LA PAZ, Bolivia (Reuters) -- Bolivia's Labour Minister Leopoldo Lopez
resigned on Thursday in another blow to the Andean nation's government
shaken by charges of corruption and beef smuggling.
Lopez presented his resignation to President Hugo Banzer after an
investigation revealed that a truck belonging to him had allegedly been used
in the smuggling of meat.
"I may have committed errors but not crimes," Lopez told journalists,
denying any wrongdoing.
An investigation ordered into alleged beef smuggling by Banzer a week ago
had found that a truck belonging to Lopez had made several trips between
Bolivia and Argentina carrying meat but that the necessary documents for
imports were missing.
The scandal turned more serious when another truck with the same license
plate as Lopez' was stopped. Lopez said he was innocent as the truck had
been rented to another company.
Last year Health Minister Tonchy Marinkovic resigned amid allegations of
misuse of public funds in the purchase of vaccines. The case is still under
Copyright 1999 Reuters.