Latin America

Bolivian demonstrators have gathered in front of the US embassy in the capital La Paz


Thousand of Bolivian demonstrators have gathered in front of the US embassy in the capital La Paz to protest against Washington’s refusal to extradite former President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada.

On Wednesday, angry demonstrators shouted anti-US slogans and set off fire-crackers at the heavily guarded US mission, demanding the extradition of the former president to the South American country to stand trial over charges of genocide.

Sanchez de Lozada is accused of killing 67 people during a popular protest against the export of natural gas to the United States in October 2003, known as the Black October.

“We want justice. As the people of El Alto, we are never going to forget the 2003 massacre. This murderer has to return to jail. A jail in Bolivia awaits him. We want justice because there were so many victims of the 2003 massacre. We carry this pain,” said a demonstrator who was a victim of the massacre.

Sanchez de Lozada was formally charged with genocide by Bolivian prosecutors in 2007.

Earlier in 2008, the Bolivian government requested the extradition of the former president but it was rejected by the US government.

“President Obama, I want to ask that he returns. American brethren of the United States, don’t make yourselves complicit with a killer who has taken many lives, including children, parents, siblings, young people,” said another victim.

The former Bolivian president, who ruled the country between 1993 and 1997, came to power for the second time in 2002, but took refuge in Washington when he quit on October 17, 2003.

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