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17 April 2009 - Media release

Bolivia offered full assistance by INTERPOL following foiled assassination plot against President

LYON, France – INTERPOL has offered its full support to Bolivian police investigating a thwarted plot to assassinate President Evo Morales which involved several foreign nationals.

Three men were killed and two suspects arrested following a shoot-out with police in Santa Cruz on Thursday. Bolivian police also seized a large amount of explosives and weapons in the operation.

The names of the five individuals killed and arrested have been sent by INTERPOL’s National Central Bureau in La Paz to the General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France, to be verified against its nominal database. Checks against the individuals’ passports are also being carried out against INTERPOL’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents database which contains nearly 18 million records from 143 countries.

INTERPOL also stands ready to carry out any comparisons of DNA profiles and fingerprints recovered during the investigation.

“The work of the Bolivian Police is to be commended in helping to foil this plot against President Morales, and INTERPOL will provide whatever support necessary to assist them as they continue their enquiries,” said INTERPOL Secretary General, Ronald K. Noble.

At the request of Bolivian authorities, INTERPOL can issue one of its colour-coded international notices to all its 187 member countries, either to request additional information on the suspects – Green Notices – or to seek the arrest of individuals wanted in connection with the plot – Red Notices.

Secretary General Noble recently completed a six-country mission in the Americas region, during which he met with Bolivia’s national police chief, General Victor Hugo Escobar.

“During our meeting I reaffirmed INTERPOL’s commitment to supporting Bolivia in their fight against all types of crime and particularly in aiding them with any international aspects of their investigations and we are pleased to offer that support in this enquiry,” said Mr Noble.