LA PAZ – Two Chilean councilmen from the municipality of Iquique were assaulted in Bolivia by alleged police officers who forced them to remove their pants, Chile’s consul in the eastern city of Santa Cruz announced Monday.
Consul Frank Sinclair told Efe that the councilmen had arrived in Bolivia with a colleague to represent their region at the International Exposition Fair of Santa Cruz, the largest business exhibition in Bolivia, which concluded on Sunday.
The officials, identified by Bolivian media as Jose Lagos Cosgrove and Alvaro Jofre Caceres, were approached on Saturday night as they were walking through a business district by two men who informed them that they were policemen.
The self-proclaimed cops forced the councilmen to get into a vehicle using the ruse that they needed to perform “a routine check,” and they took them to a nearby sidestreet supposedly “to search them” and examine their documents, Sinclair said.
Lagos told the daily El Deber that the thieves ordered them to remove their pants and, “finally, they called someone on the telephone and told him: ‘Captain, they’re clean,’” and soon after that released them, after returning their trousers to them.
The councilmen noted, upon returning to their hotels, that they had been robbed of the money they were carrying, which amounted to more than $2,100.
After contacting the Chilean consul in Santa Cruz, the councilmen filed a complaint at a police station.
Lagos and Jofre will return on Tuesday to Iquique, but the Chilean consul in Santa Cruz will continue to follow up on the case. EFE