August 10, 2022

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Bolivia arrests ex-president Áñez over 2019 “coup” as political tensions reignite

Bolivia’s socialist government arrested former interim President Jeanine Áñez on Saturday over involvement in an alleged 2019 coup, reigniting political tensions after deadly protests less than two years ago.

The move marks an escalation of hostilities between the current leftist administration and more conservative political opponents they accuse of ousting long-term leader Evo Morales.

Bolivia’s socialist government, which swept back to power in October last year, is seeking the arrest of a raft of officials in Áñez’s right-wing former administration as well as ex-police and military leaders they allege fomented a coup.

Áñez took power in late 2019 after Morales resigned amid widespread violent protests against his government over allegations he had stolen an election when running for an unprecedented – and unconstitutional – fourth term.

The arrests brought swift condemnation from the Americas director of Human Rights Watch, José Miguel Vivanco, who said the arrest warrants contained no evidence to support a claim of "terrorism."

Áñez rejected the claim she helped orchestrate a coup. "It was constitutional succession due to electoral fraud," she wrote on Twitter on Friday.

Her 11-month caretaker administration took Bolivia in a sharply different direction to Morales and had itself detained some members of Morales’ previous government.

Arce, Morales’ former economy minister, won the presidency in a landslide election, enabling Morales to return from exile.

MORE: https://globalnews.ca/news/7404977/bolivia-voting-results-president-coronavirus/

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