HomeNewsBriefArrest of Bolivia’s Ex-Police Chief Shows Extent of Corruption
BRIEF

Arrest of Bolivia's Ex-Police Chief Shows Extent of Corruption

BOLIVIA / 6 MAR 2015 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

Authorities in Bolivia have arrested the country's former chief of police, highlighting the widespread corruption that has facilitated Bolivia's emergence as a regional drug trafficking hub.

General Oscar Nina, his wife, daughter, and son have been accused of illegal enrichment and are suspected of collaboration with drug traffickers, reported the BBC.

Bolivia's Minister for Governance Hugo Moldiz told media that authorities had had "grave suspicions for many years" that Nina has ties to the drug trade, reported Opinion.

Nina was appointed head of Bolivia's anti-narcotics police (FELCN) in January 2009, and was tasked with restructuring the force after President Evo Morales kicked out the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 2008.

He later went on to become chief of the police in 2010, but was sacked in 2011 shortly after another former head of Bolivia's anti-narcotics police, Rene Sanabria, was arrested in Panama and flown to the United States to face drug trafficking charges.

Nina and his son have been sent to prison on remand, while his wife and daughter were released on bail, reported La Razon.

On the same day as their hearing, Nina's former charges in the FELCN seized close to a ton of cocaine that was to be sent from Bolivia to the West African country of Burkina Faso via a Chilean port. One Bolivian and two Ecuadorians were arrested in the raid, reported La Razon.

InSight Crime Analysis

As InSight Crime revealed in a special investigation last year, Bolivia is taking on an increasingly important role in the regional drug trade, not only as a cocaine producer, but also as a transit country and a base for transnational criminal actors from countries such as Colombia and Brazil.

SEE ALSO: Evo's Challenge: Bolivia the Drug Hub

Corruption -- especially in the judiciary and the police force -- is one of the key reasons for Bolivia's growing role in the drug trade. A deputy in the legislative assembly told InSight Crime last year that corrupt elements of the police were working with Colombian drug traffickers in the city of Santa Cruz, while a lawyer stated that defendants could bribe their way out of a conviction.  

Until the arrest of Nina, Rene Sanabria had been the most high-profile face of this corruption after a US court sentenced him to 15 years in prison for drug trafficking. While Nina's arrest shows that this corruption certainly did not stop with Sanabria's network, at least it also shows that Bolivian authorities are taking steps to address the problem, as opposed to the case of Sanabria, whose arrest was engineered by US agencies.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BOLIVIA / 11 JAN 2017

Latin America witnessed a criminal boom in illegal mining in 2016, and a rise of complementary illicit activities, as organized…

BOLIVIA / 26 FEB 2013

Bolivian officials said that a five-year project funded by the European Union helped reduce coca cultivation by 12 percent in…

BOLIVIA / 24 JAN 2020

The year was one of political tumult, fed in no small part by organized crime and its favored weapon: corruption.

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.

THE ORGANIZATION

Combating Environmental Crime in Colombia

15 JUN 2021

InSight Crime presented findings from an investigation into the main criminal activities fueling environmental destruction in Colombia.