Argentine prosecutors have agreed to file charges against former President Mauricio Macri and several senior officials for allegedly supporting the overthrowing of Evo Morales in November 2019.
Former Ministers Patricia Bullrich (Security) and Óscar Aguar (defence) as well as then Argentine Ambassador to Bolivia, Normando Álvarez García are among the accused, together with top-ranking Gendarmería Nacional (Border Guard) chiefs.
Prosecutor Claudio Navas Rial has called for an investigation into whether there was aggravated smuggling, due to which he has for now not given in to pressure from the current Government of President Alberto Fernández to demand from Macri a report on the calls between him and the other defendants.
The charges are about the illegal shipment of weapons and ammunition to Bolivia perpetrated on November 12, 2019, by the national government headed by former President Macri, with the participation of high authorities of the National Executive Power, it was reported Friday in Buenos Aires.
Macri has said he was calm in the face of the accusations against him and sure of his innocence. The complaint is nothing more than a story, an operation, a mixture of malice and hallucinations of Kirchnerism, he added.
According to the Bolivian Foreign Ministry of the Government of Luis Arce, the alleged shipment took to La Paz on November 13, 2019, and contained 40,000 cartridges of rubber bullets, five sprays of tear gas, 50 CN gas grenades, 19 CS gas grenades. and 52 HC gas grenades.
Current Argentine Justice Minister Martín Soria also explained that as a result of the accusations, the Bolivian authorities might request Macri's extradition as well as that of all the others involved in the case.
Meanwhile, Bolivian authorities have announced the finding of 29,600 anti-riot bullets allegedly sent by Macri. The cartridges are undoubtedly Argentine, Bolivian Police Chief Jhonny Aguilera told the Buenos Aires daily Página 12.
Aguilera also pointed out that the Bolivian Police officer who had received the weapons from the National Gendarmerie had already been identified.
The official also explained the ammunition had been discovered in a police warehouse not far from La Paz.
Earlier this week, Bolivian authorities disclosed what they claim is a thanks note from then Bolivian Air Force Chief Jorge Terceros Lara to the Argentine ambassador upon reception of rubber bullets, grenades and pepper spray.
Macri is currently in Switzerland due to his involvement within football's ruling body FIFA.
According to current Argentine Security Minister Sabina Frederic, the Gendarmería Nacional élite Alacrán group which was sent to Bolivia during the uprising against Morales does not use anti-riot weapons but rather lethal weapons, which would explain why the ammunition found remained in storage.
The week after the arrival of the Argentine group there were two massacres, that of Sacaba and that of Sakata.
In the smuggling complaint, Argentina's government has hinted that the ammunition might have been used there.
The case is now under study by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) - created through an agreement between Bolivia and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
Navas Rial is the prosecutor in the two smuggling cases (one submitted by the national government and the other by Eduardo Freiler), which are likely to be merged into one at some point.