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News > Bolivia

Bolivia: Ex-Police Chief Charged Over Sacaba Massacre

  • Funeral of Sacaba victims, Cochabamba, Bolivia, Nov. 17, 2019.

    Funeral of Sacaba victims, Cochabamba, Bolivia, Nov. 17, 2019. | Photo: Twitter/ @CarwilBJ

Published 23 February 2021

He was accused of being ultimately responsible for the death of nine citizens murdered during the 2019 protests against the coup led by Jeanine Añez.

The Cochabamba Prosecutor's Office on Tuesday charged former Police Commander Jaime Zurita for his responsibility in the 2019 Sacaba massacre.


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Zurita was Cochabamba Police Department's chief, which is why he was ultimately responsible for repressing coca-growers marching to demand the reinstatement of the then-President Evo Morales (2006-2019).

The Prosecutor's Office has charged him with murder after his subordinate troops opened fire on protesters causing nine dead and several dozens of wounded people.  

"So far, it is unknown what precautionary measure will be applied to Zurita," said Cochabamba Prosecutor's Office Coordinator Ximena Narvaez.

Previously, the Prosecutor's Office had issued house arrest to General Alfredo Cuellar because of his responsibility in the Sacaba events.

During the hearings, these two officers affirmed they only fired after detecting that protesters were carrying weapons, bazookas, and Molotov cocktails. Their version, however, contrasts with witnesses' statements and press recordings.

The investigations on the massacres of Sacaba and Senkata only began after the election of President Luis Arce, who promised to bring justice for the families of the 36 Bolivians killed by Jeanine Añez's coup-born regime.

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