Bolivia: Ex-president Anez to serve pre-trial detention

Deutsche Welle:

The former Bolivian leader said on Twitter she had to serve four months “to await a trial for a ‘coup’ that never happened.”

Former Bolivian President Jeanine Anez said on Sunday she had been given a four-month pre-trial detention after she was arrested on charges linked to the ousting of her predecessor Evo Morales.

Morales claims he was the victim of a coup d’etat for which Anez was responsible.

Anez, who was arrested on Saturday on charges of terrorism, sedition and conspiracy, denies any wrongdoing.

After learning her fate from Judge Regina Santa Cruz in a virtual hearing, she tweeted: “They are sending me to detention for four months to await a trial for a ‘coup’ that never happened.”

Anez, 53, will now be moved to a women’s prison in La Paz. “From here I call on Bolivia to have faith and hope. One day, together, we will build a better Bolivia,” she added.

As the most senior parliamentarian still standing after Morales and his allies fled the country in November 2019 after weeks of unrest over disputed elections, right-leaning conservative Anez assumed power in a caretaker capacity.

MAS back in power

Anez’s arrest on Saturday came after Morales returned to Bolivia from exile on the back of a fresh election victory in October 2020 for the leftist Movement for Socialism (MAS) party he founded.

Both the presidency and congress are now back under the control of MAS.

Carlos Mesa, a centrist former president of the South American country, said on Twitter that Anez’s detention was “arbitrary, illegal, and a violation of her human rights.”

But Morales, who has previously tweeted his support for the arrests, posted on the same social network that “the Constitution has been violated” and that Anez had “appointed herself president.”

Anez and other opposition leaders maintain their innocence, saying the popular uprising that led to Morales’ ousting was the result of frustration over perceived electoral fraud.

Global reactions

Following news of the arrests, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stressed “the importance of upholding due process guarantees and full transparency in all legal proceedings.”

On Saturday, the head of the EU’s foreign affairs — Josep Borrell — called for a resolution “within the framework of transparent justice and without political pressure.”

The US embassy urged respect of “all civil rights and the guarantees of due process,” while Bolivia’s episcopal conference, the highest national body of the Catholic Church, called for the “immediate release of the detainees.”

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

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