On 5 April, the Bolivian government approved a law on the police disciplinary regime that authorizes the use of undercover agents to fight corruption, two weeks after President Evo Morales set a ninety-day deadline to eradicate fraud from the institution.
The image of the police has been severely tarnished by an investigation of forty police officers for suspected ties to drug trafficking and the detention in Panama of a prominent former head of the fight against drugs, retired general René Sanabria, subsequently extradited to the United States, where he is facing trial.
“This law authorizes the possible use of undercover agents to fight against police corruption, against some bad police officers, with criminals of another kind,” Interior Minister Sacha Llorenti explained at a press conference.
On 11 March, President Morales gave the new commandant of the National Police, Col. Ciro Farfán, ninety days to “eradicate the cancer” within that institution.
“And what is that cancer for me? It’s ‘flips’ (seizure and illegal appropriation of drugs), it’s ‘cover’ (protecting criminals), it’s the so-called ‘touch’ (bribe),” the president graphically explained.
At the beginning of March, Morales also warned that those involved with drug trafficking would be prosecuted without exception.
Sanabria, the director of the Bolivian anti-drug fight between 2007 and 2009, entered a not-guilty plea in a Miami court on charges of trafficking 144 kilograms of drugs to the United States from a Chilean port.