Bolivia’s Bolivarian Bingo Czar

Ramon Rodriguez Chacin reportedly is a multi-millionaire potentate in Bolivia’s bingo gaming industry thanks to his business partnership with Luis Nolberto Clavijo Castro.

Luis Nolberto Clavijo Castro is an alleged Bolivian government intelligence official who played a still-unclear role in the 16 April 2009 slaying of three alleged foreign terrorists at the Las Americas Hotel in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

Romanian citizen Magyarosi Árpád, Irish citizen Dwyer Michael Martin and Bolivian-Croatian citizen Eduardo Rózsa were literally massacred in their room by an elite SWAT unit of the Bolivian national police. Two other alleged terrorists survived the police assault.

Bolivia’s Interior Ministry said the dead trio were members of a group of “international terrorists” on a mission to assassinate President Evo Morales.

The official version obviously is a total fabrication.

But the Morales government has invoked “national security” to justify its refusal to answer legitimate inquiries about a violent incident which could have been a political fabrication by Morales regime insiders to make it appear that the president was the target of hired assassins. The fact that it happened in Santa Cruz hints at a scheme to entrap radical separatists in the country’s richest province.

The direct participation of Clavijo Castro, whose involvement in murky political violence and quasi-criminal enterprises like the bingo gaming sector are notorious within Bolivia’s intelligence community, also hints at a “negocio” that soured. Perhaps some arms smuggling or drug trafficking?

But relatives and friends of the slain trio insist they were good and honest men. Absent any credible evidence to the contrary (which the Morales regime fiercely refuses to provide), it appears that Clavijo Castro is directly implicated in homicide-by-cop.

Of course, homicide would not be off the beaten path for business associates of Rodriguez Chacin.

Clavijo Castro registered at the hotel on 15 April, the day before the police killed the three civilians. He was lodged in Room No. 453, next to one of the two alleged terrorists who survived, and one floor directly beneath the room in which the three civilians were killed.

Bolivian news reports initially identified Clavijo Castro as an official of the Morales government’s intelligence services.

But it quickly emerged that Clavijo Castro has no official role whatsoever with any Bolivian government intelligence, military or police entity.

But he was the “intelligence agent” who monitored the alleged terrorists, notified the National Police precisely where the alleged terrorists were located and what their alleged plans were, and then disappeared shortly before the police stormed the room in which the three civilians were killed.

Clavijo Castro didn’t reappear publicly for 23 days, and only surfaced after the hotel’s manager publicly questioned why police weren’t looking for the guest who had disappeared mysteriously on 16 April.

Caracas Gringo is told that Clavijo Castro is the longtime intelligence director for Bolivia’s ruling MAS party, and also that his relations with President Morales are similar to the relationship between Rodriguez Chacin and President Hugo Chavez.

Rodriguez Chacin is Chavez’s longtime personal liaison with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and is also believed to be a senior figure in the clandestine national command structure of the Bolivarian Liberation Front (FBL).

In September 2008 the US Treasury Department also designated Rodriguez Chacin and two others (DGIM chief General Hugo Carvajal and former Disip chief Henry Rangel Silva) as kingpins for cooperating actively with the FARC.

Given their similar roles in the Chavez and Morales regimes, it follows logically that Rodriguez Chacin and Clavijo Castro would partner in for-personal-profit ventures like controlling the Bolivian bingo gaming industry.

And it isn’t smart to run afoul of this Bolivarian bingo duo. Ask Julio Montes, Venezuela’s former Ambassador to Bolivia from the start of the Morales presidency in 2006 until he was sacked in July 2009.

Montes got the boot because he foolishly ran afoul of Rodriguez Chacin by attempting to start up his own bingo gaming enterprise in Bolivia. Say it ain’t so, Julio!

About Caracas Gringo

Representing less than 0.00000000001515152% of the world population as of 31 December 2011.
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