Bolivia Coup Leaders Jailed For 10 Years

Supporters of ousted Bolivian leader Evo Morales protest against the new government, marching on federal headquarters in La Paz

BY MIRIAM AMANCAY COLQUE – Bartolina Sisa Resistance

ON JUNE 15, 2022, in the Coup d’etat II case, the 1st Court of Anti-corruption read the 10 years sentence in prison for the self-proclaimed ‘president’ Jeanine Anez and for William Kaliman, former Commander of the Armed Forces and Vladimir Yuri Calderon, former Commander of the Police.

They were sentenced for Resolutions Contrary to the Constitution and the Laws and Failure to Comply with Duties. Likewise, 4 other Armed Forces members were sentenced for Breach of Duties.

This judgment does not cover the Massacres or Jeanine Anez’s 11 months in power. It only dealt with the unconstitutional actions and decisions that Anez took as a Senator, before her self-proclamation in November 10, 11 and 12, 2019, violating Articles 169 and 170 of the State Constitution.

The coup was planned and financed long ago by enemies of the Bolivian people, the CIA, USA and national and international far-right instigators for Bolivia’s Lithium and others.

The same day of Evo Morales resignation, on November 10, 2019, a conspiracy was initiated at a meeting in the Catholic University where the opposition had already decided to elect Jeanine Anez as President.

Ricardo Paz, adviser to Carlos Mesa of the right wing party Comunidad Ciudadana, called Jeanine Anez to ‘offer her the position of the presidency’ and she accepted, long before her self-proclamation.

With colonial pomp Eugenio Scarpellini a Catholic hierarch and Leon de la Torre – European Union Ambassador organised this meeting.

Diplomatic, political and civic representatives participated including the Ambassador of Brazil, Octavio Henrique Cortes, Spain’s, Emilio Perez de Agreda, and the right wing Bolivian opposition.

It became clear that Jorge Tuto Quiroga, a far-right ex-president and imperialist agent, had control of the Bolivian Air Force (FAB) and was the one who gave the orders.

Adriana Salvatierra of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS-IPSP), President of the Senate in 2019, did not resign as required by law voluntarily, in writing and before the Electoral Tribunal.

Dr Victor Borda, of MAS and President of the Chamber of Deputies, was forced to resign because he was given an ultimatum.

In Potosi, civic committee fascists kidnapped and beat his relatives, set fire to his house, tortured and were going to kill his brother DR Marco Antonio Borda.

The only and rightful one in line of succession was Susana Rivero, MP of the MAS.

Prior to her self-proclamation, Jeanine Anez without any constitutional prerogative, was already acting as President. Through the media, she sent orders and summoned the Armed Forces and police to repress the protesters.

Jeanine Anez was already being treated as President. She had all the security team, the use of the presidential helicopter, etc.

In contrast, the police, military and paramilitaries prohibited the entry of MPs and Senators of the MAS-IPSP to the Plurinational Legislative Assembly – ALP and in an empty Chamber, without a quorum and without respecting the Internal Regulations, Jeanine Anez proceeded first to proclaim herself President of the Senate and then President of Bolivia.

That is how Jeanine Anez came to power in November 12, 2019, without a constitutional mandate, two days after Evo Morales was forced to resign at the request of the military, after police mutiny, the burning of homes, kidnappings, torture of MAS militants, leaders and authorities and because Morales’ life was in danger.

Until then Anez had no political standing. Her party only got 4% in the elections.

Senator for Beni in the northern part of the country, a lawyer, a supremacist, Anez is known for her hatred and racism towards indigenous people. She said: ‘The Indians do not deserve to be in the cities, they should be in the highlands.’

In the general elections held in Bolivia on 18 October 2020 for President, Luis Arce of the Movement for Socialism (MAS) party was elected president in a landslide.

During Jeanine Anez’s trial due process was followed fully, a resource that has been abused by the legal defence with manoeuvres to delay the process.

