LA PAZ – Four officers of the Bolivian army have been arrested on charges they beat a soldier and repeatedly submerged him head down in a barrel of water.
Defense Minister Ruben Saavedra told reporters that 2nd Lts. Gustavo Cardoso Mejia, Jose Luis Copa and John Rosas Catacora are being held in a barracks of the 2nd Division in the Andean city of Oruro, and that Lt. Col. Roberto Quiroz Pinto is under house arrest.
The four are accused of mistreating subordinates, physical violence and harassment, and they will now face trial in civilian courts.
The case was made public several days ago with the release of a video in which officials are seen torturing Cpl. Guido Flores Cortez.
President Evo Morales asked that the perpetrators of this and other cases of torture be tried in civilian courts, and the Attorney General’s Office asked that the armed forces withdraw the military’s right to secrecy to allow the investigation to be performed.
Another complaint is being investigated in the eastern city of Santa Cruz, according to which several cadets in a military academy were beaten and one of them was tied to a log in the form of a cross and submerged head down in a well of dirty water, as was seen in a video aired on television channels. EFE