FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A federal judge has overturned a jury decision that found a former president of Bolivia and his defense minister responsible for government killings during 2003 unrest.
U.S. Senior District Judge James Cohn upheld a defense motion Wednesday that there was insufficient evidence to support an April verdict that included $10 million in damages in a lawsuit filed by Bolivians whose family members were among the dead.
The jury verdict had followed a nearly three-week trial of the civil suit in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Jurors found against former Bolivian President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada and his former defense minister, Jose Carlos Sanchez Berzain. Both live in the U.S.
The lawsuit was filed under the Torture Victim Protection Act, which authorizes suits in the U.S. for extrajudicial killings.