Former Bolivian Interior Minister Ivo Morales arrested in US

Bolivia’s interior minister, Arturo Murillo, has been arrested in the United States in an attempt to illegally conclude a government contract for cash after the removal of Ivo Morales in 2011.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday that Murillo and his former chief of staff, Sergio Mendez, had been arrested last week on criminal charges of bribery and money laundering. The couple has been charged “About taking bribes paid by US companies and individuals to get a Bolivian government contract.” And subsequently place funds using the US financial system.

It is alleged that between November 2001 and April 2020, three U.S. citizens paid Bolivian officials ar 6.6 million to provide the Bolivian Ministry of Defense with tear gas and other equipment. .6.-million dollar contract is secured. Three Americans involved in the scheme have also been charged with money laundering. If convicted, the five will face a maximum of years in prison.

However, Murillo’s legal problems extend far beyond the United States. He was also currently wanted for treason in Bolivia, following his participation “Interim” The government that came to power after President Ivo Morales was forcibly ousted in November 201 is widely called a coup. Bolivia’s current interior minister, Eduardo del Castillo, said on Wednesday he had called on the United States to extradite Murillo and Mendez, who could face charges if they returned home.

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Morales returned from exile in Argentina in November when his party, the Movalen for Socialism (MAS), defeated self-proclaimed President Jeanine Anez in the election. Anez was arrested in March for his role in an alleged coup attempt, while Murillo fled the country before he could be arrested.

During Murillo’s short reign, dozens of Morales supporters were killed in dangerous crackdowns on the interim government. In December 2011, Marillo issued an arrest warrant for Morales, accusing the then-exiled president of inciting riots and “Terrorism.”

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