Letters to the Editor

Notes on Bolivia

In the Miami Herald’s Dec. 9, 2016 online article “Suspected of corruption at home, powerful foreigners find refuge in U.S.” the authors write that security forces “killed” 58 people in the regrettable September and October 2003 events.

In fact, there were 58 deaths total, including protestors, five accidents and police and armed forces members; deaths that occurred in the midst of violent road blockades attacking military and police personnel.

Also, Bolivia’s attorney general did publicly state that the Sanchez de Lozada administration embezzled millions, but he never formally filed any charges because an exhaustive investigation showed there was no embezzlement at all.

While the article states that President Sanchez de Lozada signed a decree authorizing two ministers to “withdraw” money from Bolivia’s reserve fund, that is a gross misreading of the decree, which did not authorize any withdrawal.

None of this, and other politically motivated accusations on corruption, would meet the dual criminality standard under U.S. law, which makes me wonder why President Sanchez de Lozada was even included as a “suspect of corruption.”

Luis Eduardo Siles Perez, member of Congress (1989 -2006), La Paz, Bolivia