Far-right Bolivian leader Luís Fernando Camacho gets three months of preventive detention

Camacho, who has been in preventive detention since December 2022 under various cases, now stands accused of the crimes of breach of duty for alleged irregularities in the purchase of a fire truck

June 08, 2023 by Peoples Dispatch
Camacho Bolivia
Luis Fernando Camacho. (Photo: ABI)

On Tuesday June 6, Judge Roberto Parada of the First Anti-Corruption Court of Bolivia’s Santa Cruz department ordered 90 days of preventive detention for Santa Cruz governor and far-right opposition leader, Luís Fernando Camacho. Camacho stands accused of the crimes of breach of duty for alleged irregularities in the purchase of a fire truck.

During the case’s hearing, which began on June 5, the Prosecutor’s Office requested the court to also charge Camacho with the crimes of anti-economic conduct and contracts harmful to the State and sought 180 days of preventive detention. However, Judge Parada only accepted the charge of breach of duty and sentenced Camacho to three months of pre-trial detention.

According to the complaint filed by legislator Rolando Cuéllar of the ruling Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party, the fire truck was purchased by direct invitation and not by public bidding. On January 28, 2022, the Santa Cruz government signed a contract allegedly with a ghost company for the truck, which was scheduled to be delivered on June 27, 2022. In July, the Santa Cruz Governor’s Office decided to dissolve the contract as the company had not delivered the truck. The fire truck arrived in the country at the end of 2022. The former director of Citizen Security, Alejandro Soljancic, is also in preventive custody in the Palmasola prison in Santa Cruz for his alleged participation in the case.

Since the end of 2022, Camacho has been in preventive detention in the Chonchocoro maximum security prison in the capital La Paz for cases including the Coup d’état I, the 36-day-long strike in Santa Cruz in 2022, and the Diktat case.

He was arrested on December 28 for his involvement in the Coup d’état I case, which investigates the 2019 civic-military coup against former president Evo Morales. In the case, the Prosecutor’s Office accused him of terrorism, sedition, and conspiracy. On December 30, a court sentenced him to four months of preventive detention.

On April 27 this year, another court sentenced him to six months of detention for his participation in the 36-day-long violent and racist strike in Santa Cruz over the Population and Housing Census. The Prosecutor’s Office accused him of terrorism, resolutions contrary to the Constitution, racism and discrimination.

On May 25, Camacho was sentenced to another two months of detention in the Diktat case, for the decree he signed in March 2022 to appoint a secretary as interim governor despite the fact that lieutenant governor Mario Aguilera was in office, adding the charges for illegal appointments and breach of duty to the list.

Despite his detention, Camacho continues to be the governor of Santa Cruz. The Legislative Assembly of his region ratified him in office.