Peru Wants Adviser of Bolivian President

The Associated Press
Tuesday, January 30, 2007; 10:28 PM

LA PAZ, Bolivia -- An adviser to President Evo Morales wanted in Peru for allegedly aiding leftist rebels said Tuesday that he's innocent and will fight the allegations.

"I will comply with what the law indicates," Walter Chavez told reporters in his first public appearance since opposition leaders last week called for his resignation.

Guillermo Cabala, Peru's chief anti-terrorism prosecutor, told The Associated Press late Monday that he has asked courts for an international arrest warrant for Chavez, whom Bolivia says is a political refugee long ago granted asylum.

Cabala said Chavez was arrested in 1990 while allegedly receiving $10,000 in extortion money from a Peruvian businessman for the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement and is accused of receiving $5,000 in another case. Chavez was released on bail and disappeared before turning up Bolivia in 1992.

Bolivia granted Chavez political asylum in 1998.

"We're going to seek to make him come and answer to justice," Cabala said.

Chavez, who was a leading adviser in Morales' successful 2005 campaign and frequently served as the president's spokesman, said he was innocent.

"They accused me of being part of an MRTA cell but they never proved anything against me," he said.

The Tupac Amaru movement, as well as the larger Shining Path guerrillas, took up arms against Peru's government during the 1980s and 1990s.

Podemos, Bolivia's main opposition party, is demanding a full report on Chavez's duties and how he obtained residency in the country.


AP writer Edison Lopez contributed to this report from Lima, Peru.

© 2007 The Associated Press