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An article in the June 28th Sunday Times (London) further describes Spedding's situation.

... she freely admitted to The Sunday Times last week that she was caught red-handed with 2kg of marijuana in her flat when anti-narcotics forces arrested her on March 30.

"Of course I believe in the legalisation of marijuana," she said. "Actually, I believe in the legalisation of everything." However, she vehemently denied the Bolivian authorities' accusations that she sold drugs to her students.

She is currently imprisoned in a maximum-security jail high in the Andes mountains, facing a 25-year prison sentence for trafficking and criminal association. Her lawyer hopes for a four to five-year sentence, with possible parole after two and half years.

Link: The article is available on The Sunday Times website (which requires registration) from its back issue form, but it not linkable directly.
(Tue 21 Jul 98)

Author Arrested in Bolivia

As detailed in the July issue of Locus Magazine, author Alison Spedding, whose novels include The Road and the Hills, A Cloud Over Water, and The Streets of the City, was arrested without charge by the Bolivian government in March, and is still being held there.

Spedding, who holds Masters Degrees in Anthropology from Cambridge and a Doctorate from the LSE, was working as a lecturer at the University of San Andres, La Paz. In March a drug dealer was arrested in her apartment building. Police searched Spedding's flat, found a personal quantity of cannabis, foreign currency, and books by Karl Marx. Under suspicion of drug dealing and subversion, Spedding was arrested and held under Bolivian law that disregards habeas corpus, allowing detainees to be held indefinitely without charge.

Further details from a letter by the author's mother, and an editorial by HarperCollins UK editor Jane Johnson, are at the bottom of this page.

Readers are urged to write letters of support to Dr. Spedding and letters of protest to the Bolivian government.

Dr Alison Spedding
c/o Debbie Aliaga
British Embassy
Avenida Arc 2732
PO Box 694
La Paz
fax: 00 591 243 1073

Bolivian Embassy
106 Eaton Square
fax: +44 (0)171 235 1286
Embassy of Bolivia
3014 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008-3629
Phone: (202)483-4410

Consulate in Illinois:

Dr. Jaime Escobar
Consul of Bolivia
1200 Superior St
Melrose Park, IL
Phone: (708)343-1234

© 1998 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.