ASOFAC and Comité Impulsor, June 12
Three years and seven months have passed since the first official charge was made against Gonzalo “Goni” Sánchez de Lozada and his accomplices. More than 900 days of investigation have been carried out since Congress authorized the trial against the ex-President. Goni and his accomplices have put up obstacles every step of the way, but we have moved forward. Soon at least a few of those responsible for the massacres will be imprisoned. But for this to happen, the Attorney General of the Republic must present the file the formal charges on
Upon concluding the criminal investigation, the attorney general has the choice to either formally charge a defendent (if there is sufficient evidence to warrant a trial) or drop all charges against the accused. Should there be enough evidence for a case, oral hearings in which that evidence is presented then take place. Finally, the tribunal emits its ruling.
If formal charges are filed, the case against Sánchez de Lozada, Carlos Sánchez Berzain and Jorge Berindoague would be put on hold until they are extradited from the
In spite of all of the problems and delays, the proof necessary to formally charge these men has been gathered. But to respect Sánchez de Lozada’s right to a defense (and so that he is not able to again claim that he is being victimized) the Constitutional Tribunal mandates a 74 day period waiting period from the time when a defendant is notified of a pending charge to when the charges can be filed. This means that on June 29ththe Attorney General will be legally authorized to press formal charges—and it is his duty to do so.
Knowing well that it is now time that they face justice, Goni and his accomplices continue to hide in the
We have waited patiently, we have pushed to accelerate a slow investigative process, we have, at every point, respected the right to defense for those who carried out this massacre. Now, with the up-most dignity and believing ourselves neither superior nor inferior, we demand justice. It’s time for the trial to begin.
Right now, your voice, our voice and the voice of those silenced for centuries must be heard, just as in October 2003, when our voices proved irrepressible. Brothers and sisters, in memory of those who died and for dignity: Formal Charges Against Goni Now.
ASOFAC is the Association of Relatives of those who Died in Defense of the Gas. Comité Impulsor is the coordinating committee of various Bolivian civil society groups and associations demanding that Goni be put on trial for the September and October 2003 massacres.
First published at Ukhampacha