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Bolivians urge US court to restore $10M verdict on killings

MIAMI (AP) — Bolivians want a U.S. appeals court to restore a $10 million jury verdict against a former president and defense minister of the South American nation over killings by security forces during 2003 unrest there.

Lawyers for a group of indigenous Bolivians told a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday a Florida judge was wrong to set aside last year’s verdict.

The jury found against former Bolivian President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada and former defense minister, Jose Carlos Sanchez Berzain. Both have been living in the U.S. after fleeing Bolivia in 2003.

In the lawsuit, relatives of eight Bolivians who died claimed the two officials planned to kill thousands of civilians to crush political opposition during civil unrest known as the “Gas War.”

Associated Press

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