Bolivian police have apprehended the country’s rural development and land minister, Edwin Characayo, who was caught receiving $20,000 in bribes to give preferential access to people in the allocation of public land.
The case underscores issues of corruption in the poor landlocked South American nation, which has looked to tap into export markets for farming products including beef in recent years, leading to high demand for rural land.
During a news briefing, the Minister of Government Eduardo Del Castillo said Characayo had been filmed in the center of the city of La Paz receiving the money. He was arrested and taken to prison while an investigation was carried out.
“This man was found using the position he held to benefit certain people in the acquisition and clearing of land. In short, these types of acts have no place in our government,” said Del Castillo.
Characayo’s predecessor was dismissed on charges of influence peddling and nepotism late last year.