Former Bolivian President Faces Trial in Fort Lauderdale for 2003 Killings - NBC 6 South Florida

Former Bolivian President Faces Trial in Fort Lauderdale for 2003 Killings

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    Former Bolivian President Faces Trial in Fort Lauderdale for 2003 Killings
    Getty Images
    SANTA CRUZ, BOLIVIA - JULY 10: The Bolivian flag blows as people gather outside the Palmasola prison as they wait to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis who was visiting prisoners inside on July 10, 2015 in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The prison is one of the most notorious in Bolivia. Pope Francis is now heading to Paraguay for the final leg of his three-country South American visit. The Pope held an open-air Mass in Santa Cruz yesterday. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

    What to Know

    • In the lawsuit, the families of eight Bolivians who were killed claim the two officials planned to kill thousands of civilians.

    • The lawsuit was filed under the Torture Victim Protection Act, which authorizes suits in the U.S. for extrajudicial killings.

    A former president of Bolivia and his defense minister are going on trial in a U.S. court over a lawsuit in which eight Bolivians claim their family members were killed in government slayings that left dozens of people dead in 2003.

    Jury selection begins Monday in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in the case against former Bolivian President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, and his former defense minister, José Carlos Sánchez Berzaín, both of whom live in the U.S.

    In the lawsuit, the families of eight Bolivians who were killed claim the two officials planned to kill thousands of civilians to crush political opposition. The lawsuit was filed under the Torture Victim Protection Act, which authorizes suits in the U.S. for extrajudicial killings.

    The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

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