Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bolivian court convicts former military officers

August 30, 2011 Associated Press

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Bolivia's highest court has convicted five former
top military commanders of genocide in a 2003 crackdown on protesters that
claimed at least 64 civilian lives. It gave them prison sentences ranging
from 10-15 years.

The court also convicted two former Cabinet ministers of complicity in the
killings and sentenced them each to three years.

Popular anger over the crackdown forced then-President Gonzalo Sanchez de
Lozada into U.S. exile. The protesters had been demanding he halt plans to
export natural gas to Chile.

Since being elected in 2005, President Evo Morales has tried to bring
Sanchez de Lozada and members of his government to trial.

But most fled, and Bolivian law prohibits trials in absentia.

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