Ecuador Loaned Tear Gas & Ammo for Añez’s Coup

Ecuador’s Lenin Moreno administration aided in the crimes against humanity carried out by the coup regime of Jeanine Añez in November 2019 according to a lawyer representing two ex-officials in Bolivia’s tear gas corruption case.

Attorney Gary Prado says that de facto authorities during the coup requested that Ecuador lend tear gas and pellets/rubber bullets to Bolivia at a time when Bolivian Police and Armed Forces lacked sufficient chemical agents to repress the anti-coup resistance at the Senkata gas plant of El Alto. The YPFB plant would become the site of a brutal massacre by coup loyal security forces on November 19th.

Prado explained that Añez’s former Interior Minister, Arturo Murillo, pressured and managed, through the Ministry of Defense, the loan of tear gas from Ecuador arguing that anti-riot supplies were urgently needed.

The coup perpetrators even sent a Bolivian military plane to Ecuador so that Lenin Moreno would deliver the materials to repress Bolivians.

“They loaned an Air Force plane and asked the Ecuadorian government for the equivalent value of 9 million Bolivianos (US $1.3 million dollars) of gas to supply until this purchase arrives and they were never returned”, indicated the lawyer, according to an ATB report. 

“Before my clients were officials of the Ministry of Defense, they had proceeded to provide an Air Force flight to Quito, Ecuador, to pick up that material,” he said.

Prado is the lawyer of Raúl López Gonzáles, a former legal advisor of the Ministry of Defense and Pedro Miguel Rea, the former Director of Logistics of the same ministry under Añez. Both are being held at the Sen Pedro jail in La Paz in the tear gas case.

According to Prado, the lending of the anti-riot supplies was the result of Murillo’s insistence on the “extreme need” of the materials, all while the purchase of overpriced teargas through the bribe scheme began on the fourth day of Añez’s rule.

The revelation of Ecuador’s participation follows a series of arrests in Florida, including that of Arturo Murillo, over the same money laundering and bribery scheme.

Añez, Murillo, and former de facto Defense Minister Fernando Lopez are widely understood as the civil authorities responsible for the massacres in Sacaba and Senkata and brutality in other areas of the country during the November coup in which at least 800 were wounded and more than 1,500 were jailed without due process.

Former President Lenin Moreno and his Interior Minister at the time, Maria Paula Romo, carried out their own massacre of members of the indigenous movement during the October uprising of 2019, just one month before the coup in Bolivia. Romo was convicted and censured by the National Assembly of Ecuador in November 2020 for the crimes committed against citizens during the uprising. She then fled to the United States.

Ecuadorian National Assembly legislator, Ricardo Vanegas, says the claims of Ecuador’s involvement will be investigated, “I am compiling information from Bolivia and on Monday morning, I will file the complaint in my capacity as Assembly Member, so that the Attorney General may initiate a formal investigation.”

By Kawsachun News

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