Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in the main cities of Bolivia on Monday, March 15, to protest against the detention of former interim president Jeanine Añez, accused of having carried out a coup against her predecessor. Evo Morales.
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Gatherings were held in the capital La Paz, Cochabamba, Sucre, Trinidad and Santa Cruz, the economic capital of Bolivia and stronghold of the opposition to the Movement towards Socialism (MAS) of Evo Morales and the current Bolivian President Luis Arce.
In Santa Cruz, the large city in the south-east, around 40,000 people gathered in Cristo Redentor Square, a traditional place for protests by the Bolivian right, according to estimates by local authorities.
The right-wing and center opposition denies that a coup took place in November 2019, as the Evo Morales camp claims.
Demonstrators protested against the arrest and pre-trial detention of Jeanine Añez, who became interim president of Bolivia after the resignation of Evo Morales.
Two former ministers of Jeanine Añez were also arrested.
Read also: Bolivia: pre-trial detention for Jeanine Añez, accused of having overthrown Morales
In power from November 2019 to November 2020, JeanineAñez was placed by a judge in pre-trial detention for four months and held in a women's prison in La Paz.
She was arrested on Saturday in Trinidad, her place of residence, 600 kilometers northeast of La Paz, like two of her former ministers.
In November 2019, then second conservative vice-president of the Senate, Jeanine Añez was sworn in as interim president two days after the resignation of Evo Morales.
Her arrest came as part of an arrest warrant following a complaint for "sedition", "terrorism" and "conspiracy" filed by a former member of the MAS.
The mandate also covers five former ministers of his government, two of whom were arrested.
Of the other three, two left Bolivia in November.
It also targets two former military commanders and the former police chief.
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The mobilization against the arrests was decreed by the Civic Committee of Santa Cruz, a powerful regionalist movement of business leaders and right-wing social organizations hostile to the MAS.
It was from Santa Cruz that the uprising started in 2019 that had prompted the resignation of Evo Morales, proclaimed winner of the presidential election where he was running for a fourth term but accused of fraud by the opposition.