Bolivia officials request extradition of ex-president from US

[JURIST] Bolivian officials on Tuesday formally requested that the US issue extradition orders for former Bolivian president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada [official profile, in Spanish; TrialWatch profile] to face genocide charges for his role in October 2003 riots [Amnesty International backgrounder] over corporate exploitation of the country's natural gas resources that left at least 60 dead. The officials have also called for the extradition of de Lozada's former defense and energy ministers under a 1995 extradition treaty with the US [text, PDF]. Sanchez de Lozada resigned amid the unrest and fled Bolivia for the US. The movement to extradite de Lozada [COHA backgrounder] has been spearheaded by the current Bolivian government and family members of those killed in the riots. AP has more. El Diario has local coverage, in Spanish.

The 2003 riots [BBC report] occurred when military forces clashed with predominantly indigenous farmers, coca growers, students, and unionists who protested de Lozada's attempts to open up the country to free trade with the US and to export gas and other natural resources. The protests were led by his former political rival and current Bolivian president Evo Morales [official profile; JURIST news archive].

 

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