HomeNewsBriefJailed Ex-Drug Czar Accuses Bolivia of Shielding Corrupt Officials
BRIEF

Jailed Ex-Drug Czar Accuses Bolivia of Shielding Corrupt Officials

BOLIVIA / 24 MAY 2012 BY GEOFFREY RAMSEY EN

A former Bolivian drug czar currently held in the United States on drug trafficking charges has accused the Morales government of protecting other high-ranking officials with ties to the illegal drug trade.

On May 21, Univision reported that former Bolivian drug official Rene Sanabria, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison by a US federal judge for conspiring to smuggle cocaine into Miami via a Chilean port, had sent them a letter detailing the alleged cover-up.

In the letter, the ex-official reportedly maintains that “the government is thwarting a comprehensive investigation into public officials involved in drug trafficking.”

The contents of the letter were not released to the public, but the news network reported that Sanabria provided specific evidence for his claims, including “the identification of public officials involved in crimes and drug-related corruption.” He also said that an official investigation into these charges was terminated by ex-Interior Minister Sacha Llorenti and Deputy Interior Minister Marcos Farfan.

InSight Crime Analysis

While the government of President Evo Morales has questioned the authenticity of the letter, current Interior Minister Carlos Romero called upon the imprisoned police official to turn over a list of authorities along with his specific accusations against them. “If the retired general Rene Sanabria knows of some people involved in these drug issues he should provide their names, and must indicate the evidence or signs that point to the involvement of those people.”

Meanwhile, Morales’ political enemies are seizing on the allegations. Opposition Senator Roger Pinto has called for the formation of a congressional commission, which would be tasked with traveling to the US and interviewing Sanabria in person.

The hotly politicized nature of the allegations mirrors a similar situation in Venezuela. There too, former officials accused of drug ties have alleged widespread government involvement in drug trafficking and organized crime, while the government has dismissed this as an unwarranted political attack.

Compartir icon icon icon

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

Related Content

ARGENTINA / 31 DEC 2013

We can already identify some of the trends that are likely to mark the evolution of organized crime in 2014.

BOLIVIA / 30 JUN 2015

Bolivia plans to create a new law aimed at tackling corruption within the national police force, which could prove…

BOLIVIA / 28 JUL 2011

Bolivia's government has announced plans to purchase excess coca that is legally produced, in order to prevent the plant falling…

About InSight Crime

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. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…