Their intention was to establish two narratives: That there was electoral fraud and the supposed constitutional succession. These arguments are not valid. The Office of the UN High Commissioner in Bolivia – OHCHR was also an Observer during the process.

Jeanine Anez like no other prisoner continues to enjoy excessive privileges and VIP treatment. She has her own room, she chooses her own food, has a team of private doctors, visitors, etc.

The opposition is shaking. They intend to annul the sentence supported by the national and international right wing and far-right forces.

Despite recommendations by the the human rights body, Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts – GIEI to dismantle the paramilitary groups ‘Cochala Resistance Youth – RJC’, ‘Crucenista Youth Union – UJC’ to date this has not happened and they are now reactivating themselves taking to the streets.

Also in unison, the European fascists, the United Kingdom, the European Union and the US imperialists complained that due process has not been respected.

It is no accident, their intention is to undermine the verdict. All of them were part of the coup speedily supported the Anez dictatorial regime.

Even within its limitations, the Bolivian justice has taken an important step with this trial. It is not enough, but it is a step forward in the fight against impunity and it is our duty to defend this decision.

No one should interfere in our legal system. The Plurinational State of Bolivia is a free and democratic country and our sovereignty must be respected. This legal sentence confirms that in Bolivia there was a coup d’état in November 2019.

We reject the inappropriate statements of Diego García-Sayán, UN Rapporteur in relation to Anez’s case.

No international treaty or declaration of human rights states this.

We repudiate Bolsonaro’s interference offering political asylum to Anez. He was part of the coup and we demand respect to the memory of the victims and our sovereignty.

Instead he should extradite Anez’s former Defence Minister Fernando Lopez Julio to be prosecuted for crimes against humanity.

We condemn the coup plotters who go unpunished and again seek to destabilise the country, supported by reactionaries, fascists local and from abroad and the illegal human rights body of Amparo Carvajal, who defends the ‘executioners’ human rights’ and not the victims.

They should be prosecuted alongside Luis Almagro of the OAS, for having promoted the 2019 coup that left 38 indigenous brothers murdered, more than 800 wounded/disabled and more than 1,500 men and women imprisoned and tortured. Nor do we forget the death of Argentine journalist Sebastián Moro.

We also condemn the private media and press that lack objectivity and misuse Freedom of Expression amplifying fake news.

This verdict sets an important precedent so that no one dares to seize power violently. We will defend democracy, not dictatorships.

We will not rest until justice is done and we will redouble our efforts to demand justice and reparation for all the coup victims, their families and for peace and liberation of our people. We Will Win!

For memory, truth and justice! Jail the coup plotters! Justice for the victims!

The Bartolina Sisa Resistance also made the following statement in support of the general strike in Ecuador: ‘Hunger has forced to the Ecuadorian people, organised, to take to the streets to demand fair living conditions.

‘And there they are in masses, from the coast, the mountains, the Amazon: Indigenous movements, social organisations, trade unions, workers, women, students because the Guillermo Lasso’s neo-liberal regime does not listen to their petition.

‘The regime criminalise the protests, increasing repression and using snipers to kill. Their hands are stained with the blood of the most humbled and exploited.

‘They do not realise that, the indigenous brothers and sisters, with their calloused hands, are the ones who produce and feed the big cities and demand fair prices.

‘The rich oligarch Lasso does not feel any hunger.  Lasso got rich during the 1999 Bank Holiday by stealing from the Ecuadorian people, owns more than 140 properties in Miami and hides his wealth in tax havens, thus evading tax payments.

‘Lasso threatens with more repression. But the whole country, united, is standing up and will continue fighting for their just demands, until this starving neo-liberal and oppressive regime leaves power.

‘Our solidarity with our Ecuadorian brothers and sisters!

‘Long live the National Strike! Long live Ecuador and internationalism! Hasta la Victoria Siempre!’