HomeNewsBriefBolivia Steps Up Fight Against Corruption
BRIEF

Bolivia Steps Up Fight Against Corruption

BOLIVIA / 12 JAN 2015 BY KYRA GURNEY EN

Bolivia is investigating 50 judicial and police officials for irregularities in their sworn declarations of assets, a welcome move against corruption which is one of the contributors to the country’s vulnerability to organized crime.

Nardi Suxo, the head of Bolivia’s anti-corruption ministry, has identified 20 prosecutors, 18 judges, and 12 police officials who have worked on corruption and drug trafficking cases and have suspicious asset declarations, reported El Deber. The declarations have been sent to the Attorney General’s Office so the individuals in question can be investigated for embezzlement and the falsification, or omission, of asset information.

In one case under investigation, reported by La Razon, a police coronel amassed close to $145,000 in assets in the span of ten years on a salary of around $400 a month. The official reported the purchase of five properties on his declaration of assets, while omitting the purchase of two more.  

In response to President Evo Morales’ recent announcement of a referendum to reform Bolivia’s judicial system, the head of the country’s European Union delegation agreed that there was “much to be done in terms of the administration of justice in the country” and identified several issues including access to justice, delays, and “above all corruption through economic and political influence.”

InSight Crime Analysis

Corruption in Bolivia’s judicial system and police force is nothing new, but the investigations initiated by Suxo could mark an increased effort to tackle the problem.

When InSight Crime conducted field investigations in Bolivia last year, police, legislative, and underworld sources all affirmed that elements of the police work with drug traffickers, while criminal defense attorneys claimed judges and prosecutors charge between $20,000 and $50,000 to let alleged criminals off. In one of the country’s most high profile corruption cases, former anti-drug czar Police General Rene Sanabria was sentenced by a US court in 2011 to 15 years in prison for smuggling cocaine.

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

In what may be another sign Bolivia is stepping up the fight against corruption, on January 5 Morales called for a referendum designed to root out corruption in the judicial system. In this context, the comments made by the normally reticent EU delegation in Bolivia could be interpreted as support for efforts to reform the country’s judiciary system. The EU is a major donor in Bolivia — in 2013, the EU pledged over $33 million in anti-drug assistance — and has a stake in Bolivia’s fight against corruption, as the ability to coopt the police and judiciary increases a country’s vulnerability to drug trafficking groups

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.

Related Content

BOLIVIA / 4 AUG 2011

Bolivia’s counter-narcotics police unit has dismantled a huge cocaine-producing laboratory in the province of Santa Cruz, in the east of…

COLOMBIA / 29 JUL 2020

Colombia’s Attorney General’s Office has notified InSight Crime Co-director Jeremy McDermott of criminal proceedings brought against him by Vice President…

BOLIVIA / 26 FEB 2021

While the seizure of 23 tons of cocaine by German, Belgian and Dutch police, the largest-ever haul of the drug…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Strategic Communications Manager Job Description

12 FEB 2021

InSight Crime is looking for a full-time strategic communications manager. This person needs to be able to work in a fast-paced world of daily news, high-profile investigations, national and international…

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …