Arturo Murillo, former minister of Jeanine Áñez, is sentenced in the United States

A United States court sentenced the former Bolivian government minister Arturo Murillowho held the position during the de facto government of Jeanine Áñez, seven years in jail for the crimes of international bribery and money laundering. Businessman, former congressman and former senator, Murillo gained prominence during 2019 in the run-up to the coup against then-President Evo Morales.

The US Department of Justice said in a statement that Murillo “received at least $532,000 in bribe payments from a Florida-based company” in exchange for helping him secure a contract for approximately $5.6 million to supply tear gas and non-lethal equipment to the Bolivian Ministry of Defense. The former minister and his accomplices laundered the money received through the US financial system.

Murillo was detained in May 2021 and housed at the Miami Administrative Security Federal Detention Center. He pleaded guilty in October 2022 like the rest of his accomplices, Philip Lichtenfeld, the brothers Bryan and Luis Berkman, and Sergio Rodrigo Méndez Mendizábal.

The Minister of Government of Bolivia, Edward del Castilloassured that the sentence shows that “the denunciations that we made as a national government were true”, and added on his Twitter account that “the coup d’état was not only to seize power and assassinate our people”, but also “to plunder the State”.

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