The president of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, apologized this Thursday (8) to Bolivia for his predecessor, Mauricio Macri, allegedly having “supported the repression of protests that took place in Bolivian territory in 2019”.
Luis Arce’s government accused Macri on Thursday of having sent what it called “lethal ammunition” to quell demonstrations during the 2019 crisis with the alleged shipment of rubber bullets and tear gas in November of that year. Responding to the accusations, former Argentine Chancellor Jorge Faurie said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not intervene by sending material.
Bolivia’s Foreign Minister, Rogelio Mayta, released a letter from General Gonzalo Terceros, until then commander of the Bolivian Air Force (FAB), addressed to the then Argentine ambassador in La Paz, Normando Álvarez.
In this letter, Terceros reportedly thanked Álvarez for the collaboration provided to the FAB “in the framework of bilateral international support” and detailed a series of “chemical war material” items that included 40,000 AT 12/70 rubber bullets, as well as a series of tear gas and stun bombs.
“We emphasize that Argentina presided over by Mauricio Macri gave lethal ammunition to the military forces that repressed social protest in November 2019,” said Mayta.
what Fernández said
In his letter, Fernández highlighted the “pain and shame” he felt when he learned what had happened, and apologized to the government and the inhabitants of Bolivia on behalf of the Argentine people for the alleged collaboration of Macri’s Cabinet in the removal of Evo’s power. Morales, which he described as a coup d’etat.
“It turned out that a shipment of material was sent from our country that can only be interpreted as reinforcing the capacity of action of the seditious forces against the Bolivian population in those days,” wrote the Argentine head of government.
“It was a collaboration decided by the government of then President Mauricio Macri with the military and police repression suffered by those who defended the institutional order in their country,” he added.
Fernández also pointed out that the facts are being analyzed by a group of independent experts from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). His government also asked the Federal Forces to report, within 72 hours, who was responsible for sending anti-riot material to Bolivia. At Casa Rosada, according to the newspaper La Nación, they believe that the order would have come from the then Security Minister, Patrícia Bullrich, president of the PRO.
Evo Morales in Argentina
On December 12, 2019, just two days after Fernández took office as president, Evo Morales landed at Ezeiza International Airport to seek refuge in Argentina after his departure from Bolivia.
Morales spent almost a year in Argentine territory. Then on November 9, 2020, with Luis Arce as Bolivian president, he crossed the border to return to his country.
“I maintain it for the tranquility of my conscience, having done everything in my power to preserve the lives of Evo Morales, Alvaro Garcia Linera (former vice president) and many other Bolivian brothers besieged by the coupists,” said the president of Argentina. “Our democracies are strong. We have to continue working together to consolidate them,” he added.