Bolivia gets 7th national police chief in 6 years

Associated Press Published: May 22, 2012

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Bolivia's corruption-plagued national police force has its seventh new police commander in six years.

But some officers are upset by President Evo Morales' choice. The head of Bolivia's criminal police division and several other officers expressed disapproval by walking out of Monday's swearing-in of the new commander, Col. Victor Maldonado.

The critics complain that Maldonado never attended the police academy. He is a detective and former police intelligence chief.

Maldonado's successor, Gen. Jorge Santiesteban, was forced out after allegations that he took bribes for getting cadets into the police academy.

A year ago, Santiesteban's predecessor was fired after a stolen car was found in his possession.

A former Bolivian police anti-narcotics chief was sentenced last year to 14 years in U.S. prison for cocaine trafficking.