Bolivia on Thursday (18) asked Brazil and the United States not to intervene in their internal affairs, after the two countries expressed concern over the arrest of former interim president Jeanine Añez.
The Bolivian Foreign Ministry released two statements in which it claims to have held meetings in La Paz with diplomats from the United States and Brazil, separately. On certain occasions, the Chancellery claims to have recalled international agreements which invite countries not to interfere in matters falling under the national jurisdiction of other countries.
Charisse Phillips, Washington’s charge d’affaires in La Paz, spoke of Bolivia’s “duty to refrain from intervening in internal affairs”. Already with the Brazilian Ambassador, Octavio Henrique Días, it was discussed the non-intervention in the current judicial process, according to the texts.
Añez was arrested last week on charges of sedition, terrorism and conspiracy to what her predecessor and rival Evo Morales has denounced as a coup against him. The ex-president resigned in October 2019 after pressure from the streets and the military contesting his re-election.
The US State Department expressed concern over Añez’s arrest, while President Jair Bolsonaro called on “Bolivia to fully maintain the rule of law and democratic coexistence.”
The arrest of the conservative leader, who hid in a box-bed when police entered her home in Trinidad, drew criticism from the Organization of American States (OAS). In collaboration with the European Union, the organization called for respect for judicial guarantees and the transparency of the process.
On Wednesday (18), La Paz criticized OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro for suggesting that the Bolivian case be brought before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
The 53-year-old former Conservative president and her former justice and energy ministers were arrested last weekend in an investigation into the alleged eviction of Evo. On Monday (15th), tens of thousands of people took to the streets of several towns in Bolivia to protest the arrests.
Añez came to power two days after Evo resigned in a controversial legislative move. She took advantage of a loophole in Bolivian law, as everyone in the line of direct 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 rules, 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.
The former interim president is serving four months in pre-trial detention in a La Paz women’s prison, where she fell ill on Wednesday and was sent to a hospital for treatment.