WASHINGTON, June 1, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a message from the Office of Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, former President of Bolivia in reference to the May 30 order by Senior Judge James I. Cohn for the Southern District of Florida:
The decision by the Court brings to an end the trial over the difficult and painful days of September and October 2003 that interrupted democracy in Bolivia. The final judgment entered by the trial Court demonstrates that my administration, including Minister Carlos Sanchez, acted in accordance with the law and without malicious intent. I am certain that all those who worked in my government and the Armed Forces High Command are comforted by the Court's decision, which reaffirms what they always knew in their conscience.
The Court arrived at its decision after a careful and thorough analysis of the law and all the evidence presented at the trial. The Court found that my government acted within the law and in defense of innocent civilians. The Court found that there was no plan or intent by my government to use lethal force against civilians. The evidence demonstrated that my government faced social upheaval in the midst of a serious economic crisis, seeking dialogue and the peaceful resolution of conflicts, while many sought to destroy democracy.
However, we continue to mourn and feel the pain of those difficult days that our beloved country experienced in 2003, and we share the hope that someday soon the whole truth of that period will be learned and accepted. We believe that this moment gives us an opportunity to reflect on those sad days, to pray for those who were affected by violence, and to pledge to do everything in our power to ensure that such tragedy should never be allowed to happen again.
During the trial, we presented evidence about the economic, political and social reforms implemented during my two Constitutional and democratic administrations and the support they provided to the poor, indigenous populations, women, children and the elderly, in each case in accordance with the historical traditions of my party and my own personal and familial history of public service.
We hope that the outcome of this trial reminds everyone how crucial justice is for democracy, and how essential it is to restore trust in democratic institutions. Bolivia deserves to, and must, regain its path to peace, progress and liberty.
Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada
Former President of Bolivia (1993-1997, 2002-2003)
Washington DC, May 30, 2018
SOURCE The Office of Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, the Former President of Bolivia