Bolivia, a Country that remains internationally isolated and crying out for justice

Source: The Jakarta Post

A political tide of rivalry

Recently the former acting president Jeanine Anez had been arrested after allegations of being responsible for arranging a covert coup against her chief competents and rivals. Bolivian forces had taken effective action against the former ministers of Jeanine Anez’s so called conservative government deeming them as terrorists, sedition and spreading rumors describing the events as a ‘’historic task of giving justice. "These events being the proceedings of a voted for amnesty towards individuals that had been victimised during the protests following Morales’ resignation and the acts that followed on from Anez’s control over the situation and lack of solid leadership.

More evidence has been gathered around Anez and her short lived term in office, a member of the Leftist Movement for Socialism party founded by Morales, member Lidia Patty had filed a complaint against Anez’s government, her former assistants and militants as they arranged an undiscovered coup against Morales who ruled by decree for an undemocratically natured fourteen years.

There are however strong doubts and misconceptions over the recent decree as it creates a dangerous blanket and protection over various crimes qualify as being subject to pardoning or receiving amnesty with analysts pinpointing this strategy as being planned to protect members of the MAS party who were responsible for organizing the protests against Jeanine’s government. With a director of Human Rights Watch within the American region, Jose Miguel Vivanco iterating the amnesty as a retaliation act as follows, "there is strong evidence indicating the previous government persecuted MAS supporters in politically motivated cases.’’ Furthermore, the decree may instead of bring peace, draw Bolivia further into violence, unrest and protest as it may leave individuals responsible for armed robbery, trafficking, assualts, rape and money laundering to name a few crimes all potentially committed by members of the MAS which has been identified by a human rights watch report released during September of 2020.

However, contrasting views have been highlighted by additional reports and articles on the matter as representing ‘’clear violations of and Constitutional guarantees and freedoms.’’ This claim has been widely disputed as it lacks any formal evidence or criterion to justify whether the citizens who violently protested actually had any rights officially obstructed by Anez’s government.

Further concerns over the legitimacy of the decree is communicated in various articles as possibly attempting to ‘’re establish civil and political rights’’ due to situations caused by interstate uncertainty of the country’s governance that took place from October 21st 2019 up until October 12th, 2020. Vivanco goes on to clarify that,’’ the decree risks establishing a system of selective justice, allowing the government to grant amnesty to supporters who committed serious crimes, while prosecuting opponents for their similar crimes.’’ This creates a high level of distrust of the entire system and government parties within Bolivia for future potential voters.

An unjust and complex decision pushed forward

The recent decree comes after an outbreak of violence in Bolivia has been outlined by a direct response to Morales being forced to step down from office has led to the event of 35 individuals getting murdered and 800 reported to have been injured during lash outs as indicated by the Ombudsperson’s which stands up for human rights independently within the nation. Though criticism for the Anez handling of the killings of members who allegedly belonged to the MAS of the regions of Sacaba, Betanzos and Senkata with her government instead of seeking justice, looking for ways to further damage and punish Morales’ team as he was accused for attempting to hold office for a fourth term during October of 2019 which sparked nationwide protests amidst the controversy. This being a direct result of Morales being accused of election votes stealing which is widely disputed and which saw a forced resignation of the former leader during November 2019 by the armed forces and police personnel.

In relation and direct response to the nature and extent of the decree, researchers suggest that the Bolivian government should instead insure equality and transparency in the process of justice and decisions that involve human rights as those that are responsible for the crimes, whether they are supporters of the MAS party or opposition members must be held responsible for their actions as what would occur within a normative constitutional system which has been stressed by the United Nations Human Rights Committee firmly. There is even greater confusion over the purpose of the decree as amnesty has even been developed by Anez’s government over Covid-19 victims however as of February 2021, the number of individuals arrested and serving time in Bolivian prison has in fact increased by as much as three times the previous years amount with 17,800 individuals reported to have been incarcerated with an already overflowing set of prisons in the country though under the new decree. Critically, it's expected that 18 percent of the prison population could get released. With the senate president Andronico Rodriguez of MAS declaring that, "what we want is that they be freed from any criminal charge.’’ Leaving the nation in a state of uncertainty of freedom of speech and accountability as even minor contact or connection with Morales as being questioned.

-Richardt Schoonraad

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