and Chamber of Deputies 
member Gustavo Torrico Landa, to intimidate opposition 
 
LA PAZ 00000908  002 OF 002 
 
 
Congressional leaders.  Ramirez, Novillo, and Torrico owe 
their career to Morales and may be abusing power much like 
their predecessors.  In particular, Ramirez, a blatant 
opportunist who one Embassy contact says would sell his 
mother to get what he wants, has already fallen prey to 
allegations of graft, according to PODEMOS Congressmen (REF 
A). 
 
7.  (C) These advisers operate more as the President's back 
alley thugs than as independent legislators.  For example, 
PODEMOS Congressmen have told poloff that their MAS 
counterparts have been digging up dirt from the past and 
blackmailing opposition Congressmen to back the MAS or face 
exposure through the press.  (Comment:  One Embassy contact 
has referred to the Congressmen as part of the "Cochabamba 
boys"--a reference to the group of associates that Morales 
led over the years in the Chapare that regularly intimidated 
and harassed cocaleros--although only Novillo technically 
represents Cochabamba.  End comment.)  Further blurring the 
line between the executive and legislative branches, the 
press reported in January that both Ramirez and Novillo moved 
into the presidential palace at Morales' request, although 
Ramirez publicly denies that he lives there. 
GREENLEE 

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