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

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.

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

BRAZIL / 18 OCT 2011

Rio de Janeiro's public safety secretary talks about the future of the favela pacification scheme, the murder of a judge,…

HOMICIDES / 27 OCT 2014

Honduras has reformed its penal code to allow life sentences for individuals convicted of murdering certain types of officials, including…

ELITES AND CRIME / 7 JUL 2015

A series of corruption scandals implicating high-level government officials have rocked Honduras and Guatemala in recent months. In both countries,…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.