It was the early morning of March 13, 2021. Jeanine Áñez, interim president of Bolivia between 2019 and 2020, she was leaving her home under arrest, accused of being the co-author of a “coup d’état”. Six months later, the right-wing ex-president awaits the trial against her.
“The political persecution has begun”The former right-wing president tweeted hours before her arrest in the Amazon department of Beni, where she is from.
In preventive prison in La Paz, the 54-year-old lawyer and former television presenter, is singled out for having promoted an alleged coup against his predecessor, the leftist Evo Morales (2006-2019).
He faces three processes in the ordinary justice for genocide, terrorism, sedition, conspiracy, resolutions contrary to the Constitution and breach of duties.
In addition, it could be subjected to four liability trials, subject to the approval of two thirds of the parliament.
The former president injured herself in jail on August 21, cutting herself on one arm. Days before, a doctor had diagnosed him with “hypertension and depressive anxiety syndrome.”
For this reason, his family requested several times, without success, that Áñez be able to defend himself in freedom. or, at least, in house arrest.
Noting “attacks against the life (…) of the ex-president,” her defense requested the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) precautionary measures of protection in favor of his client and still awaits the pronouncement of the organism.
“Evo Morales (…) has it as a trophy to give a message of fear to all opposition leaders and all Bolivians who think differently, “Áñez’s daughter, Carolina Ribera, told AFP.
Áñez was second vice president of the Senate when she was proclaimed interim president of Bolivia on November 12, 2019 in the midst of a strong social upheaval.
He came to office due to a questioned constitutional succession due to vacancy after the resignation of Morales, whom the opposition accused of rigging the October elections of that year to be able to continue his mandate until 2025. After losing the support of the military, Morales resigned and went into exile.
“The alternatives were very complicated at that time and the extreme right tried to take advantage of it to impose itself,” explained political scientist Marcelo Arequipa.
“They did not wait for the democratic path to be redirected; they tried as quickly as possible to impose someone who had command of the state. “
Last November, Áñez transferred power to Luis Arce, Morales’ dolphin, elected in new elections. In March, she was arrested.
But his daughter assures that there is no concrete fact to sustain the accusations against him.
“In Bolivia it is a justice completely manipulated and servile to the government “, Ribera denounced, targeting Arce and the Movement for Socialism (MAS) led by Morales.
Áñez was accused of genocide as a result of the complaint by relatives of the victims of the repression by the forces of order on November 15, 2019 in the town of Sacaba, near Cochabamba, and on November 19 in Senkata, an area of El Alto, neighboring Peace.
The Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), created in December 2019 by an agreement between the Bolivian government and the IACHR, in a recent report totaled 22 deaths in both incidents, which he described as “massacres”.
“Áñez has a very complicated scenario because the GIEI report is almost a sentence very hard for her“Arequipa said.
“Aside from the failure of the trial for the coup, the thing about Sacaba and Senkata, I think he strongly condemns her. “
Moreover, the same report questions the independence of the judicial system of the South American country.
The document warns of the need to review the existence of “ambiguous criminal offenses, like those of terrorism, sedition and breach of duties “- several of which Áñez is accused – to avoid their use” in an arbitrary manner. “
For Arequipa, is “contradictory” that the MAS uses the legal figure of “terrorism” that before criticized Áñez using “to detain activists against his government.”