WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
 
 
Previous Page Back  Contents  Contents Page 268 Home Page Home Page  Forward Next Page 
     
I played along with him, since I could not do otherwise, but I had no intention of keeping a promise that had been extracted from me. I would have betrayed my cause if I had kept my word.

Albert Brun, the AFP correspondent in Lima, had been in La Paz since Barbie was released from jail. He met us and took us to the Hotel La Paz, where I promised the disappointed reporters that I would see them soon.

I tried to see Greminger, but it appeared that he had had his wrist slapped. "I no longer have anything to do with the Barbie case," he said. "You will have to see Deputy Foreign Minister Jaime Tapia."

Tapia gave me an appointment for 3:30 P.M. on Friday.

Things now seemed all in Barbie's favor. The Presidential spokesman, Alfredo Arce, stated: "There are to be no proceedings for extraditing Klaus Altmann. President Banzer thinks he has enough legal evidence to consider the problem settled."

A few days earlier, Constancio Carrón, Bolivia's leading expert on international law in respect to private citizens, and also a counselor of the Foreign Ministry, had stated:
Bolivia is an inviolable asylum, and all who take refuge in it are sacrosanct. The time limit for the prosecution of major crimes in Bolivia is eight years. Altmann-Barbie's are, therefore, ancient history. The petty deception that Barbie practiced by disguising himself as Altmann is at the most punishable in Bolivia by a small fine.

Carrón was also one of the lawyers who were handling Barbie's defense.

On Friday morning the American correspondent asked me to breakfast at Maxim's, the city's best restaurant. He told me:

"While I was talking with Colonel Banzer on Wednesday, I told him what a bad impression he was making on international opinion by preventing two such brave women from entering Bolivia. That's what made Banzer change his mind, for he is very sensitive to American opinion. The CIA, it appears, pays him seven dollars a day for every prisoner he keeps in confinement for political reasons. That money allows him to pay his army, which is always disgruntled."

In the afternoon we went to Jaime Tapia's office, and I gave him my new proofs. Mme. Halaunbrenner wept as she told him about her family. He patted her kindly on the shoulder and promised that he would try everything, but we knew what that
     
   
 
WHEREVER THEY MAY BE
© 1972, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation
Previous Page  Back Page 268 Forward  Next Page