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News > U.S.

US: Senators Denounce Bolivia's De Facto Gov't Abuses

  • A supporter of Evo Morales protests in the aftermath of the coup in 2019.

    A supporter of Evo Morales protests in the aftermath of the coup in 2019. | Photo: AFP/ Ronaldo Schemidt

Published 7 July 2020
Opinion

The senators also listed five major violations Áñez's government is currently committing, among these making temporary authorities cling to power

A group of U.S. senators Tuesday urged State Department Secretary Mike Pompeo to promote "free and fair elections" amid human rights violations carried by the coup-born government of Jeanine Áñez.

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The Democrats, led by Senator Chris Murphy, a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, denounced in a letter to the Secretary of State that the Áñez's government is committing a series of abuses. Most violations are framed as responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, to intimidate and undermine her political adversaries ahead of presidential elections expected on September 6, 2020.

"We are increasingly concerned by the growing number of human rights violations and curtailments of civil liberties by the interim government of Bolivia," senators said.
 
"These began shortly after the interim government headed by Jeanine Áñez came into power last November," the letter, signed as well by former U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, says.

The senators also listed five violations Áñez's government is currently committing, among these making temporary authorities cling to power; using the military to intimidate the legislature; violent repression and impunity in the immediate aftermath of taking control; civil liberties violations carried out under the guise of the COVID-19 crisis and unfair and hazardous treatment of Bolivian prisoners amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The interim government headed by Áñez has overstepped its caretaker role. It has sought to exact revenge against political opponents and perpetuate itself in power", senators warned. 

"After assuming office, Áñez vowed that she would not run for president, but she subsequently reversed herself and chose to campaign for the presidency, deepening Bolivia's polarization and increasing risks of renewed political conflict and violence," they remarked.

However, the coup that forced Evo Morales out of Bolivia's government on November 10, 2019, not only had the participation of U.S. officials conspiring with opposition groups, but the U.S. government has officially assisted Áñez. President Trump himself has branded his intervention in Bolivia's sovereignty as "vital to the national interests of the United States."

Tuesday's denounce by democrats senators highlights that without a change in course by the interim government, they fear that fundamental civil rights in Bolivia will be further eroded, and the legitimacy of the crucial upcoming elections will be put at risk.

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