Bolivian Air Force`s General detained under investigation for political clashes that left nine dead in the city of Sacaba
The Prosecutor’s Office detained a general of the Bolivian Air Force on Tuesday in an investigation into the political clashes that left nine dead in the city of Sacaba in November 2019. It is the first arrest of an officer due to the wave of violence last year.
“Regarding the arrest of General Alfredo Cuéllar, he is in the FELCC, where he will wait (…) until a judge defines his legal situation,” said Aguilar, interviewed by the Unitel TV channel.
Edwin Paredes, General Cuellar’s attorney, said that “he has only performed administrative functions, he has never made operational decisions.”
The rank-and-file military man served as head of the military garrison in the department of Cochabamba (center), where Sacaba is located, the scene of violent clashes between military and coca growers.
In Sacaba, the military intercepted the peasants when they tried to go to the city of Cochabamba, located about 18 km from there. A first investigation by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) established that the violence left nine civilians dead.
The serious incidents began after the general elections of October 20, 2019, amid complaints from the opposition about the fraud of then-president Evo Morales that such accusations turned out to be false.
First, there were street clashes between opponents and supporters of Morales, who had been president since 2006, and then between civilians and military and police forces.
The most serious conflicts occurred between November 15 and 19 in Sacaba and in the Senkata area, in the city of El Alto, neighboring La Paz, where 10 deaths were reported, according to the IACHR.
All the political violence between last October and November left about 35 dead, according to a first report by the international human rights organization, which this week sent a new investigative commission to investigate the before, during and after the incidents.
The FELCC chief did not rule out citing more military leaders involved in the Sacaba incidents.