Bolivian Army Colonel Héctor PO has been detained and is now facing a precautionary hearing for his alleged involvement in the trafficking of chemical agents from Ecuador to suppress the 2019 protests, amid the political crisis that emerged after the opposition and part of the Armed forces did not recognize the results of the October elections.
This has been indicated by the prosecutor Eddy Flores, who has detailed that, according to the investigation, the soldier was an assistant to former Defense Minister Fernando López – under the mandate of former President Jeanine Áñez – a stage in which he traveled to Ecuador to pick up the riot gear.
According to the half bolivian ‘La Razón’, this material was processed as a "loan" by the former Minister of Defense and the former Minister of Government, Arturo Murillo, with the aim of dealing with the protests.
In this context, the colonel is accused of the crime of arms trafficking and the Prosecutor’s Office will request his preventive detention due to the risk of flight and obstruction of the investigation.
At the beginning of November, the Prosecutor’s Office also announced the arrest of William EFE, former Chief of Armament and Equipment of the General Command of the Police, who would have traveled to Ecuador for the same reason and is charged in this case.
In addition to Ecuador, in the framework of the 2019 political crisis after Áñez’s self-proclamation as president of Bolivia, the authorities requested chemical agents and riot control material from Argentina, a further fact that the current Administration of the president, Luis Arce, is investigating.
Former ministers López, who fled in Brazil, and Murillo, detained in the United States, are also being investigated in this process.