Bolivia: UN Rapporteur says Áñez’s conviction tinted with political meddling


Evo Morales admitting Áñez's fate was discussed at a MAS meeting is concerning, García-Sayan explained

Former Peruvian Foreign Minister Diego García-Sayán has said he saw politics had meddled in the judicial ruling whereby former Bolivian interim President Janine Àñez was sentenced to ten years in jail for crimes against the Constitution.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers said he saw a “political intervention” in Áñez’s conviction. “The signs of possible intervention of the political power in this judicial process worry the international community. The Bolivian justice system has the opportunity to make the necessary corrections in the event of an appeal or review, if presented,” García-Sayán stressed.

He also expressed his concern about statements from former President Evo Morales, who has admitted the ruling MAS party had discussed in a meeting the judicial steps to be taken in Àñez’s case.

“#Bolivia: what was revealed this Sunday by former President Evo Morales about a political meeting between leaders of the government and the ruling party, in which they would have agreed that Mrs. Añez be submitted to an ordinary trial and not to a trial of responsibilities, is worrying,” García-Sayan said on social media.

Morales’ words sparked criticism from the opposition. He later claimed his words had been “distorted” and that he actually referred to the fact that the legal and political strategy “to achieve justice for the massacres of our brothers” was discussed. [Bolivian Thoughts opinion: the coca grower caudillo or his acolytes always, always have to re-interpret what he initially says, he spills his poison and later on tries to minimize his distorted and well-thought insidiousness. As the egomaniac he is, he must not be trusted.]

“By not having considered the period in which Añez exercised the presidency, justice has omitted to analyze and pronounce [itself] on serious events such as those of Sacaba and Senkata,” the UN Rapporteur added.

In his May 25 report on the situation of justice in Bolivia, García-Sayán recommended “a national debate” on the rules for the election of magistrates.

Earlier this year, he had said the country’s judiciary was “far from the people” and insisted on the need for ”an independent and accessible justice system is a fundamental challenge for Bolivian society.” He had also warned the Bolivian State was responsible for the health and physical integrity of those deprived of liberty, including Áñez.

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