“Arbitrary, abusive, illegal”: Mauricio Macri and other former presidents have repudiated the conviction in Bolivia of Jeanine Áñez

The ex-president Mauricio Macri and several of his peers in the region, like the Chilean Sebastián Piñera and the Uruguayan Julio María Sanguinetti, repudiated this Saturday the Sentence pronounced in Bolivia against former President Jeanine Áñezwho took office after the political and social crisis unleashed in the Latin American country in 2019. In a statement by the Democratic Initiative of Spain and the Americas (IDEA) that bears his signature, among others, he was indicates that “It’s a made-up accusation on a fact that did not exist” and that the former official “is unlawfully detained”.

“Former Heads of State and Government participating in the Democratic Initiative of Spain and the Americas, regarding the criminal proceedings against them the former constitutional and transitional president of Bolivia, Jeanine Áñezmake it known that for democracy in the region respect for human rights is essential as a guarantee of the rule of law”begin the text and notice: “Preserving the constitutional thread and the rules of succession in the midst of a political crisisas experience in Latin America shows, it is the antidote against militaristic adventures and their coups d’etat”.

The document then recalls that in November 2019 Anez assumed the presidency of Bolivia when served as second vice-president of the upper housefruit of the resignation of the president and the first vice-president of the Senate. For this reason, the signatories maintain that “The line of succession rightfully belonged to him.”

They also argue that “the constituted powers, the Legislative Assembly and the Plurinational Constitutional Court, controlled by the party of Morales (Movement towards socialism -MAS-), recognized the constitutional nature of Áñez’s presidency through two laws which not only sanctioned the Assembly and promulgated the President, but also extended his mandate until the holding of presidential elections”. Subsequently, the President acknowledged the outcome of the process and left office on November 8, 2020, the day of the inauguration of Luis Arce, who they say “He today denies his remarks of recognition of the constitutional character of his predecessor, pronounced when he was a candidate, thus calling into question his own legitimacy.”

The statement also notes that the validity of Áñez’s succession was ratified by the guarantor of the Constitution, the Plurinational Constitutional Court, who did so publicly as soon as it was received to inaugurate the judicial year. Moreover, it highlights the its recognition by the international communityincluding the “United Nations, Organization of American States, European Union, United States, Canada, Japan, Turkey, Russia, China and countries in the region”.

Faced with all of the above, Macri and his peers wonder: “Now a local court intends to convict her, accused by the Attorney General appointed by Morales, who remained in office during the transition and openly recognized Áñez as constitutional president, accusing her of promoting and leading a coup. And they condemn: “It’s a made-up accusation about a fact that didn’t exist. The former president is illegally detained.

Finally, they conclude: “Therefore, given the impossibility for the Bolivian State to guarantee justice to former President Añez, and given the enormous damage that the criminalization of the preservation of the constitutional thread means for the democracies of the region, we consider that corresponds to the Secretary General of the United Nations, the OAS and the European Unionas witnesses and facilitators of the constitutional transition chaired by former President Áñez, repudiate the intention to condemn it arbitrarily, abusively, illegally and unconstitutionally”.

The former president was sentenced yesterday to ten years in prison for the crimes of dereliction of duty and resolutions contrary to the Constitution and laws in the “coup case II”.in which was analyzed his decision to assume the leadership of the state in November 2019. The sentence, which he will have to serve in Miraflores prison, was the end of a long process, with many interruptions – some technical and other related to the health of Áñez- and constitutes the first relevant resolution on the exit from power of former President Evo Morales.

Before hearing the court’s decision, Áñez said she was subjected to a ‘show trial’, remarked that he would act “in the same way” if the circumstances for which he assumed the presidency were repeated and denounced that the Court “the political power demanded an express trial to have an express condemnation”. Likewise, he complained of having been denied “absolutely everything” during the trial, deplored “the delicacy” of the Court, which rejected the evidence of his defense and attributed these attitudes to the need to ” have an accelerated path to conviction”. He also insisted that in 2019 there was a “power vacuum” and stressed that he had not moved “a finger” to assume the executive.

On the other hand, after the court decision Morales wrote on Twitter: “Despite the lies, the chicanas and even the performances to say that she was sick or about to die, justice ruled that Añez and his accomplices had attacked the power with a coup. Although he noted: “10 years in prison is a mild sentence compared to the damage they have done to democracy.”

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