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  • Relatives of the victims of the coup d'état protest, Bolivia, 2020.

    Relatives of the victims of the coup d'état protest, Bolivia, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @UNHumanRights

Published 25 August 2020
Opinion

Over 30 people died during protests against the U.S.-backed coup d'état which was led by Senator Jeanine Añez in 2019.

The United Nations Human Rights Office (OHCHR) Monday published a report detailing the serious human rights violations committed during the execution and consolidation of the coup d'état against President Evo Morales in 2019.

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The report also makes recommendations aimed at promoting the protection of human rights, avoiding such violations, and establishing the conditions necessary for the holding of peaceful and inclusive elections.

Among those recommendations is "the accountability for violations and the strengthening of the country's institutions for the benefit of all Bolivians," United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said.

In November 2019, the OHCHR deployed its staff to gather direct information on events in this Andean country. Its report is based on over 150 interviews with victims, witnesses, social leaders, and authorities. Documented human rights violations include killings, torture, ill-treatment, and arbitrary detentions.

Between October 20 and November 25, over 30 people died during protests against the U.S.-backed coup détat which was led by Senator Jeanine Añez. According to the OHCHR report, at least 20 of these deaths occurred during operations by the Police and the Armed Forces.

Witnesses mentioned that the security forces used unnecessary or excessive force against the protesters and weapons to disperse the crowd. The Añez regime, however, continues to deny that the Police and the Army used firearms against civilians.

Among the most serious crimes is the murder of nine people during the demonstrations in Sacaba (Cochabamba) and 10 protesters in Senkata (El Alto-La Paz).

"I am deeply concerned that, nine months on, not a single person has been held accountable for the deaths in Sacaba and Senkata nor for the majority of the killings that happened during the period covered by our report," Bachelet said.

"Independent, impartial, transparent, and thorough investigations would shed light on what happened, opening the door to truth, justice and integral reparations... Failure to act will deepen divisions, aggravating current tensions and undermining public trust in State institutions," she added.

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