Yesterday the Bolivian Supreme Court formally declared former president Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada and two top aides, Carlos Sánchez Berzaín and Jorge Berinduague to be “en rebelde” in the government’s (pre-Evo) case against them for the deaths at the government’s hands in 2003. The ruling essentially means that the Court declares that the three know about the legal order for them to return to Bolivia and have ignored it.
On June 22nd, 2005, the Bolivian Foreign Ministry formally requested that the U.S. State Department serve notice to Sánchez de Lozada and the others that they needed to return to Bolivia to give testimony in the case (as have other former officials). For a year and a half the Bush Administration – despite its rhetoric about respect for international law – has failed to comply with that request. However, Goni and the others do clearly know about the case. Goni hired one of Bill Clinton’s former impeachment defense lawyers to represent him and his counsel has been making the rounds talking to a wide variety of actors n Washington.
In essence the Supreme Court decision here says: Okay, we know you know about the legal order to return to Bolivia so getting you legal notice is no longer an issue. The next move is a request t the US government for formal extradition (which I would imagine has about the same chance of acceptance as Jerry Falwell conducting gay marriage ceremonies anytime soon) and notice to Interpol.
The case against Sánchez de Lozada, Sánchez Berzaín and Berinduague is not going to go away anytime soon and Goni especially can expect it to follow him to most every public event he attends.