Bolivian justice has set the duration of the pre-trial detention of former president Jeanine Añez, detained on Saturday (13) for conspiracy, sedition and terrorism in the days following the resignation of Evo Morales in November 2019.
Judge Regina Santa Cruz held a hearing that lasted several hours on Sunday (14) and heard from the Bolivian prosecution, which had requested a six-month sentence, as well as Añez’s lawyers and two of his former ministers – Álvaro Coimbra (Justice) and Rodrígo Guzmán (Energy).
“They sent me to four months of detention pending trial for a ‘coup’ that never happened,” the former president said in a message on Twitter.
According to her, this Sunday’s decision corroborates the complaint that she and her allies have filed against the Movement for Socialism (MAS), the party of Evo and the current president of the country, Luis Arce. “The MAS decides and the justice system obeys,” he wrote.
Añez, 53, was arrested Saturday morning at her home in the city of Trinidad. She was found by the police hidden in a box bed and taken to La Paz.
The complaint against the ex-president was presented by a bloc of deputies and former members of the MAS. The case went to court. In the process, the prosecution accuses the high government of Añez of having caused more than 30 deaths in the repression of demonstrations after the departure of the indigenous leader.
The charges of “sedition, conspiracy and terrorism” refer to the way Añez acted during his period of transition to power – between November 12, 2019, two days after Evo’s resignation, and November 8, 2020, date which Arce took over after winning the election. held in October.
The penalties for the crimes described, if confirmed, range from 5 to 20 years in prison. Añez says his arrest is illegal, an act of political persecution and that the government “accuses him of participating in a coup that never took place.”
After being detained, the former president addressed letters to the European Union and the OAS (Organization of American States), requesting the dispatch of observers to follow up the case against her.
Without directly citing the former president, Evo called for firm punishment. “For justice and truth for the 36 fatal victims, the more than 800 injured and more than 1,500 illegally detained during the coup. That the authors and accomplices of the dictatorship which shook the economy and damaged life and democracy in Bolivia be investigated and punished, ”he wrote on a social network on Saturday.
Evo, who has presided over Bolivia since 2006, ran for a fourth term, but there were allegations of election fraud. Under pressure from the armed forces and popular movements, whose demonstrations left dead and injured in the country, he resigned on November 10, 2019.
Two days after resigning, Añez came to power in a controversial legislative move, taking advantage of a loophole in Bolivian law, as everyone in the direct line of succession resigned after Evo left.
Without having reached a quorum in either the Chamber of Deputies or the Senate, she justified that she would assume the presidency in accordance with the provisions of the Senate regulations on succession to the Chamber.
According to the regulations, taking into account the resignation of the president and the first vice-president of the Senate, the statutes allowed him, the second vice-president, to assume the command.
During his 11-month tenure, Añez faced stiff opposition from Evo’s party, which included acts of violence and state-suppressed roadblocks.
During the government of Añez, the Bolivian justice opened proceedings against Evo, who accused him of terrorism for having stimulated violent demonstrations. An arrest warrant was issued against him, but the former president fled abroad. The arrest warrant was quashed in October after Arce’s victory.
Añez has also been criticized for his mismanagement of the pandemic crisis. There have been cases of corruption, such as the overpriced purchase of respirators, which led to the arrest of the former health minister. A month before the October elections, she withdrew her candidacy, calling for “unity” against Evo’s party.
Añez’s arrest came a week after her defeat in the regional elections, when she ran for governor of the department of Beni. Her performance at the polls was poor and she came third.