Bolivian court finds ex-president Anez guilty of coup

Bolivian court finds ex-president Anez guilty of coup


A Bolivian court found former President Jeanine Anez guilty of orchestrating a coup to come into power during a 2019 political crisis.

Bolivia’s former interim President Jeanine Anez holds a protective face mask as she is detained at a FELCC (Special Force to fight against Crime) prison in La Paz, Bolivia, March 13, 2021. (Reuters Photo)

A Bolivian court found former President Jeanine Anez guilty on Friday of orchestrating a coup that brought her to power during a 2019 political crisis.

She was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Anez, 54, was convicted of making “decisions contrary to the constitution” and of “dereliction of duty.”

The prosecution said Anez, then a right-wing senator, violated norms that guarantee the constitutional and democratic order after Bolivia’s 2019 presidential elections.

Bolivia has been split over whether a coup occurred when then-President Evo Morales resigned in 2019, with Anez ascending to the presidency amid a leadership vacuum left in his wake. Morales’ departure followed mass protests over a disputed election in which he claimed to win a controversial fourth consecutive term in office.

Anez maintains she is innocent.

The contentious case has further exposed the fault lines in a deeply divided country while also fueling concerns about the judicial process in Bolivia.

“We are concerned about how this case has been pursued. And we call on superior courts to examine how the proceedings were conducted,” Cesar Munoz, senior researcher for the Americas at Human Rights Watch, said in an interview before the verdict.

Anez was not allowed to attend the trial in person, instead following the hearing and participating from prison. She has been detained since her arrest in March 2021 on initial charges of terrorism, sedition and conspiracy.

“We are concerned about how this case has been pursued. And we call on superior courts to examine how the proceedings were conducted,” Cesar Munoz, senior researcher for the Americas at Human Rights Watch, said in an interview before the verdict.

Anez was not allowed to attend the trial in person, instead following the hearing and participating from prison. She has been detained since her arrest in March 2021 on initial charges of terrorism, sedition and conspiracy.



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