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Evo Morales Press Conference In Buenos Aires BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA - DECEMBER 17 (Photo by Stringer/Getty Images)
Evo Morales Press Conference In Buenos Aires BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA - DECEMBER 17 (Photo by Stringer/Getty Images)

Evo Morales: the open questions

Evo Morales arrived in Argentina on December 12, as a requesting asylum. Bolivia's interim government is requesting his extradition, while he insists he is…

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Former Bolivian President Evo Morales arrived in Argentina on 12 December seeking political asylum. Despite having enjoyed this benefit in Mexico, he declared that he preferred to be close to his country in order to continue his political cause, which led to his transfer.

He now faces the problem of having been requested in extradition by the government of Jeanine Áñez for the crimes of sedition and terrorism, the latter of which is classified as an international criminal offence.

In addition, Morales could be tried for alleged crimes against humanity. On November 20, a video was made public in which a voice was heard indicating a coca growers' leader, identified as Faustino Yucra Yarhui, to block the roads to prevent food from entering the cities.

It has not yet been confirmed that the voice heard on the recording is that of the former leader. To date, the only thing that has happened is that the Attorney General's Office of Bolivia has asked for support from the Technical Investigation Body of Colombia, whose laboratories for this type of expertise are accredited at the international level, to evaluate the veracity of the recording.

If the veracity of the video were confirmed, the Argentine State would have no choice but to extradite Morales, given that the UNHCR Convention relating to the Status of Refugees establishes that those who have committed crimes against humanity cannot enjoy refugee status.

Given the recent change of government in Argentina, the National Commission for Refugees in Argentina (CONARE) has not yet been established. Once this happens, the Commission will have to evaluate Morales' case and determine whether to grant him refugee status in Argentina or not.   However, it is highly unlikely that the Commission's decision will be negative, as Argentine President Alberto Fernandez has ordered not to accept the arrest request against Morales and to increase his police custody.

In a surprising statement on December 19, Morales said he is still president of Bolivia, despite having resigned on November 10 (in circumstances that some have called a coup d'état).

The former Bolivian president's argument is that the Plurinational Legislative Assembly of Bolivia did not consider his resignation in plenary, nor did it take a position on it to accept or reject the resignation.

Upon reviewing the Bolivian Senate's website, and even its twitter, Morales' claim seems to be confirmed. On November 12, the Senate called for an Extraordinary Session, to be held at 4 pm, where the resignation of then President Juan Evo Morales Ayma and Vice President Álvaro Marcelo García would be discussed. An ordinary session would be held 45 minutes earlier.

#Último#ALP convoca a Sesión Extraordinaria hoy #12Nov a las 16h00
Orden del Día:
Correspondencia
Tratamiento de renuncia a la Presidencia del Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia, por parte de los ciudadanos Juan Evo Morales Ayma y Álvaro Marcelo García Linera
RA pic.twitter.com/4s8I3YYbX9

— Senado de Bolivia (@SenadoBolivia) November 12, 2019

Contrary to what would be expected, all subsequent publications of that day are related to the inauguration of current interim president Jeanine Áñez, without us being able to confirm that prior to her inauguration Morales' resignation was accepted. We have not been able to find any press release or even a Senate tweet on the subject.

#NotaDePrensa
Por sucesión constitucional, la senadora @JeanineAnez asumiría la presidencia del @SenadoBolivia  https://t.co/sNM1JzH6FH
RA pic.twitter.com/jeuYmsdthf

— Senado de Bolivia (@SenadoBolivia) November 12, 2019

Thus, questions continue to be added to the Bolivian's story: the nature of his departure, the veracity or falsity of the audio for which he would be accused of crimes against humanity, the failure of protocol. How will these factors influence his fate?

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