Bolivian president says NGOs spy on his country for US
Bolivian President Evo Morales has said that a number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are spying on his country for the United States.
Some of the NGOs that work with local philanthropic groups "are the fifth column of espionage in Bolivia. I'm convinced of that, they are systems of espionage," Moales said in Oruro, 370 km (230 miles) south of the capital La Paz.
"Some countries, especially the United States through USAID (US Agency for International Development), give money to some NGOs. Why? So these NGOs will be accountable" to the foreign governments, he added.
Morales, who became the first indigenous leader of Bolivia in nearly 500 years after his inauguration in January 2006, has many times accused NGOs of clandestinely working for Bolivia's enemies and conspiring against the country.
Morales has especially blamed three NGOs -- the Centre for Legal Studies and Social Research (CEJIS), the Bolivian Forum on Environment and Development (FOBOBMADE) and the League of Defence of the Environment (LIDEMA) -- for plotting to undermine the Bolivian state.
The indigenous people of Bolivia and the rest of South America have suffered through five centuries of oppression, which began with the European invasion and conquest of the Americas.