The 1980 Bolivian Coup
The 1980 putsch was not just one of many coups d'etat by power-hungry generals in Bolivia. It was two years in the planning and was supposed to complete a "stable axis" in South America — from Chile, through Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay, to Bolivia. The coups in Chile in 1973 and in Argentina in 1976 were examples.
That is how it is stated in a plan with the code name Amapole (poppy flower) which had already been devised in 1978 at the initiative of the Bolivian intelligence officer Klaus Altmann, i.e., Klaus Barbie. The political, economic, and military aspects of the planned putsch were set forth in 145 pages. Klaus Barbie himself prepared the military part.
The Bolivian banker, Dr. Enrique Garcia, had the responsibility of planning the economic direction of the "new order" after the putsch. U.S. institutions paid him for his work. Under the heading "logical framework" Garcia designed an economic order for Bolivia using Chile as an example. If one believes the designer of the plan, there were very definite foreign promises of investments - under the stipulation that the economy in no way be jeopardized by leftist parties or "subversive groups" for at least ten years. U.S. concerns accordingly promised an oil refinery, a truck assembly plant and a Ford factory. Argentina wanted to secure the exploitation of the ore deposits in Mutun with long term credits.
In Bolivia in 1978 another transition phase from military dictatorship to democracy began. Elections were held and annulled by the military. Barbie assumed that within the next two years it would come to the establishment of a powerless civilian government. He speculated that in the power vacuum of the transition period armed leftist extremist groups would again develop. A leftist guerrilla was supposed to be the alibi for an "Argentinean solution" — the physical liquidation of the leftists in Bolivia.
Early in 1978 Klaus Barbie flew to West Germany, among other reasons to recruit soldiers. He started with the buildup of his terror commandos. Barbie also took up contact with the Argentinean intelligence organization which, at the time, along with the CIA, insured the maintenance of the old dictatorships in various Latin American countries. The contact man to the Argentineans was the Italian, Dr. Emilio Carbone, steady guest at Barbie's table in the Cafe La Paz.
Carbone was a member of a group supporting the Italian neofascist terrorist. Stefano delle Chiaie. The group had come to Chile in 1976 and had taken on special assignments for the intelligence organization DINA. The address of the group: Calle de la Asuncion 1173, Santiago.
On the recommendation of an old SS comrade in Chile, Walter Rauff, the inventor of the portable gas chamber wagon and DINA employee, Barbie had brought the Italian Carbone to Bolivia at the end of 1976. Carbone was more of a theoretician than a practitioner of political assassinations. In La Paz he became secretary of the "Black International," a fascist group.
The other Italians from delle Chiaie's group moved on in November 1977 to Argentina, and there, under Colonel Molinari, the Secretary of State Security, were used in the "Fight Against Subversion." Early in 1978 Barbie assigned his colleague Carbone to take up contact with the leader of the Italian execution commandos, Stefano delle Chiaie, and to recruit him for a mission in Bolivia.
The Argentinean intelligence organization sent a special commando group to La Paz. Among the first Argentinean intelligence officers who worked on the plans for the overthrow in Bolivia was Lieutenant Alfred Mario Mingolla. The Argentinean had the order to contact Altmann, alias Barbie.
Mingolla: "I had not heard much about Altmann; however, before our departure we received a dossier on him. There it stated that he was of great use to Argentina because he played an important role in all of Latin America in the fight against communism. From the dossier it was also clear that Altmann worked for the Americans. They listed his contact people as well as his various trips to the U.S."
Argentinean intelligence people and German soldiers who came to La Paz went the same route. They first reported to Dr. Alfredo Candfa, the Bolivian leader of the World Anti-Communist League, an organization close to the CIA with headquarters in Taiwan. Candfa then brought them to Schneider's clock shop. The owner, of German descent, likes to show his comrades a picture in which Hitler's party secretary Martin Bormann, who had allegedly vanished in 1945, is to be seen in a monk's habit in La Paz. Schneider checked out the new recruits and ordered them to meet with Barbie the next day at the driving school "Indianapolis" on the Avenida Mariscal, Santa Cruz. Barbie's secretary, Alvaro de Castro, then provided them with a two-year visa, Interpol identification, and firearm licenses from the Ministry of the Interior.
The Argentinean agents moved into the offices of the military intelligence agency G2, department VII for "psychologi- cal warfare." In addition, some of the Germans, such as Joachim Fiebelkorn, became agents for the Bolivian intelligence organization.
Joachim Fiebelkorn, left, giving Nazi salute after putsch in Bolivia. Fiebelkorn was commander of Barbie's battalion, the Fiances of Death. After Garcia Meza was deposed in October 1982, Barbie was deported to France, and Fiebelkorn was delivered to West German authorities on drug charges.
In Frankfurt, Fiebelkorn's trial, which includes charges of torturing a girl, has been dragging on for almost two years. He is also wanted in Italy, along with Stefano delle Chiaie, for the terrorist bombing of the Bologna railway station in 1980, which killed 85 people. Sources speculate that his trial may never be completed because of his claims that his work with the cocaine generals was part of his assignment as a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration operative. There is also considerable speculation whether Barbie will ever go to trial in France, because of his CIA ties.
Barbie wanted to launch a national socialist government from the planned coup. The leading rightists of the Bolivian military became members of the secret lodge "Thule." During lodge meetings Barbie lectured underneath swastikas and by candlelight on national socialist principles.
Barbie agreed with the terrorist leader Stefano delle Chiaie that armed rightist-extremist groups from the whole world should be brought together. Bolivia was to become the core of a national socialist revolution in all of South America. The ' 'Black International' ' outfitted an ideological and paramilitary training camp for foreign comrades in buildings belonging to the "Summer Institute of Linguistics," a CIA-controlled institution.
Barbie's closest colleagues organized a national socialist fighter's group, the Bolivia Joven, "Young Bolivia," modeled after the example of the SA. The co-founders were Barbie's confidant Emilio Carbone and Barbie's secretary, Alvaro de Castro. The official leader of the Young Bolivians was the thirty-year-old Armando Ley ton, intelligence agent and disciple of national socialism.
Leyton proudly shows his membership ID with "Reichs" eagle and swastika. He would like to meet the German neo-Nazi Michael Kuhnen. He says that he admires the Germans, but qualifies this: "Some of the Germans who came to us at that time - such as Joachim Fiebelkorn, for example - were not good national socialists. In my eyes they were simply mer- cenaries who knew nothing about national socialist morale and discipline. They only wanted part of the cocaine money."