Arrest of former interim president Áñez causes international and legislative tensions in Bolivia – Prime Time Zone


Luis Arce’s government faces criticism at home and abroad, with statements from the United States and Brazil

EFE/StringerJeanine Añez upon arriving at the prison in Bolivia

The arrest of the former Bolivian interim president Jeanine Áñez generated tensions in the national Parliament between members of the government and opponents, in addition to support and criticism from outside and within the government of Luis Arce. Internally, the impasse reached this Thursday, 18, to the Legislative, where there was a session of the Chamber of Deputies in which the ruling party sought to pass a resolution against what it sees as “interference” from Organization of American States (OAS) for the entity’s statements on the situation in Áñez. The Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) had already passed a resolution along these lines in the Senate the day before and promoted it in the Chamber of Deputies, amid furious protests from the opposition benches of the Citizen Community and Creemos.

The tension was such that when the opposition deputy Erwin Bazán appeared in the Chamber to speak with the leadership, two pro-government MPs took him by the arm, being forced to return to the plenary hall, where a discussion started between parliamentarians from both sides. sides. The opposition shouted that “MAS is violence” and “fraud”, while the ruling party exclaimed the words “justice” and “murderers”. The Movement for Socialism ended up imposing itself as a majority to approve the resolution, which was rejected by the opposition benches, as happened in the Senate.

Arce government has international problems

In addition to the internal clashes, the Arce government is involved in another imbroglio with the OAS secretary general, Luis Almagro, who blames the ex-president’s departure Evo Morales of power in 2019, an episode that the current government treats as a coup d’état. In the past few days, the OAS and the Bolivian government have exchanged criticisms, accusations and warnings of actions for their respective behaviors. The governments of Cuba and Mexico and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (Alba), all allies of MAS, expressed their rejection of Almagro’s “interference” in the so-called “coup d’état”, for which Áñez was arrested.

The Arce government expressed discomfort in relation to the pronouncements of the U.S and the government of Jair Bolsonaro on the situation in Bolivia. On Saturday, the United States insisted that Bolivia “defend” inter-American civil rights, although they did not explicitly mention Áñez’s arrest. On Tuesday, the Brazilian government expressed “concern” about the arrest of the former interim president and highlighted the support given to Áñez when he replaced Evo Morales “in a constitutional manner”.

The Bolivian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported last night that, in meetings held separately, the Bolivian Chancellor, Rogelio Mayta, told the US Chargé d’Affaires Charisse Phillips and the Brazilian ambassador, Octavio Dias, that they should “abstain. ”To“ intervene ”in internal affairs. The Paraguayan Senate has also spoken out, calling on the Bolivian authorities to respect the procedural rights of the former interim agent.

The Secretary-General of the HIM-HER-ITAntónio Guterres spoke with Arce and stressed the importance of respecting human rights and ensuring fair trials after the arrests of Áñez and two former ministers. Jeanine Áñez has been in prison since Monday, while being investigated for the case called “coup d’etat”, in which she is accused of “sedition and terrorism” in 2019, after the questioned elections that resulted in Evo Morales resigning the presidency.

* With information from EFE