Bolivia lashes at Sean Penn over jailed American

Associated Press

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Bolivia's culture minister calls it actor-activist Sean Penn's "worst performance" ever. He isn't talking about a movie.

Minister Pablo Groux is slamming Penn's proposal to a U.S. congressional subcommittee Monday that Bolivia be cut out of the Dakar motor sport rally unless it frees a U.S. citizen under house arrest two years after he was jailed without charge in a money-laundering probe.

Penn suggested that unless Jacob Ostreicher is freed, sponsors should drop their backing for the January event — which is to include Bolivia for the first time.

The New York man invested in a rice-growing venture and, once jailed, fell prey to an extortion ring that allegedly included the Interior Ministry's top lawyer.

Penn helped get Ostreicher out of prison. But the case is stalled in court.

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