Wednesday, August 4

The EU and the UN ask for a transparent and fair treatment for Jeanine Áñez

Correspondent in La Paz



The international community is pending the process against the former president of Bolivia Jeanine Áñez, arrested last Saturday on charges of sedition, terrorism and conspiracy, in relation to the political crisis of 2019. Almost simultaneously, the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and the High Commissioner for Human Rights urged the competent authorities to guarantee a clean and fair process.

The High Representative of the EU, Josep Borrell, assured through Twitter that “the accusations for the events of 2019 must be resolved within the framework of justice and transparency”, while calling for “dialogue and reconciliation” in Bolivia.

Along the same lines, the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, considered the importance of respecting “due process guarantees and there is total transparency in all procedures.”

Jeanine Áñez requested through public letters to the EU and the Organization of American States (OAS) to send observers to monitor the process that is being followed against her. After her arrest, the former president asserted that she suffers political persecution by the current ruling party, the Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) of Evo Morales.

Áñez and two of his former ministers are accused of having allegedly led a coup against Morales, who left Bolivia in November 2019, while in the country there were violent acts among his militants, opposition and forces of order. A few hours earlier, the OAS had confirmed that there was manipulation in the results of the presidential elections in which Morales declared himself the winner for a new presidential term.

They allege risk of flight

Prosecutors assigned to the case suggested that, given the risk of flight, Áñez and the two detained former ministers be sent preventively to prisons in Bolivia. It was expected that this same Sunday the hearing would be held to determine if they are sent to prison, where they could remain preventively deprived of their liberty for six months while the investigations continue. The crimes they are accused of can carry sentences of more than three years.

The accusation against Áñez was brought by a former deputy from Morales’ party. Lidia paty The lawsuit was initiated in December 2020 and the Public Ministry has accelerated the process and issued arrest warrants against former government officials and law enforcement officials by surprise.

Jeanine Áñez speaks with her lawyers from her cell
Jeanine Áñez speaks with her lawyers from her cell – AFP

The Bolivian government denies that there is political persecution. The Minister of Government, Eduardo del CastilloHe recalled that judicial institutions have independence and the Police only execute the orders that are issued from that institution. In several regions of Bolivia, police operations are still being carried out to execute at least seven more arrest warrants issued by the Bolivian Public Ministry.

This Sunday a leader of a civic group from the department of Cochabamba was arrested, Yassir Molina, who participated in mobilizations to denounce the electoral fraud of the Morales government in 2019.The Public Ministry authorities have not been clear in giving data on how many arrest warrants have been issued and against whom else will the complaint of the case called ‘coup be expanded of State’. In the latest statements by their representatives, they have barely stated that there is an investigation strategy and those captured will be able to report at hearings if their rights were violated.

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