The fugitives are the former ministers of the de facto government, Arturo Murillo (Interior) and Luis Fernando Lopez (Defense).
Newly appointed national commander of the Bolivian Police, Jhonny Aguilera, reported this Tuesday the escape of two former ministers of the de facto government of Jeanine Áñez to Brazil and Panama was confirmed.
The fugitives are the ex-de facto ministers of the Government, Arturo Murillo, and Defense, Luis Fernando López, both required by the Bolivian justice, Aguilera said, in statements to Radio Fides.
According to Aguilera’s, without specifying a date, both took an official flight of the Bolivian Air Force from Santa Cruz to Puerto Suárez, far east of the country, and from there they left for Corumbá, in the state of Mato Grosso del Sur, in Brazil, which is 35 minutes away by car.
“Today we are in the conviction that Migración Brasil has been able to certify to the Intelligence Directorate the entry of former Minister of Government Arturo Murillo and Luis Fernando López Julio, former Minister of Defense,” said Aguilera.
He added that, then, on November 9, Murillo traveled from Brazil to Panama. Meanwhile, the authorities learned that López remains in Brazilian territory.
Earlier, Aguilera, who took over as Bolivia’s highest police authority on Monday, had announced a broad operation to capture Murillo and López.
An arrest warrant, issued by the Bolivian Prosecutor’s Office, in the framework of an investigation into the purchase of tear gas with a surcharge weighs on these two ex-officials of the de facto government.
The process was opened after a complaint filed by deputies of the Movement to Socialism (MAS), who assure that López signed in December 2019 a contract with the company Bravo Tactical Solutions LLC, based in the United States, for the acquisition of the tear gas cartridges, for 5.6 million dollars, causing damage to the State for approximately 2 million dollars.
This same Tuesday, the Prosecutor’s Office reported that it will request before Interpol the activation of the blue code, which will allow determining the location of Murillo and López.
For many Bolivians this ministers along Jeanine Anez herself are also responsible for the massacres of Senkata and Sacaba during the first days of the coup d’etat against Evo Morales and eventually will be call by the Bolivian justice in relation with those human rights violations.
Featured image: Arturo Murillo and Luis Fernando López, former ministers of Jeanine Áñez at a press conference, January 8, 2020. Photo: David Mercado / Reuters