Americas

Argentina to probe ex-president over alleged arms shipment to Bolivia

Former President Mauricio Macri denies allegations he sent arms to Bolivia to oust Evo Morales government

Bala Chambers   | 16.07.2021
Argentina to probe ex-president over alleged arms shipment to Bolivia

LONDON 

Argentine authorities launched an investigation into accusations that the country's former president sent arms to Bolivia in 2019.

Prosecutor Claudio Navas Rial opened the probe, following a complaint filed by the current Argentine government against the former administration.

Former President Mauricio Macri, former Security Minister Patricia Bullrich and Defense Minister Oscar Aguad are listed as defendants in the investigation.

In addition, several gendarmes who allegedly brought the weapons to Bolivia stand accused, according to daily InfoBae.

Macri has denied the allegations made by the Bolivian government that his administration sent arms to allegedly repress social protests in 2019.

In a statement he said the allegations against him have "devalued his word". Instead, Macri alleged that in November 2019 following allegations of electoral fraud and the resignation of ex-Bolivia President Evo Morales that he instead sent "humanitarian aid" to Bolivia.

Bullrich has distanced herself from the allegations, writing on Facebook that "any request for material for the Bolivian Air Force never passed through my hands".

On July 9, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez apologized to Bolivia, after the country slammed Macri for allegedly providing arms to interim President of Bolivia Jeanine Anez.

Bolivian officials claimed the weapons were used in the subsequent protests and deaths in Sacaba and Senkata.

In the letter Fernandez described the "pain and shame" regarding the removal of the former indigenous Bolivian president from power, describing it as a "coup d'état against the Constitutional Government of President Evo Morales".

"First of all I want to apologize to your government and your people on behalf of the Argentine people," said Fernandez, who described the alleged shipment sent to Bolivia as aiding the "seditious forces against the Bolivian population”.

Fernandez previously gave Morales political asylum in December 2019.

At a press conference on July 8, Bolivian Foreign Minister Rogelio Mayta showed documents, alleging it proved "that Macri's Argentina gave the military forces, which repressed the social protest in November 2019, lethal ammunition.”

Mayta alleged it was a "contribution to commit serious human rights violations and to violate national sovereignty and dignity."

Anez is currently in jail as authorities continue to investigate the deaths and injuries when Morales left office.

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