Bolivia's Defense Chiefs Ousted in Missile Scandal
In the run-up to last month's Presidential election, Bolivia transferred 28-30 Chinese HN-5 shoulder-launched missiles to the United States to be destroyed. These were the only missiles of their kind in the Bolivian arsenal.
Gen. Marcelo Antezana, the commander in chief of the Bolivian Army, told reporters recently that Washington had asked for the destruction of the missiles out of fear of a Morales victory. He has since retracted that statement. Out-going President Eduardo Rodriguez claims to have authorized the destruction of the missiles, but not their transfer to the US. Rodriguez yesterday accepted the resignation of Defense Minister Gonzalo Mendez, and fired Gen. Marcelo Antezana over the "irregularities" surrounding the transfer and destruction of the missiles.
President-elect Evo Morales accused Rodriguez of "putting Bolivia under foreign domination."