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Montevideo, October 4th 2023 - 10:54 UTC



IACHR reports summary executions in Bolivia 2019 uprising

Wednesday, August 18th 2021 - 09:51 UTC
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Tappatá said that ”at least 37 people lost their lives.” Photo: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP Tappatá said that ”at least 37 people lost their lives.” Photo: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP

A report released Tuesday by an Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) investigation group showed “summary executions” were carried out in Bolivia during the 2019 uprising which resulted in President Evo Morales' resignation.

The Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) of the IACHR, which has investigated these incidents, handed over its findings to President Luis Arce in La Paz, leaving no doubts as to military and police massacres.

GIEI's Patricia Tappatá said that “at least 37 people lost their lives in various parts of the country and hundreds received serious injuries, both physical and psychological.”

The investigation spanned from the end of the Evo Morales government to the beginning of that of his successor, the right-wing Senator Jeanine Áñez, under whom two serious events were registered: on November 15 in the town of Sacaba, near the city of Cochabamba (downtown), and four days later at the Senkata gas plant, in the city of El Alto, near La Paz.

In Sacaba there were 11 deaths and just as many in Senkata. Tappatá said that the GIEI “does not hesitate” to classify these events “as massacres.”

In Sacaba, an area heavily influenced by coca growers, Morales' loyal allies, the investigation group had the support of Argentine forensic experts. Some of those deaths were due to “summary executions,” the GIEI expert explained.

After hearing the report, President Arce announced reparations for the victims. He added that the document “clearly describes the grave human rights violations, massacres and extrajudicial executions that took place in our country during the coup” against his political mentor Morales.

Arce vowed to bring those responsible to Justice and Áñez posted on social media her request for a fair trial. She is currently held in preventive detention since last March, while the Prosecutor's Office investigates the events during her government from November 2019 to November 2020.

Santa Cruz Governor Luis Fernando Camacho, a key player in Morales's departure from power, said that the report “is clear” because “the deaths and human rights violations began in the government of Evo Morales and ended in that of Áñez.” so ”if Jeanine Áñez is prosecuted, Evo must also be prosecuted.”

Former centrist president Carlos Mesa (2003-2005) said that a reform of the judicial system must be carried out, as “requirements to guarantee justice and due process in the cases that must be tried.”

Mesa is accused by the ruling party as one of those responsible for the alleged coup, along with the Catholic Church, the European Union (EU), the Organization of American States (OAS), the Argentine Governments of then-President Mauricio Macri and the Ecuadorian administration of then-President Lenín Moreno.

Bolivia entered into a crisis after the October 2019 elections. The results of the elections favoured Morales, in power since 2006 and to extend his term until 2025.

However, the opposition accused him of having committed fraud and nationwide protests broke out. The police and military withdrew support from Morales, who resigned and went into exile to Mexico.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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