Send by email

your name: email to: message:
Username: Email: Password: Confirm Password:
Login with
Confirming registration ...

Edit your profile:

Country: Town: State:
Gender: Birthday:
Email: Web:
How do you describe yourself:
Password: New password: Repite password:

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Is justice done or is it just revenge?

Por sumily

On September 20, 2003, in a military operation in the northeast of La Paz, the eight-year-old girl Marlene Rojas died, a stray bullet hit her chest when she was inside her home-four other people were very similar. From that fact, tension in Bolivia skyrocketed.

The clashes between the demonstrators and army troops during those weeks were concentrated in the cities of La Paz and El Alto, leaving more than 50 dead and about 400 injured.The president at that time was Sánchez de Lozada, who resigned on October 17, 2003 and fled immediately, as did Sánchez Berzaín.After escaping to the United States, the attorney general of Bolivia alleged that the then president had illegally stolen about 22 million dollars from the government coffers.

Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, former president of Bolivia and his defense minister, Carlos Sánchez Berzaín were declared by a civilian jury in the United States responsible for the extrajudicial executions of indigenous people during the so-called "October Massacre" in 2003.Sánchez de Lozada is the first Latin American president to go to trial and be declared responsible in the United States for human rights abuses.

According to the judgment, the former president must compensate 10 million dollars to relatives of eight Aymara indigenous people that the police killed during the events of 2003.However, the sentence to the two former officials does not include a prison sentence because it is a civil case.

On March 5 it was the beginning of the judicial proceedings of Sánchez de Lozada and his minister in a civil court in Fort Lauderdale, in South Florida. After 21 days, the jury began the deliberations.The lawsuit, on this occasion, was framed in the Law for the Protection of Victims of Torture, one of the only two extraterritorial laws in the United States. that empowers US judges to hold cases in federal courts for crimes committed outside the country.And although the Law authorizes jurists and lawyers to initiate a legal process against anyone outside the United States, never before has it been possible to judge an ex-president for such reasons.

It is valid to clarify, that in this case, they were not obliged to appear in court as it was a civil trial, both Sánchez de Lozada, 87, and Sánchez Berzaín, 58, presented themselves in court of their own accord, during the initial sessions.The ex-president, Sánchez de Lozada, governed Bolivia for two periods: first, from 1993 to 1997 and then from August 2002 until October 2003, when he fled to the United States after the Gas War revolt.The beginning of his mandate was shaken by an attempt to increase taxes, allegations of illicit enrichment and the use of politics to benefit his business.

According to the Bolivian journalist Boris Miranda, author of the book "La última tarde del farewell" about the October massacre, Bolivia was under an environment of high social conflict, with large protests mainly involving indigenous Aymara, coca growers and sectors such as the class media and the university students.The rallies and protests grew after the announcement of several decisions by the government of Sánchez de Lozada - popularly known as 'Goni' -, such as the export of Bolivian natural gas to the United States. through Chile.Among the criticisms of the executive's plans were those that pointed to the low prices at which exports were wanted and the lack of a plan that would supply the national market before.