Bolivia: Police Chief Charged Over Sacaba Massacre

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The Cochabamba Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday charged former police commander Jaime Zurita for his responsibility in the Sacaba massacre in Nov. 2019

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Zurita was Cochabamba Police Department’s chief, which is why he was ultimately responsible for repressing coca-growers marching to demand the reinstatement of the then-President Evo Morales (2006-2019).

The Prosecutor’s Office has charged him with murder after his subordinate troops opened fire on protesters causing nine dead and several dozens of wounded people.  

“So far, it is unknown what precautionary measure will be applied to Zurita,” said Cochabamba Prosecutor’s Office Coordinator Ximena Narvaez.

Previously the same Prosecutor’s Office had issued house arrest to General Alfredo Cuellar because of his responsibility in the Sacaba events.

During the hearings of the two implicated officers, they affirmed they only fired after detecting that the protesters were carrying weapons, bazookas, and Molotov cocktails, which contrasts with witnesses’ statements and the recordings of the press covering the march.

The investigations on the massacres of Sacaba and Senkata only began after the election of President Luis Arce, who promised to bring justice for the families of the 36 Bolivians killed by Jeanine Añez’s coup-born regime.

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