ROMA, Italy.- “My mother has suffered a political lynching,” affirmed the daughter of Jeanine Áñez Chávez, Carolina Ribera Áñez, after the sentence of ten years in prison against the former president of Bolivia, who had been deprived of liberty for more than a year, accused of carrying out a coup against his predecessor, the socialist Evo Morales. However, the indigenous leader resigned and fled the country after accusations of electoral fraud in the 2019 presidential elections.
In a conversation with CubaNet, Ribera Áñez listed the irregularities of the process that she classified as a “political circus”: “It is an illegal process from start to finish, they have denied her being present at her own trial, there was no natural judge, there was no due transparent and suitable fiscal process and investigation, there was no presumption of innocence. There are public statements by ministers and deputy ministers pressuring judges and it was an express trial, which lasted only three months, with marathon hearings and eliminating evidence”, he assured.
In fact, Judge Germán Ramos, president of the First Anti-Corruption Sentencing Court of La Paz, announced his ruling against the 54-year-old former president online. And it was learned that the court would have denied the defense expert evidence, documentary evidence and even witnesses.
After almost 14 years in power, on Sunday, November 10, 2019, Evo Morales resigned from the presidency of Bolivia in the midst of a deep political crisis caused by allegations of fraud in the elections of October 20 of that year. Cornered by the protests and after the request for resignation by the head of the Army, the indigenous leader left office and left the country. Vice President Álvaro García and the president of the Senate, Adriana Salvatierra, also resigned.
Consequently, in accordance with the line of succession established by the Constitution, the Vice President of the Senate, Jeanine Añez, assumed the presidency of Bolivia, achieving the pacification of the country and the holding of new elections.
“At that time she (Jeanine Añez) was a senator and was the second vice president of the State, after the resignations that took place in 2019, of Evo Morales and of the entire line that corresponded to assume the mandate, my mother was a brave woman who took office in the face of a convulsion in the country, we were on the brink of a civil war, and she did it out of love for her country. Out of love for all Bolivians, she pacified the country and called for new elections, ”explained Carolina Ribera.
However, on March 13, 2021, the judicial ordeal of the former president began: “my mother was arrested without any summons and prior notification, and transferred to the city of La Paz, accused of terrorism, sedition and conspiracy. Without evidence, without compliance with due process and without any relationship that she has with the facts. My mother suffers an early sentence for something that never happened, for something she never committed, for revenge from a political party that is now in power again and that uses torture to be able to change the history of Bolivia and install a narrative that It is false, from an alleged coup d’état, and thus deny the monumental electoral fraud committed by Evo Morales in October 2019.
For his part, the special rapporteur for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers of the United Nations, Diego García-Sayán, expressed in Twitter his concern about the statements of former president Evo Morales about a meeting in which an ordinary trial against Jeanine Áñez would have been defined, and said that the former president has the right to a trial of responsibilities.
“Signs of possible intervention by political power in this judicial process worry the international community. The Bolivian justice has the opportunity to make the corrections that are necessary before an appeal or review, if it arises, ”he wrote.
What evidence do you have to affirm that it is a political trial?
“Last Sunday, Evo Morales revealed to the whole world that they were the ones who decided to put my mother in jail and sentence her. That is to say, Evo Morales, Luis Arce (the president of Bolivia), Choquehuanca (leader of MAS) and the entire MAS leadership, to wash the face of the coward who fled. This is strong evidence that my mother has suffered a political lynching. This is a political circus that leaves the message that no one dares to do something against the government or protest against the government, because the same thing as Jeanine Áñez is going to happen to her.”
His mother was tried in the ordinary way and not in a trial of responsibilities as corresponds to a former high-ranking authority….
“My mother suffers a judicial hell, a judicial torture that faces trials both in the ordinary way, as if she were a common citizen. It must be clarified that she, in her capacity as former state president, should carry out a trial of responsibilities like any former president in her condition, and defending herself in freedom. It is not the case of my mother, my mother has been imprisoned for more than a year in the most inhumane and illegal way. And she is carrying out lawsuits both through ordinary channels and for responsibilities. Today, she is facing three trials in the ordinary way, because there is so much legal aberration that they have divided the case into two, that is, they are judging her twice for the same act.”
On the Twitter account of Jeanine Áñez denounced that the court forced her mother to follow the virtual hearing “in a state of numbness”, “due to the antihypertensive and anxiolytic medication she receives for her delicate health.” How is your current health status?
“This whole situation has my mother in such a delicate state of health that she has become very unbalanced, she does not receive the treatment she needs with the specialties that are urgently needed. Her high blood pressure, which is her underlying disease, is getting very complicated for her. She used to have this controlled and medicated hypertension when she was a legislator and when she was president, but now it has gotten much worse. She suffers from very strong crises, which have caused a pericardial effusion and polyneuropathy, which has also led to severe depression. It has been very hard because last year my mother tried to commit suicide and it has been very difficult for all of us. Her weight loss, her body is being subjected to such strong torture, psychological torture, daily defamation, public ridicule and uncertainty that she lives permanently, and also judicial rejection. She feels totally helpless and has manifested it in many ways.”
Jeanine Áñez will be taken to a new ordinary trial, this time for the deaths of Senkata and Sacaba. How does she feel about this situation?
“These slogans to keep her detained in this unjust, inhuman and illegal confinement, are the most disastrous thing we have experienced in Bolivia throughout our history and they are killing my mother. That is why I ask all of you to join our voice, to make pronouncements, to hold demonstrations to ask for the life and safety not only of my mother, but of all the political prisoners in Bolivia and that there are no more families. destroyed by this abuse that we are experiencing, by this abuse of power by an abusive and totalitarian government. A government that really doesn’t care about the lives of Bolivians but about staying in power.”
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