August 19, 2006 [LINK]

Missile controversy in Bolivia

The former provisional president of Bolivia, Eduardo Rodriguez, is upset that the United States is not backing him up in the renewed uproar over the hasty removal of 28 shoulder-fired ground-to-air missiles made in China last October. This controversy came to light in December and is intensifying once again, and Rodriguez may face charges of treason. See Bolivians are engaging in a constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution more to the liking of new President Evo Morales, the same path Hugo Chavez took to consolidate power in Venezuela. Fear that such weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists is what prompted the U.S. government to persuade Bolivian military officers to give up the missiles before Morales came to power.

Where is Peru's ex-first lady?

A judge in Peru has asked police to help locate Eliane Karp, the semi-estranged wife of former President Alejandro Toledo. She has been out of the country since the middle of July, even before her husband's term ended -- first to visit her family in France, then to Israel. Prosecutors want to interrogate her about the forged signatures on nomination petitions for Toledo's Peru Posible party. The request that Interpol help track her down is considered unusual, because she is not a fugitive, but only a potential witness. See La Republica (in Spanish). Ms. Karp, a native of Belgium who is a scholar of Indian languages, earned a reputation for being brash and ambitious. Justice is often politicized in Peru, as in much of Latin America, so someone may be trying to earn brownie points from the new President, Alan Garcia.