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Death of Bolivian bank trustee ruled suicide, but further inquiry called for

Death of Bolivian bank trustee ruled suicide, but further inquiry called for

A forensic examination found that the trustee of a bankrupt bank in Bolivia who died after falling from the 15th story of an office building committed suicide.

The case has sparked debate about whether the trustee jumped or was pushed, and it has gripped Bolivia. But rather than resolving the issue, the discovery led to further calls for an impartial inquiry into Carlos Alberto Colodro’s demise.

However, Colodro’s family rejected the investigation’s findings and insisted he was the victim of foul play, despite the fact that he was discovered dead on Saturday. Two past presidents of Bolivia have joined them in calling for an unbiased probe into the incident.

Government Minister Carlos Eduardo del Castillo insisted to reporters that authorities “have investigated all hypotheses and have scientifically and technically demonstrated that the death of Carlos Alberto Colodro was a suicide.”

He added, “The cameras show Mr. Colodro entering the 15th floor completely alone.”

The government’s investigation was “hasty and not corroborated with the relatives, who were not even questioned for the investigation,” said Jorge Valda, the lawyer representing Colodro’s family, AP News reported.

Valda raised concerns about the injuries that appeared to be to be inconsistent with the fall.

Colodro’s demise occurred shortly after his recent appointment to oversee the management of Fassil Bank. The bank had been placed under trusteeship due to insolvency resulting from significant client fund withdrawals. Colodro was entrusted with the task of investigating the circumstances surrounding the bank’s situation.

Fassil Bank, formerly the fourth-largest bank in Bolivia in terms of deposits, was the subject of his investigation.

Suspicions surrounding both the bank’s insolvency and Colodro’s death grew rapidly, fueled in part by Bolivia’s existing economic uncertainty and political polarization.

However, Del Castillo stated that the investigation concluded that “assassination had been ruled out” and that handwriting analysis confirmed that a letter signed by Colodro was indeed written by him. According to Del Castillo, Colodro’s letter vaguely mentioned being under immense pressure, lacking the expected support, and bidding farewell to his family.

Valda, the family’s legal representative, criticized the insufficient nature of the handwriting analysis conducted, raised doubts about the content of the letter, and pointed out that investigators did not request any written materials from the family for comparison.

“The letter states he was 64 years old when he was actually 63, and it also fails to mention all of his children, which raises doubts,” Valda said.

He also questioned the video evidence, saying that “the camera that recorded the moment when he decided to jump voluntarily into the void is not shown.”

Valda stated that Colodro’s body displayed injuries inconsistent with the fall, including a missing eyeball. However, Del Castillo argued that Colodro’s body had suffered a high-speed impact, which could explain the presence of multiple injuries.

Following the government’s assumption of control over the bank, allegations emerged concerning million-dollar loans granted to insolvent borrowers and alleged financial ties with influential real estate groups in the city of Santa Cruz, located in Bolivia’s lowland region.

Four former bank executives are currently in custody and under investigation. Former long-time President Evo Morales and his predecessor, Carlos Mesa, joined Colodro’s relatives in calling for an independent investigation.

As of Wednesday, Bolivia’s government had not yet appointed a replacement for Colodro, and employees of the bankrupt bank took to the streets in several cities to demand the payment of their overdue salaries.

Source: Latin Times