Jeanine Áñez completes one month in prison; prosecutors announce further proceedings against her

Ex-interim president of Bolivia Jeanine Áñez on Tuesday completed a month in prison for the "coup d'état" case with demonstrations of support and as new proceedings against her emerge from deeds during her Administration (2019-2020).

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The demand for justice from a multitude of supporters was felt again in La Paz with a demonstration of groups opposed to the governmental Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) demanding the release of Áñez, two of her former ministers and ex-military chiefs detained on charges of terrorism, conspiracy and sedition.

A march crossed several streets of the city until reaching the Women’s Penitentiary Center of Miraflores, where slogans were chanted against the Government, political persecution and what the demonstrators considered an instrumental use of the country’s rules.

Ex-interim president of Bolivia Jeanine Áñez on Tuesday completed a month in prison for the “coup d’état” case. (Photo internet reproduction)

LETTER FROM ÁÑEZ TO THE BOLIVIAN PEOPLE

In the background was a handwritten letter that Áñez addressed “to the Bolivian people” and which was read before the attendees and the media, at the beginning and at the end of the protest, by the ex-president’s daughter, Carolina Ribera.

“Over this month I have learned something, I will resist because the cause is bigger than my grief and I will resist because I am not alone. Many people inside and outside Bolivia have understood that this is not about Jeanine Áñez, this is about freedom, democracy and Bolivia,” said the former ruler in her text.

Áñez also emphasized that she has been imprisoned for a month for something “that never happened” and that in her case the government of President Luis Arce has shown a good management “of persecution and very poor in vaccination” against the pandemic.

INVESTIGATED IN OTHER PROCEEDINGS

A notification was disclosed from the Prosecutor’s Office to Áñez’s attorneys for her to testify soon “in the capacity of investigated” for other proceedings lodged by the Ministry of Justice for actions conducted during the period of the transitional Government, between the months of November 2019 and 2020.

Last March, the Prosecutor’s Office accepted complaints against Áñez for alleged crimes linked to resolutions contrary to the Constitution and the laws, breach of duties, against public health and discrimination, among others, in which collaborators of her Government are also indicted.

The cases concern an the authorization of a credit with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) without authorization of the Parliament that generated interests for the State, the approval of a decree against freedom of expression during the rigid quarantine decreed in 2020 and a concession for fifteen years of the Public Registry and Commerce.

In addition to the order for the security forces to prevent the return of Bolivians from Chile during a period of the pandemic.

ONE MONTH OF IMPRISONMENT

Jeanine Áñez was arrested on March 13th in her native region, the Amazonian Beni, and then taken to La Paz in a military plane and under heavy police custody, as were her ex-ministers Álvaro Coímbra and Rodrigo Guzmán, also detained in prisons in Bolivia’s administrative capital and seat of government.

The three are accused of participating in the 2019 crisis, after the failed elections that resulted in the resignation of Evo Morales to the presidency of the country, which the current Executive considers as a “coup d’état” and which for the opposition was the consequence of an electoral fraud with the then ruler being declared the winner for a fourth term.

The judicial proceeding for sedition, conspiracy and terrorism was lodged in November last year by the former MAS deputy Lidia Patty, and in it leaders such as the now governor-elect of Santa Cruz, Luis Fernando Camacho, former high military and police chiefs, together with ex-ministers of Añez are indicted.

Several of these people have not been found, while others are in hiding, have left the country or have decided to request political asylum because they consider that the accusations against them are the result of political persecution.

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