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  • Felipa Huanca at the time of her arrest, Bolivia, Feb. 27, 2020

    Felipa Huanca at the time of her arrest, Bolivia, Feb. 27, 2020 | Photo: Twitter/ @LosTiemposBol

Published 28 February 2020

Felipa Huanca was arrested before she could attend an Indigenous women's meeting in Mexico.

Bolivia’s Prosecutor’s Office Thursday ordered the arrest of Felipa Huanca, the former leader of the Bartolina Sisa Confederation of Indigenous Women (CMCBS), a grassroots organization that has been politically close to the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS).

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Huanca was arrested for a case of alleged mismanagement of the Indigenous Farmer Fund (Fondioc). In 2014, she was accused of illicit earnings, embezzlement, injurious contracts, and breach of duties. These accusations were rejected by prosecutor Edwin Blanco two years later.

Nevertheless, the case against the indigenous woman was recently reactivated at the request of the right-wing lawmaker Rafael Quispe, who was appointed director of Fondioc by the self-proclaimed President Jeanine Añez.

"Quispe has accused me and defamed me. But, so far, he has not proven anything," said Huanca, who was the MAS former candidate for the La Paz governorship.

Her arrest demonstrates the resurgence of the political persecution campaign implemented by the coup-born regime against some 500 Socialist politicians who participated in the Evo Morales administration (2006-2019).

The Bartolina Sisa Federation of Indigenous Women declares an emergency and expresses its support for Felipa Huanca.

For its part, the Bartolina Sisa Confederation held a press conference in La Paz to announce its full support to Felipa Huanca, who remains detained at the Special Force to Combat Crime (Felcc) facilities.

The Indigenous leader Segundina Flores explained that Huanca did not intend to flee the country, for she was designated by her organization to participate in a meeting of Indigenous women in Mexico.

Before being arrested by the police, Huanca applied for a passport at her country's immigration office, which did not respond favorably to her petition.

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