Characayo was caught red-handed after receiving a US$20,000 bribe to benefit land acquisition in the El Prado territory located in the department of La Paz.
"Our government will not cover up corruption from whomever it comes. Characayo was apprehended and will be brought to justice accordingly," Bolivia's President Luis Arce twitted.
In December last year, Characayo was appointed in the post after the dismissal of Minister Wilson Caceres, who was also involved in acts of corruption.
Women knit while waiting for their shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19 at a government-run social security clinic during vaccinations for people over age 80 in La Paz, Bolivia Credit: AP Photo/Juan Karita pic.twitter.com/y8e7MXDzvp
The former Director of Rural Development Hiper Garcia was also arrested. Police investigations showed that he demanded US$80,000 to clear property. This money would have been channeled to Characayo and other officials of the National Agrarian Reform Institute (INRA).
Justice Minister Ivan Lima requested an abbreviated process to sentence the defendants in the shortest possible time since they face at least three proven crimes, including influence peddling.
"It is not necessary to keep waiting weeks, months to get a decision...There is no reason to take the cases to the maximum term. Judges and prosecutors should act with celerity", Lima stressed.