Former Bolivia President sentenced to 10 years in jail over coup
Bolivia's former right-wing President Jeanine Anez was found guilty of making "decisions contrary to the constitution" and of “dereliction of duty."
A court in Bolivia has sentenced former right-wing President Jeanine Anez to 10 years in jail over a 2019 US-backed coup that brought her to power.
The court in La Paz found Anez guilty of making "decisions contrary to the constitution" and of “dereliction of duty."
The prosecution mentioned that the former President violated norms that guarantee the constitutional and democratic order after the country's 2019 presidential elections.
Under pressure from the chief of the army amid protests over allegations of vote-rigging, former President Evo Morales resigned as head of state and left Bolivia in November 2019, after the Bolivian opposition, led by Carlos Mesa, also claimed that there had been mass violations during the October 2019 vote.
Following Morales' departure, power in the country was assumed by then-former opposition vice-speaker of the senate, Anez.
Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous president, who oversaw a dramatic reduction in poverty as president from 2005 to 2019, deemed the events a US-backed coup. His party - Movement for Socialism - accused Anez, in cahoots with police and military figures, of orchestrating the coup.
Anez arranged for a new presidential vote, which took place on October 18, 2020. The election witnessed a landslide win by Luis Arce from Morales’ party.
In March 2021, the police arrested Anez, 54, on suspicion of terrorism, incitement to rebellion, and conspiracy in the coup. According to the investigation, she illegally declared herself president of Bolivia in breach of the country’s constitution and laws. Anez has been in jail since then.
It is noteworthy that in April, the Bolivian Foreign Ministry denounced a US State Department report on the legal situation of Anez as interference in Bolivia's internal affairs.
The Bolivian Ministry called on the US Department to respect the sovereignty of the Bolivian Government.
The Bolivian Foreign Ministry had summoned the Chargé d'Affaires of the US Embassy Jarahn Hillsman, to express its protest of Washington's interference.
In its annual report on human rights, the US State Department claimed that "legal experts have detected numerous irregularities" in Anez's detention.
In her final statement to the judge, Anez considered that she "didn’t lift a finger to become president, but I did what I had to do."
She also claimed that she "assumed the presidency out of obligation, according to what is established in the constitution."