US Charges Bolivian Ex-Minister Murillo with Corruption
Bolivian ex-Interior Minister Arturo Murillo has been charged in the US with corruption and money laundering. Mr Murillo was arrested along with his chief of staff and three US businessmen last week. The US justice department said the Bolivian officials took bribes from the businessmen, who had won multi-million dollar contracts to supply tear gas to the Bolivian government. They could face up to 20 years in jail if convicted.
Mr Murillo is believed to have ordered the tough police response to protests which followed the departure of Mr Morales. Dozens of people were killed in clashes between the security forces and demonstrators, according to the ombudsman’s office.
He also played a key role in attempts to prosecute Mr Morales on charges of sedition and terrorism. He accused Mr Morales of fomenting unrest in the weeks which followed the 2019 presidential elections.
Following the re-run of the Bolivian election in 2020, which was won by an ally of Mr Morales, the charges against Mr Morales were dismissed and his arrest warrant was cancelled.
Members of the interim government, including Ms Áñez, have since been arrested and accused of leading a right-wing coup against Mr Morales with the support of the police and the military