La Paz.- Two Former Bolivian military chiefs were sentenced this Friday to three years in prison within a trial for the arrival to the Presidency of Jeanine Áñez on an interim basis in 2019 after the resignation of Evo Morales in the midst of a crisis that for the ruling party was a “coup d’état” against the then president.
The ruling was issued by the First Anti-Corruption Sentencing Court of La Paz, Bolivia in a virtual hearing within an abbreviated procedure to which the military agreed to submit, which implies an admission of guilt.
The sentenced are the former commanders of the Bolivian Air Force (FAB) Gonzalo Terceros and the Bolivian Navy Palmiro Jarjury for the case known as “coup d’état II”, in which Áñez and other former military and police chiefs are also accused.
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A press release from the Vice Ministry of Communication indicates that Jarjury must serve his sentence in a prison in the town of Patacamaya, in the Bolivian Altiplano, and Terceros in the Palmasola prison, in the east of the country.
“Both accepted before the Court that they committed the crime of resolutions contrary to the Constitution and the Laws and breach of duties to the degree of complicity,” the statement said.
A few days ago, the local media released a letter in which the relatives of Terceros and Jarjury explained that they agreed to go to an abbreviated trial considering that the “fight” to prove their innocence “is absolutely unequal and unsuccessful” and sought to preserve the health of both families.
The “coup d’état II” case refers to the actions that Áñez took when she was second vice president of the Senate to assume the Presidency in 2019 in an allegedly irregular manner, according to the ruling party, after the resignations of Morales and the entire line of presidential succession .
The two sentenced former military chiefs were included in the process for having facilitated the transfer of Áñez from an airport in the neighboring city of El Alto to La Paz on November 11, 2019, one day after the resignations of Morales and his possible successors in in the midst of protests following the failed general elections that year.
Áñez assumed the interim Presidency on November 12, 2019 after activating a succession mechanism that at the time had the approval of the Constitutional Court, which for the ruling party was an irregular action.
The trial for the “coup d’état II” case was supposed to begin last week, but a court in La Paz annulled the order to open the process due to formal flaws in the summons and due to the technical failures recorded during the virtual hearing.
The former president has been imprisoned for eleven months for another case, the so-called “coup d’état I”, in which she is accused of sedition, terrorism and conspiracy.
Before the start of the trial for the other process, Áñez began a hunger strike that has lasted ten days and for which her health has deteriorated again.
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On this day, groups related to the ruling party prevented the transfer of the former interim ruler to a hospital ordered by a judge, who later decided that she receive medical care inside the prison.
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