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FORMER Bolivian dictator Luis Garcia Meza Tejada died yesterday in the capital La Paz after suffering four heart attacks.
The 86-year-old was admitted to hospital on Saturday in “critical condition.” Doctors were unable to revive him after a cardiac arrest yesterday morning.
General Garcia Meza led a 1980 right-wing military coup against his cousin, president Lidia Gueiler Tejada, installing a Pinochet-style dictatorship banning all political parties and clamping down on trade unions and the press.
An avowed anti-communist, Gen Garcia Meza collaborated with a number of fascists, including former SS officer and leading nazi Klaus Barbie, killing many leftists, including the Bolivian socialist and former presidential candidate Marcelo Quiroga Santa Cruz.
He fled the country in 1981 amid drug-trafficking allegations and was sentenced to 30 years in absentia. Brazilian authorities caught him in 1995 and immediately extradited him to Bolivia.
Gen Garcia Meza had spent the last seven years in a military hospital due to medical complications.
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