Wed. Sep 28th, 2022

On Friday, former Bolivian temporary President Jeanine Anez was sentenced to ten years in jail on crimes related to her taking office in 2019 after violent demonstrations that resulted in the resignation and exile of her predecessor, Evo Morales.
Ms. Anez was found guilty of dereliction of office and violating the constitution when she declared herself President in what Mr. Morales and his party dubbed a coup.
Ms.Anez’s allies dispute it was a coup, claiming that Mr. Morales’ alleged misuse of power sparked a legitimate street rebellion.

According to them, the removal of Bolivia’s first Indigenous President and his Vice President created a political vacuum, allowing Ms. Anez to seize the interim presidency as second President of the Senate. The defence has stated that she will appeal the ruling.

“I did not lift a finger to become President, but I did what I needed to do to soothe a country that Morales left convulsed as he departed,” Ms. Anez stated from her jail cell.

Election tampering in Bolivia
Mr. Morales resigned in the aftermath of countrywide demonstrations over alleged vote-rigging in an October 20 election that he claimed to have won in order to earn a fourth term in government. Mr. Morales has denied any wrongdoing. The demonstrations killed 37 people and caused Mr. Morales to flee to Mexico.

His party, known as MAS in Spanish, reclaimed power in the 2020 elections, and Mr. Morales has since returned to Bolivia.

According to MAS deputy Juan José Jáuregui, the trial establishes a “historic precedent” against impunity.

Former Armed Forces commander Williams Kaliman and ex-police commander Vladimir Calderon were also sentenced to ten years in jail by the court. Four other former military commanders were sentenced to shorter terms.

About 50 people protested Mr. Anez outside the prison where she was being detained.

By adele rose

Adele Rose is the senior editor and employee of WGBS Pvt Ltd Digital wing.

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