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News > Argentina

21 Argentine Officers To Testify Over Arms Smuggling To Bolivia

  • Security forces shoot an Indigenous citizen, Bolivia, 2019.

    Security forces shoot an Indigenous citizen, Bolivia, 2019. | Photo: Twitter/ @ciamonte

Published 21 February 2022

Judge Catania wants to rebuild the whereabouts of the 70,000 anti-tumult ammunition that arrived in Bolivia on Nov. 11, 2019, to “protect” the Argentine embassy in La Paz.

On Monday, Argentine Judge Alejandro Catania will begin the hearing against 21 security officers who shipped war material to Bolivia’s 2019 coup-born regime of Jeanine Añez under the orders of former President Mauricio Macri (2015-2019).


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Catania will question the officers about their missions in La Paz to rebuild the whereabouts of the 70,000 anti-tumult ammunition and 121 gas grenade and tear gas spray, which arrived in Bolivia on Nov. 11, 2019, to “protect” the Argentine embassy. The hearing will run until March.

The Argentine Agency of Controlled Materials (ANMC) and Police authorized the shipment of such weapons, all of which coincided with the armament that the Bolivian Police and Air Force used to suppress social protests against the coup d'etat in that country.

When the officers who transported the war material returned to Argentina, security forces alleged that it had been used in training exercises in La Paz. However, a 2019 letter from the Bolivian Air Force (FAB) Commander Jorge Terceros to then-Argentine ambassador to this country, Normando Alvarez, denied such allegations by exposing the officer's collaboration in the arms smuggling.

"The arms smuggling to our country is a "nefarious and shameful episode of the Macri administration," Bolivia's former Vice President Alvaro Garcia stated and compared Macri's actions with the support of Argentine paramilitaries to the 1980 coup d'etat performed by General Luis Garcia in Bolivia.

"When you read that epoch's newspapers or check the history books, you think that this attitude could not be repeated in the continent after so much democratic progress," Garcia lamented, stressing that the Macri administration should have worried about Bolivian citizens’ welfare.

The former Vice President counterposed Macri’s attitude to that of current President Alberto Fernandez, who recently sent send one million COVID-19 vaccines to Bolivia. "This is the true essence of a democratic government: working for the people," Garcia said.

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