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Former Bolivian President Faces US Trial for 2003 Killings

FILE - Protesters hold a banner showing an image of Bolivia's former President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada that reads in Spanish "Neither forget nor forgive, Justice!" during a protest demanding his extradition outside the U.S. embassy in La Paz, Bolivia, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012.

A former president of Bolivia and his defense minister are going on trial in a U.S. court over a lawsuit in which eight Bolivians claim their family members were killed in government slayings that left dozens of people dead in 2003.

Jury selection begins Monday in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in the case against former Bolivian President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, and his former defense minister, José Carlos Sánchez Berzaín, both of whom live in the U.S.

In the lawsuit, the families of eight Bolivians who were killed claim the two officials planned to kill thousands of civilians to crush political opposition. The lawsuit was filed under the Torture Victim Protection Act, which authorizes suits in the U.S. for extrajudicial killings.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.