Former police commander Rodolfo Montero was arrested yesterday for the Senkata case and taken to police cells awaiting his preliminary hearing. The officer is charged with the crimes of genocide, manslaughter and serious and minor injuries in the deaths in the city of El Alto in November 2019.
With the rank of general, Montero is the first high-ranking police officer to be arrested for the events in Senkata.
Yuri Calderón, a police general and also a former commanding officer, was released a few days ago for inciting the 2019 police riot and other charges. He is currently a refugee and is declared in absentia as a defendant in the “coup” case.
Government Minister Eduardo del Castillo confirmed the concerns of the former police chief under investigation in the 2019 Senkata case.
“I inform the Bolivian people that the Ministry of State has established the arrest of the former commander of the Bolivian police, Rodolfo Montero, for the crimes of genocide, homicide and serious and minor injuries related to the massacre in the city of El Alto.” he reported.
Montero appeared before the State Department yesterday to make his informative statement and his arrest was later determined and then he was taken to the police authorities.
Montero avoided making statements to the press when he was transferred to cells of the Special Crime Control Unit (Felcc). The precautionary hearing will determine whether he will defend himself in freedom or out of prison.
On November 14, two days after taking power, former President Jeanine Áñez took over the post of commander of Police General Montero, replacing Yuri Calderón.
The police-military intervention in the siege of the Senkata hydrocarbon factory by social sectors ended with 10 dead and dozens injured from gunshot wounds.
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The prosecutors who issued the arrest warrant for Montero were Wálter Lora, Favio Maldonado and Iván Cernadas. In the document issued, they indicate that they can request the police to intervene if necessary to fulfill the requirement.
Minister Del Castillo said the arrest of Montero is enshrined in the recommendations of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) and that the judiciary is “making great strides” to comply with the recommendations.
So far, the Senkata case has also had three soldiers behind bars, Generals Luis Fernando Valverde Ferrufino in El Abra, the former commander of the Mechanized Division of the Army Franko Suárez Gonzales in San Pedro and the former commander of the Army Iván Inchauste Rioja.
Victims ask for the processes to be expanded
The relatives of the victims of Senkata, Sacaba, Betanzos and Montero gathered in the city of La Paz to investigate the prosecution of the authorities who approved Decree 4078 during the government of Jeanine Áñez and the prosecution of Luis Fernando Camacho and Marco Call Pumari. among other.
The statements were made this Tuesday by Alberto Fuentes Urquizu, leader of the victims’ families, at a press conference held at the headquarters of the Federation of Neighborhood Councils, according to Patria Nueva’s radio report.
The representative said the public prosecutor’s office has already received the revelations in the GIEI report.