Photo: DAVID MERCADO/REUTERS/Deutsche Welle
Former Bolivian minister Arturo Murillo was sentenced to 70 months in prison for having participated in the crime of bribes received in exchange for helping an American company obtain a contract, the United States Department of Justice reported on Wednesday (01.04.2023).
Murillo, 58, was Minister of the Interior of Bolivia during the interim term of Jeanine Áñezwho became president in 2019 after the resignation of the leftist Evo Morales (2006-2019) amid protests over alleged electoral fraud.
The former minister “received at least $532,000 in bribe payments from a Florida-based company” in exchange for helping him secure a contract of approximately $5.6 million to supply tear gas and non-lethal equipment to the Bolivian Ministry of Defense, the Justice Department said in a statement, citing court documents.
Murillo and his accomplices laundered the money received through the US financial systemincluding bank accounts in Miami, Florida, where the former minister would have received about $130,000 in cash.
Former Minister Murillo pleaded guilty in October 2022 and his accomplices, Sergio Rodrigo Méndez, Luis Berkman, Bryan Berkman and Philip Lichtenfeld, were already sentenced in June of that year.