Bolivian AF Promises to Declassify Dictatorships Files

La Paz, Feb 21 (Prensa Latina) The Bolivian Defense Minister Ruben Saavedra confirmed Sunday the Armed Forces” commitment to declassify military dictatorships files next week.

  Saavedra assured the government institutions will comply with that order and will allow access to documents needed by the Attorney as stipulated in Article 98 of the Armed Forces Organic Law (AFOL)

A first meeting between Attorney Milton Mendoza and the Chief of Staff General Ramiro Fuentes has already taken place, he recalled.

The deadline for the military to hand in the documents to the public prosecutors commission expires on February 26, but Mendoza said the delivery could take place before that date.

Article 98 of AFOL establishes that classified documents on ranking promotion of the Armed Forces is secret and inviolable, a condition tha can only be lifted by the attorney’s request or by a judicial order.

Saavedra clarified however that all the information handed over has to keep its confidential character and should be known by attorney’s commission investigating the case of forced disappearance.

The families of deceased and missing people during Luis Garcia Meza (1980-1981) dictatorship will be also reported by the prosecutors commission and if evidences are found by the Public Ministry they could then have access to the information.

In addition the Attorneys Commission investigating the case of disappearances during the dictatorship of Garcia Mendoza, who is in prison at this moment, will fix another date for access to files.

The Association of Families of Missing and Arrested People and Martyrs for National Liberation (ASOFAMD) has demanded that opening the military files should not only be confined to Garcia Mendoza dictatorship but all the de facto governments during which deaths and forced disappearance took place.

Statistics from human rights organizations confirmed that about 170 peopled disappeared in Bolivia during the 1960’s, 70’s and part of the 80’s.

Among them is the founder of the Socialist Party Marcelo Quiroga Santa Cruz assassinated during the July 17, 1980, military coup carried out by General Garcia Mendoza.

Thanks to the efforts of Argentinean and Bolivian anthropologists they found in Teoponte, North of La Paz, the mortal remains of members of the National Liberation Army (ELN) in July 2009. An investigation will continue for the case of other 20 missing.

Source: Prensa Latina

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