Evo Morales’ minister personally watches over transferTuesday, August 12, 2014
Bolivia extradites dictatorship-era military suspect
A former military official accused of crimes against humanity during the last military dictatorship (1976-1983) is back on local soil after Bolivian authorities handed him over to their Argentine counterparts on the Yacuíba border crossing on Sunday.
The Bolivian government placed such importance on the extradition of 68-year-old military repressor, Jorge Horacio Páez Senestrari, that its Government Minister Jorge Pérez not only ordered the extradition of the fugitive but also personally looked over his transfer to Argentine authorities, the Bolivian news agency ABI reported yesterday.
Páez Senestrari had originally fled to Bolivia in attempt to escape the Argentine justice system, but was returned on Sunday night after being captured on Friday in the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, according to ABI.
There was a 100,000-peso reward for any information that would lead to his arrest.
Paéz has been indicted in the so-called “Bustos trial,” which is trying people suspected of involvement in 40 interrelated cases including the kidnapping of the current governor of San Juan province José Luis Gioja, former senator César Gioja, Judge Abel Soria Vega, as well as several other political leaders and journalists. The trial is named after the former San Juan National University secretary Hugo Ricardo Bustos, who was kidnapped and tortured by the military regiment that Páez was a part of.
Military repression in San Juan is believed to have killed around 60 people during the last military dictatorship. The province’s Infantry Mountain Regiment 22 was responsible for the kidnapping, torture and murder of several political activists, students and former provincial government officials in the first stages of the violent dictatorship.
The province’s military death squad, which was led by former Regiment 22 intelligence chief Jorge Olivera, had many military officers and non-commissioned officers under its command, as well as former police officials who have since been given life sentence — in other words, up to 25 years in jail.
Suspects in the Bustos trial face charges of break and entry, illegitimate detention, political persecution, homicide, and sexual abuse. The crimes were proven in the crimes against humanity trial that took place in San Juan from November 7, 2011 to July 4, 2013.
—Herald with online media