Bolivian pres says he's received $100K in ponchos - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Bolivian pres says he's received $100K in ponchos

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LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) -

Bolivian President Evo Morales says his personal wealth has jumped by $100,000 since taking office, thanks to all the gift ponchos he's received.

The leftist leader said Friday in the town of Ckochas that he's been given some 500 handmade ponchos, which he estimates cost about $200 a piece.

Controversy has simmered around reports of Morales' personal wealth ballooning while in office. Official filings show Morales' declared assets increasing from $240,000 when he took office in 2006 to $389,000 in October. Known as the country's first indigenous president, Morales earns an annual salary of $28,000. He remains one of the region's lowest paid presidents.

Morales said Friday he wasn't to blame for receiving gifts from the public.

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