First modification: 08/27/2021 – 16:44
The conflict and division have re-emerged in Bolivia due to the health in prison of former president Jeanine Áñez, afflicted with physical and mental problems. Surrounded by several trials, she has been deprived of liberty for more than five months for the denunciation of an alleged plot to overthrow Evo Morales in 2019, which she and her defense reject.
The situation of Jeanine Áñez has provoked demonstrations of support in La Paz, Cochabamba (center), Santa Cruz (east) and Trinidad (east), from where they denounce the violation of their human and constitutional rights, amid demands that the policy can defend himself in freedom considering his delicate state of health.
In La Paz, a support march ended this week with a brawl with militants of the ruling Movement for Socialism (MAS) that caused two injuries from blows, one on each side, at the gates of the jail where the former governor is being held.
The dispute was once again the scene of the confrontation between the opponents who accuse Morales of having ignited the conflict with an alleged electoral fraud in the 2019 elections and those who point to Áñez for the crisis and subsequent fall of the former indigenous president.
Since Áñez’s family warned of a suicide attempt, her case has raised the concern of former presidents of Bolivia, other Latin American countries, and multilateral institutions such as the UN that have asked the Government to protect the life of the ex-president.
# JeanineAñez is very sick. Suffer permanently. Every 10 minutes someone enters his cell, to spy, to ask or who does not know what. She lives on alert, anguished, without rest because she does not know what they are going to do to her: sedate her, poison her or transfer her without a known direction. pic.twitter.com/SuV86qgdPi
– Jeanine Añez Chavez (@JeanineAnez) August 24, 2021
On the other hand, the Minister of Government, Eduardo del Castillo, has minimized Áñez’s sufferings by ensuring that she is “stable” and has indicated that she is in preventive detention because, according to what he said, last March before being arrested, “she intended to escape from the country by land or by air ”.
However, reports from the family, a psychiatrist and a member of the Human Rights Commission of the Chamber of Deputies who interviewed Áñez on Thursday, indicate that he suffers from severe depression and has lost between 10 and 15 kilos of weight.
The psychiatrist who assessed her after the self-harm concluded, according to local media, that Áñez has a “severe depressive disorder with suicidal ideation”, while her daughter, Carolina Ribera, has indicated that she also suffers from panic attacks and nervous breakdowns.
Añez assumed the Presidency on November 12, 2019 as a senator, after the power vacuum resulting from the resignation of Morales on November 10, due to social protests and requests from military and police chiefs, and which was followed by other high-ranking officials who were in the line of succession.
Jeanine Áñez faces seven legal proceedings
The crisis of the political transition and in particular a decree that exempted the military from responsibilities in their actions at that time, have earned Áñez a new demand for a liability trial for the alleged crimes of genocide, serious injuries and injuries followed by death due to the so-called cases of Senkata (El Alto) and Sacaba (Cochabamba).
The Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) on Thursday referred to the Legislative Assembly the accusation of the General Prosecutor’s Office for the death of 20 people in November 2019 when the Army and the Police repressed Morales’s followers.
Parliament must consider whether or not Áñez is judged in a liability trial, but to carry it out, the MAS will need the support of two-thirds of the parliamentarians and, therefore, an agreement with at least a part of the opposition.
This is the fourth accusation for a liability trial that the Supreme Court has referred to Parliament against Áñez, after others for the alleged illegality of a loan from the International Monetary Fund, a business registration contract and alleged attacks against freedom of expression .
In addition, Áñez faces three other ordinary processes for alleged crimes prior to the presidency, including the alleged conspiracy against Evo Morales.
The defense of the ex-president has alleged that she assumed the Presidency of the country in a constitutional way and was recognized by all the organs of the State and the international community to call for elections that the MAS finally won again.
The opposition has questioned the Prosecutor’s Office for not having raised an accusatory proposition also against Morales because before he resigned from his post during the crisis there was violence that caused the death of five people.
However, the government of Luis Arce has ruled out the possibility of investigating Morales’ management for those deaths on the grounds that the ex-president was not involved.
These conflicts caused a total of 37 people to die at different times of the crisis, as established a few days ago by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
A distant reconciliation
The political scientist Marcelo Arequipa considered, in declarations to France 24, that the GIEI report has raised the tensions of a social polarization that began with the arrest of Añez last March and that has not stopped since then.
In the background, there is the “coup-fraud” dispute that, in his opinion, will have no end because those who defend one version or the other believe that these are exclusive chapters of the country’s history, “and do not accept that they are intimately connected ”.
“To the extent that the connection between the two chapters of history is recognized and the political class accepts its share of responsibility, we will be able to take a leap towards the search for reconciliation,” said the analyst, who admitted that this possibility for the future.