Bolivian court orders another 5 months in prison

The Criminal Investigation Court of La Paz decided to extend the preventive detention of Jeanine Áñez by five months, in a decision published last Saturday (2). The former president is accused of sedition, conspiracy and terrorism for leading the October 2019 coup d’état. The defense appealed the decision, but was unsuccessful.

The court decision was a response to a request from the Bolivian Public Ministry, which accused the risk of flight and hindered the process. In August, Bolivian media published allegations of Áñez’s plan to flee to Brazil. According to reports, human rights organizations related to the opposition were pushing for house arrest so Áñez could flee in a private jet from Trinidad, the capital of the state of Beni, to Brazilian territory.

Two former coup ministers are already on the run from Bolivian justice, they are Fernando López (defence) and Arturo Murillo (government), both also reportedly left the country passing through Brazil, shortly after the inauguration of current president Luis Arce.

Read also: Coup forces “are latent”, says former president of the Senate of Bolivia

The defense also requests that the former employee have privileged jurisdiction as former president. However, the Bolivian justice only recognizes the post of former senator, held by Áñez until October 2019.

According to a report by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts, Jeanine Áñez, as well as former ministers of the interim government, are responsible for human rights violations, disruption of the constitutional order and political persecution.

They are also accused of being responsible for the massacres in Sacaba and Senkata, which ended with 37 dead and more than 800 wounded. The victims were civilians who protested in November 2019, in the El Alto region, against the coup d’état that ousted the government of Evo Morales. Part of the weaponry used to repress the protest was offered by the Argentine state under the management of Mauricio Macri.

Meanwhile, investigations into the coup are advancing. The current governor of the state of Santa Cruz, on the border with Brazil, Luis Fernando Camacho, is expected to testify to the Public Ministry next Thursday (7). During Evo’s deposition, Camacho was chairman of the Civic Committee of Santa Cruz, a far-right group, and publicly encouraged police riots and paramilitary violence against the MAS-IPSP administration.

Edition: Thales Schmidt

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