Bolivia denounces US extradition denial

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Bolivian President Evo Morales says he has received word that Washington will not extradite a former leader wanted in connection with the deaths of 63 protesters in his home country in 2003.

Morales says American officials communicated their decision not to turn over ex-President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada in a letter. He denounced the ruling in a speech Friday at a military ceremony. He said the United States was becoming a "refuge for criminals."

American officials have not made any decision in the case publicly.

Sanchez de Lozada is wanted by Bolivia's Supreme Court in connection with the deaths of protesters during an army crackdown on riots in October 2003. He was forced to resign in the face of the protests and a political crisis they sparked.