by Roy Tov
Wednesday, August 29th, 2012
On Saturday 25 of August, 2012, at 11:30PM, I heard a knock on my door. I thought it was part of a dream, but I hadn’t been dreaming. Half asleep, I would have continued this silly line of thought if another knock hadn’t have disturbed it. Reluctantly, I ventured “who’s there?” The well-known voice of the receptionist answered: “Immigration wants to speak with you.” A few moments afterwards, I was downstairs and met an inspector I knew from one of my previous visits to Bolivian Immigration. He greeted me and asked to see my documents again; then he repeated the well-known ritual. “The document is not valid anymore,” he said with great authority. “I know that; you refuse to give me a new one,” I countered. He looked at the policemen accompanying him, shrugged, and told me: “There is nothing we can do now, please visit me on Monday.” Having said that, he gave me a citation (see picture), after making sure he got a signed copy of it.
Of course, the citation didn’t specify the time of the day I was supposed to reach their office. An odd characteristic of Bolivians is their obliviousness to time; at best, they’ll say if you are expected during the morning or the afternoon. On Monday, I arrived at 10AM; in local terms, this is the parallel to sunrise in the normal world. I greeted the inspector that visited the guesthouse, and even the one that did the same a few months ago. That time they had contacted the Foreign Affairs Ministry, corroborated that I am a legitimate refugee in the country and left me in peace. Even that was strange, since they knew me well. The inspector that conducted the case in that occasion, now avoided my eyes, signaling that this time something else was about to happen.
The situation is simple. On August 9, 2005, the Bolivian Government awarded me the status of political refugee under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees. This was formally awarded by CONARE, the National Committee for Refugees, which is coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and includes representatives of Immigration. Eventually, my local documents had been issued in the past by Immigration, those harassing me in the last year for not having documents. That had been done at the same office I was now visiting.
Later, in July 2009, I was savagely attacked by a Bolivian-Israeli team, see An Attack’s Anatomy: On Israeli Terror in Bolivia. The local police helped to wipe out their tracks in the aftermath. Since then, I refuse to rent rooms from Bolivians—who had sold me out—and stayed in cheap guesthouses. In all my encounters with the local government I always asked to leave the country under the resettlement options enabled by the above-mentioned 1967 Protocol. It was always refused with no explanations. At a certain point, my document expired and I got locked into the guesthouse. I can’t rent a room; I can’t switch establishment. I became a de facto prisoner of the Bolivian government, which kept denying me documents and was declared Political Prisoner of Bolivia. Such document is defined as a basic right, and cannot be denied by any government; Bolivia claims that since I don’t rent a room, it cannot award me the document. This claim contradicts international law; in the USA, several types of documents serve this purpose.
The situation was ridiculous. In a good example of what the Bolivian culture is, the inspector asked me about what I had just described as if his institution wasn’t the one issuing the documents, as if they didn’t have my file, as if we were meeting for the first time. I complied. Over time I learned the best is to tire them off with their own clumsy rhetoric. When I was finished he asked: “Why don’t you issue new Israeli documents?” I repeated what he already knew: “The Israeli Embassy left Bolivia after the Black October of 2003. Because they left, I arrived. In 2009, President Evo Morales broke the relationship. I can’t do that from here; even if I could I wouldn’t venture to enter an Israeli embassy. I got refuge because of their violence towards me.” At this point there was nothing else to say. “Wait here,” he said to me and entered the inspectors’ room.
An hour later he reappeared. He had spent most of this time attending papers brought by a busy secretary; everything in the fishbowl-styled office that he occupied was visible from my seat. “Please sign here,” he said handing me an eviction order from the country. “You have 15 days to leave the country, unless you issue new documents.” “How do I get new documents?,” I asked the documents-issuing authority. “That is not my problem,” he said.
I picked up a pen and wrote before signing: “My stay in Bolivia is permitted under Decision 461/2005 of CONARE.” Then I signed. I got the idea of a similar action taken by Mary, Queen of Scots, when she tried to defend herself from the sharp, infected teeth of Queen Elizabeth I and Francis Walsingham. The inspector read that several times, carefully enunciating my written words; Bolivians always read aloud and slowly. His attitude changed immediately. “Do you have the printed decision?” he asked. “You are part of the body that emitted it!” I wanted to tell the fool. Instead, I handed him the decision.
Police Declaration Forensic Test
“I am here legally, regardless of the document’s validity date, unless the government revokes its decision,” I said. In an attempt to soften the effect of my bouncing out of the valley of the shadow of death, I added “Look, I have nothing against the Bolivian people or their government. I simply don’t want to be here. You gave me political refuge and then sold me out. You destroyed my throat; you can hear my struggled voice. I don’t want to stay in Bolivia. I don’t trust the Bolivian government and people.”
He listened and said. “Make new documents. You will be able to move in Bolivia.” He didn’t explain how I could make new documents. He was the issuing authority and they were illegitimately refusing to give me documents for over a year.
“I don’t want to stay here. I don’t trust the Bolivian government. Why are you keeping me as political prisoner?”
“Wait here,” he said and disappeared in the fishbowl. He returned almost immediately. “You have 15 days left,” he said menacingly and left.
Bolivia action is obvious. When the day comes, they’ll throw me across the border without documents. Those reading my descriptions of the continent know that traveling around is difficult because of the lousy roads and the incredible level of police roadblocks. They search for drug traffickers; arriving there without proper documents isa suicide. In my situation it also invites entrapment activities by anybody capable of offering a bribe. To put things in proportion, in an attempt to evade fines, Bolivians often bribe policemen with the equivalent of seventy cents of an American dollar. It is safe to assume that Israel will be able to pay the necessary sum for my entrapment even without the help of the Rothschilds.
At a certain moment, one needs to decide either to cooperate with evil in exchange for a comfy home, a mortgage and occasional minor harassments by the government, or to do the right thing and become a man of God. I took my decision a long time ago, and now am just watching how the violent end develops. Bolivia, I am ready. Let my cross be raised!
This article was written with 14 days left. I do not know how this will develop. Bolivians are notorious for their violence; I may suffer a fake car accident or something similar. My only promise is to keep publishing as much as I can for as long as I can. Articles are available in both website roitov.com and roytov.com; if you find anything you like I recommend you downloading it. If I don’t survive this, the sites will probably be deactivated. Thank you for reading me and may God bless you!