Bolivian prosecutors have charged former President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada with genocide for the deaths of dozens of protesters in 2003.

Charges were also filed Monday against 15 members of Mr. Sanchez de Lozada's former cabinet.

The charges stem from the government's crackdown on protesters in October of 2003, when nearly 60 demonstrators were killed while rallying against government plans to export natural gas.

The protests eventually forced Mr. Sanchez de Lozada to step down. He fled to the United States where he now resides.

Prosecutors have six months to prepare their case before presenting it to the country's Supreme Court.