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Protesters against the leftist government of Luis Arce: La Paz, Bolivia, March 15, 2021. Photo: Manuel Claure / Reuters
Protesters against the leftist government of Luis Arce: La Paz, Bolivia, March 15, 2021. Photo: Manuel Claure / Reuters

MAS opponents in Bolivia protest in force against the imprisonment of Áñez

Mass rallies called by citizens' movements against Añez's imprisonment in La Paz, Cochabamba, Sucre and Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

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Jeanine Áñez Chávez, a right-wing Christian fundamentalist and former senator opposed to Evo Morales, assumed the position of interim presindent of Bolivia after the political crisis of 2019. She was in office from November 12, 2019 until November 8, 2020, and today, is in preventive detention accused of "terrorism, conspiracy and sedition" for the events that led to the resignation and exile of Evo Morales in November 2019. 

This weekend, a judge decreed four months of preventive detention for Añez and two of her ministers, Justice Álvaro Coímbra, and Rodrigo Guzmán. L. Añez. 

"I denounce before Bolivia and the world, that in an act of abuse and political persecution the MAS government has had me arrested. It accuses me of having participated in a coup d'état that never happened. My prayers for Bolivia and for all Bolivians," Áñez posted on Twitter minutes after the minister announced his imminent arrest.

In 2019, the National Commitee for the Defense of Democracy (Conade), called for and led protests against the alleged electoral fraud in favor of Evo Morales, candidate for presidential reelection. As expected, in response to the news, La Paz, Sucre, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz took to the streets to demonstrate against the verdict.

"We are not going to give up, we are going to fight until this situation of criminalization that has occurred in the country is reversed," announced Conade spokesman Manuel Morales.

During the mobilization, demonstrators passed by the ministries demanding "justice," "freedom," and assured that in 2019 there was no state coup against Morales, as both President Luis Arce and the ruling MAS party claim. 

The U.S. State Department is observing and following the political situation in Bolivia "with concern" after the arrest and imprisonment of former high-ranking officials opposed to Morales' party. Some former ministers have requested refuge in neighboring countries, such as the former Minister of Communication of Añez Roxana Lizárraga, who requested refuge in Peru due to the arrests and imprisonment of former members of the interim government, according to the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 

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