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  • Carlos Mesa served as president in Bolivia from Oct. 17, 2003 to June 9, 2005.

    Carlos Mesa served as president in Bolivia from Oct. 17, 2003 to June 9, 2005. | Photo: EFE

Published 30 April 2019

A US$30,000 check for “livestock sale” was paid to Mesa from Gonzalo Medina, a former state official linked to drug trafficking.

A suspicious check addressed to former Bolivian president and Citizen Community (CC) candidate, Carlos Mesa, have aroused inquiries of alleged drug trafficking links, Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) Deputy Susana Rivero reported Tuesday.

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A US$30,000 transaction for “livestock sale” was paid to Mesa from Gonzalo Medina, a former state official linked to drug trafficking, the deputy said, making a demand for transparency for voters preparing for the 2019 general elections.

"Why do you owe the $ 30,000, what are you paying for, what are you paying back,” Rivero asked.

"In light of all this narco-link scandal, what is striking is that one of the suspicious deposits that Carlos Mesa was detected was a deposit by Gonzalo Medina (...) It's something really worrying, we'll have to know what answer that deposit," she said.

A receipt and deposit slip dated June 16, 2009 signed by Medina and made via the Mercantile Bank were presented to substantiate the claim.

Medina, Santa Cruz’s former head of the Special Force for the Fight Against Crime, was recently put under preventative detention for maintaining links to known drug trafficker Pedro Montenegro.

Although authorities encountered Mesa’s transaction last year as part of the investigations connected to the Car Wash corruption scandal, the banknote went unnoticed. However, given the Medina’s recent arrest, the link between Mesa and the former official is “strange,” Rivero said.

Mesa has denied the allegations, saying they lack the “slightest foundation.” He said he plans to make a detailed explanation of the “absolutely legal” transaction within a few hours.

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