previous updates: 2004-9-29 | 2004-10-6 | 2004-10-8
Cesar Zelada is a well known student activist in Peru. He is also a member of the Fuerza de Izquierda Socialista, a left wing group, and the organiser of the Hands off Venezuela campaign in Peru.
He was in Bolivia as part of a delegation of Peruvian student activists invited by the Youth wing of the Bolivian Workers' Union (COB - the Bolivian TUC) to show solidarity with the struggle of the Peruvian students, particularly those at the Oruro Technical University.
He was arrested on September 14th, in the capital La Paz. He was strip searched and handcuffed by the PTJ police and then questioned without having access to a lawyer. He is being kept in jail in the San Pedro Penal, in La Paz. When making the case against him at the hearing, the prosecutor alleged that he was in possession of explosives, had lied about his address in Bolivia and was carrying "Marxist propaganda" with the aim of "subversion".
The accusations against him could land him a jail sentence of between 3 and 6 years. A well coordinated high profile international solidarity campaign has already been launched and has received support world wide.
The latest high profile message come from a number of prominent Euro MPs and raises some very interesting questions about the role of the US in repression in Bolivia (original image of the letter is posted with this message, the English translation can be found here).
You can send protest messages to:
Ministerio del Interior de Bolivia: email@example.com
Al Presidente de la Nacion, Carlos Mesa: firstname.lastname@example.org
with copies and solidarity messages to: email@example.com
The phone number of the Bolivian embassy in London is: 020 7235 4248 and you should ask to speak to Pablo Ossio who is the Minister Consular.
If you want more information on the campaign here in Britain please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org