Justice for the victims of the 2019 coup in Bolivia – Miriam Amancay COLQUE, Bartolina Sisa Resistance


“Decree 4078 issued by (Coup-leader ) Anez and signed by all her cabinet Ministers gave complete impunity to the armed forces and police to commit massacres, including summary executions”

By Miriam Amancay COLQUE, Bartolina Sisa Resistance

On February 10, the trial against Jeanine Anez began addressing the case of the Coup d’etat II, for Actions Contrary to the Constitution, the Law, Breach of Duties and other offences, however due to legal technicalities it has been postponed until March.

The Plurinational State of Bolivia suffered a Constitutional rupture in November 2019 when Jeanine Anez, in a Legislative Assembly without a quorum, appointed herself President of the Senate and President of the country. Her actions followed the similar example of Juan Guaido in Venezuela, who was supported by the OAS, US, UK, EU, the national and international right and far right.

The GIEI (Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts) in its final report of August 2020 states that, Jeanine Anez had no rights within the law to assume power.

Jeanine Anez a far-right conservative, is better known for her racist stance against the majority indigenous population whom she disparages, arguing that ‘‘the Indians should not live in the cities and instead should live in the highlands or el chaco’’. Just like the imperialist lackey Ivan Duque who told the Indigenous Minga in Cali: ‘’go to your reservations because here you bother the ‘good citizens’’! Both are racists to the core.

The coup plotter also despised the Wiphala, a national symbol recognized within the Constitution which was trampled and burned as a sign of hatred and racism towards indigenous people.

Anez violated the CPE (State Constitution) by illegally taking over the presidency of the Senate. She did not call a plenary session of the Legislative Assembly to read Evo and Alvaro’s resignations and the presidency corresponded to the majority party, which was the MAS. Instead, Anez a simple Senator whose Democrat party only reached 4% in the 2019 elections, proclaimed herself as President.

Decree 4078 issued by Anez and signed by all her cabinet Ministers gave complete impunity to the armed forces and police to commit massacres, including summary executions, facts confirmed by the GIEI.

Thus, in November 2020, Lidya Patty, an indigenous woman and former MP of the MAS-IPSP (Movement towards Socialism) started a judicial process against Anez, known as Coup d’etat I for crimes of sedition, conspiracy and terrorism. The main victims being: Evo Morales, Alvaro Garcia Linera, Adriana Salvatierra former President of the Senate, Victor Borda former President of Deputies.

Jeanine Anez enjoys extra comforts as a detainee. By contrast, she is the one who has grossly violated the human rights and dignity of all her victims who never had the chance to see their relatives, seek medical attention or see a Lawyer. The judiciary is following due process.

Jeanine Anez never understood the values of democracy and there is plenty of evidence against her when she took power unconstitutionally. She was despotic and arrogant, opening the way to the dismantling of strategic public companies, looting the coffers of the State, with endless corruption, stealing and leaving the population abandoned and defenceless in the midst of the pandemic.

On February 9, she decided to go on hunger strike, a strategy to delegitimise and delay the judicial process trying to appear as a victim to evade justice.

It should be noted that this judicial process is not yet about justice for the Victims of the Massacres of Huayllani, Sacaba, Senkata and others. In December 2019, the Public Ministry ex-officio opened the CASE-EAL 1909567, NUREJ 20323380 for murder, homicide, serious and minor injuries. Later on, recommendations of the GIEI were incorporated, such as torture, massacres, summary executions and serious human rights violations.

The Victims’ judicial process advances at a snail’s pace and after more than two years it is still in the investigation stage, in comparison to the process presented by Lydia Patty whose investigation stage advanced rapidly.

At an invitation made by the government of Luis Arce, Diego Garcia-Sayan, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges, is in Bolivia. He already held meetings with the Presidents of the Senate and Deputies, the judiciary.  He is also expected to meet with opponents Carlos Mesa, Luis F Camacho, Jeanine Anez, civil society and next week with the Victims of the Massacres.

The MAS-IPSP has also requested to Diego Garcia-Sayan a meeting with Evo Morales including other national leaders to guarantee impartiality and objectivity.

The Bolivian people and most of all, the victims of the Massacres deserve justice without impunity. It is time for Jeanine Anez and all her accomplices to be accountable to justice for the tragedy caused during the coup, and to send a strong message as a precedent so that these crimes never happen again.

For Memory, Truth, Justice and Reparation!

  • Miriam Amancay COLQUE is a longstanding Aymara activist and spokesperson of the Bartolina Sisa Resistance – BSR – you can follow them on Facebook and twitter.
  • You can find out more about UK campaigning in solidarity with Bolivia from the Friends of Bolivia on Facebook and twitter.
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA – NOVEMBER 15 : Bolivian citizens residing in Argentina demonstrate in front of the Bolivia’s embassy in Buenos Aires on November 15, 2019, during a demonstration in support of Bolivian ex-President Evo Morales. Demonstrators carried Wiphala flags, representing some native peoples of the Andes, Bolivian flags and banners translating “No Coup in Bolivia”. ( Muhammed Emin Canik – Anadolu Agency )

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