Bolivia arrested ex-official in connection with investigation of loan agreement with IMF

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Los Angeles PAZ, Bolivia (AP) – The Bolivian government has arrested a former Treasury official as part of an investigation into a loan from the International Monetary Fund refused by new President Luis Arce.

According to prosecutor Manuel Saavedra, former Deputy Minister Carlos Schlink was arrested on Tuesday while trying to leave the country. Three former finance ministers are also under investigation.

Schlink served under former interim president Jeanine Agnes, who herself was detained on charges of instigating a mutiny. The Conservative took over as president in 2018 after President Evo Morales was forced to step down amid protests against his re-election, and he stepped down after Morales’s left-wing party won elections last year.

Agnes reached an agreement with the IMF for a $ 327 million loan to deal with the COVID-19 emergency, but Arce denounced the deal and returned the money, claiming that it imposed financial conditions on the country. any such terms.

Schlink’s lawyer Audalia Zurita stated that her client “did not participate in the signing of the loans.”

Justice Minister Ivan Lima said last month that the need to repay the loan caused financial damage.

Opposition officials have accused the government of “prosecution” over the arrest of Agnes about 20 other former officials. Her own government faced similar charges when it tried to harass Morales and several of his key aides.

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