Peru government has played no part in Bolivian letter bomb attacks, ambassador says

Days after Bolivian President Evo Morales said that the Bolivian right recently started hiring Peruvian mercenaries to stage attacks to destabilize his government, Bolivia’s ambassador to Lima, Franz Solano, said that there was no proof to support Morales’ accusations.

“We’re not blaming the Peruvian government,” said Solano. “We’re only talking about individual anti-social elements, or delinquents. Any reference to Peruvian mercenaries is speculation, exaggerated by the Bolivian and Peruvian media.”

On Wednesday, Morales condemned letter-bomb attacks perpetrated in the capital city of La Paz, causing wounds to seven people, including Arminda Colque, the wife of a social leader and close ally to Morales.

“Obviously, it is under investigation, but I want you to know that the opposition is hiring some bad Peruvians to attack life, and that this is very serious,” said Morales during a press conference.

Peru-Bolivia relations have been stained by numerous diplomatic spats over the past few years.

Two months ago, shortly after Bolivia’s Evo Morales applauded Peru’s decision to review legislation aimed to open up the Peruvian Amazon to more foreign investment, and to repeal the controversial decrees that lead to strikes, highway blockades and, ultimately, a deadly clash between police and demonstrators the Bagua province of Amazonas, Morales called Peru President Alan García “one of the world’s worst presidents,” along with former U.S. President George W. Bush.

Morales also referred to the deadly June 5, 2009, clashes in Bagua as “genocide,” prompting Peru to recall its ambassador to Bolivia for consultations.

In June 2007, Morales called García “very fat and not very anti-imperialist” after Peru delivered a letter of protest to Bolivia over Morales’ allegation that Peru’s demand for the extradition of his former adviser Walter Chávez was a CIA conspiracy being used to discredit his leftist administration.

Then, in July, days after recalling his ambassador from Bolivia, Garcia sharply told his Bolivian counterpart, Evo Morales, to butt out of Peru’s domestic affairs in reply to the Bolivian leader’s call for Peruvians to protest the alleged establishment of United States military bases on Peruvian soil.

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