Thursday, April 15

Thousands of people denounce the siege of the ruling party in Bolivia


Protests after Áñez's arrest.

Protests after Áñez’s arrest.
MANUEL CLAURE

The former interim president of Bolivia Jeanine Àñez spends her first night in a jail in La Paz on Monday in the middle of numerous demonstrations across the country to stop the persecutions, while more processes are announced from the ruling party.

Áñez was transferred under a strong police guard to the Obrajes Feminine Orientation Center, where she will remain in preventive detention for four months while the investigation into the case called “coup d’état” is carried out.

The director general of the Prison Regime in Bolivia, Juan Carlos Limpias, said that the temporary ex-president will be “under constant inspection by health personnel” for 15 days as stipulated in the protocol of the country’s prisons in the face of the emergency of covid-19. “No prisoner has privileges in this penitentiary,” emphasized Limpias, who explained that Áñez will be “raffled” to be assigned one of the 13 common dormitories for the 200 inmates.

The Bolivian Justice ruled on Sunday the preventive detention for Áñez, as well as for his former ministers Álvaro Coímbra, of Justice, and Rodrigo Guzmán, of Energy, who were transferred to the San Pedro prison in La Paz. The three are accused of the crimes of “sedition, terrorism and conspiracy” in the 2019 crisis that led to the resignation of Evo Morales to the Presidency.

Polarization in the country

Since the apprehension of the former interim president and two of her Cabinet ministers became known, various sectors of the opposition and society have denounced what they consider an “abuse” and “arbitrariness” by the justice system and the Government. Also, the fact that Áñez is judged as a former senator and not as a former president has stoked criticism against the State and has generated several questions about the way in which the Prosecutor’s Office and the judges are violating the Constitution and the right that she would have to be prosecuted within a special trial of responsibilities as would correspond to her jurisdiction as a former president.

In at least four of the main cities of Bolivia thousands of people marched in rejection of the apprehensions of the temporary ex-authorities and against the assertion of the ruling Movement for Socialism (MAS) that in 2019 there was a “coup d’état.” “To those prisoners and persecuted, tell them that we are not going to leave them alone, Santa Cruz is a brave people,” the governor-elect of that department, Luis Fernando Camacho, announced forcefully and before thousands of people. The former presidential candidate is also the main defendant in the investigation initiated at the request of the lawsuit that the former official representative Lidia Patty presented for the crisis of 2019.

There were also vigils and demonstrations by relatives of the victims of the 2019 crisis, who demanded justice while celebrating that Áñez and his former ministers have been transferred to a prison. Likewise, unions related to the MAS reiterated their support for the proceedings against Áñez and demanded the arrest of other politicians such as Luis Fernando Camacho, for being linked to the alleged coup against Morales.

For his part, former President Morales said on Twitter that he was not surprised that the Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, defends Áñez and because “he should also be tried for promoting the coup d’état and for crimes against humanity in Bolivia “.

They demand releases

The Organization of American States (OAS) called for the release of all those detained in Bolivia “until you have impartial processes and mechanisms to determine responsibilities. “He also pointed out that” in recent months there has been the cancellation or dismissal of different trials against MAS supporters, as well as threats of judicial persecution of politicians opposed to the government. ”

For his part, former Bolivian president Carlos Mesa reiterated his warning that the country is “in a dramatic situation of political persecution and the judicialization of politics.” In statements to EFE, Mesa pointed out that “the Government is accelerating the step towards an autocratic model very similar to the Venezuelan model” and that the argument of the coup to arrest former President Áñez and two former ministers affects “all elements related to defense. of their fundamental rights “.

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