03/27/2021 1:28 PM
Updated 03/27/2021 9:13 PM
The United States government called on Saturday for the release of former Bolivian interim president Jeanine Áñez and two of her former ministers, and expressed concern about "signs of undemocratic behavior" in the Andean country.
In a statement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed the strongest reaction so far from the government of US President Joe Biden to the arrest two weeks ago of the three Bolivian politicians, accused of "sedition, terrorism and conspiracy."
"The United States is deeply concerned about the growing signs of undemocratic behavior and the politicization of the legal system in Bolivia, following the recent arrest and pre-trial detention of former officials of the interim government," said the head of the US Foreign Ministry.
Without directly mentioning Áñez or the detained former ministers, Álvaro Coimbra and Rodrigo Guzmán, the head of US diplomacy referred at all times to the "former officials" or former officials of the interim government that emerged after the revolt of November 2019 .
The massive protests, amid allegations of fraud in the October elections of that year, forced then-President Evo Morales to resign, denouncing a coup.
Now his party has returned to power under the guidance of his former minister Luis Arce, who prevailed in the October 2020 elections.
The former interim president of Bolivia, Jeanine-Añez, was arrested on March 13, accused of "sedition."
"We ask the Bolivian government to make clear its support for peace, democracy and national reconciliation, by releasing detained former officials while an independent and transparent investigation is carried out on human rights and due process concerns," Blinken said.
He added that those arrests "are not consistent with Bolivia's democratic ideals," and "discredit the extraordinary efforts of so many Bolivian voters, candidates, and public workers" that turned last year's October elections and elections into a "democratic success." regional and municipal this month.
Blinken added that there are doubts about the "legality" of the arrests of the former officials for being
"based on unsubstantiated accusations
, for the apparent violations of due process in their execution and for the deeply politicized nature of the Bolivian government's oversight work."
The head of US diplomacy stressed that he still
hopes to maintain a "robust and mutually respectful relationship"
with the government of the current Bolivian president, Luis Arce, and that both the Bolivian authorities and protesters act in this case with "peace, restraint and respect ".
The Joe Biden government also highlighted its willingness to maintain a good relationship with the Luis Arce government.
He also assured that his position coincided with that of "the European Union, the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Bolivia and both Bolivian and international human rights organizations."
Blinken's position comes almost two weeks after the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, called for the release of Áñez and the two former ministers, in part because he considered that the "Bolivian judicial system is not in a position to provide the minimum guarantees of fair trial and impartiality. "
During a meeting this week in Mexico, both Arce and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador urged Almagro not to intervene in the internal affairs of the countries.
Áñez and the members of his cabinet are accused of "sedition and terrorism" during the crisis of 2019 after the failed elections that led to the resignation of Evo Morales to the presidency of Bolivia, which the current Executive considers a coup.
Along with them and two former high-ranking military commanders, there are also
processes against other opposition political leaders and several former soldiers and former police officers
who are wanted by the Justice.
Añez, on hunger strike
This week, the Bolivian Women's Legal Office denounced "serious abuses" and "illegal actions" in the arrest of Áñez, who remains serving preventive detention in the Miraflores prison.
According to the agency, the former interim president is "being subjected to abuses of power that degrade her human dignity and violate her Human Rights, with illegal actions," including the search of her home and detention "late in the morning. night "without a court order, they detail.
The former president went on a hunger strike because "she does not want to fight."
He is awaiting trial.
Last week, the Bolivian Justice extended Áñez's preventive detention from four to six months while the investigation against him for alleged sedition, conspiracy and terrorism advances.
Source: EFE and DPA
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