American suspect blames hotel blasts on Bolivian government |

American suspect blames hotel blasts on Bolivian government

Associated Press Writer

LA PAZ, Bolivia – An American charged with setting off hotel explosions that killed two people said Thursday he was innocent and accused the Bolivian government of being behind the attacks.Triston Jay Amero, 24, and his pregnant Uruguayan girlfriend, Alda Ribeiro, 45, were charged with the bombings on March 22 and are in jail awaiting trial.The bombs, set off in two low cost hotels in the historic district of the Bolivian capital, La Paz, killed two Bolivians and injured seven people, including an American woman.”I’ve been accused of this crime, but I didn’t do it,” Amero told reporters as police took him to the blast sites in La Paz as part of the investigation.”I think it was the government of (Bolivian President) Evo Morales,” said Amero, who was arrested on the day of the explosions.Morales, who was inaugurated in January initially suggested that the United States was responsible for the bombings, saying “The U.S. government fights terrorism, and they send us terrorists.”The U.S. State Department complained, saying the remarks harmed efforts to cooperate against terrorism, and Morales said earlier this month he had accepted the U.S. explanation of the incident.”We thank the U.S. government for collaborating with the police to capture the responsible parties,” he said after meeting with the U.S. ambassador.Amero has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals since he was 7 years old and has frequently made threats of suicide and violence against authorities, according to court documents obtained by The Associated Press. He spent years in California’s juvenile prisons after being convicted of fleeing the scene of an accident and spitting on a judge and court clerk.In travels through South America, Amero has described himself as a Saudi Arabian lawyer, a pagan high priest, a notary public and even a vampire, having adopted “Lestat Claudius de Orleans y Montevideo” as his name.Amero was convicted of bombing an ATM in northern Argentina last year before he arrived in Bolivia, where he was seeking residency.Vail, Colorado

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