- BBC World News
A day after a judge decreed preventive detention for the former interim president of Bolivia Jeanine Áñez, the government of the South American nation announced four new trials against her.
The announcement was made on Monday by the Deputy Minister of Justice and Fundamental Rights, César Siles, who clarified that these are accusatory proposals other than the “coup” case for which Áñez was arrested last Friday.
According to the Bolivian Information Agency (state media), the four processes that are intended to be opened will be framed in the legal figure of judgment of responsibilities since they are related to actions carried out by the former president and her former ministers during their time in the government.
Áñez served as the country’s first magistracy from November 12, 2019 to November 8, 2020, when Luis Arce Catacora, former minister and leader of Evo Morales’ party, took office.
The former president has been charged with the crimes of sedition, conspiracy and terrorism in a process that is carried out in ordinary courts.
Morales resigned from the presidency in November 2019, two days before Áñez assumed power, after weeks of street protests, a police mutiny and the request for his resignation by the military leadership.
The evism described what happened as a “coup.”
The new trials
The liability lawsuits that the Bolivian government intends to open against Áñez are related to the international indebtedness assumed by his administration and to alleged crimes of wasteful conduct and improper use of influence in a public tender.
The other two processes promoted by the Ministry of Justice have to do with the case of Bolivian residents in Chile who were not authorized to return to their country for weeks and a supreme decree issued by Áñez in the first days of the pandemic that is indicated for having restricted freedom of expression.
The four propositions of judgment of responsibilities were delivered by the government to the Attorney General of the State.
The Ministry of Justice anticipated that “in the following weeks” another legal action will be presented against the ex-president, her collaborators, the military and the police for the “bloody massacres” that occurred at the end of 2019, in reference to the more than 30 deaths in the towns rural areas of Senkata and Sacaba.
Áñez said that the processes announced against him are political persecution and described the government of Luis Arce Catacora as “dictatorial”.
For her part, Carolina Ribera, daughter of the former president, indicated that the trials against her mother are part of a revenge ordered by Evo Morales.
In addition to the ex-president, the former ministers of Justice Álvaro Coímbra and Rodrigo Guzmán were also sent to prison on a preventive basis.
Morales participated in the October 2019 elections with the aim of achieving a fourth consecutive presidential term.
That decision was questioned from the beginning by its detractors, who pointed out that it was prevented by the Constitution and a 2016 referendum in which the majority of the electorate opposed that possibility.
Despite this, the ex-president achieved his goal of being qualified for those elections in which he was a favorite, but without a guaranteed victory in the first round.
After the vote, in which Morales was proclaimed the winner, a series of complaints about irregularities on election day sparked protests that lasted for three weeks.
The then president reacted by asking his followers to defend his electoral victory in the streets, causing both sides to paralyze several of the country’s main cities.
The tension reached such a point that the police decided to riot and the high command of the armed forces suggested that Morales step aside.
The Central Obrera Boliviana, which brings together the country’s urban unions, also called for the presidential resignation.
On November 10, hours after a preliminary report was released in which the OAS considered that the results of the election were not reliable, Morales resigned from his position and two days later Áñez assumed command.
Evo was asylum in Mexico and Argentina before returning to Bolivia at the end of 2020, after the presidential inauguration of Arce Catacora.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.