As global efforts to end rape and other forms of sexual violence against women and girls intensify, the Bolivian justice ministry has filed a criminal complaint against former President Evo Morales for statutory rape.
It comes after photographs were published in national media of the 60-year-old ex-leader with a young woman who was reportedly a minor at the time.
He is yet to comment on the allegations.
Mr Morales was president from 2006-2019 and now lives in exile in Argentina after a disputed election in November.
The ex-President stepped down following large protests contesting last year’s election results.
While in exile, Mr Morales has been accused of a range of offenses, including rape and human trafficking.
An alleged relationship between Mr Morales and a 19-year-old woman identified only as N.M began when she was only 14 years old.
Deputy Minister Guido Melgar told a press conference on Thursday that photos taken from a mobile phone belonging to one of the woman’s relatives show her while on trips with Mr Morales.
“The curious thing here is that she was a minor at the time and as we all know, for a minor to travel, she needed her parents’ permission,” he said.
According to reports from the Spanish news agency EFE, she was 14 when she allegedly began to accompany the ex-president on trips.
The role of the young woman’s family in allegedly “allowing” Mr Morales to travel with her as a minor is also being investigated, Mr Melgar added.
According to the BBC, Mr Melgar said the government has no clue as to where the victim currently is, but have evidence that her family visited Argentina, where the former president is living.
Under Bolivian law, the crime of rape is punishable with between two and six years in prison.