Wednesday, January 19

The US arrests the ‘number two’ of the former president of Bolivia, Jeanine Áñez


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The Justice Department of USA has reported this Wednesday of the arrest of the former Minister of Government of Bolivia, Arturo Murillo, ‘number two’ of the former president Jeanine Áñez, for his participation in a network of bribery and money laundering, which can lead to a 20-year prison sentence if found guilty.

Along with Murillo, his former chief of staff has been arrested, Sergio Rodrigo Mendez, whose arrest was already known last weekend, and three other US citizens “on criminal charges related to their alleged participation in a bribery and money laundering scheme.”

The arrests took place between May 21 and 22 in the states of Florida Y GeorgiaDetails the statement from the Department of Justice, which accuses Murillo and Méndez of receiving bribes from a company of US individuals “to secure a contract with the Bolivian government and then use the US financial system to launder those bribes.”

The Justice Department claims that the Americans paid $ 602,000 (about 170,000 euros) in bribes “for the benefit of Murillo” so that one of their companies “would obtain and maintain business with the Bolivian Ministry of Defense,” in particular, a contract of some $ 5.6 million (€ 4.6 million), to provide him with tear gas and other non-lethal equipment.

Extradition

Murillo’s arrest comes hours after the President’s government, Luis Arce, announce that he would request his extradition, since it is being investigated in Bolivia precisely for this case, embezzlement in the purchase of riot gear.

With the victory of Luis Arce in the last elections of October 2020, many ministers of Áñez fled Bolivia, including Murillo, who headed for Brazil with the former head of the Defense portfolio, Luis Fernando Lopez, on whom the same accusations weigh and is suspected of continuing in the South American country.

«Indignation» in the Government of Bolivia

«Today we witness with indignation the unveiling of how the ‘coup’ authorities tarnished the sacred uniform with acts of corruption in the years 2019 and 2020 and that are coming to light, ”said the president of Bolivia, Luis Arce, in a ceremony for the anniversary of the Presidential Bodyguard, about the US accusation to Murillo.

The president has criticized that “every day that passes irregularities and acts of corruption where it is clearly demonstrated that in that government the personalist, unpatriotic slogan simply prevailed and they forgot to preserve the interests of the people and democracy, “reports the local media ‘El Deber.

Likewise, he stressed that for this reason the Executive investigates and takes “those bad Bolivians to justice, so that the competent authorities are the ones who determine the degree of participation and establish the responsibility of those who took the Government by storm.

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