Bolivia Seeks Extradition of Fernando Lopez from Brazil

The extradition of former defacto Minister of Defense, Fernando Lopez, is being sought by Bolivia for his role in the assassination plot, involving U.S. and Colombian mercenaries, which targeted current President Luis Arce. 

Lopez, who came to power with Jeanine Añez in November 2019, is thought to be in Brazil where he fled in November 2020 around the time of Arce’s inauguration.

Interior Minister Eduardo Del Castillo said that Bolivia made a complaint to Brazil months ago, which has now been expanded to include details that were presented by his ministry this week of the assassination attempt; “obviously with this case we are going to request the extradition of Mr. López Julio from Brazil so that he can render accounts to the Bolivian justice,” he said.

On Monday, Del Castillo revealed that Lopez had contacted third parties for the arrival of mercenaries and paramilitaries in the country to end the life of then presidential candidate Luis Arce, in 2020. The plot which was being prepared would prevent the candidate from being sworn in if he were to win the election.

Among the key pieces of new information on this story, which was first reported by The Intercept in June, is the entry of Colombian mercenaries into Bolivia through Viru Viru International Airport in Santa Cruz–individuals who came to Bolivia during a key political moment and lodged at a hotel meters away from the main government buildings, only to be arrested in Haiti this July for the assassination of former President Jovenel Moise.