On Sunday (March 14), former interim President of Bolivia Jeanine Áñez appeared in front of a judge via video after her arrest the day before for terrorism, sedition, and conspiracy.
Áñez was put behind bars by the country’s new government for her involvement in the removal of former president Evo Morales in 2019. She called her arrest “political persecution” and posted an image of the warrant on social media.
She has called on the Organización de los Estados Americanos and the Unión Europea Bolivia to send “observers” to follow her case.
Áñez was accused of what many people called a coup against Morales’ presidency. In 2019, Morales was seeking a fourth term, but the election ended with allegations of voting manipulation. Widespread protests soon followed.
Morales, who was declared the winner, resigned from office after the election became disputed and led to violence across the country. Áñez was then named the interim president. “The coup has been consummated,” said Morales’ vice president Álvaro García Linera around that time.
When a new election took place in October 2020, Luis Arce, an ally of Morales, was elected the winner in a landslide. The New York Times writes that the arrest of Áñez is an “attempt by Arce’s government to present a show of force at a time when it faces multiple political threats,” this according to an interview with Bolivian political science professor Roger Cortéz.
Along with Áñez, two of her former ministers, Rodrigo Guzman and Alvaro Coimbra, were also arrested. Prosecutors are asking that Áñez be detained for six months prior to the trial because they consider her a flight risk.